Emoting on a shoot, especially if you’re a new model, can be tough. Often times, a model can end up with a portfolio full of “deer in headlights” shots. Not good. But, with a little work, a model can improve her expressions and produce images that a dramatically different. Acting classes may also help. But, for those DIYers out there, here are some tips for improving your expressions.

To work on your expressions, use a mirror and work on conveying emotions (search the internet for a list if you think that will help you). Try to remember what you did, and what you thought of, to move your face a certain way (much like how you make mental notes of how you got into a pose, when practicing poses in the mirror). You can also find images you like and work to duplicate the expressions in those shots. Again, practice in the mirror, and do so often.

You can also ask a photographer to help guide you towards emotions. For some people, a simple “you’re angry” works. For others, a story works… like “you’ve just walked in on you best friend making out with your boyfriend, and she’s wearing a shirt she borrowed from you!” And don’t be afraid to talk and act natural during a shoot. Sometimes, the candids that result can be the best shots!

One site that’s worth a look at (even if it’s just for a laugh) is

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