A Note to Aspiring Models-
People often think that modeling is just about having a pretty face and great shape. This misconception turns a beautiful person into just a body with no skills. Modeling is far more than just being an attractive person. The key to gaining success as a model is in the mindset of the individual; modeling requires a lot of physical and mental energy, focus, commitment and tenacity. Success is not accomplished over-night. With the right direction from a photographer a model’s best look can be achieved.
One needs to keep in mind that modeling is a team endeavor between Make-up Artists, Hair Stylists, Clothing Stylists/Designers, Photographers and Post Production Editors. There are many elements that go into planning a worth while photo shoot. Preplanning is an important first step in capturing quality image content for all involved, including the model.
To the outside observer it may appear that models are simply people with pretty faces. But ask any professional photographer in the fashion industry and they will tell you that modeling is so much more than physical appearances. Professional models know how to interact with various support people, they know how to pose to the various lens angles and also know how to work with the direction of the light and shadows. Their skill set in posing is phenomenal; they have the ability to throw solid poses and expressions with minimal direction and yet be confident enough to ask for clarity when shooting. The modeling skill set, like all skill sets, are learned and can be mastered (similar to learning dance moves).
So, what is the one thing that divides professional models from amateur models? Confidence! Confidence! Confidence! Simply being pretty will not make the cut.
The key factor in a model is their ability to convey confidence through their poses and facial expressions. A model that is poised and assertive rarely has to ask “Ok, where do I put my hands now?” “How do I look?” “Is my hair ok?” A good model will own everything she does without making apologies.
A great model knows the difference between confidence and arrogance. An arrogant and high maintenance model will get no call backs… ever! So be confident, but be kind and respectful to others; I can not stress this enough!
Confidence leads to a lack of inhibitions when posing and that translates into solid pictures. Even if someone is inexperienced they are still quite capable of taking solid modeling images, if they pose with confidence. Coming to a photo shoot with hang-ups, personal reservation or personal issues will rarely result in quality modeling content. So if you’re a beginner, let go of that beginner mindset and just go for it, own it, have fun trying new poses, it often works out great! A beginner model might argue that they aren’t sure what their angles are, or how they look most flattering. But these exact thoughts are what will keep a model from truly experimenting and finding a wide range of posing angles. Just remember that confidence will often times override any lack of experience. Keep in mind that being an inexperienced model is okay; every model starts at the same place… the beginning. So start, but start with confidence and be willing to pose with foolish disregard; it often times works!
It’s important to remember that while on a shoot the photographer may take numerous pictures of a model. However, the number of total pictures taken is not important, the important thing to remember is only a few of the images are print worthy. So if the majority of the poses a model throws at the camera look ridiculous, that’s okay. Chances are that one of those unique and different poses will result in a spectacular shot! It’s crucial to be confident when trying the “wacky” or “weird” poses. With time you will learn which poses work for you. But first, you have to discover and experience those poses. So go for it!
As with any job that require a certain skill set, experience is key and is inextricably linked with the confidence a model brings to the table. Practice day in and day out to master the craft. Watching YouTube videos and posing in front of a mirror while making faces is a great places to start.
Another important thing to remember is that when clients, or photographers, have a few models to choose from, the majority of the time they will pick the models that are the easiest to work with. This means, clients and photographers will select models that are cool, calm and collected when in front of the camera; they also want models that can communicate with photographers during photo shoots. A pretty face and body will only get your foot in the door. Before the start of any photo shoot, talk to your photographer first and get a feel for the style or look they’re trying to create; don’t necessarily be you, create the model you want to be, or need to be. Then while the photographer is behind the camera, let the world fall away and show them your confidence through various poses and facial expressions.
Thank you for reading… I wish every aspiring model success!
Model Manager and Principal Photographer