Having Great Photos Taken

Dreaming of becoming a model? Here are some modelling tips to have you posing for photographs like a pro.

Photos – we love them, and we hate them. Our love-hate relationship with photos of ourselves stems from those shots where the shutter snaps, you’re convinced that you’ve immortalised that stunning moment forever, and you look at the result only to realise you look, well, less-than-stunning. To help you show the camera your best side, we’ve provided the following modelling tips below.

Determining Why You Look Good (Or Bad) In Pictures

During our model courses, we advise our students to regularly study photos of themselves and ask questions like:

We encourage our model course participants to use social media as a model training tool. Study the photos of celebrities that are posted on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and use these platforms as free model training to explore why and how other people look their best (or worst!).

Chances are, you will most likely observe the following:

1. Let There Be Light

Any good modelling school will tell you that lighting is tr’s important in good pictures, so you should definitely make it work in your favour. Move around the room to find good lighting, or if using artificial lighting, try moving it behind you, above you, and in front of you to determine the best placement. Keep in mind that lamps, streetlights, windows and doorways can be remarkable lighting alternatives in the absence of a flash.

Find a light source (natural or artificial) that shines on your face to create an even glow across from your forehead to your chin. Lighting that comes across from the side of your face can cast unflattering shadows, while overly bright lights can advertise wrinkles and trouble spots you want to conceal.

2. Positions, Positions, Positions!

Our professional modelling course offers training in a range of modelling skills including catwalk lessons/runway training, television auditions, and photographic posing techniques. During posing lessons, we tell our model course students that the best tip to remember about looking great in front of the camera is as follows: it’s all about “tactical posing”, aka the tactics in posing in front of the camera. Here are a few suggestions to help you perfect your pose:

Head and shoulders

When you look at the camera, don’t look straight at the camera. Look slightly above or slightly below. Push your shoulders down to elongate the neck, as this simulates height and poise. Next, tilt your chin up slightly to reduce the likelihood of a double chin. It might feel odd and unnatural, but it will help you look great.

elongated neck

Position your body correctly

Get rid of having straight, limp arms and stiff legs – we are, after all, jointed for a reason, so try bending them to bring them to life. Our posing and runway classes help student models with “basic cheats” that can make a world of difference, such as separating your limbs from your body.

Bend your arms and hold them slightly away from your body to prevent them from being squashed against your body. This is a great optical illusion for slimmer arms that even 100 triceps dips won’t get you! Place your hands on your hips and roll your shoulder back. Put one leg in front and place your weight in the back leg, or try crossing your legs at the ankles. Also remember to stand tall, as good posture has a lengthening effect that will make you appear taller and leaner.

thin arrm pose

Angle your body to the camera

During modelling lessons, our students practice turning one shoulder 45 degrees away from the camera whilst angling their face towards it instead of taking a photo full on. This pose gives a slimming effect and creates angles that look better in a photo

Generally, whatever is closest to the camera lens always looks the biggest. If you don’t want to emphasise certain parts of your body, make sure to angle them away from the camera.

Remember, pose to flatter your body, but also make sure to stay natural. Don’t try to bend your body into uncomfortable or awkward poses.



A fake smile looks strained and doesn’t meet your eyes. However, when you give your most natural smile, your eyes will crinkle just that little bit, giving you that perfect Smize (a smile with your eyes – thank you, Tyra Banks!).

Shouting “Cheese” is so passé these days, as it also usually conjures an artificial smile. To achieve your best natural smile, you need to feel emotionally positive. Think of a happy memory or something that makes you laugh. Photographers at our Melbourne modelling school have been known to throw out an unexpected word that will elicit a genuine laugh. Some are also known to engage you in a conversation so your expression won’t appear as rigid.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice posing in front of a mirror or a camera. Regardless of how many modelling classes you’ve attended, like a dance choreography, the best way to find out your best angle or smile is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. This helps you identify what positions you look best in and whether your right or left side looks the best. Even Derek Zoolander had to practice.

You should also take a lot of photos! One of the best ways to get that great shot is to take more than one. During model courses or photoshoots, models go through numerous frames before getting that one perfect picture. The more pictures you take, the better your chances are of getting that great shot.

5. Be Confident.

Make sure you feel proud of who you are. You are unique and have great features. Focus on that instead of any faults you think you have. Being happy and confident allows you to pose and smile more naturally – and that can make a world of difference.

Do You Want More Information on Our Modelling School?

For more information on our highly-regarded modelling course, or any of the other runway classes and catwalk lessons on offer, please visit www.sjaustralia.com.au or call us on (03) 9654 0999 to speak with one of our friendly consultants.

Stay tuned for the upcoming Part 2 of our Modelling Tips for great photos, where we will discuss the best hair, makeup and clothes for great photos.

Good luck!

“We can’t make you beautiful… because you already are! Enjoy!”