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Feb 16, 2010 -
How To Start A Modeling Career
Learning How To Model
Working on the Modeling Pose
This is a skill which you will develop naturally as you get more experience modeling & posing in front of the camera. A good model photographer will usually help direct you into position also. One good way on learning how to model is working on pose is start doing activities that teach you how to move you body gracefully, like dance or gymnastics. Modeling books will usually contain guides teaching you how to model on 'standard' poses (the set of basic poses are based on the five positions of ballet, apparently). Over time, a number of book reviews will be included on the store pages, describing the usefulness of a number of modeling advice manuals.
Try saving photos from the internet, catalogs or magazines, where you feel particularly drawn to the model's pose. Pay particular attention to the tilt of the model's head and the position of her hands and feet. Practice these for yourself when learning how to model in front of a mirror, and try to recreate them for the camera when the opportunity arises.
In posing, learn to work with the clothes you wear. It helps to know how a fabric will drape or move when you are modeling it. It helps to know the lines of a garment so you can accentuate them and not break the line of movement. For fashion work particularly, you are selling the clothes. Practice showing important features of the clothing. Show off pockets, collar, belt, how the garment moves, what ever makes the garment interesting --- you want to call attention to it.
Another important point is to understand how much of you will show in the picture. Working full length is quite different from doing a tight head shot. When the camera is zoomed tightly on your face, it may look best to twist the rest of your body unnaturally into an exaggerated position.
Gradually, looking at photos of yourself from shoots, you will get to know which poses work for you in the most flattering way.
Getting the Expression
To practice facial expressions used in front of a camera, first think of a number of different emotions - i.e., pensive, happy, sexy, wistful, excited. When you have in mind several emotions, think about situations that would make you react with each one. Then you will be able to place yourself in the situation as if you practice personifying the emotions in the mirror. Once you have enough practice to be able to conjure up any given emotion on cue (this may take a while), you can try using them in front of a camera. This is where a digital or polaroid camera comes in very handy! Get a friend to take photos of you modeling, and look at your modeling pictures afterwards to see what works and what looks forced and unnatural - make a note of what you need to work on.
The most expressive modeling feature on a person's face is their eyes, so an important thing to remember about facial expression - though it might seem obvious - is to open your eyes. Unless specifically directed by the photographer, make sure that your eyes are wide open. You can test this by looking at two photos side by side, identical other than a tiny difference in the wideness of your eyes, and you will know which is the better.
When posing in a professional modeling shoot, it is important to keep in mind what a photograph is saying. Different photographic styles require very different facial expressions. For modeling glamour work, concentrate on a 'sexy' expression. In a fashion editorial shoot you may be required to look like you're having fun, or sophisticated and glamourous. For catalog work the pictures may need a neutral, contented look.
When you are starting out, for your own modeling portfolio and composite cards etc, most of the time you will need your own working wardrobe. You can either consult styling advice or even hire a stylist depending on your budget - such as myself, LyndziStyles.com or you could just use common sense! Obviously, pick flattering garments and a range of different shapes and styles.
The types of garments you have in your wardrobe will, of course, reflect the type of modeling you want to get into. If you are looking to get into glamour modeling then a good selection of lingerie, swimwear and sexy clubwear is necessary; if you want to make it in fashion modeling, then more trendy items are appropriate. But there are some basics which probably every model ought to have in her working wardrobe:
- Simple black dress
- High heel shoes - high heels lengthen the legs and improve posture, and are a must for models. I suggest a pair of pointy nude closed toe heels or pointy black closed toe heels.
- Bikini - for full-length figure shots for your portfolio - Try to stick with a solid colored bathing suit. Again, the focus should be you and anything with a wild print could distract whoever is looking at your photo.
- Business suit - for interviews as well as modeling
- Nice fitting jeans paired with a simple tank or t-shirt
- Lingerie sets - including basques and bustiers if possible.
Your wardrobe will of course contain many more items than this, probably including an evening gown, casual outfit, stockings, short dress, denim jacket and accessories, but these are the absolute basics which are essentials.
Again, as you model more you will get to know which clothes work best for you and can ensure that you take only the most flattering garments with you to shoots.
This of course depends a lot on the photographer as well as the model, but it is important to remember the results of different effects and photographic techniques.
Different lighting can be used to create an entirely different mood for the photograph. Soft light produces a gentle image; dramatic lighting techniques result in dramatic photos. You may eventually find that a certain type or direction of light may make you look better. For example, I believe that a side lighting technique brings out my facial bone structure quite well, while an even, 'butterfly' lighting effect makes my features look flatter.
To produce a more interesting, unconventional image, a photographer might try different angles of shot. He might stand up a ladder and look down on you to shoot the picture, or he might crouch on the floor to accentuate your height.
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|Erik Kerstenbeck Feb 09, 2011|
This is a superb article on modelling and light. I like to use a black backdrop and single grated softbox for some drama.
Here is a nice example: Surprise!: http://t.co/FdKVCiV
Kerstenbeck Photographic Art