Dos and Don'ts for Posing
DO: Use magazines for inspiration when learning to pose.
DON'T: Simply copy magazine poses for all your shoots. Originality is also important.
DO: Refer to the right kind of publications that reflect the type of modeling you do (fashion magazines for fashion/runway poses: Elle, W, Glamour, Vogue. Catalogs for commercial/print poses: Macy's, Nordstroms, Target, JC Penny's. Teen publications: Teen Vogue, Limited Too, Teen People).
DON'T: Feel like you need to master every single pose you've ever seen.
DO: Practice posing in front of a mirror to be comfortable with your body and learn what feels natural.
DON'T: Think that practicing in front of a mirror is lame, amateurish or unnecessary. Doing this simple exercise can help you greatly.
DO: Learn how to experiment. Even if you think the pose won't look good, try it out anyway and find out for yourself.
DON'T: Be rigid and uncomfortable--it will show on camera.
DO: Learn how to be completely at home in front of the camera.
DON'T: Fake it (unless you're REALLY good).
DO: Practice facial expressions in front of the mirror in addition to posing your body.
DON'T: Only learn the Victoria's Secret pout--there is more to modeling than that tired old expression.
DO: Pay attention to your hands, fingers, feet and toes when posing. Doing weird stuff with them can ruin an otherwise great pose.
DON'T: Tilt your head too much to the side (it can make you look like your neck is broken or catch an unpleasant "up your nose" shot).
DO: Learn how to pose in a studio as well as outdoors.
DON'T: Only learn how to pose standing up. It is important to know how to pose while sitting down, crouching, runnning, jumping, walking, lying down, etc.
DO: Practice posing with another model or looking at magazines to get inspiration for how to interact with one or more models.
DON'T: Assume you will never be asked to model with another person.
DO: Learn how to interact and pose with a model of the opposite sex.
DON'T: Go overboard with posing or feel you need to do a completely different pose every time the camera takes a picture. Many times simple changes to existing poses is more than enough.
DO: Learn how to extend your neck when appropriate to prevent it from looking short and stumpy. Also learn how to create nice lines using your arms and legs.
DON'T: Do poses that make you look short, stubby, or appear that you're missing limbs. Be aware of your appendages when you do a pose that involves being seated or call for you to crouch.
DO: Work with your photographer to create the appropriate poses for each modeling gig.
DON'T: Expect the photographer to tell you how to pose or direct you for every single shot. It is up to you to create that flow. The photographer will assist you when needed but don't expect them to show you how to do your job.
DO: Learn how to do and hold difficult poses. With practice you'll be able to pose in an unnatural way but make it come across as natural in front of the camera.
DON'T: Do stupid Myspace poses or poses that you'd do if you and your friends were clowning around with a camera. If you're going to be a model then you'll have to pose like one (but that doesn't mean you can't have fun).
DO: Have fun with your poses. Don't be afraid to laugh, smile, or act goofy (within reason and when appropriate) in front of the camera.
DON'T: Think you have it all figured out. When it comes to posing, chances are you're going to have to practice.