03 May Tips&Trick – Pose and make the other pose
Welcome to another episode of tips&tricks!
Today we talk about something that looks easy… till somebody points the camera at your face: POSING!
I want to share some small tips for model wannabe (or who is forced from circumstances to pose) and also some tricks for photographers who work with not professional models.
#1 – Breaks the lines
Standing straight like a pole in front of the camera is WRONG! You’ll look stiff, bigger, not interesting and boring.
Move your body creating curves! That works also for portraits unless the pictures need to go on your passport, try to avoid to just keep your head straight.
#2 – Engage your hands
Always wonder where your hands are. Use them, touch your hair, put them in your pockets, on your waist, grab a cup of coffee…whatever, but don’t let them pending lifeless along your body.
#3 – Don’t force your smile and do funny faces
If you force your smile it’ll show (here a Friends reference to get what I mean). How to avoid that? The photographer may help you with some tricks (read below), but what you can do is to try all different expressions, doesn’t matter how much exaggerated they are or how stupid you feel. Move the muscles of your face and you’ll learn how to deliver the right expression and….(next point)
#4 – Never be afraid to look stupid
Be goofy and funny. The more you try and give the best the result will be. Nobody is there to judge you and the photographer will be inspired by all the movements and faces you can give. To understand how is the best way to portrait you, the photographer must see all the shades of your expression, don’t be afraid to show them and you’ll find out how liberating that is! I can promise you that if you let yourself go you’ll be happier of the result and you’ll feel empowered and free!
#1 – Be sure the model is comfortable
If you’re not working with a professional model, you may have in front of you a very nervous person. Consider also that when you point a big camera with a huge lens in front of somebody is very intimidating. First of all, respect the feeling of your model, don’t push it and give your model time to warm up.
If you are indoor, let your model choose the music to listen to while shooting. The music can be also a good point to start a conversation because… (see point below)
#2 – Try to get to know your model
If possible don’t greet your model already with the camera in your hand. Have a coffee together, a small talk, etc… I’m a portrait photographer and I’m always genuinely interested in who I have in front. It’s important for me to ask questions that help me to understand better who I have in front of me. This will build up the connection which is necessary not just to have a good atmosphere for both parts, but also to give meaning to your work. With a portrait, you’re telling a story, and you should know the story.
#3 – 1,2,3 smile and never put the camera down between shots!
One trick I use with my models is: “look away and at the count of 3 look at me”. This usually helps to have a more natural pose and relax expression.
Another thing is that I try to make them laugh for example: “be sexy, be sexier, oh yeah, gimme it babe, you’re hot…” usually here the no professional model burst into laughter and that is what I look for, so I’m sure I don’t put my camera down, because the “in-between” shots are often THE shots!
#4 – Remind constantly your model that he/she/they is beautiful, but also be aware of his/her/their insecurities
“Yeah, perfect, you’re so nice and beautiful” this must be never a lie. A photographer, the one who is interested in really portraiting a persons soul, will always find the model beautiful. Everybody is beautiful, because everybody is unique. A good photographer knows it and will work hard to be sure this is visible in the image.
Consider though, that everybody fell insecure about something. The nose, the jaw, the weight, the hair. Don’t minimalize and ignore it. Try to respect it and help with the right angle that doesn’t highlight the issue (doesn’t matter if it’s real or not).
I’ll give you a more practical example. If somebody tells you “I don’t like my nose, it’s too pointy”, it doesn’t matter if you agree or not. Try to avoid profile pictures and try angles that reduce the size of the nose. That’s because even if you take the most stunning picture of the person, but the nose it’s too out there (doesn’t matter if you think so or not), the model will just see her/his/their insecurity out there and will say: “I don’t like it” or “I like the picture, the photo is good, but I don’t like myself”.
#5 – Do not create tension
Be gentle, kind and polite. Be happy and enthusiast. If you’re tense, your tension will spread on everybody who’s working with you!