When Vogue Magazine picked Cate Blanchett as its cover girl after her award-winning film “Elizabeth,” the Australian actress was lauded for being a subject more delightful to photograph than most professional models.
According to the photographers she worked with for the shoot, Cate was simply marvelous at the task of connecting with the camera. She was graceful and she understood her face and body well. This ability is a gift that not all professional models naturally possess, and thus need to develop.
You will notice that in a lot of modeling reality TV programs, most of a model’s struggles with the job can be observed during photo shoots. Shoot directors often complain about some models’ inability to execute directions and pose comfortably and naturally. This only goes to show that for models getting their start as teens, one of the most important lessons to master is posing for the camera.
If you are a teen model who has her sights on a lot of print jobs, here are five rules to help you cultivate a flair for posing and projecting.
1. Learn to relax
This is an instruction that shoot directors provide all the time because a lack of experience can make any new model tense up in front of the camera. As a young model, you must identify the most effective tactics to calm your nerves and practice them before the shoot.
When you are calm and relaxed, not only will you be able to understand instructions much better, but your body will find it easier to coordinate with the commands of your brain.
2. Study your face
Sit in front of the mirror. Find the most flattering angles of your face, as well as how your face naturally depicts emotions. For sure, you will notice that there are expressions that tend to distort your features too much.
Once you take note of these, it will be a lot easier to fine-tune the movement of your face so you can create the right poses without compromising the clarity of the emotion you need to express.
3. Keep your eyes open
“Eye smiles” (or smiles that cause the eyes to take on a crescent moon shape) are pretty, but for most photo shoots, it’s essential to keep the eyes open because they translate better overall in pictures. However, the conscious effort of opening up the eyes can give you that “deer in headlights” look.
Again, study the way to keep your eyes open without looking surprised. Take a few lessons from Tyra Banks, the queen of “smizing,” which is a posing technique that gives open eyes a softer and more expressive appearance.
4. Create angles with your arms and legs
You might think that leaving your arms alone, hanging on either side of your body, is perfect for a natural pose, but it is not. It is always better to create angles with your arms as well as your legs to improve the overall proportions of your body.
Crossing your arms or legs in front of you is perfect for front shots. Meanwhile, placing your hands on your waist or hips is flattering for full-body shots because your elbows stick out while your hands are emphasizing the curve of the body.
5. Maintain good posture
Hold that stomach in all the time and pull your shoulders back. Not only will doing so create a more flattering figure, but it will make you look leaner and taller as well.
Some photo shoots may require you to hunch over sometimes, but even when you have to bend a little, do not forget to keep your center tight. This automatically makes the rest of the body look more toned.
Looking like a natural in front of the camera can take time, but with constant practice and a dedication to learning, you can be a complete pro at it even as a teen model.
If you need to master the art of posing for photo shoots, it is always a tremendous help advantage to sign with a respected modeling agency for teens. Such a company can support your desire to learn and provide you with the professional guidance you need to succeed in your career.
Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specialising in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.