Most people assume that being pretty makes you a good model. This idea couldn't be more wrong! Being a good model means a lot of things including the understanding that you are the canvas. It also takes years for models to get the recognition they have worked for.
Wikipedia's definition for model (person): A model is a person with a role either to promote, display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing in fashion shows), or to serve as a visual aid for people who are creating works of art or to pose for photography.
Curiosity got me thinking about the perspectives of Photographers and Models. What attributes they consider a good model. So, I decided to ask the professionals on this one ;) Here is what I was given.
- Being a good actor/actress, selling a story without a pose - You don't have to use complex poses to create a good photo! A well composed face that encompasses an emotion will create a great photograph. Practicing different facial expressions in the mirror helps make it easier to pose the face during a shoot or set. Finding a story behind the persona or character that you are portraying is key to developing facial expressions.
- Facial and eye expressions - Again practicing different facial expressions in the mirror helps make it easier to pose the face during a shoot or set. No need to say that twice!
- Confidence! - This is a lot harder to achieve than just saying it. Confidence comes from allowing yourself to be who you want to be. Not limiting yourself to what others may think or feel about you. This is the way you look and this is the way you feel right now. Love that about yourself and the confidence will show on camera.
- A wide variety of experience, daring attitude and brings other talents into their work - Having a wide variety in your portfolio is more likely to land you bigger gigs. Learning basic hair and makeup can also make you more marketable as a model. Just by trying on different hats and getting out of your comfort zone can create more growth in your career.
- Fluid posing! - Now this is something that takes time to obtain. Moving from one pose to a variation of the previous pose should be free flowing but not straining. My recommendation to models is to stretch your body out before you start shooting so that your body is warmed up for full body movement. This allows you to move more fluidly and also not tire your body out too quickly.
- Dedicated to their passion - This goes without saying for all professions. If you're not passionate about what you're doing then you won't go very far. Modeling can be a hobby for some but for most it is a highly dedicated career. Taking your work seriously will ultimately allow you to go as far as you want to take it.
- An open mind - This one could easily go alongside a wide variety of experience. Having an open mind can open many doors for you. Especially when you get the chance to work with other creatives who also posses an open mind. Perhaps both of you create even more beautiful work because you stay open to new ideas.
- Professional attitude - Pretty self explanatory here! Showing up on time, hair and makeup ready with wardrobe to put together into outfits will impress anyone you work with. It will also create a well respected reputation in the industry. And that never hurts your career!
I thought all of these were quite valid in terms of what makes a model good at what they do. There were a handful of other comments but these were the best of the bunch. I found it interesting that both photographers and models were making these comments. There is a lot of negativity in the creative industry, not that there isn’t positivity too but harsher criticism for sure. I honestly felt that the reaction I was getting from others was very much positive. I really had thought that maybe there would be a couple people who wouldn’t take it seriously at all and poke fun. There’s a warm feeling that goes along with moments like these. I think it’s one that doesn’t come as often as many think, coming together as one. The feeling of hope.
Hopefully, this list above helps aid you in your search for talented models to work with.