There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Don't Be Afraid to Smile!

One trait that is very essential for a model to master is how to adapt to change. When it comes to your comfort zone, each model is different. Maybe you're used to looking "fierce," which means that cheesy smiles aren't common in your images.

Or maybe you're so used to doing the cheesy smiles for commercial/print work and you're not used to exuding a sexy aura. No matter what area of expertise you have become used to, it is always better to learn how to do a variety of looks when it comes to your facial expressions.

It's easy for aspiring models to learn how to do the sexy pout because it's all they see in the Victoria's Secret commercials and ads. Although in my opinion, they mostly look like fish faces--girls, leave those "Myspace" type of fish lips on Myspace and out of your modeling images!

Blank, serious and often severe faces high-stepping it during fashion shows are very common in that part of the industry, so many aspiring models who want to find fame in fashion spend hours mastering that "fierce" look. But you know what? As fierce and sexy as Kate Moss made "the serious face," when she does commercials, she has to completely switch it up and smile until her cheeks hurt.

And it totally works for her. Even if she hated smiling in front of a camera, that is what she is paid to do so she has to deliver on the right expression and attitude every time. That comes with the territory. Do not think that the modeling industry will bend over backwards to accommodate your tastes and what you want to do.

No model should get too comfortable with just one facial expression. Versatility works in any model's favor in the long run. If you enjoy looking sexy, that's great but if you happen to get booked for a tv commercial, or are representing a product that isn't looking for a sex kitten, you'll greatly benefit from knowing how to go from seductive to spunky at the drop of a hat.

And when I say smile, that doesn't mean give the camera the fakest, goofiest smile! The camera will capture it. For commercial models, it's pretty easy to make the transition from cheesy to sexy...it sometimes isn't so easy the other way around.

Models who are so used to portraying the serious, fashion/editorial facial expressions sometimes have difficulty showing off a genuine, fun smile in a photo. If you're the type of model who doesn't smile very often, it would be in your best interest to start practicing.

I've said before that the most successful models are the ones who cross over into other modeling fields, including television work and spokesmodeling. Being able to go from fashion to commercial/print gigs will require a shift in poses, attitude and expression. That doesn't mean you'll get stuck as a commercial/print model and be banned from the catwalk...but what fashion model would turn down a commercial/print gig for a company like GAP for example?

Money is money and there are many fashion models who gladly jump at the chance to be a happy and smiling model instead of the typical "I'm so serious posing on a beach next to this half-naked guy...I'm so sexy and hot" look. LOL.

Having trouble giving a sincere and genuine smile during a shoot? Practice, practice, practice! Get in front of a mirror and start playing around with different smiles. Try sexy smirks, playful grins, a full-on smile or a half-hearted one. Get one or two that you are comfortable with and can do on the spot. While out on the shoot, if you're having trouble...laugh. Seriously!

As you're standing in front of the camera, think of something completely ridiculous and off the wall and just start laughing...even a fake laugh will get you warmed up. Trust me, you'll feel like a dork doing it but if the photographer is really good, he/she will capture that perfect moment where your real smile and personality show through the photo. For a little flavor, throw your head back and laugh, then look off to the side and laugh and then look straight at the camera and laugh.

Don't take this literally...I don't mean throw your head back, laugh, stop, turn your head to the side, laugh, stop, face the camera, laugh. Your movements shouldn't be robotic. Trying throwing your head back, looking off to the side and looking at the camera in one smooth and graceful motion, all the while laughing to yourself or out loud.

What works for me is to start laughing almost to myself, kind of like a giggle. Other times I'll throw my head back and start laughing (but not a loud, over the top laugh that would be distracting) and then I would turn and make eye contact with the camera and pretend the camera is my best friend or boyfriend and they've just caught me doing something embarrassing. That smile always works best for me.

While it's a main goal of most models to master the technique of the sexy facial expression, there's nothing wrong with knowing how to smile as well. Being sexy is all well and good, but it's always more alluring to see a model who knows how to show off a killer smile. Anyone can fake sexy...you can't fake a genuine smile.

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