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Modeling Tips From a NYC Photographer

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

Ha! A NYC professional fashion photographer giving a model tips!! How dare us!

But after working with many professional and non-professional models, here are some of our thoughts on what works and what doesn’t when you are trying to pose for the camera. Not all of our points will be valid for you as posing varies in each genre. Just take what you can and ignore the rest.

First and foremost your bedroom mirror is your best friend. Take some of these points below and try them out before you meet with your fashion photographer.

Create separation between your limbs from your body. Not only does it prevent the arm/leg from being squashed against you spreading out any fat, it is also an optical illusion for a slimmer appearance in terms of overall width. A basic cheat that makes a massive difference.

Have a basic understanding of light. For example, if you raise an arm to the light, it could be a whole F-stop brighter in camera than your face (being the object closest to the source of light according to the inverse square law). It will also cast a shadow across you. You can counteract this by using your other arm or, move your arm a fraction backwards, away from the direct beam of light. Learning how lighting falls is invaluable. Ask which is your key light and then work towards it.

Be aware of ‘creeping’. If the light has been metered to an exact spot, try to stick to it, or at least notice when you’ve crept closer to the light so you can rectify it if required.

Don’t over rotate your eyes. It is always advisable to follow the line of your nose to keep your sight central. This stops you from looking bog eyed from too much white of the eye showing.

Elongate your neck to simulate height and poise. Possibly one of the hardest things to remember because it genuinely feels unnatural… but no you don’t look like an Ostrich. Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself…stand normally, then roll your shoulders back allowing your face to come forward…notice the difference in the width of your neck? An instant slimming trick.

Go one step further by popping your jaw towards camera if you want a strong line created by the shadow. If the photographer is at a 12 o’clock angle, then standing angled at 1:30 rather than 3 o’clock will lose inches to your overall width. When you do, make sure it is shadow you are turning into and not the light. Always hide what you don’t want seen in shadow.

Forget Weight Watchers, it’s all about tactical posing. If you want to appear slimmer you can create a ‘false waist’. You can do this by positioning yourself to camera, then creating the waist you want seen with the positioning of your hands on your ‘hips’. Also, learning how to pop your hip is not something everyone can do but can be a big advantage if you can for great shape. Allowing your knees to cross slightly will emphasize that ‘S’ figure with it.

Keep your hands loose and fluid. The term ‘ballet hands’ is often thrown around… keep your middle finger lower than the others whilst relaxing them with a slight curve. Don’t clump your fingers together and avoid showing the back of your hand. Why? Because backs of hands are big and ugly…sides of hands are small and dainty.

Play with what is available. If you are wearing a flowing dress, play with it by tossing it into the air or working the movement in the bottom. Remember if you are wearing trousers then your legs don’t need to be so clamped together. You should have knowledge of what you are wearing and why. And play with that smile!!!

Most of all be fun, easy going and willing to go that extra mile! If you are genuinely a delight to be around, you are 100% more likely to be rebooked. You are part of a team so pull your weight, diva’s are so 2000.


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