February: Models: How to pose

Like you can see, in February the focus is specifically on models.

Because the rules of posing are not definite and very difficult to describe, I have asked Gizelle (thank you!) to model for me. She posed completely wrong and then in a  better way, to show what you really should not do.

  • Remember to have fun! You are an actress/ actor and playing a role should, for a moment, become a part of your being, a role you embrace. Use your eyes, hands, your whole body to pose and, for a moment, become something else: a temptress, awkward, strange, beautiful! RELAX! Stress can be seen in a photo.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! Just to clarify why: image through a lens is completely different than real life. A twisted knee can look broken in real life, but beautiful in a photograph. It also goes without saying that a relationship of absolute trust should exist between model and photographer. Do not take pics with someone who’s work you have not seen!
  • Always remember that modelling is a job, to be taken very seriously. It costs quite a lot to do even one shoot, so do not giggle, refuse to wear wardrobe or do certain poses, waste time or any other such behaviour. Personality is always encouraged, just not difficult behaviour.
  • Poses differ a lot! You MUST know the difference between poses for high-fashion, commercial, beauty and editorial. Also, poses change every few years, so stay updated with fashion magazines like Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.

The differences in terms of posing:

(Look this up and make SURE you understand the differences. There are other areas as well, this is just in general)

  • High-fashion: Here awkward and weird is seen as beauty and the ordinary is challenged.
  • Commercial: Selling designs to market, the poses are more everyday and might look a little bit more exaggerated than people look on the street.
  • Beauty: Usually head and shoulders shots, featuring make-up, hair, nails, perfume, etc.
  • Editorial: Focused on representing an article, so a specific theme might be followed. It is important to look up your theme and understand the posing before you begin. You should also consider expanding your general knowledge, as this will help you do your job efficiently in any kind of situation.
  • Catalogue: Used for catalogues. Wow, that was informative. However, a lot of work comes from this and it is important to be able to see the specific pieces of clothing.
  • Advertising: A specific item will be sold and posing will correlate with that.
  • http://www.svenler.com/blog/definition-what-is-the-difference-between-fashion-commercial-and-editorial/

A few rules to remember:

  • The body part closest to the camera looks the biggest. So, if you lean slightly forward with your head, your head will look slightly bigger in proportion to the rest of your body.


  • A long neck looks elegant. So go and practice in front of the mirror what I call: giraffe neck. Turn your body, bend, throw your arms out, but whatever you do, remember to keep your neck long, long, long! (The best example of a short neck: Gollum of The Lord of the Rings) I know that it looks completely ridiculous to have such a long neck in real life, but on photo it just looks better.


  • The missing limb: Sometimes when you turn away from the camera, your arm or leg might disappear behind your body. Beware of this and always make sure to that the photographer can see all your limbs. Unless specifically instructed not to.


  • Your hands and feet are of enormous importance in a photo. Cramped hands or turned up feet can be unbelievably unflattering. So ask a friend with an instant to take a photo of you, posing differently each 3 seconds. Use themes, different garments, different poses etc. Then, analyse the photos, without being negative and check where you make mistakes. Look at your hands and feet and see how much they influence the pic. Then do it again. Preferably with an up to date high fashion magazine in hand.


  • Do not ever pull back your chin. It will make little rolls under.


  • Every person has got great camera angles. Get to know what these are for you.


  • Follow the light! Very often a photographer can decide to have one sided or other specific lighting. Ask the photographer about this. If you should then turn your head to the other side, it will leave your face in darkness and the shot will have to be thrown out.


  • Elongate your body. Even if you really bend your back, make it a looooong bend. No, really!
  • Experience, even though it can help you a lot, does not count for everything. To be exact, it can count against you! Sometimes models arrive and because of “experience” do not listen to what the photographer or client wants, and photo after photo has to be thrown out because is does not correlate with the concept for the shoot.
  • Do not stress out. A shoot can be a challenging environment. When you, the model arrive, you meet new people, immediately start with hair and make-up and the next moment have to move in front of a camera as if it is the crush you had since primary school. I know it can be stressful, so use your time with hair and make-up to relax, talk to people, get to know your studio, be friendly! Also remember that this is not a social event, but work, so perhaps, in stead of stressing up, use the time to look at garments, make-up ideas, hair and put the idea together in your head. Think about how the poses feel!

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  • The next video of Coco Rocha I watch regularly, just for inspiration:

Until next week,