How To Get Models To Look Natural In Images

Cover image and valuable insights from PICHA’s talented in-house photographer, Kat Grudko.

Posing Guides

One of the quickest ways to level up your game would be to look for posing guides. Many photographers post these online and they are often freely available. These can be very helpful.

Take The Time

The thing that helps the most for me is to get to know the model a bit on a personal level before you start shooting. Don’t pick up the camera straight away and start shooting. If you do this, it creates a barrier between you and the model and they see you just as a camera operator and will most likely be stiff and unnatural. When they arrive, try to have a conversation. Take the first 15 minutes of the shoot to do this. Ask them about how they are, and about themselves – where they are from, a bit about their story, get to know what they enjoy and are passionate about. They will appreciate you taking an interest in them and this will create a bit of a bond, allow them to let their guard down and trust that you have their best interests at heart. This will yield great results from them in terms of posing and getting genuine reactions out of them because they will feel like they can let go and play with the posing a bit more. When your model feels safe with you, you’d be able to get great candid and natural shots.

Do You

Be yourself. I know this sounds cheesy. But genuinely. Don’t try act cool if you are dorky. Don’t try tell jokes if you aren’t that kind of person. But if you are dorky, great at cheesy jokes or the kind that rolls around on the floor to get the best shot then embrace it fully and go with it. The model will pick up on your genuine personality and will appreciate that you feel comfortable enough to be yourself in front of them. This usually helps them to be more of themselves too. If you love a photo and want to jump around and squeal (I do this) then do it. This shows the whole team that you love what you are getting and keeps moral high and makes people want to keep putting in their best effort.

Keep Shooting

Shoot the in-between moments. The moment when they are fixing their shirt or messing up their hair for the next shot. Catch these moments. Sometimes these are the moments that can create the best images.

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