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New Model Tips

The following information has been written by
photographer, G. Gregory Geiger.

Fast Tracking to Get Better as a Model!

You have heard it before, “practice and experience” will get you to the goals you seek!  There is no difference in modeling. As a photographer I will tell you if you can’t get camera time, study fashion catalogues.  I suggest getting a Talbot’s Catalogue. The looks/poses you will see and study are “classic, elegance” that will make you look better than your experience level.

  1. Most important, “Photography is painting with light!”

  2. Knowing the light sources that the photographer is using will make you a better model.  I once read a famous NYC fashion model said she can “feel” the light. Which means she knows how to stand to the light, to look good to the camera.  As a beginner, you need to learn about lighting and the poses that flatter your body and facial expressions.
    Things to note:

  3. Ask the photographer to tell you about the lighting he/she is using.

  4. In most photos, you will look better with the light sculpting across your body.

  5. Never have your hips square to the camera, unless you are stick-thin!

  6. Never have your hips level side-to-side

  7. For some swim-suit poses, have one hip much higher than the other

  8. Both feet are never pointed at the camera

  9. Have one leg bent at the knee

  10. Have long hair, pull it to one side of your body, this “opens-up” your face

  11. Never have your arms straight down to your sides and tight to your body

  12. So if your arms are down, put one on a hip, in a pocket, with a little bend at the elbow to the front by your belly-button

  13. Just about the ONLY times hands and arms are equal, when they are across your chest

  14. Never look straight into the camera, if you have to look straight into the camera, always have your head turned about 1” off axis to the camera.

  15. Carry some props with you to shoots. i.e. a golf club, umbrella, baseball bat, football, some different hats, business-looking glasses, sunglasses, a big beach towel, about 6’ to 8’ of white sheer curtain like material (looks great in the wind!);  what other easy things can you think of?

  16. Bring an old pair of pantyhose. If the outfit you will wear is thinner than what you are comfortable wearing, cutting a couple of patches from the hose will cover any exposed breasts, the same for anything that has a tiny crotch.

  17. If you want to take some “implied nude” photos, for your comfort get some pasties to cover your nipples. In the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”, Rene Russo had several topless scenes to shoot, she used the yellow, “happy face” stickers from her child.  Being bright, if the yellow sticker gets in the photograph, your photographer will be able to see it and have you turn-away to cover the sticker.

  18. Start a scrap book of good poses, concepts, locations that you want for your portfolio. If you see what you think is a good location, write it down. To get a good headshot, all you need is a 4’ X 4’ area as a background, but it is the texture of that background that makes the image interesting.

  19. Practice 10 of your favorite poses in the mirror, you should be able to start with one pose and work 6 to 8 changes from that pose. Moving feet, hips, arms, hands, head and eyes. This will make you look awesome to a photographer when he runs out of ideas!

  20. Go to 2nd-hand stores, consignment shops looking for cool outfits!

  21. Wearing a nude thong or “G” will allow you to be more daring in jeans and shorts outfits.

  22. Study people when you go out. Different outfits, the way they move, stand, gestures all can give you ideas for the next great shoot!

  23. When working with a photographer, ask where the “main” light is.  It could be from the sun, sky light (if there is no sun) a flash or a reflector. Good photographers will have a “fill-light” to fill the shadow side of the photograph.  Most photographs that “pop” will have a “back-light” or “rim-light” that separates the model from the background. During that day, most photographers use the sun for rim light. If you stand facing the sun, you will be squinting. That means to get good, high quality photographs, either a reflector or flash to fill the shadows caused by the sun. If your photographer doesn’t use either a flash to fill the shadows or a reflector, ask him/her what they will do about the shadows in your face.  If this is a shoot where you are getting paid, how the photographer does the lighting is totally up to them. However, if this is a TFCD-P shoot, you should make sure you will get high quality photos. So ask about the lighting so you look good.

  24. * “Golden Hour” – the time at sunset when the light gets soft, diffused and gives long shadows.  It is a perfect time to shoot! Worth the effort to do a photo session for this limited time of the day.  Sunrise is a good time to shoot, but you get less working time until the sun light becomes too strong.

  25. It has been my experience to show the model the images as we are working.  Famous glamour photographer Bill Lemon doesn’t let the model see the digital images during the shoot, only at the end.  For a beginning model, you seeing the photos may give you more confidence, it will give you instant feed-back on your poses.
    Ask your photographer to talk to you as they work. Are they shooting you full-length, or really tight? You should be getting comments to help you give them better photographs.
    In other pages on my website I cover the details that should be covered before you arrive at a photo session.

  26. Post-shoot:

If you want to become a good model, you should practice at least twice a month. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t model. The clothing and product industries have the need for models in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Keep in mind, “If it is meant to be, it is up to me!”