If I had to choose the most important aspect of a great modeling photo shoot (within the model’s control), it would be the face.
When in front of the camera, it’s all about the “face dance.” There are many things you can do with your face when modeling.
Each model has her (or his) own obstacles to face. There is never one set way on how to model or, in this case, create different expressions in your face. But I can start you off with what works for me.
During my first modeling photo shoot with Leo Lam, I was told to exhale with my mouth slightly open. I didn’t know that doing so would show my teeth so much and now I’ve learned how to leave a gap between my lips while hiding my teeth at the same time. (The secret? I VERY slightly jut out my jaw and touch my teeth together. My lips shade over my teeth and there is still a gap there.) This gap is seen in a lot of photos and is very “model-y.” I would call this one of the standard poses with your lips.
The possibilities? Endless. Seriously. You can smile and show your pearly whites. You can smile with your mouth closed (for a more gentle look). You can give a devious half-smile. The slightest lift of the mouth can be the difference between a wild stare and a mischievous grin. A tiny squint of the eyes changes the story from bland to intense and dramatic. This is what it takes to make a mask of emotion believable.
This is where Tyra Bank’s famous term “smize” comes in. Smizing, smiling with your eyes, gives an intensity and life to a photo. If you aren’t doing anything with your eyes, the photo is going to lack luster. For me, smizing consists of slightly squinting my eyes, to make my eyes smile. You only need to smize if you’re not already smiling. If you’re smiling, your face automatically lifts and becomes livelier.
Here is a very helpful video on smizing from ANTM:
To perfect the face dance, the many poses you must know how to do with solely your face, practice in the mirror a lot! If you’re putting on makeup, try smizing. If you’re just in front of a mirror in passing, practice posing with your face.
Thanks for reading,