Craigslist from young girls, posting about how they are inexperienced and hope to find quality photographers there to work with in order to build a portfolio. Some of them even go as far to state that they are looking for a photographer who is good at giving direction and teach them how to pose.
First off, inexperienced or not, don't expect most legit photographers to "teach" you your job. Yes, being inexperienced is one thing and it is understandable that you may not know how to pose the right way but that is why they are called "test shoots."
Most photographers are not experienced in showing models how to pose and the ones who do usually hate doing it. At most they will give you some direction (chin down, head to the side more, etc.) but do not expect to show up to a test shoot, stand there and ask the photographer, "Okay, what do you want me to do?" That never works.
Also, there is some misunderstanding that having a pro portfolio put together on your own will give you a better chance at getting signed to an agency. You don't have to have a portfolio at all if you are trying to get signed. Many aspiring models don't realize that and stress themselves out trying to take a bunch of photos.
Most agents will only ask for snapshots of a headshot, body shot, and 3/4 shot...some will even tell you they don't want professional photos, so don't feel like you have to put together your own book to showcase. If anything, do one or two test shoots with good and reputable photographers so you can get used to being in front of a camera and find out if it's something you really want to do before you commit too much time and energy into it. Chances are that if you do get signed, your agent isn't going to use any of the previous photos you've taken and will set up a photo shoot for you in order to build your portfolio.
There is a way to be inexperienced without looking like you're inexperienced. Modeling is all about coming alive in front of a camera and trying new things. You don't have to copycat every modeling pose you've seen. If a photographer knows you're new, he/she will have some idea about how to make you comfortable enough to get good pictures. Even if the photographer ends up posing you completely, unless you bring your own flavor to the pose and have fun with it, the image will come out looking like it was posed.
This is where practicing in the mirror at home can be a big help. It doesn't matter if you feel stupid but it is important to feel comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror and playing with poses. Once you create a comfort zone, that will come across in your photos. Most photographers will not take kindly to having to "direct" an entire shoot...like I said, it isn't the photographer's job to show you how to do your job.
When networking with a photographer to do a test shoot if you've never taken professional pictures before, be sure to communicate with him/her (please have a parent or guardian over 21 present at any meetings and shoots if you are under 18) and explain why you want to be a model, the type of shots you're looking for and what clothing/outfits you plan to wear. The more prepared the both of you are, the better the chemistry will be when shooting.
For some people, posing and modeling comes naturally. If you're not one of those people, you may run into some problems if you want to pursue this industry. Having confidence and knowing how to play up to the camera is a must when it comes to modeling and you can't be fake about it (unless you're really good at it! haha). Don't let your inexperience make you feel insecure about your abilities but at the same time, don't expect others to teach you what you should already possess knowledge about. Be responsible for yourself and know what you want.
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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.