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Does the ring­ing silence scare you while film­ing? The mod­el does not know where to put her hands and how to stand up, what to do with her face, freez­ing facial expres­sions in the spir­it of “duck lips” from 2007? Is it scary that a client after a pho­to ses­sion will com­plain that he could look more pre­sentable (slenderer/bigger/higher/legs longer), and his pho­tos from the shoot­ing are no dif­fer­ent from the self­ies that he could take him­self?

We share the secrets of how to beau­ti­ful­ly pose and pho­to­graph a mod­el, as well as make sure that the per­son after shoot­ing is sat­is­fied and feels that he is work­ing with a pro.

pixabay.com

How beautiful to put the model

In order for the por­trait to turn out to be pleas­ing to the eye and favor­ably empha­size the dig­ni­ty of a per­son, it is nec­es­sary to com­ply with the con­di­tions: relax the mod­el, choose the most favor­able pos­es and choose a good angle. Let’s break down all three com­po­nents.

How to relax the model

  • Every­thing starts with a con­ver­sa­tion. Strike up a sim­ple, light con­ver­sa­tion. Talk about past or upcom­ing hol­i­days, hob­bies. This way you will not only get to know the per­son and relieve ten­sion, but also get to know the char­ac­ter and pref­er­ences bet­ter, which will cer­tain­ly affect what the client expects from the shoot.
  • Turn on the music. This will relieve awk­ward silence, set the mood. You can ask the mod­el ahead of time to cre­ate a playlist that she thinks will fit the atmos­phere of the shoot, or pre­pare your own playlist in case the client has no ideas.
    In stu­dios, portable speak­ers are often giv­en, and on the street, if there is no suit­able device, even music from the phone will do. Let it be qui­et, but it’s bet­ter than silence.
  • Don’t hide behind the cam­era. Car­ry on a dia­logue, “get out” from behind the cam­era so that the mod­el does not have the feel­ing that she is alone with a soul­less silent lens aimed at her.
Dia­logue, pleas­ant music and your involve­ment in the con­ver­sa­tion will help the per­son relax. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for clients who rarely take pic­tures — they can­not spon­ta­neous­ly give out any emo­tions, as pro mod­els do / piqsels.com
  • If a per­son finds a good pose, even if you didn’t man­age to catch it, mark it and praise it. This way you show the client that he or she is on the right track, inspire con­fi­dence in him and at least relieve some anx­i­ety that he or she is doing every­thing wrong.
  • Many are lost in front of the cam­era — direct your mod­els, bold­ly sug­gest how and where to turn the face and body, put a foot and move a hand.
  • It hap­pens that from excite­ment or inex­pe­ri­ence, the mod­el’s arms and legs become stiff, which makes them look con­strained, tense, pinched. To get rid of this, ask the client to “shake” the limbs — this is the method that removes the clamps used by pro­fes­sion­al mod­els. Anoth­er method is to ask the per­son to tense their body strong­ly for a few sec­onds and then relax.
  • The same thing that hap­pens with the legs some­times hap­pens with the jaw. A per­son can uncon­scious­ly squeeze it, this makes the face tense. In this case, ask the mod­el to slight­ly open her mouth. Or the sim­plest exer­cis­es for artic­u­la­tion will help — let the client make a “tube” of his lips a cou­ple of times, draw a cir­cle with them clock­wise and coun­ter­clock­wise, puff out his cheeks, move his jaw in dif­fer­ent direc­tions. Anoth­er way is to engage the mod­el in a con­ver­sa­tion. This will help remove the clips and increase the like­li­hood that you will cap­ture sin­cere emo­tions, laugh­ter, nat­ur­al facial expres­sions.
  • If, on the con­trary, you need to tight­en the model’s body in order to show the relief of the body in the pho­to, ask them to do small exer­cis­es before shoot­ing and even between shots — stand in the bar, do push-ups, shake the press, squat, etc.

Secrets of posing and angles

  • To make the mod­el visu­al­ly taller and legs longer, pho­to­graph from the bot­tom up, squat­ting down.
  • To make the mod­el appear slim­mer, shoot from above. This will make your face appear sharp­er.
Back­light that empha­sizes the pro­file of the mod­el / pixabay.com
  • To make the waist appear thin­ner, ask the mod­el to put her hands on it so that the thumbs are look­ing back and the rest are look­ing for­ward at the cam­era. So the hands will hide the vol­umes, visu­al­ly mak­ing the mod­el nar­row­er.

To show the fig­ure, to high­light the sil­hou­ette, back­light, exposed behind or behind and to the side of the mod­el, will help. You can achieve it with a reflec­tor or strip­box. A more bud­get option is a reg­u­lar flash­light, which you can buy at any hard­ware store.

  • Ask the mod­el to stand up on her toes to empha­size the relief of the calves, visu­al­ly make the legs longer and thin­ner.
  • Do not allow the mod­el to fall deep into the chair or lean com­plete­ly on the chair (unless the idea dic­tates it). If she sits on the edge, she will be able to straight­en up, beau­ti­ful­ly posi­tion her legs so that they seem longer. Pro­fes­sion­al mod­els often sit on one hip with their legs ele­vat­ed so they don’t “flat­ten” against sur­faces.
Sim­i­lar is true for lying pos­tures. The mod­el arch­es in the low­er back to empha­size the waist and not to be pressed into the plane / piqsels.com
  • Often peo­ple throw their head back to the left or right side. This even adds a sec­ond chin to a per­son with­out excess weight. Fol­low this, ask to tilt your head in the oppo­site direc­tion, put it straight.
  • Ask the per­son not to press their hands close to the body, even if they are stand­ing with their arms crossed. This will also make them visu­al­ly slim­mer as they won’t flat­ten out.

To cre­ate a gen­tle female por­trait, it is bet­ter to use dif­fused light. It is pro­vid­ed by soft­box­es and umbrel­las. The main thing to remem­ber is that the larg­er the size of the noz­zle, and the light source itself is clos­er to the mod­el, the soft­er and more accu­rate the light. In gen­er­al, the brighter the frame and the more dif­fused the light, the worse minor skin imper­fec­tions and wrin­kles are vis­i­ble.

When shoot­ing male por­traits, the goal is exact­ly the oppo­site — you need to show vol­umes, mus­cles. In this case, ask the mod­el to press their hands a lit­tle hard­er to the body. A good pose for demon­strat­ing biceps is arms crossed on the chest, but always tense so that the mus­cles are in max­i­mum tone.

If you want to empha­size bru­tal­i­ty, use hard light. Spe­cial noz­zles for light will help to cre­ate it: a beau­ty dish with hon­ey­combs, a tube or a reflec­tor.

  • If you want the mod­el to touch her face with her hands, or shoot her lying down when she press­es her head against some sur­faces (own hand, pil­low, etc.), make sure that the mod­el bare­ly touch­es the sur­faces or hands. In fact, the head of the mod­el should actu­al­ly be sup­port­ed by weight, and not lean­ing on it. So the face will remain more accu­rate, with­out dents from the fin­gers and com­pressed, deformed cheeks.
The mod­el bare­ly touch­es her face with her fin­gers with­out press­ing them into the skin / piqsels.com
  • To achieve a slight “lift­ing effect”, ask the mod­el to raise her chin or try to stretch her ears up. So the face seems thin­ner and toned, the neck is stretched, visu­al­ly length­en­ing, and the line lead­ing from the chin to the neck becomes smooth and even — this also visu­al­ly slims and reju­ve­nates.

In order not to dis­tort the pro­por­tions of the face, use por­trait lens­es. These are lens­es whose focal length is equal to or greater than 85mm. For exam­ple, Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L, Nikon 85mm f/1.8G, Fuji­film XF 90mm f/2 or Sony FE 85mm f/1.8. Oth­er­wise, the optics can change the pro­por­tions so much that even for a mod­el with a small, neat nose, it will take up most of the frame.

  • Make sure that your arms and legs do not look direct­ly at the cam­era — this “chops off” them, short­ens them, and makes the pic­ture flat. Pro­fes­sion­al mod­els work in a par­al­lel cam­era plane — their arms and legs, as a rule, are direct­ed not to the lens, but to the sides. For exam­ple, the clas­sic pose with bent arms near the face. The mod­el’s elbows will be point­ing left and right, not for­ward, towards the pho­tog­ra­ph­er.
The mod­el’s elbow is point­ing to the side, and not look­ing into the frame. So the per­son in the frame looks more volu­mi­nous / piqsels.com
  • If you are shoot­ing the mod­el from the back or in three quar­ters, pay atten­tion to how the neck looks. Some peo­ple have a lot of folds on it that look unaes­thet­ic.

Ask the per­son not to curl as much, or be pre­pared to par­tial­ly remove them in post. The main thing is not to wash every­thing at all — this is a nat­ur­al anatom­i­cal fea­ture. No need to “break” a person’s neck, just make a cou­ple of folds invis­i­ble, there­by smooth­ing out the fea­ture that will be strik­ing in the pho­to.

  • Often inex­pe­ri­enced mod­els are con­stant­ly mov­ing in the frame, falling out of the light spot. For exam­ple, because of uncer­tain­ty and fear, they try to snug­gle up to the back­ground, move away from the light source.

The pros work by stand­ing strict­ly on one point — this helps the pho­tog­ra­ph­er not to shift the light scheme after each frame, fol­low­ing the mod­el. But in real life, espe­cial­ly if the mod­el is inex­pe­ri­enced, she can often move, because she does not under­stand the specifics of how light works, or she just gets wor­ried.

Ask the stu­dio admin­is­tra­tor to give you the largest octo­box on the crane (a light stand that allows you to turn the source at any angle and even raise it high above the head of the mod­el) as your light. The larg­er the noz­zle, the soft­er the light, which will avoid unsight­ly, harsh shad­ows, and the wider the area in which the mod­el can move.

Anoth­er life hack that will be espe­cial­ly use­ful if you are work­ing with a hard direc­tion­al light, where even a cou­ple of cen­time­ters of shift is crit­i­cal, is to stick a strip of tape on the floor and ask the mod­el not to leave it. But, keep in mind that the client can for­get about the request — the pho­tog­ra­ph­er still has to fol­low this.

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