How to Pose: Interview w/ a Professional Model
Hey guys! I wanted to add some helpful content to the site so I thought a cool way of doing that would be to interview a friend I met a few years back. Victoria was in town visiting family and was looking to add some more work to her portfolio as a model. She happened upon my card at the local coffee shop and we setup a time for her session. As soon as I pointed my camera at her I could tell that this girl was the real deal. She knew what she was doing and I had better bring my A game! Since then I've followed her growing career as a legit model. Born in Virginia to missionaries, Victoria moved to India at age 2 for her Father's ministry. She began modeling after graduating high school and since then has traveled the world. From here in North Carolina to New York, Singapore, Thailand, Paris, Milan, and the Philippines. She's shot look books for designers, magazines, and walked multiple runway shows including India's Fashion Week. Oddly enough we discovered that she even has ties back to my home state of Oklahoma. Her Dad went to seminary in Tulsa, Ok. Small world! I asked Victoria if she would mind answering some questions about her career and for tips to share with others who might be nervous about being in front of the camera. We all want to look great in our photos so why not get some tips from a pro! So here we go!
Q: Your parents are missionaries. Were they supportive of your choice in the beginning or did they take some convincing? A: They are very supportive, they are the ones who've pushed me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. Q: Do you have a favorite style of work? I know you did a shoot with an elephant. That had to be pretty amazing! A: Shooting with an elephant was definitely fun, although honestly I was very scared to go closer to it. I just had to put on a brave face. I've also shot with a small green snake, but it was harmless. My favorite type of work is magazine editorials, you get to be creative and also work with creative people who are very good at what they do.
Q: Many people have difficulty knowing what to do with their facial expressions when being photographed. What are some tips you would give to someone preparing for a photo session? Are there some good go to tricks you have as a professional? A: The mirror is your friend. It helps to try practicing in front of the mirror, you get an idea of what looks good when you do certain things, what are your best angles. also when at shoots if you're feeling uncomfortable, try to think happy thoughts or something that makes your laugh, or imagine you're in love. It's all in the head. A trick to get a good laughing/smiling shot is to get everyone on set to laugh along with you, do a count down and laugh, it’s usually after you do a forced laugh that you really laugh and that's the shot.
Q: What about posing? A: Anything that comes naturally will flatter you, trying too hard or even trying to imitate someone will most of the time not look so great in a picture. A way to think of poses is to look at what you're wearing and make use of it, pockets, hoods, sleeves, long dresses. You can hold, pull, tuck, just experiment.
Q: Is it ever difficult for you to relax in front of the camera? What advice would you give to someone who might be nervous at their photo session? A: Oh yes definitely, but I think I've gotten better at it with time. I've learned it's best not to over think, to go with the flow, to know that there are no right or wrong poses. Some poses that look weird in person look amazing in pictures. Even if you feel what you're doing is wrong just keep changing it up, keep moving. Trust me the photographer will only pick the photos that make you look good. Just don't stay stagnant, move around and have fun. Q: Modeling clothes is a huge part of your job. Do you have any suggestions when it comes to styling outfits? A: I think it's always best to stick to clothes that compliment your body type. I personally am not a big fan of over accessorizing or prints or bright colorful outfits. It also depends on the location. You don't want to wear a party dress to a beach. Simple will always be in style.
Q: What's the craziest thing a photographer has asked you to do for a shot?
A: I did a TV commercial where I had to eat fried grasshoppers. I think that's the craziest thing I've done at a shoot and we had to do several retakes. Q: What is the best advice you were given as a new model just starting out?
A: The best advice I was given when I started out was to be very careful with the people I associate with in this industry. There a lot of shady people out there that can influence you to do all the wrong things. But there's also people who are genuine and inspire you to do better.
Q: You've done a lot of traveling for your job. Do you have a favorite country or city?
A: Thailand. Amazing food, beautiful beaches, and the kindest people. Q: What in your opinion makes for a beautiful photo? A: When the person is looking as natural as possible, displaying a certain emotion or feeling, that's beautiful.
Thanks so much Victoria for taking time to answer these questions and sharing your experience! I feel honored to have met and worked with you! Your success is so well deserved! Victoria is currently in Mumbai, India signed with INEGA. But, she will be headed back to the States this summer!
Go check out more of Victoria's current work and be sure to follow her on Instagram!