Boudoir Pose Breakdown — Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile

Boudoir floor pose

In this episode of Boudoir Pose Breakdown we’re going to take a close look at a pose I call Cleopatra and also learn about something else this unique pose brings to the table.

I call it Cleopatra because it’s how I envision the Egyptian Queen looked when she was being transported around in her human-powered carriage. I’m not sure why that it, perhaps I saw it in a movie or something. 

Anyway, it’s what I call the pose and helps quickly bring to mind its unique characteristics.

Like I said in another article, I choose names for poses that are personal to me, and that represent the pose accurately, and if possible, also add the appropriate tone or emotion to it as well.

Calling this pose Cleopatra brings with it an air of regality and majesty and helps give it the proper attitude… and that gives my clients something specific to focus on when holding the pose.

If I tell them, “Okay, now pretend you’re Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, the most powerful woman in all the land, and you’re being carried through the streets on display for all your subjects to see and people gasp at your beauty when you pass by.”

That’s a lot more to work with than, “Okay, now hold that pose… chin up a little… great… (click).” 

With the latter, there’s nothing internal fueling the pose, but with the former it’s the imaginary scenario that serves as the fuel itself.

What Is The Pose Saying?

To me, this pose is all about understated graceful power, especially since I shoot it with the client’s face in profile so she’s not looking into camera acknowledging the observer. 

If she looked into camera it would have a totally different feel and lose its essence. 

I suppose it could work though, looking into camera, if her chin was up and she was kind of looking down (her nose) at you. That would still give it an air of superiority. I’ll have to try that next time.

Anyway, I like the look that having the client’s face in profile gives you for the line it creates from the top of her head, down the length of her body, all the way to her toes. 

You also get her hair draping down behind her with the head in profile which looks good as well.

What This Pose Gives You

The big thing this pose gives you is variety of attitude. 

You see, you can add variety to your session in several different ways, through posing, wardrobe, setting, but also through attitude.

I like this pose because of the unique attitude it gives to a shoot. 

Sure, you want all the poses to be sexy or sensual to some degree but that can get pretty one-note if you don’t mix that with different attitudes as well.

For example, you can have sexy/shy, sexy/bold, sexy/slutty, or in the case of Cleopatra… sexy/regal. 

You don’t really see that in boudoir at all but when you do you’ll notice that the image is saying something else besides just “sexy”. You may not even be able to identify it exactly, but you’ll sense that something else is going on in the image.

The Structure of the Pose

I prefer to shoot this pose on the floor so the subject won’t sink into the bedding.

Have her sit on one side with her arm supporting her upper body. Her top leg should be slightly overlapping her bottom leg.

Her top arm traces the waist/hip line with her hand gently resting on her thigh.

Head in profile with eyes closed. 

The Variation

Boudoir floor pose

A nice variation on this is to have her drop down to her elbow.

This will change the angle of her body and elongate her form.


I like shooting this in a onesie (well, not me personally… that would be weird) to hide any crimping or folds of skin that may occur, however, if shooting the variation that is less angled, there is less chance of that happening.

Key Points To Capturing Cleopatra

The only thing I would say here is try shooting both versions, stiff-armed with the upper body propped up but also lying on the bent elbow and see which one you like better, as well as your client.

Wrapping It All Up

Cleopatra is a great pose to start your session withbecause it’s easy to get into, easy to hold, and pretending to be Queen of the Nile is a safe start for a woman to begin expressing her sexuality in front of you before things get more intense.

Thanks for your time!

If you found this article helpful, please forward it to someone if may also benefit.

Charles Mitri
Founder / Lounge Boudoir

Bella Mitri Boudoir

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Charles Mitri

Charles Mitri is an award-winning boudoir photographer and also founder and writer of, an educational blog and resource website for boudoir photographers worldwide. He lives in Yorktown, Virginia.

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