I have been modelling on and off for some years now and over time I have learned some pretty interesting tips from Photographers and other models. I started modelling when we still used film, which feels ridiculously long ago.

I was spoiled when I worked with professional photographers because I hardly had to think for myself. I always got the subject matter and then some direction from the photographer. Early mornings and long days, a dry mouth from smiling too much, bad skin from too much make up and clients who are just never satisfied with the facial expression.

Here are some tips from what I have learned over the years. If you implement just a few of them it will make a big difference to your photos . Most important is to remember to have fun and to love yourself the way you are ! If you don’t have confidence fake it.

Full body shots

Look at the images below :

Image on the left I stand with straight arms next to my body and look tense and uncomfortable. Image on the right I move my limbs apart, use my body, play a bit with the material of the dress and play with my hair. I also bring my leg forward so to separate my limbs. I look much more relaxed and the photo is instantly more interesting.

Tip for this photo is because I am not wearing heels in this image to make my legs look a bit better I place my leg forward and on a tip toe. This gives the illusion that I have longer, leaner legs. I also pop my hip out to create a flattering silhouette. This works particularly well with bikini shoots.

In the images above on the left I am standing with my limbs all tight together and my posture is really bad. On the right I open up my body, separate my limbs, pull my shoulders back and engage my core. Again much more alive and confident.

In these images I am doing something that looks really awkward in photos. Hiding my limbs and body parts. Sometimes we think these poses look cute or coy, but when we see the photos it looks like I am missing half a leg in image on the left and in image on the right I am missing an arm and some fingers. By placing my hands halfway in my pockets it looks awkward. Btw. when you put your hands in your pockets just put them in a little and don’t press too hard. That looks too forced and pulls your clothes.

Use your environment. Look what is around you and use it as props . Maybe there are chairs like in the pic’s above. Or a tree or some steps, or whatever… you get the idea.

Head shots

Don’t purse your lips. It looks forced and unnatural. Rather open your mouth slightly. This looks more relaxed and somewhat luscious too. Another tip for head shots is to look straight into the camera’s lens. Not at the photographer but into the camera lens. If you let your chin drop a little and tilt your head slightly forward it is a flattering angle for your profile. Find out which side is your “good” side. Usually left is. Pose in front of the mirror or take selfies practicing your “look.” Everyone has one and you will notice celebs and models have theirs down to a T.

FAKE LAUGH – want to get out that perfectly smiling picture without looking like you trying too hard? Fake laugh. Start out by laughing like something is hilarious and get the photographer to start snapping away.

RANDOM TIPS: Clean hair, clean nails, clean shoes. Make sure there is not a pole or an electric plug or something odd behind you that looks like it is growing out of your head. Usually the photographer should notice this, but often they don’t. Make sure your zipper is up. Don’t lift your head too high or too low. I often make this stupid mistake. Continuously change positions. Move your limbs. Move your body. Keep moving while the photographer is snapping away. The key to one brilliant shot is another 99 not so brilliant shots.

photos by Udo Solberger

This was for a workshop for the Zurich Influencers workshop program.