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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Top 3 Ways to Direct a Model to Pose for a Photo Shoot

A common situation that a photographer is confronted with quite often is the proper way a model should be directed, in order to follow your directions. There is a fine line between guiding the model politely and being too intrusive to get your message through. As a general rule you should never touch a model without asking permission to do so.

Antoinette Nikprelaj
Working with a number of different models, I have found various effective ways in order to get the models follow my directions with ease. Below I have outlined three different ways, that I am sure you will find them beneficial.


I cannot stress enough the fact, that for a successful photo shoot planning should be done well in advance. Upon discussing with your model issues such as clothing and location, you should advice your model to do some homework. Tell your model to buy some fashion magazines and pick any poses that she likes. Before meeting for the actual photo shoot, inform her to bring along some of the picture cuttings, in order for you to understand what style and type of poses she is eager to do.


Another way that has proven to be very effective is to ask the model to bring along a female friend. This can turn out to be very helpful when you simply cannot get the right pose from your model. You can politely ask her friend to move your model around in the way you want. This way, through her friend, you would have a pair of 'virtual' manipulative hands. You can have a female assistant to support you instead of a friend, but needless to say, this would incur more costs for the model. Also, there is no guarantee that the model would feel comfortable with this set up.

Body Language

When the spoken word has no effect, resolve in using your body language. This is very effective. Through your body, you can direct the model by showing her how much to tilt forward, turn, bend or move. Due to various reasons, this is not always practical. This is due to the size and flexibility of the photographer and the complexity of the pose. In such circumstances some pre set hand signs can work wonders. Agree on what signs mean what before you start the session. You will be amazed on how much work can be done without uttering a single word at times!

A word of advice

Most of the time, a model would find no objection in letting the photographer guide her physically, by prudently touching and directing her. Obviously this is to the model's discretion. On your part as a photographer you should respect your model and work in a professional way. As you go along, your reputation as a photographer will precede you. Having a sound and trustworthy reputation would make your interactions with future models less of a head ache both for you and the models.

Also, one must keep in mind that It is imperative that you built up your expertise and know how in directing models to pose. A photo shoot can run smoother and be more productive if you possess the right skills to pose models successfully.

Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1  by Malcolm Boone is a unique and practical tool which will guide you step by step, in mastering the art of posing a model.  I strongly suggest that you give it a thorough look.  It is definitely worth the money!

Author: Michael Abela

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