I now empathize with every new face model, uncomfortably standing for the first time in front a camera and expected to "bring it".
Oh, yeah, sure I've had a lifetime of having my photo taken, from camping it up with friends to updating the professional portrait. But today was different.
Today I was a fashion model. Sort of.
The lovely designers behind the label "Thii" asked to interview me for their upcoming "in conversation with" series on their blog, and take some photos of me wearing their fashions. I was flattered, and knew it would be fun to hang out with them, so I said yes.
My favourite fit!
My favourite design!
I got to choose which pieces I wanted to wear, in my size, and they were so beautiful, and felt so good on! Especially the black Fion Dress. I had done my own make-up and hair (I guess I had it professionally done, lol), and should have felt like a proper model by now... but...
When they began taking the photos I realized that I was self-conscious and unsure how to proceed. Me. Who has art directed more models than I care to list! I smiled nervously, did my "pose for a nice photo" face, but what was holding me back from cranking out those fashion poses I want from MY models?
I think I then understood what maybe many new models or "new to modelling" people experience. Perhaps they simply don't want to appear foolish, to look silly by doing "real" fashion posing. I know I didn't want to look like some non-model thinking she's hot. But the thing is, to make the photos work, you do have to "bring it", by which I mean, pose. Be involved. Commit.
It's like acting, the character isn't really you, but for this moment, you need to really be the character. Otherwise no-one is going to buy it.
So I tried. I tried to remember everything every new (or experienced) model has taught me, everything every photographer I have worked with (including me) has helped new models with... hand placement, legs, where the eyes are looking, expression, being open to trying kooky poses. And it is a lot to keep track of, and still try to make it "natural".
In the end it was actually fun once I stopped trying to be me (you know, the non-model), and allowed myself to actually pose. Of course, in the photos I will still be me... short, a little plump, 50 years old... but I will be a confident and beautiful me because I let go of a few fears.