Monday, July 9, 2012

How to Pose like a Model

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Looking like a model is one thing, but models don't get paid to just sit there and look pretty. Their success in the business comes down to how well they can pose and give the photographer interesting and marketable shots. Whether you want to enhance your career as a model or just be more photogenic, the following tips will help add new dimensions to your shots.

1Slouch a little. There are a few times when you'll need to throw your shoulders back for a shot, but generally, a little slouch makes your pose look natural and relaxed. That doesn't mean you should hunch over (although this will work with some high fashion shots). If you're standing, put uneven weight on your feet, and the leg with less weight will naturally bend a little. You'll look more comfortable and your posture will appear more natural.[1] Don't slouch so much, though, that it makes your stomach look bigger

2Be asymmetrical. For a more interesting shot, make sure that you're doing something different with each side of your body. You can be dramatic and do something totally different with each of your limbs and tilt your head to the side, but you might look like a puppet. Being asymmetrical can be as simple as dipping one shoulder or hip, making sure that your arms are at different heights, and bending one leg a little (or a lot) more than the other

3Point your nose away from the camera. Looking at the camera straight on can work in some dramatic shots, but generally it's better to put your face at an angle, and look at the camera from that angle. Tilt your nose a little up or down, a little left or right, but keep your gaze on that camera

  • Learn which angles flatter your face the most. Do you have a great jawline? Tilt your head up and to the side a little. Experiment in front of a mirror or with your own camera to see which angles make the most interesting shots on your face.
  • Know which direction the light is coming from. Remember that light will cast shadows, and even if they are slight, they will affect the appearance of your face. If light is coming from the top, tilting your nose down may cause your browbone to cast a shadow over your eyes, which is good if you're going for a sinister shot, but not good if you're trying to look friendly.

4. Practice. Get a digital camera, set up a tripod, and take thousands of shots. Since viewing the shots on your computer screen costs nothing, there's really no excusenot to practice. You should know which poses work for you, and which don't. Learn which poses flatter which parts of your body. Become familiar with which poses work with various types of clothing; some poses emphasize the clean lines of a power suit, some poses emphasize the flow of a gown. Practice with props like a chair, or holding objects (a vase, a rope, a beach ball, whatever - be creative!).

5Listen to your photographer. A good photographer will offer feedback and frankly, tell you what to do so they can get the shot they want. Be cooperative and gracious (and graceful!). Don't allow yourself to get nervous, or else you will tense up and look stiff.Relax into each pose and connect with the camera.

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  • Study. Look at magazines and brochures with a critical eye. Make note of how the model is posing: what are they doing with their hands, limbs, head, eyes, lips? What emotion does the pose convey?
  • Breathe. Sometimes when we concentrate, or we're nervous, we slow or speed up our breathing dramatically. You might even find yourself holding your breath for a shot. Remain conscious of your breathing; keep it normal and relaxed.
  • Visualization may help you capture the emotion that you need for a shot. If the photographer is looking for a melancholic shot, for example, imagine a melancholic character in a movie and pretend to be him or her. You may find that you're better able to channel your "inner melancholy" that way.
  • SMILE! One of the most significant improvements you can make in ANY portrait is so simple yet can make the biggest difference between getting a "good shot" versus getting a "GREAT shot" and that is to simply smile. Of course, this is invalid if you are a model and the photographer wants a different emotion from you. However, for those wanting to generally improve your portraits a smile (especially, the "Perfect Smile") can make a big difference.
  • Master The "Perfect Smile" There is an art to posing with a perfect smile and most good models know how to do this naturally. It is a smile that is halfway between the biggest smile you can make and no smile at all. The lips are slightly parted and only the upper teeth are showing. The smile is considered a "gentle smile". The result should look pleasant and relaxed. If you are smiling so large that you can see your upper gums or lower teeth, then it's way too much. Generally, smiling will lift the cheeks and this can narrow the eyes. So, try torelax your eyes so that the eyes are open and the whites are showing. This may take some practice in front of a mirror to isolate the different muscle groups but it will be worth the effort. Of course, there maybe shots when no smiles or larger smiles are required but generally, whether you are a model or someone just looking to improve your portraits, mastering aperfect smile can make major improvements to your shots.

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