If you want to be a successful model, you need to know how to pose like one. Posing is a model’s bread and butter, but it’s not always as easy as it looks.
The style of posing you do will depend on the category of modelling you are working for. High fashion, commercial, fitness, lingerie, glamour and alternative models will all have different poses they can rely on for the perfect photo.
Read on for tips and advice on top model poses.
Have you ever seen a top model who is slouching over as she walks? No matter what category of modelling, successful models have great posture and strive to improve it by incorporating exercises to help balance out their bodies. Many models practice walking tall by balancing a book on their heads.
To stand tall like a model, focus on pushing the shoulders back and imagine there is a piece of string coming up from the top of your head pulling you towards the ceiling. It takes a lot of practice but eventually walking tall should become a natural habit.
Posing for Commercials
Commercial photoshoots and photos taken for advertisements are generally more relaxed and natural. Commercial brands typically cater to the everyday person, so poses tend to reflect that with relaxed body posture and happy, approachable facial expressions.
Commercial poses are simple and refined in order to show off the clothing, accessories or products being advertised. Poses are not exaggerated or overly artistic.
Things to focus on are facial expression, hair positioning and good body posture. Typical commercial poses include hands on hips, crossed arms, a slight bend in the knee or even sitting down. Poses are usually comfortable to hold.
Commercial modelling is all about showing off the clothing in the best light possible which means no crumpled or creased lines. It also requires models to have a relaxed and often smiley face. Anyone with an acting background will enjoy Different emotions
To practice commercial modelling, set up a camera or ask a photographer to take full-length body shots of you. Check the photos to make sure clothing appears clearly in a flattering way. Brands are not looking for perfection but they are looking for someone relatable who their audience will feel connected to.
Fitness models must pose differently to commercial models as they will be modelling for a completely different audience.
Fitness and physique models are modelling to show off clothing or equipment that is related to working out or being active. They therefore must model to show off their athleticism. This usually involved cardio poses like running, weight lifting, exercises like cycling or squatting, or tensing muscles to show off definition.
Photo shoots for fitness models usually take place in places we regularly work out like in the gym or outside. Action shots are another key pose.
Emotions are not important in fitness posing as it is more about looking into a workout or showing determination and resilience.
High Fashion Poses
High-end fashion requires far more artistry in it’s poses. It is not as important to show off clothing in high-fashion; instead, it is more about creating a visual that is striking and bold.
Models are rarely seen smiling in high fashion photography. Instead, they tend to have strong eye contact or appear mysterious and aloof.
Poses will not be natural and will usually be uncomfortable to hold. An elongated neck is a popular pose, as well as long legs and unusual body positions.
For inspiration, look at magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar as these publications regularly feature adverts from high-end brands like Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Dior.
Male Model Poses
Male model poses differ from women’s in a number of ways. In high fashion, men are usually seen as looking relaxed but confident. From suits to fragrances, men can be seen looking intensely into or away from the camera to portray a strong, sultry and often professional and expensive look.
Men are commonly seen doing the button of their suit jacket or doing up their cuff links/cuff buttons.
Should You Smile in a Headshot?
Headshots are close-up images of the face. They are good to include in your modelling portfolio as it will show potential employers your facial flexibility as a model.
If you’re interested in entering high-fashion, it’s a good idea to include shots with a more serious facial expression as high-fashion models are not usually seen smiling in advertisements. For commercial modelling, models can be required to have multiple facial expressions at the ready. These include smiling and laughing as well as more serious facial expressions. Taking a class or two in acting is a great idea for aspiring commercial models to fully understand how their facial features come across.
Models should aspire to look good posing with all types of facial expressions; this will give them more working opportunities. Practice both in front of a mirror and in front of a camera to learn how to express yourself well using facial features.
How to Pose As a Beginner Model
Professionals will have a lot of experience and will know their best angles. Beginner models must practice until they too understand their bodies and how they look best on camera.
Females must think about how to appear tall, how to lengthen limbs and create a flattering torso line, and how to ensure their chin looks taught and defined in images. Males must think about how to look natural and confident whilst also showing off products in the best light.
Profile shots are just as important. Many of us are unaware what we look like from the side as it is an angle we can’t see in the mirror. Practice having photos taken from this position so you can fully understand your body shape. Think about your waist, height, chin, ankles… Do your elbows stick out? Is your back hunched? Are you standing tall? Are there any unflattering folds in your clothing due to your stance? The lens will find and often exaggerate any imperfections, so practice until you are fully aware of how each and every part of your body looks, no matter what the angle.
The best model poses are often the most simple and elegant. For example, standing tall whilst hooking the thumbs through belt loops is a tried classic for advertising jeans. Read different magazines for photoshoot ideas as well as pose and facial expression inspiration.
Interested in learning more about the differences between high fashion and commercial modelling? Watch the video below: