Whether you are a beginner to this whole modeling thing, or a fully established model, practice only makes you better. Just as Kobe Bryant continues to practice, as Tiger Woods continues to practice, as Derek Jeter continues to practice, so must you. But what can a model practice? Well actually, a lot.
Models need to look as natural, comfortable, and as confident as humanly possible in front of the camera. This is how they get repeat clients, by impressing them with their professionalism and confidence; and the only way to be confident, is to be prepared. Say you are about to give a major speech in front of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people on a topic that you know little about.
I imagine the anxiety building up in you right now and you feel like hiding in your bedroom for 2 weeks. You would have a lot of pressure on you to perform well and this scares a lot of people. But now imagine that you were asked to speak on a subject that you were an expert on; something that you do very well and love to do. Though you still might be a little hesitant and frightened, you could handle this much better than the first scenario. That is because you would be much more prepared and confident.
Do you think Kobe Bryant wants to hide in his bedroom when his team needs two points and there is only 2 seconds left on the clock? Unlikely. Kobe wants nothing more than to take the shot and that is because he has prepared for it. He has practiced this shot. He imagines how he is going to do it and what he will do after he makes it. You must be this way too. You must practice your poses, facial angles, and smile so that when the spotlight lands on you, you know exactly how you are going to perform.
Facial angles are something that all models know and understand. It is the angle that a model will automatically shift to when photographed because they feel this is how they look their best. Women do this all the time. They stand a certain way and smile a certain way because they know their best facial angle. Personally, my best angle is slightly off center to the right. You might laugh at this, but if given the option, I will take every photograph at this angle because I seem to photograph better this way.
Your job is to find your angle. Maybe you already know your angle. But if you do not, spend some time in the mirror and find it. Smile, frown, and stare. What angles makes you look your sharpest? This is your optimal facial angle. This is important to know so that when you are on set for a photo shoot you can automatically give the photographer great shots to work with, adding to your good reputation.
But simply looking beautiful and handsome is not enough when it comes to modeling. One must also appear confident and natural in front of the camera from head to toe and this can be done by practicing poses. Pick up a couple of fashion magazines and check out the models inside. Study the way they stand, appear to move, their body language, what they do with their hands. This is all a part of the image they create. A good model will work on these so that when the time comes, they can deliver great shots on cue.
The idea is to always be photo ready; to be prepared and appear confidently natural in your photo shoots. This will only make you appear as though you have years of experience, even if you do not. And while you’re practicing you facial angles and poses, remember to practice your smile.
Practice, practice, practice. Just as athletes practice their trade every day, you should be practicing yours. Not to say that you need to practice every day, but you do need to be prepared. You will only better your chances of looking great and finding repeat work if you do your homework and practice. Nobody wants to go into any situation unprepared.
They will likely look foolish and amateurish. Practice your facial angles and know what angles do you justice. Practice your poses so you can look as natural, confident, and professional as humanly possible (this will significantly help your chances of getting jobs and going further in the business), and practice that smile. Nothing wins a client and photographer over better than a great smile.
“It’s only pressure if you don’t know what you are doing” – Jonah Taylor