By Yoli Pavlova
photo by Lauren Bates http://laurenbatesphotography.com/
Do you think beautiful models always take naturally beautiful photos? It’s true that great photos begin with natural beauty, but so much more goes into it… great poses, healthy clear skin and glowing hair, lean muscles, beautiful physique… it all start long before the photo session begins.
Models rely on professional model poses and great looks to succeed, but did you ever think of how much preparation time is involved? Whether you prefer print magazines or runway fashion shows, if you want a professional modeling career you need to pay close attention to all the details that need to go into presenting the best that you can be!
During your shoot, the photographer will most likely help guide you through a variety of poses. Lots of practice must go into successful poses and great looks long before you step in front of the camera. Practice posing in front of a mirror, do lots of selfies and encourage your friends to take photos of you to see how to work the camera. You’ll see what looks great and what doesn’t. It’s good practice to get used to being photographed. Use your emotions, and develop a smile that will light up a room. Think happy thoughts for those smiles. Learn to relax and be confident in front of the camera, it will show. If your nervous, go somewhere else and imagine something you are confident in. You can sing your favorite song (in your head) or ask to listen to your favorite station/music during your shoot. Be genuine and if you need a specific look, draw on it mentally. I always recommend acting, dance and music to develop mentally; they will help you develop confidence and focus.
If you are an inspiring model or just want to have that model look here are a few suggestions for looking great!
Eat Right. Lots of fruits and veggies and lean protein and whole grains (nuts and seeds are a great addition to your plan).
My recommendation is to juice daily. Your skin and hair will glow. It’s the easiest way to get so many nutrients in with one meal. You would never sit down to eat an entire plate of veggies & fruits for breakfast or any other meal, but you can certainly drink one. You can choose from kale, celery, spinach, carrots, apples, ginger root or any variety of farm fresh produce. Try to choose as many organic as possible. Keep in mind you can switch it up daily… add fiber rich ingredients, you will be surprised at how your energy level will go up. I always grab a Greek yogurt with my juice or a bowl of oatmeal or cereal with Almond Milk. Below are a couple of recipes to start off your day. For lunch grab a green variety salad with nuts or feta, and some fruit, pita chips or whole grain toast, but keep away from fast food and processed foods, they will drag you down. For dinner just go light with some protein & veggies. You can add a small portion of sweet potatoes or brown rice. (Try a cilantro/ lime rice)
Here are a couple of juice recipes. You can adjust the juices according to how much and what you like.
2 or 3 Granny Smith Apples
4 Stalks of Celery (organic)
¼ Lemon or ½ orange (peeled, whichever you prefer)
Ginger root (about ¼ inch round piece – the size of your thumbnail)
Red & Ready for the day….
3 or 4 Red Delicious Apples (organic if possible)
6 to 8 Carrots (preferably organic!)
5 or 6 ounces of Spinach
3 slices of seedless watermelon
A handful of red grapes (or green)
1/4 red beet
Photo shoots can be draining and you need to keep your energy level up.
Exercise daily. Walk daily and get some cardio in at least a few times a week minimum. Do some light weight training to build muscle. Muscle helps burns fat! Be sure to include some stretch and tone workouts and maybe some relaxing Yoga or Pilates. If you enjoy water sports, try paddleboarding, it does wonders for your core muscles, and balance.
Drink plenty of water – at least 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Get enough sleep. 8 hours of sleep is important.
Posture: whether you are posing for a commercial clothing shot or walking the runway, remember your posture is very important. Keep your back straight and your shoulders up, (no slouching) always remember to keep your stomach tight and flex your muscles, this will make you appear toned. Be sure to be daring and do many different poses, it’s better to differentiate your arms & legs with asymmetrical poses. Ex. If one leg is locked casually bend the other. If one arm is straight, then bend the other.
Be sure to breath, I know this sounds silly but, it seems a lot of models tend to hold their breath or minimize it… It’s important to concentrate but not to overdo it. Breathing naturally will make you look at ease in the photo.
Give a few different approaches on looks toward or away from the photographer. Make some serious facial expressions, laughter, bright smiles, look at the photographer (not directly into the camera) and look away as well. Staring off also looks nice in photos. Angling or tilting you head with eyes only at the photographer can capture an entirely different look. Whether sitting or standing adjust your weight to one side. Angles will result in a slimming effect. You need to be versatile and present the looks as if you are playing a part, draw from within and create an emotion. Facial expressions can make or break a look. Your eyes can do most of the work with many shots. Move into different positions and pause in each, for a few seconds. Think of it as a slow dance, a flow of movement. Keep your position and especially your hands relaxed and graceful. Don’t grab your waist or clamp your hand in awkward positions. You can adjust your shoulders or angle your face differently, reposition your legs and/or arms, each adjustment will create a new look.
Study top magazine models and use variations of their poses and looks, then make them your own. There are several professional modeling videos that are helpful to watch and learn. Try to establish a signature look and pose that you can always fall back on in a shoot, which you know looks great in a photo! For runway develop your own strong, confident walk, nail each stop with perfect poses to show off the designers creations, here it is all about the fashions, make everything you wear look appealing. You are there to sell a look. Be confident, courageous and strong! Your job is to make the potential buyers want to buy the designers style. You have to make them think “I Love it, I’ve got to have it!”
If you are on a paid commercial shoot, study the product, research the company, and try to get a feel of what they are trying to sell. What are they going for as far as emotion? What type of company are they? Do your homework! Know your client. Know your job! This is a professional job, go in prepared! Arrive early and be ready to work. You need to be prepared mentally and physically. Some shoots require more serious facial expressions, angular dramatic poses while others capture casual, happy, light attitudes. Confidence, posture, attitude, allure, facial expressions and your physical body inside & out, are what will make you succeed!
Take care of yourself, know your job, know your client, be professional and reliable, have fun!
Be the best “YOU”, you can be! J
Pavlova, 35, is a model originally from Bulgaria, she has an 11-year-old son and is a manager at the Marriott Beachside in Key West, Fla.