It’s a misconception that models get paid just to stand there and look pretty. You’ve got a job to do like everyone else. Great lighting, make-up and styling goes a long way and yes – photos do get edited – but as the model, it’s your job to provide the base upon which all these other disciplines can perform. You need to know how to pose and to make the most of a session. In fact, what really makes a great model is someone who makes everyone else’s job easier. To make your job easier, the experts at Talent Management have organized a few essential tips to get you posing like a pro.
Talent Management Posing – Let’s get started
First of all you need to get a good, full-length, wall mounted mirror to practise with. You won’t be using a mirror in a shoot so it’s important to practise all the tips below until they become second nature to you.
Starting from the Top
Some pros imagine being held up from the crown of their head by a piece of string, like a puppet. The idea is that the rest of your body hangs straight and long. This is basically the same as chin up and shoulder back and down. Lifting your chin makes your forehead smaller and lengthens your neck. Check the angles in the mirror. Avoid the Disney villainess look at all costs.
Arms and Waist
It’s common knowledge that putting your hands on your hips gives you thinner arms and a smaller waist. The reason this technique works is because of the background showing around your body and because you’re lifting your upper arms away and tensing your muscles, too. Work in the mirror, moving your hand up and down your side to see which points work best for you.
Strong, Flat Stomach
This is one of these times you need to think like a photographer. Turn your shoulders towards the camera and your body and feet 90 degrees away. The prominence of your shoulders will narrow your hips and waist and increases the tension on your stomach. If you look like a body builder, decrease the angle.
Narrow Your Hips and Find the ‘Thigh Gap’
We can’t stress this enough, perfect these poses in the mirror before you take them out into the real world. Modelling really is an art and it takes a lot of work to get it right. With the knee turn, make it subtle, gently turning one knee towards the other straight leg. Done correctly this produces the illusion of narrow hips and a space between your thighs. Done incorrectly and you run the risk of looking like an anime character.
Create Long, Lean Legs
Even if you’re wearing flat shoes, ever so slightly lifting yourself up onto your toes will flex your calf and thigh muscles and make your legs look longer and stronger. And as a side note: Always take heels to a go-see level in case you’re asked to walk.
Think Like the Photographer
Try imagining an invisible line between you and the lens. Know where that line lands on your body and what the camera sees. Which part of your body is closest? That part is going to look the largest. And if you’re facing the lens, don’t let your eyes lose focus (unless asked to). Look into the camera as you would the eyes of someone you’re really interested in. And pay attention to where the light measurements are taken from. If the photographer or assistant takes a reading by your cheek, remember, that’s where your cheek needs to stay. If your arms are raised, your hair is big or you’re holding a prop, don’t make the photographer have to remind you every time about shadows.
Mix It Up
Don’t just master one pose. There’s nothing more infuriating than a contact sheet full of the same look. Take inspiration from the back pages of your favourite style and fashion magazines. Practise the same poses but also decide why those poses work. Does the model look relaxed, cool or as though she’s enjoying herself? Then tailor them to your own body type and personality.
So now that you have the insight, you can get to work practising your poses and your personas. But don’t expect to master it overnight. Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss might make it look easy, but that’s only because they’ve spent the hours honing their craft until it’s become second nature.
And they’re gorgeous of course, but remember that we all have something about us that we consider a flaw. The secret to being a great model is in learning how to make the most of what you have, and knowing how to turn your flaws into advantages.