Versatility as a model

Model – Shourei | Photographer – Sanne van Bergenhenegouwen | Hair – Julia Lion Hair

This post will be about being versatile as a model. How can you get more out of yourself as a model? How to avoid giving the same face all over again?

The importance of versatility
As a model, you are probably looking for as much as work possible. It’s good to have a signature look, so people know what to expect, but it’s even better from a marketing point of view if you are versatile. This is especially good for designers – they know you are able to pull of lots of different clothing styles – but also for hairstylists and MUAs. Personally, the more I can do with your hair, and the more I am able to transform you into something completely different, the more creative I can be.
Also, photographers love it. If you can look completely different in two shots, it gives a wider variety in the portfolio of that photgrapher. As a hairstylist, I want a lot of different models in my book, to show that I can work with all possible hair textures and lengths. But if you can transform, people might not even notice it’s the same person they’re looking at, and that is a really cool thing.

How to do it
If you look at the top picture, this is all the same model (Shourei). The styling, hair, make-up and style of photography is totally different, but also take a look at her facial expression and her angles.

Shourei usually has a very youthful and cute look, and when she looks straight at the camera this is most visible. This is her “signature look”.

Her profile, however, is very classic and timeless. Just by changing the angle and the expression (from sweet to a more regal and calm feeling), she looks like a different person. Try to get out of your comfort zone and practise a lot in the mirror to see what angles work best for you and how you look in a certain angle. Working with two mirrors is a great idea, this way you can also see the back and side of your head.

When we get to the last concept, I gave her kind of a “backstory” to think about while posing. This can help a model tremendously. One of my favorite models, Dolores, always asks me for a few key words to work with. That could be “tormented” and “sick”, or “regal” and “rich”. She takes those words and forms an expression, changing her face completely. Modeling is not just being pretty on a picture, it’s acting too!

In the picture, you can see that she also has a profile view, just as the last photo, but the expression is entirely different, which changes the image completely.

Think about your angles, expression and posing when doing different concepts. The more a model can transform, the more jobs you will be able to get – clients love a versatile model they can mold into their idea. Ask a lot of information to the creative director on how he or she sees the image come to life, and what “character” you have to portray. The more engaged you are in the shoot, the better the pictures will turn out to be.


How about you? Do you have a signature look or do you like to change things up? What is your favorite look of the three photos? Comment down below!

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