You can work on facial expressions by practicing them in a mirror. Every emotion that you can think of can be shown on your face.
Make a list of key emotions (love, hate, sorrow, joy etc.) and practice expressing each emotion in front of a mirror. After you have practiced for a while show a friend; see if they can tell what emotion you are conveying.
The idea is that when you are in front of a camera and the photographer wants you to look longingly into the distance you will know how to do it.
Sit in front of the mirror and practice these facial expressions.
- Put your lips together and don’t move them. Look at your face in the mirror, concentrating on the eyes – they are lifeless – now lift-up the corners of your mouth and watch your eyes come alive.
- To create a smile say “MMM” without opening your mouth. No teeth should be showing and don’t forget to turn the corners of your mouth up.
- To create a broader smile, say “MMM” again with your mouth still closed and again, don’t forget to turn up the corners of the mouth.
- This time say “ME”, whilst opening your mouth and showing your teeth but keeping it soft. Next say “ME” again, this time with a big smile showing all your teeth.
- When you say “HEY” you produce a very natural facial expression. Say “HEY” and hold it – you will notice your tongue is coming forward and your lips are apart. Now try it again, saying “HEY” with a smiling expression.
- Create the gaunt look by saying the word “POOR”, keeping the lips very soft and sultry and holding for a few seconds.
- To achieve an open and happy laugh try saying the word “HAA”, not forgetting to concentrate the eyes on someone or something to avoid a lifeless look.
You can work on posing by practicing in front of a full-length mirror. Look at fashion catalogues for the most popular poses. Pay attention to tilt of the head, position of the hand, and turn of the ankle. These little things can make a big difference. Just as with facial expressions your body posture can convey a variety of emotions. Begin doing activities that teach you how to move your body gracefully. Dancers and gymnasts move well in front of the camera because they know how to create long sweeping lines with their bodies.
With both expressions and posing it is also good to practice with props, products and wardrobe. Examples of props could be a floppy hat, a long shawl or a beach ball. The idea is to practice using and reacting to the prop.
Since you are aiming to be in pictures that are is selling something it is a good idea to practice with a product that might be sold. Practice holding the product so it may be clearly seen and you don’t cover the label.
Similarly, in fashion photographs you will be selling the clothes so practice showing the important features of each item. Show off the pockets, collar and belt or how the garment moves, you need to bring attention to whatever makes the garment interesting.