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How to Smile in Modeling Photos

Learn how to smile in modeling photos from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.


Trudi Tapscott: Hi, I'm Trudi Tapscott.

Britt Bergmeister:And I'm Britt Bergmeister. For modeling, it's not always about the serious look. You get a lot of commercial jobs where you have to smile. So, for me, one tip that my mom actually gave is to laugh. Because that will come across as genuine and you'll tell from the picture that you're connecting and you're giving a real, genuine laugh. It's important to practice in front of the mirror. I have a very gummy smile and so, I have to practice dropping my lip down and not giving as much teeth as I would with my friends if I'm telling a joke.

It's also important to learn how to smile with your mouth closed. Because, sometimes, the clients won't want to see all your teeth. It's all about practicing in front of the mirror and even with your eyes, you can tell a picture from a model who's smiling, fake smiling, and then really engaging. Smiling with her eyes, she's happy to be there, she's selling the product. And you can really tell. So, just practice and try to be genuine with the camera.

Trudi Tapscott: No one really understands what you say when you say "Practice with it. You can learn how to smile." Because what's important is that you know how it feels when you're doing certain things. Like Britt said, her practicing was about her mouth and how her smile looked.

Some people, when they smile, you lose their eyes and their eyes get really tiny. But they're not aware of it. So, if you practice in front of the mirror, then you learn those things and you learn how it feels. So, when a client asks you to jump and smile, you can jump and laugh-smile, you know exactly what that's going to look like and you're comfortable doing it.

Don't assume that the way you smile naturally is the way you're going to smile in pictures. A great picture with a great smile, it's more than just what you're smiling. It's your eyes, it's the angle. This is why I practice in front of the mirror. That's why people say "I have a good angle if I look that way." Obviously, if you're a model, you have to have a lot of good angles. But you know when your head is like this what it looks like, if your head is like this. It's very subtle. You're not doing big movements when you're modeling and every single angle makes a difference.

By practicing, you get more comfortable and the more comfortable you get, chances are, the picture is going to get better. You can't walk in and say to a photographer "You can only shoot me from this side, because that's my good side." That's not really going to work. But you can know that in your head, because you've practiced, you know what it looks like. And I think that's what practicing is. And that goes with full-length as well. Where your body is and how your shoulders are and how your head is. It's very tiny, tiny movements, which I think in the beginning, you don't really understand that.

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