Practice before you shoot a Modeling Portfolio. How to get great model poses for photo shoots

I have had quite a few people ask me why I do practice sessions and what I try to accomplish. I do it to be sure that I can get great model poses for photo shoots. Most of the images that you see on my web site are first or second photo shoots for the models involved. Girls come to me to help get their careers started so I am working with them in the early stages of their modeling careers. Over a period of about 2 hours we will shoot a few of the actual outfits she intends to wear during her portfolio shoot and we work on techniques for facial expressions and posing. That’s it. The practice session is structured to work on facial expressions, posing techniques, and to review the models’ outfits.

Now if you’ve read my articles, you know that I’m a fan of controlled candids when it comes to posting, especially for glamor shots. To get the finished look, you need a makeup artist and a hair stylist. Don’t think that you’ll get consistently good work without one.

So there you have it. I think the images speak for themselves. Practice makes perfect. Find yourself a good hair and makeup artist. In the meantime, keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to suck.

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ClayClaim says:

Like this video, job well done!!! You have earned a new subscriber 🙂

Bruno Rodríguez says:

I though you did all of you lighting with flourecent tubes. You use flash for fill or only with gel to give some color?

Cyrus V says:

Hey Joe,
i was checking out your site and was wondering what lenses do you use for photos such as the ones in the site’s “beauty” category. In general, do you use the d700 for that kind of work? Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

Sofia KM says:

I am only 13 and I am very short. (4’11”) I am getting braces in 2 months and I have never modeled but I want to. What do u suggest?

Placement9 says:

Your video compilation is OUTSTANDING!

Joe Edelman says:

Thank you! It is NOT a photoshop thing – it’s all in camera. The background is a black paper seamless. There is a strobe with red gell aimed at the background and a second strobe with red gel on camera left and slightly behind the model – aimed at her.

Rochells Love says:

Hello im 20 years old and would like to model how could I work with you to get started!

Mohummed Saleem says:

AMAZING,,, I not embarrassed to say “I’m actually learning”. THANKS

abodd wardak says:

2:12 when your mom walks in and you try to explain its a photog tutorial video

AndreAgonia says:

The before/after at 3:02/3:05 is incredible! Wish I could edit a studio photo like that

Moeen Akber says:

nice tips

watussix says:

hey Bro, love the final message dont be afraid to suck..keep shooting..excellent..much respect


Respected Joe, i want to shoot a modeling portfolio but i dont have any practice for it .I am just a beginner can you please help.Please provide me with some details so i can contact you!

Joe Edelman says:

Contact me via my website

Joe Edelman says:

Correct – it is simply the PS Lens Flare filter – dialed way back. Thanks for watching!

lislo101 says:

……Dont be Afraid to Suck…well thanks….good encouragement xD

Elizabeth Caitlin says:

Im 15 (nearly 16) and my nan has apparently booked me a weekend away for modelling, but im only 5″4 so i dont know if there are any jobs out there or anything for me and i dont want it to be a waste of hard work. also i have NO confidence at all when it comes to standing infront of people and posing etc, do u have any ideas on what i should do?

Joe Edelman says:

Well, for starters Sabrina.. I would encourage you to visit my website – it is linked in the info section. Read ALL of the articles in the Business of Modeling section of the website and if you have additional questions – follow the directions on the web site to schedule a consultation with me.

cizcalodiablopanzon says:

you really motivate me! Thanks Joe. I’ve been watching all your videos since yesterday.
now i am not afraid to suck, and i keep shooting. practice will make it perfect

Joe Edelman says:

P O S E is a four letter word. You POSE people for portraits and say hold it. That is not what people are about – humans MOVE naturally. A photographers task is to learn to anticipate movement – react to it and record it.

If you are used to POSEing people – I would encourage you to try NOT posing them and encouraging them to move. You will be surprised at the results you can obtain with a little practice.

Kim Neely Scheppegrell says:

As a makeup aritst…I would love for you to make a video explaining your take as a photographer on makeup and hair looks for headshots, glamour, fashion, beauty, and commercial.  

Joe Edelman says:

Indeed Haleh – different photographers will have different preferences. A good model is capable of moving. The word pose is often mis-used and makes people think that they should hold perfectly still. This will often lead to stiff and boring body language. Natural movement will always look more natural than a pose. Best of luck with your new agency!

a. göbel says:

edelman => in german the meaning of “edel man ” is =
noble, precious, high-born ;-))
exactly , this comes to my mind , when i see your tutorials.
simply great – thanks !

Joe Edelman says:

Generally I use a 70-200mm zoom in the studio. Most of the time it is probably set between 105mm and 150mm. I did use the d700’s which I loved – but at this point I am shooting with d800’s since they double so well as video production cameras.

Joe Edelman says:

Don’t ever let someone tell you what you should weigh. Weight is a deceiving number – a person who is athletic and muscular will weigh more than a person of the same height who is not. At 5’9″ tall you should be wearing a size 0 or 2 if you wish to do fashion modeling. That is going to put you anywhere from 110lbs to 130lbs depending on your build. If you contact me via my website you can schedule a consultation with me and I can review your photos and give you a more definitive answer.

Maria Eugenia Caba says:

Hello Joe, I’m a model from Bolivia. I have 22 years old and more than 10 years experience. Is there any chance I could work with you?

Joe Edelman says:

WAIT – BE PATIENT. I know those are two difficult things when you are 13 years old and ready to take on the world, but at 4’11” you will have a tough time getting work (Hopefully you have some growing to do) Besides… there is very little work for 13yr olds. Also your braces are definitely going to be an issue. So be patient – when you get closer to 18 – that is when you should look into modeling. In the meanwhile – maybe consider some acting classes.

Sabrina Tobias says:

Hi all My life I always wanted to be a model and someday a singer I love your work it really speaks for it’s self. I am 5″8 tall and I am 20 years old what do you suggest ?

abhay singh says:

how you get new poses everytime can u tell me please as i am using canon 60d i am beginner

Joe Edelman says:

First thing to do.. don’t go! I guarantee you that any agency that let you fill out an application at a shopping mall is going to try to sell you classes and photography… in other words… take your money. Based upon your profile photo – I am guessing you are a teenager who is under the age of 18. Unless you are already 5’10” and live in New York City, there is very little work available for you – so the money you would spend on these classes and photos will be a waste.

Joe Edelman says:

You are very welcome and Thank YOU for the kind words. I am glad that you find the material helpful. Much more to come… in the meanwhile – keep shooting!

Eduarda Costa says:

Hi Joe I’m 11 and I would LOVE to model…everybody says I can even my parents but they always turn me down when I ask about modeling…I have been scouted 3 times but my parents always refuse please help!!

Peizxcv says:

Some of the movements between pose are kinda weird but the end result is there. I guess I am not used to see people posing.

I think you have very good reflexes as you managed to capture pose while the model is constantly moving.

M M.F says:

“Don’t be afraid to suck” it!

goldfish1871 says:

OMGOODNESS, please have that makeup artist put a makeup tutorial for the model’s look during 1:27-1:52!

also, this is a nice overview of how to practice modeling

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