Written By Bob Pardue
Posing Tips for Models, But Excellent Guide for Photographers Too
Bob Pardue has a great website on helping models succeed, but as photographers, we are on the other side of the equation shooting them. Bob’s posing tips are intended for models, but if you can understand what a model is going through and how you can help them pose better and get more comfortable in front of the camera, both subject and photographer will have a much higher rate of success in photo shoots.
As photographers, it’s difficult to give instructions to models if you’re not aware of how to pose a model in the first place. A photo session will always be a rapport collaboration endeavor, so do your part as a photographer to know what you want in terms of the final photo by speaking the same language the models do and giving them proper guidance and instructions.
Whether you are searching for a career in fashion modeling or glamour modeling, it is very important for you to realize that there is more to becoming a model than just standing there looking beautiful.
One very important factor in becoming a good model is posing, and in order for you to learn the different poses needed for the type of modeling career you are seeking it will take practice, practice, practice.
Make Your Posing Look Natural
When preparing for your photo shoot, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure you are comfortable while posing and your photos will look more natural.
Get Posing Ideas
Before you head to your photo shoot, pick at least ten poses you really like from fashion or glamour magazines, or poses you’ve learned from previous photo shoots. Take time to practice each pose in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable and have the confidence of knowing you look great doing these poses.
Hands and Facial Expression
Also, focus on what to do with your hands and pay
attention to facial expressions. A pose is virtually dead and unimaginative without a “look”. You should be able to close your eyes, imagine a thought, open your eyes and sell that thought. Practice this technique and your photos will come alive.
Become an Idea Factory
Unless you are shooting for an advertising agency or some other type of special interest session many photographers recommend that you bring some of your own posing ideas to the shoot. In addition to your ideas, the photographer may have his or her own idea of how the session should go.
Rapport with Your Photographer
Always work with a photographer you feel you can trust. This will make communication between the two of you easier and give you the confidence to express your own ideas.
Always listen to what the photographer tells you. If you are really uncomfortable with the pose, let your photographer know how you feel, in a nice way.
Remember, he is looking through the camera lens and might see something you don’t.
If the photographer says she wants something different in the pose, try looking away from the camera or giving a unique facial expression. This is where your practice in front of the mirror really pays.
When posing you should always keep good posture unless the photographer instructs you to do otherwise.
Hold your stomach in to give your abdomen a more toned appearance. If you have gained a few pounds stick out your chin a little to avoid the appearance of a double chin in your photos.
Keep your fingers slightly apart and pointed away from the lens. Let your hands fall naturally into position whenever possible. Remember, you want to be yourself – on purpose.
Now that you have learned what to do, consider these things you should try to avoid while posing.
Things to Avoid when Posing for a Photographer
Misplaced Body Language
Body language and expressions come naturally but the language you are projecting might not be what your photographer wants in a particular pose. You need to conciously focus on ways to prevent these habits while posing.
Don’t hold your breath during a pose. Stay relaxed and your photos will look as if you just happened to be sitting this way when the photographer walked up.
In most pose situations you want your arms, legs, wrists, etc. slightly bent unless you are directed to do otherwise Most people don’t stand or sit with their arms and legs completely stiff. A good point to remember is, if it will bend, bend it.
Mona Lisa Smile?
Another posing tip to remember is that you don’t always have to smile. You should have a good variety of smiling and serious looks. But, sometimes you will want to give a large, open-mouthed laugh. If you are susposed to be happy, look the part!
Your Eyes are the Windows to Your Soul
Don’t always look straight into the camera. When you cut your eyes to the left or right, you create an air of mystery. When you look up and away, you are annoyed. Tilt your chin slightly down and look straight ahead for a sexy look.
Beware of the Blink! If you have to blink, try to blink between exposures. This is not always easy, especially if you are working in a photography studio.
Some models get into a habit of anticipating the strobes and start to close their eyes when the picture is about to be snapped.
Get into the habit of not paying attention to the flash and concentrate wholy on the pose, your body language, hand position, etc. and your images will come out as you expect.
Never be afraid to try out some of your own poses in front of your photographer. Most photographers are glad to hear suggestions from you.
How do You See Yourself?
When you look at your final images don’t be critical of yourself. Find positive ways to improve your posing.
Discover your strengths and weaknesses and shoot for the stars.
I am certain that Tyra Banks still works on her appearance and her posing artistry even though she has achieved a degree of stardom. Shouldn’t you?
Bob Pardue is a professional model and fashion photographer. You can get free modeling tips by going to his website at bobpardue.com.