As a model, you serve multiple parties – your modeling agency, the client, the photographer and the crew. What do these key people look out for in a top model? It is essential to give a good impression and maintain a positive working relationship so that these people will be keen to work with you again – hello to more jobs, more money!
Let’s talk performance for a photo shoot – because the result, the eventual photo strip is what matters. No usable photo equals bad performance. The ultimate goal is to get the client a couple of amazing photos that can sell their product and brand and makes people want to buy them.
What do photographers look out for?
No one expects a new model to come on set with a bang and nail it right away. Kidding, it might not be as forgiving as we think. Most of the time, photographers look out for a model’s ability to take direction. New models, full of energy and enthusiasm to “werk it”, have no idea of how to really “werk”. Here are some ideas on what to do and what photographers would advise!
Go all out and relax!
It is always easier to pull back a model who goes over the top, than to push a model lacking in commitment to the shoot or gives up easily and is not willing to experiment or step out of his or her comfort zone. Throw the barriers and the fear of coming off as silly aside, embrace your strengths, the brand, your shoot setting and give your best shot and energy for the duration of the shoot.
Confidence is a key factor that shows in photos. Photographers often cite boosting a model’s confidence or morale as one of the most difficult things to do. Nothing shouts out to the audience more than an awkward model who is uncomfortable or shy.
Inexperienced models often come into the shoot trying to make every shot a perfect one, which photographers do appreciate. However, it does sometimes work to their disadvantage. A worrying face or a model preoccupied with nailing every shot can come off as looking tense in pictures (most of the time, they will fail to make every shot a perfect one anyway). It is important for a model to be relaxed during a photo shoot. Do away with that incessant worrying – bad shots will be censored out anyway.
Having a shoot in a quiet location without attracting stares from a passerby will also help new models relax. Building chemistry with the photographer can also help models relax and perform in the shoot.
Hold that modelesque body!
Like how the picture changes according to the angle of the lens, a slight tweak in a model’s body posture can turn a picture from a “meh” to a “wow”. Photographers love models who understand their body positions, angles and poses. It is all about experimenting before the mirror, finding your flattering angles, creating silhouettes and working the garment and your environment.
Here are some tips to posing!
Some tricks that models swear by include:
- Cross your legs with one foot placed in front of the other, to give you that natural slim look.
- Don’t let those hands hang loose unintentionally! Make sure you don’t have claw hands either. Keep them occupied or give them some shape. Awkward looking hands are a common spoiler to an otherwise really amazing shot.
- Put yourself into a character, think of a story and play it out. Now your shot looks more alive and interesting!
- Play with weight shifts. This very minor change in pose can impact the shot greatly.
- Keep moving! Don’t get stuck in the same pose for more than three seconds. Tweak your pose slightly – move your shoulders, tilt your head a little, angle your face differently, etc. Just keep moving, just keep going with the flow!
- Good posture. All models need to maintain a good posture. Think asymmetrical to make the pose look more natural and less artificial.
- Exhale. Breathe through your mouth, part your lips slightly and keep doing the exhale (Play this Tyra Banks tip on repeat).
- Exert energy through your eyes. A “deer in the headlights” look is a no-no for any model in a shoot. Werk those facial muscles!
The facial muscles are often undermined. The soft, relaxed look achieved in photos are by no means easy to nail. Always practice before a mirror, play with your eyebrows a little, consciously open your eyes and avoid staring blankly at the camera. Eye contact! There are generally three types of gazes, the direct, the in-frame (between subjects) and the out of frame. A model’s line of sight can change the mood of the photo as well as the potential audience interaction. For example, a model looking right into the camera will pull the audience into the photograph.
Facial expressions are important to every shoot. Inexperienced models often find themselves smiling through every shot. A change-up in facial expression can influence the mood of the photograph. A good mix of expressions will help in producing a variety of choice photographs at the end.
The model always knows best – no!
Always trust the photographer. Photographers are the one envisioning the shot and seeing the frame through the camera. When inexperienced, trust the more experienced, be it the photographer, the creative director or the modeling company or your model agent, to give directions. It might seem weird or ugly from the model’s point of view but from the photographer’s, it might look great through the lens.
Humility and an openness to experience are something clients and photographers appreciate deeply in models. The spontaneity to try out new things and experiment with ideas, to take direction well and go with the flow is a key strength that brings out the potential in an inexperienced model.
Look up modeling poses on the Internet, videos of shoots, copy them and practice before the mirror. Everyone starts with emulation before taking it a notch up and creating a style of their own. Off you go on your journey to becoming a top model!Share This