Most models ‘either have it or they don’t’ (you’ll hear that expression when people are talking about a guy or girl’s ‘look’) but when it comes to posing, things are slightly different because posing can be learnt. If you’ve ever watched Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model you will have seen girls walk in with absolutely no modelling experience, sit in front of the camera not having the foggiest idea of what to do with their bodies, then, with a few simple hinters from Elle or Julian, suddenly work their body as if they’re a professional model.
As much as we’d love this blog post to assist all of you with your posing woes, sadly it’s not something that we can do over the Internet! (If you would like a photo shoot session with a team of industry professionals, we can however organise that for you, so for more details on that read our Should I Go For A UK Models’ Photo Shoot?blog post and then apply for free via our online application form for your own one-to-one session.) As for now, we’re going to share what we can with you about the fundamental rules of posing.
Rule one: confidence is everything. If you lack confidence in a photo shoot (whether that’s down to being nervous about posing or you have body confidence issues) this will undoubtedly affect your posing. A good way of seeing this for yourself is to look at a recent photograph of a successful model and then compare it to one of their pictures that was taken at the very start of their career. The difference is quite obvious! As with any line of work, practice makes perfect, but having a good level of confidence in the first place will really give you a head start with your posing. Be careful not to look arrogant though, there’s a fine line between the two!
It’s massively important to know how to hold your body. The easiest way of mastering this (this next bit of information applies to high-fashion catwalk models, fitness models, glamour, catalogue, real and commercial models) is to have a good, strong posture. We cover this in great detail in our Posture blog post, but in short, it’s about keeping your back straight and your head up. A quick test to work on your posture is to see if your ears line up with your shoulders. If they don’t, readjust yourself so that you are not sloughing either forwards or backwards.
Our third tip references the eyes. As you will know from a lifetime of family snaps, closed eyes really mess up a picture! The problem? It’s time consuming. Photographers will get annoyed if every picture they take has your eyelids shut; it means a picture can’t be used. The same goes for squinting. During a photo shoot or on the runway, focus your eyes; you will notice that your whole body will follow suit and you will develop a much stronger pose.
As for how to hold yourself, it’s a case of knowing your body. (This is the part that we referenced above as being hard to share over the Internet.) A good tip for making your poses better is to practice. If you don’t have access to a photographer and a studio, get a family member or friend to take photos of you. If that’s not ideal, simply stand in front of a mirror and try out loads of different positions alone. Think about every part of your body. Keep your hands light (don’t put pressure on them if they’re leaning on another part of your body, it makes them look heavy) and lift your head up (but not always at an angle so high that you get the same raised neck look in every picture). Create angles with your body by holding a hand on your hip, bending your body or kicking your legs out. To elongate your legs, point your toes (doing so towards the camera can be very flattering) but most importantly, show your personality regardless of whatever position you are in. This doesn’t just look cool, it naturally enhances your poses.