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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Relax! Ways to Get More Comfortable While Modeling During Shoots"

This blog post was inspired by Kat's question:

hi Dania what tips do you have for getting comfortable in front of the camera. I had my 1st test shoot yesterday and it went well but I was nervous the whole time. I want advise on what I can do to relax and get better pictures.

(The tips shared in this post are better suited for situations where a new/semi-experienced model is doing a test shoot with a photographer and/or updating their portfolios in order to gain more experience.)

Being in front of a camera comes naturally for some models while it may take some getting used to for others. It's totally normal to be nervous during photoshoots but with time and more experience, posing for a photographer's camera will feel like second nature. Of course many of you newbies may not want to wait that long. If you're concerned about how to relax and feel more comfortable during photoshoots, there are a few things you can try out:


You'd be surprised by how something as simple as taking deep breaths can help you still any nerves while modeling. There have been times when I've been on shoots and realized I was holding my breath the entire time, lol (it's really something you end up not being aware of doing until you literally focus on it). Even now when I attend go sees or do shoots, I make it a point to remind myself to take a couple of deep breaths and relax my body.

Have Music Playing

Nothing is more awkward than posing in silence. Don't be afraid to ask the photographer if he/she has any music to play during the shoot. It's not a radio station and they're not the DJ so don't be super picky and start making requests for certain songs, however.

If they happen to ask you if there is anything in particular you like to listen to, then you can let them know your preference. Pandora is a great feature to use during shoots since you don't have to worry about changing tracks or anything. Music is ideal for setting a good tone for how you'll be posing, as well as give you something to focus on instead of your nervousness.

Talk to the Photographer

By this, I don't mean hold a conversation while the photographer is shooting you the entire time. When I work with a new photographer, I typically get to know him/her before we start shooting by having small talk while we're setting up. I like to ask them how they got into photography, what their favorite shoots have been, etc. And they'll usually ask me questions about myself.

Getting to know a bit about the person you're working with tends to remove the intimidation factor. Once I see that the photographer is regular person like myself, it's less intimidating once they pick up the camera and point it at me.

Dance/Shake It Out

Nervousness tends to make our muscles really stiff/tense and I find that a fun way to get my muscles to relax is to dance to whatever music is playing during the shoot. Some of my modeling students I teach one-on-one are on the younger side (10, 11, etc.) and I've since learned through my teaching methods that having them "shake it out" by literally wiggling, jumping around and flexing their fingers and toes, helps them calm down if they start to get nervous or can't concentrate.

And it works for adults, too! It sounds silly and you'll feel silly doing it but afterwards you'll also notice that you're not as tense as you were before. I would recommend doing this in between the photographer shooting of course, lol.

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