Today, we are going to talk about posing on the runway. It is quite different than posing for photos. In this post I’m going to focus on commercial modeling (see my post about commercial vs. couture modeling).
Let me start by saying what the designer says goes. There are some general dos and don’ts on the runway but if your designer wants something don’t question it.
- Hold your pose (3 seconds is good) – this allows people to see the designs but more so it gives the photogs a chance to get a picture or two.
- Eyes up (no looking at your feet, I promise they won’t disappear) – this gives you an air of confidence. It connects you with your audience.
- Hands above head/in hair – bottom line, pits are not pretty. And getting into lifted arm poses can be awkward.
- Sexual or suggestive hand placement – do I really need to explain…
Moving on. Remember, all eyes are on you, including still and video cameras. You want every move, every expression to sell the garment. The photogs along the runway and at the end are click, click, clicking away. But here’s something to remember, unless you are still for a moment your pictures (read the designers pictures) are going to capture your movement. At best you may just look a bit unposed, at worst you’re a blurry, unposed mess and the photos are unusable. So hold your pose. If you are doing more than one pose hold each one. It doesn’t have to be long, I wouldn’t go over 4 seconds but give it at least two. Otherwise, it will be difficult to get a good photo. Below are a couple sets of photos. One in between poses the other as I’m holding them. You can see the difference. If you are constantly moving, most of your photos are going to be like my in between pics.
You can really see the difference and the impact holding still makes.
That also ties in to not putting your hands above your head or doing any overly complicated pose. When you are in front of a camera for a photo shoot you have time to get into a pose, tweak it, perfect it. Your photog or director may tell you what to do or critique your poses. You don’t have any of that on the runway. So choose easy poses that flow into each other
Remember, you are there to sell the item not yourself. So pose in ways that show off the garment.
Here I’m posing in a design by Mac Fashion House. In both poses I’ve arched my back or off set my shoulders to show off the cropped top. In the first photo I think my legs are as far a apart as I’d want. Maybe even too much. In a tight skirt posing with your legs apart or significantly bent can pull and stretch the fabric and scew the lines of the garment. You can see that a little in the bunching of the skirt at my tummy. If you compare that to the next pic where my legs are crossed you can see the difference. In pic 2 the skirt is flat and hugging my curves beautifully.
I do like my hands and arms in the photo. The bend of my wrist and fingers is elegant but it also adds dimension to the photo. As does the asymmetry of my arms.
Overall, I’d say good usable photos.
I am comparing these two photos for a couple reason. First, it shows that it is possible to pose without your hands on your hips. In both photos my arms/hands are at my side but they don’t look awkward or stiff. They are part of the pose. This can be challenging and takes some practice (believe me). But it’s important to have a strong variety of poses and not always use our arms as security blankets.
Second, these photos truly highlight how small adjustments in one’s body can chance the whole mood. The same basic pose is used. Forward facing, straight legs, hand at sides. However, in the floral dress I have angled my body slightly, off set my shoulders, pushed out a hip and dropped my chin a little. This adds a softness to the pose, not seen in the other. This is perfect for the outfit.
In the other, I am wearing Wai Wear’s Queen of Hearts costume. Though the same basic pose this one is about strength. My shoulders, back and hips are straight and forward facing. My chin is slightly lifted giving an air of haughtiness. Just those minor adjustments changed the entire vibe to better suit the mood of the garment.
I like this set of photos as it shows how one can interact with the garment, use your hands other than on your hips and that it is possible to always keep your eyes forward.
I’ll also add that this set of poses took planning and practice. I wanted to pull the fur open to show off the bodice of the dress, but to do so I had to undo a small hook buried deep inside the fur. The reason my hands are up are the fur in the first pic is to make sliding my hands down to find the hook easy. Of course I waited 3 seconds before moving my hands. Then I quickly undid the hook and pulled the fur away in pretty much one motion before holding on the second pose with the fur open. I practiced this a TON backstage. It paid off because I have three great photos that show form and function!
Here is another example of a well thought out walk and pose. The shoes I was wearing, were about two sizes too big. I could barely maneuver in them. So when I got back to the top of runway the last thing I wanted to do was turn around for a final pose and then turn back to exit. Not to mention navigate the step up and over from stage to runway. So I did a classic look back. The outfit begged to be viewed from all angles so this wasn’t hard to make work. But I made it intentional so that is didn’t look like I was just trying to escape.
In all the examples, you have seen a variety of poses. But there are many many more. Remember even the slightest move can completely transform a pose. As this post is already very long I will end here. In part two, I will cover specific poses and body placement.
In order of appearance
Photo – Bingme Photography, Gene Wang x 3, ??x2, Gene Wang x2, ??, ??
Designer – Moonflower, Jersey Virago, Mac Fashion House, Charity Rosalind, Wai Wear, Aphrodite, Viva Lu Chi