How to Be a Poser

Not referring to the kind of person who’s always trying to fit in, here. I’m talking about how to compose your body, if you’re a model, in such a way that sells every image you’re in, and gives your audience and potential brand partners something to wow about.

Believe it or not, if your photographer isn’t a fashion photographer (and most photographers are not), then you can’t rely on him or her to direct you in such a way that you’re giving your best in the kinds of photos that do well. It’s time for you to get some body-consciousness, through core strength and imagination.

Core Strength

Don’t want you to get the wrong idea – this isn’t about being skinny or toned. Flip through a Vogue or high fashion magazine editorial, and look at some of the most interesting poses you see models pulling off. No matter how relaxed they may look, inside, their core muscles are working to keep them still, yet engaged and full of life. This goes for models from petite size 0 to plus size 20 and beyond. Having a strong center helps you on location and in studio so that you strike your best poses with energy, while making it look effortless.

The best exercises for building core strength include Pilates, The Bar Method, yoga, and even beginner’s ballet. These exercises also give you better posture for opening up to camera, and ballet especially gives you a solid foundation in how to carry your weight and arrange your body in interesting ways.


Pick out the most outlandish, tragic, out-of-season getup possible straight from your closet. Now, make it fierce. Not everyone can do it. The supermodels of the 90s didn’t get to where they were just because they were good-looking and skinny (although it didn’t hurt). Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Cindy Crawford knew how to work the looks they were given, both on the runway and on set. They understood that it wasn’t about them; it was about what they could do for the outfit, and in turn, the designer.

Back when I dabbled in runway walking, I found myself dressed in plenty of outfits that I absolutely loathed. It was then my duty to find at least one thing about those getups that I liked, and use the best of my physical talent to give me the confidence to get on that catwalk and sell that garment. So it’s your turn. Put on something absurd, that you absolutely hate, and get in front of the mirror or camera and use what you’ve got – arms, legs, face, confidence – to create a fantasy that sells the garment.

While you’re working on your pose game, don’t forget to add a dash of personality: it’s the cherry on top that makes each model unique. You could be one of hundreds of blank-faced models who do the exact same pose that everyone else does, but why be that when you can elevate your body composition abilities to make you stand out, and catch the eye of a potential brand to collaborate with? Use these tips to be the best poser.

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