Posing for great photos is definitely a work of art unto itself. It takes great communication skills, the ability to control your body at a micro level and the ability to zen out during a high pressure situation. What? High pressure? Are you kidding?
Posing for photos is a totally vulnerable act, and it can be really scary. I am a photographer by trade and a model by hobby, so I’m lucky enough to see through two very different lenses (ha!).
- Show and Tell – When I model or shoot, I love to take a few shots and then take a look at the photos with the person I’m shooting with. Sometimes we don’t realize that when we turn our heads a certain direction, our eyes start to look wonky, and sometimes your hair won’t look the exact way you want it to. Looking at the first few shots is a great way to open up a dialogue about the goals of the shoot and any specific assets you like to show off.
- Fake It ‘Til You Make It – The best way to nail a shot is to act like a goofball. When my clients want to look sexy, I often tell them to give me the most cartoonish Jessica Rabbit sexy girl pose with the wildest bedroom eyes they can muster. 90% of the time, that’s the shot we end up using! When I want to have a natural smile in a photo, I make myself laugh. Even if it’s the most inauthentic goofy laugh, it reads on camera better than most posed smiles.
- Be Prepared, Very Prepared – I got bangs full of moisture and they’re going to separate during a photoshoot. I always bring a tiny bottle of dry shampoo. An extra shirt. A jacket to toss over an outfit. A couple of different bras (nude, push-up, strapless – go for variety!) bobby pins and hair ties. Sometimes, behind the photographer, I’ve got three bags of options. They’re so helpful! Even if I don’t use everything I bring, I definitely feel secure and therefore confident about my shoot.
- Look Into The Past – I’m a little extra on instagram. So, I’m frequently the subject of photos. Sometimes I have an off day and don’t feel like I look cute. When this happens, I go through some old photos of myself, maybe three to five years ago and find a photo that at the time I absolutely would have untagged. More often than not, I love the photo in hindsight. Even if you don’t like the photo you’re taking in the moment – in the future you may look back and love it. Be in the moment. Love yourself past, present and future.
- Be the Photographer – Ask nicely (and don’t be offended if your photographer says no) if you can snap a photo of your shutterbug. I love asking my clients to take a photo of me. Switching sides let’s the client relax and it also gives them an idea of what I do. I also love to do this non-professionally with friends.
Posing is a skill – not everyone has it from birth. I certainly had to learn how to do it. Take every moment you can to practice – especially if you’re paying for an upcoming shoot, so you can show up looking like a pro. Also, it cannot be stated enough – you have seasons upon seasons of America’s Next Top Model to steal ideas from.