Models with Attitude

  • Freya Hill

The term ‘attitude’ is chucked around our industry a lot. Photographers want to see ‘more attitude’, models are told to ‘show attitude’, sometimes we hear people being asked to ‘tone down’ their attitude, but how does a girl or guy actually give attitude without looking like a spoilt adolescent? UK Models are here to give you some professional advice.

Personality is a vital part of becoming a successful model, in fact, we’d go as far as saying that it’s as important as a good face and clear skin, but attitude, that’s what really sells an item.

We’re specifically talking about catalogue work here (which involves a model wearing clothes, shoes, lingerie or accessories to give a customer an idea of how a particular item looks when it’s worn on the body). Ultimately, the model’s job is to sell an item to the consumer.

If a model looks dull and boring the chance of someone buying the product is slim. Instinctively the customer will see the product, then the model, and then imagine themselves looking equally as plain. Thus, they won’t make a purchase.
If the model shows a bit of attitude though, the chance of the consumer making a purchase is much higher. A model with a bit of attitude looks confident and cool, and who doesn’t want to buy into that look?

There is a fine line though between nailing attitude on the head and giving too much attitude. By going overboard you will come across as a bit scary and if we’re honest, ugly. So here are our tips for getting just the right amount of attitude across in a photo shoot.

Make it simple by working with one part of your body: A good example of this is using your eyes. Practice in the mirror and try to develop a look that shows you’re confident and cool (but don’t go overboard and start giving the evils). Just like making eye contact in real life situations, having strong eye contact with the camera will give off an enviable attitude.


Lips are another great body part to work with. If you’re in a serious catalogue shoot where big smiles and leaping poses aren’t particularly welcome, try using your lips to hint at your personality. A slightly open mouth will give off a sexy attitude (try not to pout) whilst a little grin suggests a cheeky attitude.

Learn how to use your whole body to your advantage: H&M are great stores to look at online if you want to see how this is done successfully.

Girls, by holding your hands on your hips and creating eye-catching angles with your elbows you will give off a strong, controlled attitude. To soften the look you may choose to rest one hand on one hip or perhaps lean back/forward a little.

Alternatively, you could try a much more sophisticated pose that looks especially great if you have a good posture. Stand straight, push your bottom and chest out (but not overly so) and cross one leg in front of the other.



Some models change this up a little by twisting their head to the side or tilting their neck back.

For guys, make the most of your broad shoulders and stand up impeccably straight. Holding your arms at your sides and slightly in front of you will make your muscles more prominent. Or for simplicity, tuck your hands into your pockets and look to the side.


Know how to soften your look: If you’ve got the ability to look full of attitude just with your eyes, let us tell you; you’re pretty lucky!

For a lot of new models this takes time to develop. In the meantime, try getting attitude across in your pictures by using playful poses. Missguided are a great store to look at for this type of modelling; a lot of their models give off great attitude by putting one hand over their shoulder, tilting their body in the opposite direction to their head, peeping over sunglasses and very often, playing with their hair.

Remember, not every company wants their clothes to be modelled with attitude (just take a look at Zara this season) but when they do it’s important that you can meet their requirements.

If you’re worried that you’ve not got what it takes to master personality and attitude in a photo shoot, don’t worry. By logging onto the UK Models website and filling in a quick application form a member of our New Faces Team can advise you as to whether we think you have what it takes or not to become a model.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.