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Model
Amber Nicoleee xo
Posts: 2
Ann Arbor, Michigan, US


I just started getting into Modeling, Im currently working on expanding my portfolio, I'm curious to know your tips and advice for Posing and facial expressions. I havent worked with many photographers, Will they instruct each pose, Or if i am choosing the pose should i hold it for long, or hold it briefly enough to get a shot, and then move to another?
Sep 05 13 08:14 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Isis22
Posts: 2,269
Muncie, Indiana, US


Each photographer is different. It runs the gamut from you being instructed in every detail to some just saying doing your thing. Let them know you are new and ask them their style. It also varies according to what camera they use. Digital means I usually move a lot more and film with a vintage camera means I hold the pose a long time.
Sep 05 13 10:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,824
Portland, Oregon, US


Yes, each photographer is different.  I've seen some interact a lot with a model while others treat models like still life objects.

Speaking personally, I like models to move.  Remember, a photograph typically represents 1/125th of a second, and what happens immediately before & after the exposure is typically not recorded.  So, I say move continuously.  If music help you move, by all means bring some music along. 

Modeling is not the same thing as acting.  For one thing, acting is a continuous performance, while modeling is just a fraction of a second.  Many terrific models can't act (go watch Cindy Crawford's movie; I think it was called "Fair Game" -- she was terrible). 

It's the photographer's job to communicate the mood & objective of the images -- all you need to do is to react. 

Lose you inhibitions.  I worked in a community theater for a while, and a director told me something significant.  At an audition, he preferred to see the candidate sing or talk at an 11 on the volume dial, because he (the director) figures he can turn the volume down to 8 if he wants it there, but if a candidate sings or talks at volume 6, he just doesn't know if he can turn the candidate up to 8.


Finally, I'll let you in on a big secret.  Photographers always look for what two features in their models?
     ...  Enthusiasm, and
     ...  Confidence.

Get them.  If you don't have them, fake it.
Sep 06 13 08:10 am  Link  Quote 
Model
GQ The Couture Model
Posts: 313
Seattle, Washington, US


Follow the photographers lead and learn to be in the moment.
Sep 06 13 08:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Amber Nicoleee xo wrote:
I just started getting into Modeling, Im currently working on expanding my portfolio, I'm curious to know your tips and advice for Posing and facial expressions. I havent worked with many photographers, Will they instruct each pose, Or if i am choosing the pose should i hold it for long, or hold it briefly enough to get a shot, and then move to another?

I would practice posing in the mirror so that you have as much control as possible over the way you move and emote. Then trust yourself that you will be able to go with whatever the flow is on any shoot.

Sep 06 13 11:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ddtphoto
Posts: 2,378
Chicago, Illinois, US


As far as expressions go. I always say look at the camera as if it were a person. Convey emotion with your expression, tell a story on your face, make me wonder what you're thinking.

Working with new models so much of the editing process is finding a combination of good composition and a decent expression. I hate when the model looks like they are just smiling to the camera or have no depth to their expression. I don't care how good everything else looks, it's not going to make my edit and ruins the photo when I see it in others portfolios.

Having said that a good photographer is a good director and should be able to coach you through this. Although I've worked with many models on here who have told me that that I was unique in that I actually direct the talent. I ask them what other photographers they work with do and they say they just keep clicking the camera. Sounds painful to me.

As far as "poses" go. It's really up to the photographer and what you're shooting. Catalog fashion is a big posing affair. Catalog models go from one pose to another and it's click, click, click. But they're selling clothes not atmosphere. That's not really my thing. I always tell new models to think of it more like a video. You need to keep moving and not wait for me to click. You need to play a role that isn't bracketed by frames. So for example as a commercial or "lifestyles" model it's not at all about posing but acting while being conscious of your body.

So I guess the bottom line is it all has to do with what sort of modeling you aspire to and who you're working with. But whatever modeling you aspire to, if you're serious about it, take some acting classes.
Sep 06 13 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,971
Fairfax, Virginia, US


Amber Nicoleee xo wrote:
I just started getting into Modeling, Im currently working on expanding my portfolio, I'm curious to know your tips and advice for Posing and facial expressions. I havent worked with many photographers, Will they instruct each pose, Or if i am choosing the pose should i hold it for long, or hold it briefly enough to get a shot, and then move to another?

Well, the posing thing is going to vary just a little bit depending upon what type of theme/genre you're shooting:  a good artistic nude pose isn't the same as a good editorial pose for kitchenware.  But for posing, I love working with anyone who's done a lot of yoga, or ice-skating, or gymnastics.  Why?  b/c even someone who is overweight or 5 feet with short arms who has background in any of those areas will understand how important feet and hands are to creating long flowing lines.  The difference between having your fingers in a ball vs. extended.  Or standing flatfooted vs. on your toes.  Look at examples of poses that seem graceful or flowing to you and analyze what makes them seem so.  Look at poses that seem dynamic rather than static and you'll see models who aren't at attention at the camera but have angles, cock their head, twist their hips or torso, find uses for their hands (or a prop to hold on to)....they make the pose interesting or suggest movement or emotion with the pose.  So start by looking through portfolios here on MM and identify poses that work and why they work.

As for photographers, we're all different.  You do need to be prepared to create your own poses though.  B/c you'll get some photographers who will only have a concept (i.e.:  "I want you to look sexy!") but have nothing specific in mind.  Since you're starting it, you should have pre-shoot communication with the photographer.  I'm very will to go with the flow and let the model create poses or be very, very, very specific and direct the model and bring in pictures of poses I want to use as inspiration.  So tell your shooter upfront that you're a novice and you want as much direction as he/she is willing to give.

Ed

Sep 08 13 07:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ImagineAerie
Posts: 402
Plano, Texas, US


Look at it this way -- a good photographer is like the conductor of an orchestra.  The model is the musician.  No matter how good the conductor may be, the musician must be adept at utilizing their instrument -- their body.  A great conductor may be able to pull a better performance out of an inexperienced musician, but to create the very best work, they will need either an incredible amount of luck, or a talented musician who has developed their abilities to the pinnacle.

Conversely, a musician with exceptional talent can sometimes find themselves thwarted by an inept conductor.  Yet in spite of this, even the worst conductor may get lucky and find the beat now and then!

Some photographers haven't got a clue -- they just shoot and get lucky now and then (or not!).  Some are truly gifted at drawing out the best of their subjects.  Most of us are in between.

Your job as a model, it seems to me, is to develop your skills to the best of your ability.  Learn to pose so that if the photographer isn't skilled, you know what will work even if they don't.  Then, when confronted by a truly talented photographer, you will know better what they're asking for.

As others have said, use a mirror.  Do "pout", "demure", "come hither", and every other facial expression you can imagine.  Collect poses from every imaginable source, then practice them.  See what works with your physique, and learn why.  Then when your GWC says, "cross your legs and twist around this way", you'll know there's something close to that that will look better -- and if he or she has any sense at all, they'll say, "hey, that works!" 
Sep 08 13 10:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
GingerMuse
Posts: 369
STUDIO CITY, California, US


I have worked with many many many mannnnny photographers and I think there was only one who actually instructed me on how to pose and it was because there were three other girls in the shot and symmetry was involved. every photographer is different, but on 99.9999% of my shoots, I'm posing without instruction. you should strike a pose, hold it and as soon as you see a flash (if there is a strobe) or hear the shutter, change positions. there are some who like continuous movement, and if they want that, they will generally tell you. but if you move continuously focusing can be an issue, so make sure that is something they want. otherwise, it should work like this:
poke - click - change pose - click - change pose
you shouldn't have to "think" about your posing and there shouldn't be a delay; it should be fluid and automatic.
Sep 11 13 12:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ShotbyRon
Posts: 767
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Sorry I didn't read everyone's post. But as some said, each photographer is different. Most photographers I know won't tell you how to move every single pose. Me for example, I'll give the model a general idea what I want. I'll tell them where to stand/sit and which general direction to face or what to do. But basic movements are on them. I tell them once they see the flash fire or hear the camera, make settle movements into the next pose. If a model gives an awkward look or pose, I'll tell them to readjust and whatnot.

The best thing you can do is to practice. When you think you have it down, practice some more. Using a mirror can help you see what your expressions look like or how you look in certain poses.
Sep 11 13 01:02 pm  Link  Quote 
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