I am still very much new to the world of modelling. It was not something that I ever envisioned myself doing, but I was completely surprised at the enjoyment it brings in addition to the challenges that it has made me overcome.
You have to put aside all insecurities and bad weather (four hours straight in the wind and rain) and try to create what the photographer envisions.
My photographer on this shoot was Tom Whipps. If you are unaware of his name, you would have unquestionably seen his work. He is award-winning and has worked in over 90 different countries! His client list includes huge corporations and businesses so this opportunity was really significant to me.
I want to share the mistakes I have made, what I have learnt and a range of tips for when stepping in front of the camera.
How many times do you go to put your hands on your hips?
Away from modelling, the pose is a staple in my camera diet. Professionally however, it is crucial to use your hands to create shape. That is one of the biggest lessons; use your body to make shapes. If one arm is down, the other is up or angled. I always look for a way to create movement in my arms.
Creating movement also applies to your legs. I was once told that poses can be quite painful. Sometimes I stretch to get the right angle. What I find helps is leaning completely into one leg. Then using your upper body to slightly tilt to the other direction. I tend to bring a leg forward but be careful not to go too far because the closer an object is to a camera, the bigger the object appears.
To summarise, when modelling, experiment with angles. Do not just tilt your head or angle one area, imagine creating shape in your entire body.
You know how people discuss sex appeal or beauty and the word confidence tends to be said; that applies to modelling. On many of my first photo shoots, I lost photos due to my nerves coming through. The camera does not lie and any awkwardness or insecurity can easily show. I discovered this the hard way when I was told many of my images had to be cut.
If you are going to pose, you need to be comfortable. There is no point posing in a busy street if you are worried about people walking by and looking. Equally, be confident with who is taking your photo. There needs to be a level of trust. If you ever hire or work with a professional, be entirely satisfied with their portfolio.
A way to look more relaxed is to breathe out through your mouth.
As I trusted my photographer Tom, when he told me to run and walk towards the camera as he snapped pictures, I happily obliged. Firstly, this enhances that key word movement. Secondly, it can stop you from over posing. The off moments can be the best.
If you ever want to look away from the camera or at an angle, make sure you do not strain your eyes. If it starts to hurt, go back and look away until it is comfortable. Not only will it feel better, it will look better on camera.
The last point I want to mention is body language. Sometimes you want to look serious or happy and you focus only on your face. I like to say your eyes tell a story and your body helps portray it. To me this is one of the hardest things; conveying the same emotion throughout. For day-to-day photos or for Instagram, stand out and when for example trying to be edgy, really use your body angles to help express that emotion.
- Keep your fingers close together when posing.
- Once you have found your pose, play around making small adjustments before changing.
- Practice, practice and practice again!