Today we’ll discuss posing basics in photography. Most of us play the role of a model, that is, a subject of photo shooting. Almost every family now has affordable and easy-to-use amateur cameras, which allow at the same time to get a pretty decent quality image. And although everyone wants to look attractive in a photo, not everyone knows how to achieve this.
It doesn’t matter if you dream of becoming a professional photo model or always gladly and proudly show your images to friends. Knowing specific patterns and subtleties that affect the aesthetics of the final result and owning special posing techniques, you will feel much more confident under the camera lens pointed at you.
The ability to demonstrate oneself in front of the camera quickly and naturally is impossible without psychological liberation, the absence of internal clamps, the ability to get used to different images, and excellent control of one’s body.
It would seem that what could be easier than the work of a photo model, smile at the camera, and the rest is the photographer’s care. But in fact, the result directly depends on the coherence of intense teamwork and professionalism of the model. It means a lot of things, ranging from punctuality and ending with the ability to patiently take the same pose over and over again with a cute expression.
After all, creating art or even simply beautiful photographs is a creative process, implying a unique atmosphere of mutual understanding that is easy to break. Therefore, the model should carefully listen to the words of the photographer and try to be natural as possible in the image that he is trying to create. The essential quality is transforming into the most diverse or even opposite characters, to be flexible material in the creator’s hands – the photographer. There can be no actual photo model.
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It should also be noted that with the skill and desire, any person can be successfully photographed. No face has a good photographer could not find “zest.” And the notorious “photogenicity” is a purely professional concept, by which they mean a universal appearance, which often does not attract much attention in everyday life.
These faces allow them to be removed from any angle and easily changed with makeup and hairstyles, giving unlimited work possibilities. Often, girls whose faces do not leave the covers of glossy magazines are not recognized on the street, and they are lost in the crowd. In photographs, they look like real stars.
A significant role is played not only by the ability to present oneself but also by the emotional work of the model. The model’s psychological involvement and the gift to convey to the viewer a rich palette of the slightest shades of her feelings are very similar to the work of an actress.
Seemingly, how can the inner movements of the soul be reflected on paper? But any experienced photographer will immediately notice how “lively” the model’s eyes are. They immediately betray her fatigue, extraneous thoughts, or insecurity. Rich facial expressions and a special attractive aura of gaze are essential to convey mood and emotions to the viewer.
Thus, we can summarize that the similarity with the original or its beauty in the traditional sense is far from the most important criterion when creating art photography. Much more important are the feelings and thoughts that the image evokes in the viewer. And in this, a significant role is assigned to the model, while the photographer acts as a production director.
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Model Behavior and Posing
For novice models, especially if the photography is done in a professional studio, there is tension from the excessive attention paid to them from all sides. It is a makeup artist, a hairdresser, a stylist, and other specialists working at the moment on the set.
The model immediately appears uncertain in movements and confusion in front of the lens. Poses become angular, unnatural. Excitement prevents you from concentrating on work. In this case, the photographer comes to the aid of the model: distracts the model with conversations, questions, and jokes, establishing closer contact with her and gradually removing psychological “clamps.”
In this case, the specific tasks assigned to the model help a lot, by performing which she forgets about the lens. But, of course, the model itself should try in various ways to remove the initial excitement.
Here are seven basic rules that professional photo models follow before and during photography:
- You need to sleep well, then the face will be fresh, and the mood – good;
- Being late for shooting is terrible form;
- It is customary to come to the shooting without makeup to save time for its removal, with a neutral manicure. Hair must be clean. A makeup artist and hairdresser will handle your face and hair;
- Arriving at the photo session, you need to look around, “settle down.” Try to “try on” the environment for yourself and establish contact with the people you have to work with. All inconveniences – in clothes, in the environment, or relations with people – must be eliminated before starting work;
- After discussing the idea of the photo with the photographer, try to imagine the chosen image as fully as possible. Think carefully about how you can convey it using facial expressions, gestures, posture. At the same time, it is imperative to take into account the peculiarities of your appearance and the creative “framework” that it imposes on the idea;
- Getting to work, you should completely free your mind from everyday worries and extraneous thoughts and focus on work;
- It’s a good idea to do a little warm-up to warm up the muscles and make them more plastic and flexible, thus preparing the body for work. It is essential if you plan to shoot challenging poses or pose in motion.
If you like to be photographed and want to experience the pleasure of taking pictures, you need to evaluate your appearance with an open mind and very carefully. Practice shows that such “assessment” results will help you identify and correct shortcomings and discover previously unnoticed advantages.
An objective assessment of your appearance will certainly only benefit you. Looking in the mirror, we first see our image formed in our consciousness in the reflection. Moreover, this image may differ from reality both for the better and for the worse.
Some do not pay attention to significant deviations from the imaginary ideal; others exaggerate minor ones that give the image originality and charm. Unlike the world of fashion models, the profession of a photo model does not require restrictions on the volume of the figure “90-60-90 “.
In art photography, images of cheerful and seductive women are most significant, especially since photographers are increasingly paying attention to interesting, attractive faces. The main thing for a photo model is a well-groomed face, reasonable control of the body and its health. These are the criteria by which you need to evaluate your appearance.
At the same time, one must not forget that the camera lens impartially captures reality and notices even those shortcomings hidden in life behind facial expressions, the plasticity of movements, or cheerfulness.
If, as a result of evaluating your appearance, you realize that you have a proportional and slender figure, healthy skin, asymmetrical face, wide-set eyes, a protruding chin – the world of professional fashion models is open for you!
Face Evaluation of a Model During Posing
It is correct to start assessing your appearance with your face. To do this, you need to remove all makeup, remove hair from the face, sit in front of the mirror so that the light (best of all daylight) evenly illuminates the complexion.
The first thing to pay close attention to is the condition of the skin. It should be smooth, fresh, and healthy in color. In no case should you entertain yourself with the illusion that a wizard-make-up artist will come and use makeup to “restore” your face?
The makeup artist has other tasks, and the constant care of the skin is the task of the photo model. It can also be cosmetic masks. (moisturizing, cleansing, or nourishing), and beauty treatments in the salon. Healthy sleep and proper nutrition are essential for facial skincare.
Sleep deprivation threatens dull, unhealthy skin that does not have time to renew during a short night’s sleep, as well as the formation of circles under the eyes. And eating spicy, smoked, or salty foods leads to acne and swelling. No cosmetics can hide these defects.
The next step is to define the shape of your face. How to do it? You need to sit straight in front of the mirror, not tilt your head forward or back, so as not to distort the proper proportions. Ask someone close to tracing the outline of your reflection on the mirror with lipstick or with a marker.
The ideal shape is considered to be a regular oval. Still, other face shapes (triangular, round, elongated) are not so bad, especially if you balance them with your hairstyle, the right choice of accessories, neckline, and the most favorable angles.
For an elongated face, for example, wide-brimmed hats are most suitable, and for a broad and round face, tall hats. For owners of the correct oval, smooth hairstyles and straight partings are suitable. For a round face, it is best to cover the ears and the side of the face with hair so that the visually round face appears narrower.
The best shooting angle is – three-quarters or profile. For a thin and long face, various options for bangs covering the forehead and hair length to the cheekbones are suitable. A model with a narrow or long face should slightly tilt the head forward and move it relative to the torso to create additional vertical lines.
When assessing a face, the ratio of individual details and their proportionality relative to each other is essential. It is better to shoot a large nose from the front or a point located below the level of the face, and with a long nose, it is not recommended to tilt your head forward. A square, prominent or double chin is the best shot from high angles.
Small eyes appear more extensive if the model looks slightly to the side. Most people’s eyes appear to be more open if, while shooting, they are not looking directly into the lens but marginally higher. Deep-set eyes do not like overhead lighting, and with close-set eyes, it is better to shoot the model with a turn of the head and profile.
Pay attention to the shape of the eyebrows. Ideal eyebrows should have an even shape with well-defined borders, be saturated in color but not distract the primary concentration. They should follow the natural line of the browbones. It is pretty easy to make any eyebrows beautiful, especially if a stylist-makeup artist is on the set. But to not spend a lot of time on this procedure every time, you need to maintain the form he found for you independently.
In contrast to the eyebrows, the nose, lips, and eyes do not lend themselves to such a simple transformation. But there are professional makeup techniques that will help make these parts of the face more advantageous.
When assessing the condition of your hair and hairstyle, some tips will help you:
- with extensive facial features, hairstyles of a simple geometric shape will be most suitable;
- with small features, small elements should be used less often in the hairstyle (for example, individual curls);
- a high forehead can be hidden with a bang;
- a low forehead can be veiled with a high and lush hairstyle, but smooth hair, in this case, is not desirable;
- if you shift the emphasis on hair, the bulk of which is in the neck area, you will make the heavy chin less noticeable.
Long hair carries a considerable charge and unlimited possibilities for posing. They can be used both as a separate element of the composition and as a tool for creating mood and a mask for imperfections in appearance.
These tips are general and save both the model and the photographer from basic mistakes.
Body Assessment During Posing
It’s time to talk about evaluating your figure. You can do this in a swimsuit or light underwear (or you can do it without it if you plan to pose “nude”). You should see yourself in a full-length mirror. The evaluation algorithm is as follows:
- Without looking in the mirror, stand in front of that as you stand in everyday life.
- Get into a relaxed position and then cast a casual glance at your reflection.
- Suppress the involuntary desire to pull yourself up, to straighten like a string and thereby hide your shortcomings from yourself.
Most likely, you will see in the reflection not what you expected. What you should immediately pay attention to:
Posture. Note whether you are slouching in your normal state, whether you keep your shoulders at the same level, whether you stick out your stomach. A bent back ages a person and makes him look unhealthy, tired, and lethargic. It is especially noticeable when leaning in profile.
The arch of the back in the lumbar region looks elegant, emphasizing the thinness of the waist and giving the figure femininity. Do not forget that the abdomen should be well defined when shooting from the front.
Legs. To determine the correctness of the shape of the legs, you can stand at attention (feet together). Ideally, four “windows” should form a small triangle at the top, a long gap above the knees, a smaller one – under the knees, and between the ankles.
The length of the legs of the model is always considered not by itself but concerning the size of the body.
Accordingly, a long torso makes the legs shorter, while a short torso makes the legs endless, ideal for photography. High heels increase the instep of the feet, and the high cut bikini panties lengthen the legs at the expense of the hips.
Short clothes and fabrics with large patterns are undesirable for short stature. If the leg muscles are overdeveloped, pose lying or sitting, allowing the muscles to relax. Fake tanning or foundation works well for translucent veins in the legs or arms.
Each model should be well aware of the flaws and advantages of their figure to shift the emphasis on the merits when posing.
For photographers, there are several recommendations to present the model in the picture in the best possible way:
- you can lengthen short legs using shooting from the lowest point of the shooting;
- with full legs, it is not recommended to act in profile, sitting on a chair, while it is better not to wear bright or openwork tights;
- the curvature of the legs can hide the semi-profile position;
- the full figure can be hidden with side views and a back view half-turned to the lens;
- to hide the ratio of too long or short arms to the body, when posing, they cannot be lowered entirely, but it is better to bend in one way or another;
- if you transfer accents to the neckline or hairstyle and place a figure in dark clothes on a dark background, you can hide a big belly.