Is it bad that I want to try using references of real people for poses while drawing anime? Or would that kind of be considered tracing or cheating in a way? I'm just never creative enough to think of poses for my characters..
As long as the licencing says that that photo is free to use/modify you can reference it/paint over it. If you find a photo you want to reference but can’t use it because of licencing try taking the pose yourself and making your own photo. While it’s alright to use references to draw a pose it’s better to try taking on a pose yourself to better understand what muscles are being used and how it feels.
If you need an example of how to use your own photo in a good way check out this video by RossDraws!