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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Model Poses Interview with Jamie Womach

1. Are there basic poses you expect from models? What are they?

There are no poses in particular that I expect while I am working on set with a model, but I do expect a certain level of confidence. If a model doesn't have confidence in themselves and their ability to move, it turns into a modeling lesson from the photographer. I end up spending my time focusing too much on what the model is and should be doing instead of on the shot I am trying to get. A good shoot would be a type of ebb and flow between the model and photographer. She or he gives a little, and I give a little. Everyone's creative input, including input from the model, is welcomed on my set.

2. Are there things models should avoid doing when it comes to posing for the camera?

It's good for a model to know a little bit about what the photographer sees and just be conscious of what their body and face is doing. There are certain things photographers know that models don't learn from their agency. Foreshortening, or shortening in a 2-dimensional space of limbs at certain angles, is an example of that.

3. If a model is inexperienced, what is your advice for them when it comes to striking good poses for the photographer?

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginner models make is forgetting about modeling with their face. They don't realize you can't just let your body poses do the work. The face is one of the strongest assets a model can use on set, and just like they should practice posing they should also practice expressions in front of the mirror. Grab a magazine and copy the expressions in the photos in a mirror. Giving different, subtle expressions adds so much more to a photo, and there are more expressions than smiling and not smiling. There are so many muscles in the face that can show so many different emotions, and it's extremely useful if you want to stand out against other models around you.

4. What do you think of these photography posing tips? Agree/disagree? What would be your own tips?

Tips for posing and planning are always good for beginners, but don't carve anything into your stone tablet. If you work off a specific list of items for every shoot, you will end up creating constraints and limiting yourself. It's better used like formal education, it is a fantastic way to learn and should be used as a good solid base for learning more out in the real world.

5. How do you help give direction to models on the set? How do you pull different poses from different models and make sure the poses you're getting aren't looking the same from every shoot?

One way that I don't get the same poses from models on each shoot is by not giving too much direction. As I said earlier, I love to use the experience and the creativity a model brings to the set. The only type of direction I like to give to the model is in extremely small increments, maybe moving a hand or a small tilt of a head. This way I am getting something amazing and unique from each model, and it is my job to make it work within my frame.

6. Any other tips and tricks you've learned from personal experience being a photographer and working with models, on posing and poses in general that work or don't work.

Hands and ears are something that I personally am very sensitive about. Those are two body parts that can be extremely distracting when looking at a photograph, so I make sure to slim them up or dull them down by covering them up a bit. Every photographer will have their particulars though, and it's good to know those things before shooting.

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