model posing guide - Be a model

model posing guide

Model Posing guide - Learn to become a model - Model posing guide
How to pose a model - Posing models for photographers

becoma a model

If you want to be a model or become a model, you will need to learn to pose like a professional model. If you want to become a model photogrpaher, you need to be a ble to pose models. This article is about model posing techniques for photographers or people that wish to become a model.

Learn to become a model by learning to pose

Learning how to become a model and / or learning to pose both professional and armature models, is something everyone in the modeling and photography industry needs to know. As a professional model, posing and learning to work with photographers is something that will further your professional modeling career.  Posing 101 for models and photographers will cover such topics as posing in difficult situations, posing great models, what is a model’s headshot, what is a model’s comp card, what type of pictures should be in a professional model’s portfolio, proper pocket posing technique, and many more topics related to learning to be a model or learning to pose a model.

Posing 101 for models and photographers or... How to be a model and learn to pose.

If you want to be a successful model, you have to learn how to pose.  You might get your first gig on your looks, but without the ability to pose well, you’ll soon find yourself short on “second time” clients. 

If you’re a photographer and you want to be a people shooter, you’re going to need to be able to pose people.  Learning to pose, yourself, or someone else, is all about observation.

In commercial photography, the goal is to make the model look “normal” or “natural” doing whatever you have them doing.  I catch myself at the supermarket, watching people do everyday normal activities like pushing a shopping cart or standing in a checkout line.

Learn to be a model from observing real life

And you should do the same thing too.  Where are their hands?  Is there weight uneven or the same on both feet?  Is their head canted?  Which way are there feet pointing?  Do they look “natural”?  If so, why?  If not, why?  You can learn a lot at the supermarket.

My photography studio just so happens to be located in the same building as The Talent Group, modeling agency.  Since we are neighbors, they were kind enough to loan me one of their models (for free, almost) so that I could illustrate for you some of the concepts that I will be talking about in this article.  So special thanks goes out to the Talent Group and Marlee Fritz for helping me with this little project.


How to become a model by learning to pose (for photographers and models)

Model Posing Dos

Slouch / uneven weight
Models often look stiff because they "pose" for photos instead of just act natural, and part of acting natural is slouching.

One of the reasons models appear stiff is because they have both their arms doing the same thing.

Bent limbs and joints
People that are posing need to bend as many of their joints as possible, including ankles, wrists, and fingers.

Canted heads
When people are just being people, it's amazing how often they cant their heads to one side or another.

Shapely silhouette
Composition is often created in photographs by the shame that the model takes. Models need to be aware of their body shape when posing.

Look out of the side of your face 
Turn your head a little, that's what people do naturally and it makes things look less posed.

Posing Don’ts 

When models point their arms, legs, or fingers right at the camera, they tend to look distorted.

Hyper extended joints
Some model's joints bend way beyond what looks natural. The camera picks this up and makes the model look strange.

Specific problems and solutions

What to do with hands
What should a model do with their hands? Here are some suggestions.

Fake walking
Sounds easier that it looks. Here is a sure fire technique to make a model look natural while fake walking.

Proper pocket technique
How a model uses his or her pockets is very important. Here are a fe suggestions on how a model should use their pockets.

Issues for Photographers

Difficult situations
Sometimes the photographer just gets in a situation that makes it really difficult for the model. Here are some suggestions.

Working with awkward people
Photographers don't always get to choose their models and some of these models just can't model...

Have backups
When shooting new models, it's always a good idea to have other models to choose from if you get in a pinch.

Posing great models
Sometimes you just get lucky and have a model that teaches you things about posing.

My name is Michael Ray and I’m a commercial photographer. I have been working with models and the modeling industry for more years than I care to admit here.  Over these to many years, I have learned a thing or two or three about working with models and various aspects of modeling and how to become a model.  I worked with good models and bad models.  I’ve worked with amateurs that should have been professionals and I’ve worked with professional models that shouldn’t have been.  And throughout all this experience, I’ve picked up some information that I thought I would pass onto whomever was interested in eother posing models or actually becoming a model. 

I think the information you find here will be useful to both photographers and people who whis to be a model, but please keep in mind that these opinions come from a photographer’s perspective.  And keep in mind, this information pertains mostly to posing models for every-day commercial photography situations and not for “Fashion Photography” magazine spreads.  (even though much of the info would still apply)

When you talk about posing models, you can break down the suggestions into to categories, dos and don’ts.  I won’t be able to make any suggestions concerning expressions, because that will be dictated by the purpose of the photo in the first place.  If the model is supposed to be a compassionate doctor, then the model should try to look compassionate, not sexy.  The brings me to my first tangent…  If you want to be a good model, work on all kinds of expressions.  Yes, that means standing in front of the mirror, practicing.  You’ll feel stupid, but you’ll be a better model.  Back on subject…  Just remember that you’re there at the photo shoot for a purpose.  The purpose is to communicate something to the viewer of the photo.  The purpose dictates what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.  You can’t hold a tool the wrong way, just because it looks better. You have to wear the safety glasses even if it musses your hair a bit.  Adapt and conquer!

Other issues for Models

How to get started
Suggestions on how to get started in the modeling industry. What's involved with becoming a model?

What does it take to become a model?
You might be surprised who can become a model

Modeling portfolios
Some do's and don'ts about what should go into a modeling portfolio. What size and type should it be?

How does a model find work?
Marketing techniques for a model breaking int the industry. What to do and who to see.

Should I join an agency?
Modeling agencies offer many benefits, but they come at a cost. Is it a good idea to get and agent?

What is a comp card?
A comp card is the model's most important marketing material. Learn what it is and what it looks like.

What is a headshot?
If you're going to become a model, you will need to have your headshot taken. Here is the process.

Can my child model?
What type of children make good models and is my child or baby one of them?

Models reading guide
Here are some suggestions on what you whould read to learn more about becoming a professional model.

Read the photographer
Good models know how to take instruction from the photographer and know when, and how much to improvise.

What to bring to a shoot
Professional models are expected to bring certain things to a photoshoot.

Things to be or not to be...
Models are often re-hired because of certain qualities

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