How to Do Modeling Poses

Learn how to do basic modeling poses from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.

Hi I’m Trudy Tapscott.

And I’m Britt Bergmeister.

Modeling in the beginning when you get in front of the camera can be very nerve-wracking, and I think that, you see pictures of models and they look very comfortable and it’s all easy and breezy, and it look’s like anybody could do it. Here’s the thing. The first questions are always, what do I do with my hands? What am I supposed to do with my arms? How should my legs be? And this is where if your practicing, you understand how it feels. If you’re standing like this, and every limb of your body is stiff, it’s going to look stiff. If you have a lot of pressure on your hand, if you’re leaning in, and if you’re really putting the pressure. Everything is very gentle and very light, and you’re not actually putting the weight where you think you’re putting the weight on your hand or on your feet. It’s kind of an oddity, but I think that when the first time you get in front of a background like what is behind us and a photographer says, okay, do something. If you’ve never modeled or never practiced, you’re going to freeze, it’s like I have no idea. So that’s why when you’re testing, that’s why you’re learning your job when you’re testing, and you’re working with photographers who are sometimes learning their job too, they’re practicing lighting, it’s a collaboration. But you’re actually learning what to do in front of the camera. And I think hands and head, like where you put your head, and what to do with your feet. Everything that is an extension of you, you have to learn what to do with it in front of a camera. Was that the hardest thing for you?

Yeah, definitely, I didn’t even think of that for hands, it’s a huge thing. If you’re shooting in a background like this, the way you position your hands makes such a difference. It has to be very soft, that took me a long time to learn. You think it’s just your face and your body, no, they can see your hands if they look stiff or tough, so you really have to model from your head to the tip of your toes, and know your angles, and I think another thing for me, I learned to give your photographer as many options as he can. If you go crazy, move, dance around, he’ll capture a special moment. It’s better to give him more options and have him tell you to hold back a bit than to just be cautious, so go full forward, practice beforehand, it’s helpful to know which angles work better for you. Know your body, if you have bigger hips or bigger legs, position it in a way that you know will hopefully look the best and just know that the camera sees everything, so try to position it in a way that looks most natural and you may not feel natural, but I think that’s yeah.

I think it’s the freedom, the energy of the freedom. If someone says, you can be very shy, and someone says dance, and you’re like oh my god. So if you practice dancing and you have a good time, because a great image is not necessarily what you think it is. It’s exactly what Britt said in terms of it might feel a bit uncomfortable, and that’s the picture is the picture of the whole day. So I think it’s about allowing yourself to not worry about the end result of the picture. Let the photographer worry about the end result of the picture. Your job is to do exactly what Britt said, which is to give as much as you can, sometimes a little bit over the top, and let the photographer tell you to tone it down a bit, but you don’t have to worry about whether they get the shot or not, and that sometimes, that pressure of worrying about that is what causes you to be stiff in front of the camera, so if you don’t worry about that and you let the photographer, who is looking at you and sees you in a different way than you how you see yourself, if you let that happen and unfold naturally, you’re going to get better results. You’re going to have better pictures.