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I think the best shots come, where the photographer defines a theme and feeling and the model gives her own interpretation, yes the odd tip and guidance along the way, but the model is giving a "Constant" - "Flow" of poses.  The following video by, Emily Soto, shows a shoot by an international fashion photographer based in New York. It looks like a dream shoot, however most beginner models find it difficult to just act the part and need more guidance. 

IF you READ NO FURTHER - CHECK THIS simple link on how to pose, you will note that there is no pose and hold, infact there is REALLY NO POSE,  It's all about MOVE and FLOW.


Some lovely video by Emily Soto.


For photographers she sells actions for post processing.





For the less experienced, prompt cards or clippings help to convey the pose more precisely, and give a starting point. So I am happy to use.

However, it is great when beginner models do a bit of practice before their shoot.  Grab a magazine and when you see something you like, actually do the pose, not once, but repeat it 10 or 20 times, checking that it has the element that attracted you. You may not remember the pose, but over time your body gets use to making wonderful shapes. Yes it's really worth it.


Facial Expressions

Yes its super important, and most beginners struggle.   Try these looks in front of a mirror,

  • Generally happy / content
  • Fun, laughing and playful
  • Scared, trapped or lost
  • Sad or broken hearted
  • Serious model face
  • Empty, lonely or bored
  • Fantasizing or day dreaming (happy)
  • Fantasizing or day dreaming (sad)
  • Scheming and flirting

Try and focus on different options for each emotion for each area of your face, you eyes, mouth and angles you can tilt your face to try and more strongly emphasize the emotion.   For more Click here


Another good video of a shoot.

Click here to view this great video.  Ben Trovato “The Falling”




. Click here to view.   BREED by Trivolta 

Model 2Model 2

2. How to become a model. 

Read some excellent advise.  Model Rhythm.



Separate the chin and neck from the shoulders and direct your client to move her chin out and down.


Have your subject to relax their shoulders and pull them back. This opens up the chest to emphasize the body’s natural curves.


Bent elbows and careful placement of the arms helps with framing and leading lines. Create negative space around the body to avoid the added bulk that results from keeping the arms close in to the torso.


Pay close attention to wrists. Move the hands to make them look soft and natural, and make sure the arms and wrists are posed in a way that matches the flow of the legs. Check out this short clip (


Waist movement can make or break a photo. Bending the waist sideways and back emphasises the female shape.


Another flattering move is to push one side of your subject’s hips back from the waist. This adds an S-curve to your composition, especially if you’re shooting straight on.


The position of the knees directly affects the contour of the hips. Direct your client to pull their knees up (which helps make the waist look smaller) and also cross their knees — a move that emphasizes the hips.


Combat ‘bird feet’ by turning one ankle toward the camera. Always avoid posing the feet symmetrically — no one stands with two feet mirroring each other!


For emotion (connection) in a photograph; Lower the eyes just a bit, and send the eyes a different direction than the face. And a bit of smile would help


Video Tips

Sue Bryce :   Beauty Portrait  ,  Soft Mouth,  Smile Eyes,  Hands,  Glamour, Glamour 2,  Glamour 3


BRILLIANT ADVICE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS, that is relevant to aspiring models.

Tips For Working with Agency Models - Fashion Photography Blog



Hey readers!


A LOT of people have asked how to approach agencies to work with their models, so here are some tips for working with agency models.





I mean don’t go heavy on the makeup and keep the hair simple. The more you do to the model, the less likely they’ll be able to use it in their book.  

As pointed out before – agents love simple, natural, clean images of their models.  

Leave the crazy stuff for editorials.  If you become that guy known for extreme makeup and hair, chances are you’re not going to be sent more models to work with.



The best advice I can give is to start with smaller agencies and work your way up, (that is what I did and I’m still in the process of doing).  Don’t know who to contact and who to hold off contacting?  Do some research! is a great resource that shows the top agencies for men and women.  They also have a directory of agencies which you can view by country/state/city.  I would advise to stay away from the top agencies until you’ve tested a bit, build up your confidence and know what you’re doing.



A LOT of people have asked how to approach agencies to work with their models so, here’s a crash course in testing with agency models! First things first, you have to have the type of images an agent would like to see.  Agencies like to see clean photographs:


- Images that aren’t too shadowy or weirdly lit

- Photographs with nice hair and makeup- keep it simple!

- No intense, crazy eye-shadow

- No big, teased hair



The whole idea behind testing with an agency is that they want clean, beautiful images of their models to put in the models portfolio.  This means images that show the model as they naturally look, not images that show the model with 15 pounds of makeup and Photoshop’ed past recognition.  Make sure all your images aren’t of one or two people, have a variety to show the agency that no matter who they send you you’ll be able to take a damn good photo!


Have those clean portrait/fashion portrait images already?  I suggest having a website you can link the agency to.  If you don’t have a site yet, no worries.  Attach around 5 images in your email to the agency so they can view your work and get a sense of your style.  (Make sure you have 10-15 good images to show, in case you’re asked to provide more.)


Now you’re ready to reach out!


1.  Call the agency you’re interested in working with and ask who you should speak to in regard to testing with their new faces.  You’ll probably be given the email address to a booker (model agent) and asked to send over your portfolio.


2.  Email the booker:

- Start with a nice introduction, explain who you are and that you’re looking to test with their new faces.

- Include your portfolio: Link the booker to your website or attach 5-6 photos.


3.  Wait.


4.  Got a response? Congrats!  You’ll most likely be sent a package (a listing of available models in need of images for their book) and will have the opportunity to choose who to work with:

- Sometimes the booker will ask if you have a team (aka creative team – hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists)  Be honest with them.  Don’t lie and say you have a team if you don’t.  It will show in the final images you produce.  The agency wants to make sure they’re sending their girls out on shoots that will help their books, not waste their time.

- Sometimes you’ll be asked for a mood board.  What is a mood board anyways?  (Well get into that in another post)  In short, a mood board is a compilation of images that show what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Inspiration for hair, makeup, wardrobe, overall outcome of the shoot.


5.  No response?  That’s okay. Just be persistent, keep shooting and try again.  Never take “No” for an answer!  There have been plenty of times that I’ve been turned down but I kept shooting and eventually was given a break.  I’m currently testing with agencies that had previously not responded to my emails.  Believe in yourself and someone will come along who believes in you too!