Ever wondered how the big names on Instagram do to look good in pictures? Ever questioned yourself on how to pose for dope IG pictures? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore because you came to the right place!
As I started taking Instagram more seriously, I’ve started modeling and taking pictures around Montreal as a model and photographer looking for the perfect spots. Through the hundreds of photoshoots I’ve been to, I developed a solid foundation on modeling, both from the modeling and photography standpoint.
After tons and tons of questions I got asked about how to model, here are 8 things you can incorporate into your next photo shoot to look like a real model and have an awesome Instagram feed!
1- Learn how to move
It may sound silly but for a model, the most important thing is to not stand still and do nothing. When you observe experienced models, you will notice that they change their pose every time they hear the shutter click. That’s what you should do too.
Whenever you hear that the photographer is taking a picture, try to slightly change the angle of your face, change poses, move around, look around, etc. You can play around with your clothes, your hands, hold your arms, just be sure that you’re doing something.
Advice: try to make shapes with your arms and your body. Don’t hesitate to contortion yourself and try uncomfortable positions. That’s what makes an interesting picture.
Here are a few images to illustrate point #1.
2- Learn how to convey emotions
An image is worth a thousand word and in a modeling photo shoot, you are THE thousand words. The face tells a story in itself and can make or break the mood of a picture.
Sometimes, the photographer will ask you to look melancholic, mad, serious, goofy, you name it. This is the acting part of modeling. To create a nice picture, emotions are very important.
To practice that semi-acting skill, look at yourself in the mirror and try to act a bit. Make different faces and use your eyebrows, your mouth, and your body language in order to create postures and facial expressions easily identifiable to certain emotions. Imitating actors from movies and plays is also a great exercise to improve in that skill.
3- Find your good angle
A majority of the people have what we call a “good side”. On social media, you can notice that models often show one side of their face more frequently than the other. Knowing your good angle makes it a lot easier for you and the photographer to pull out nice poses and make you look good.
To find your good side, take a bunch of selfies from different angles and see what you like best. Sometimes, you may have a couple of angles that you find over time and those are the ones you want to be aware of. Look at my previous pictures, for instance. I always show the same sides of my face because these are the ones I think look best.
4- Improve your posture
If you want to look better in pictures, you must keep in mind that posture is very important. Slouching, for instance, makes you look uncertain and not confident. When you want to make lifestyle or outfit pictures and have an in-the-moment snap of you, you want to look confident and straight.
In order to keep a good posture, you must practice and constantly think about keeping your back straight. Exercising your lower back and correcting any imperfections in your skeletal structure are two things to take into account too (as I had scoliosis, I had to have chiropractic services to get my back straight, for instance). Here’s an example of me slouching a bit and me with the back straight. Notice how I look more confident on the second picture in terms of body language? Yeah, that’s what we’re aiming for.
5- Learn how to look
As I previously mentioned, looks are one of the main tools that will help you make a picture look interesting. Where you stare and what you’re looking at can make a great difference.
Whenever you hear the shutter click, try to look at different places. Fix a point, an object, a person, the horizon, just make sure it looks like something caught your eye! It will give a very candid feeling to your picture. Do not shy away from the camera either! The camera should be your best friend; look at it as if it was and you will look 10 times more natural.
6- Don’t give a damn
Having photoshoots, especially for Instagram and lifestyle shots, often require posing in the middle of places full of people. People will look at you, be interested, maybe giggle if you do a weird pose or even comment on what you do.
The only thing you want to remember is this: don’t care about them. Think of it as “you’re doing it for the pics”!
Not giving a damn also means to not care about the camera too. Unleash your inner self, be natural and try to think of the camera as a friend. Those are the candid pics that truly represent who you are!
7- Have inspirations
During a shoot, it’s always nice to have a bunch of pictures that illustrate ideas and poses for you to recreate. Watch Youtube videos on how to model, what poses you can make, etc. to inspire yourself. Having images also help the photographer grasp an idea of what you want to have and the whole photo shoot will be a lot better, trust me.
Use Pinterest and Instagram to find pictures of models and interesting poses! It will make your life and the photographer’s job a lot easier! Here are a bunch of pictures I saved from my Instagram feed for inspiration purposes.
8- Practice and practice and practice
Modeling is a skill and every skill must be trained in order to be improved. Don’t think that every model was comfortable in front of the camera since their very first photo shoot!
It’s thousands of hours put into practice that led to the way they are now. Believe it or not, when I looked back at the first times I started modeling, I laughed at myself because of the awkward faces and poses I used to make.
Having mentors and skilled photographers by your side will definitely help you improve since they know how to pose models. I learned a lot from photographers and that knowledge can be applied when you encounter photographers that don’t give any direction and that leave you on your own for the poses.
For everyone who wants to start getting into modeling, the basics of a good foundation are to:
- Learn how to move
- Learn how to convey emotion
- Find your good angle
- Improve your posture
- Learn where and how to look
- Not give a damn
- Find inspiration
- Practice, a lot
Take the time to read this article before going on your first photo shoot if you have no idea about what to expect nor what to do. These basics will help you build a foundation for your modeling experience.
Don’t forget that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your time!
Thank you for reading
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Ryoma Martin, from The Soul’s Garment
At your service