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Model Mayhem posing guide: Facial expression

April 1, 2012

One key to a successful modeling career is learning proper posing positions. This guide is designed for new models, but experienced models will benefit from the exercises and techniques described here. For this article, we will be focusing on facial expression.

Why worry about facial expression?

I know what you’re thinking: “Why should I worry about my facial expression? I’m gorgeous no matter what!” And you’re right. But the proper facial expression can indicate to a viewer that you’re not just the brainless bombshell people might think you are. You need to dig into your emotions and let your innermost thoughts and personality shine through in your face.

Making your expression look natural

To be sure your facial expression looks natural every time on a photo shoot, you will need to commit to practice. Practice every day. Spend at least 20 minutes in front of a mirror, looking carefully at yourself, paying attention to how the muscles in your face feel as you move them. In addition, be sure to practice in your daily life as well. When you are taking photos with your friends, use the techniques you learn here to elevate every photo—even casual ones—to the level of fine art.

Facial expression: How to do it

Every professional model follows these simple steps to make their photos as beautiful as they can be. In no time, you will be a professional model as well.

1. Stand up straight, with your chin slightly elevated


Photographer: Carolina Mediguren; Model: Nemi

2. Turn your shoulders at a 45 degree angle


Photographer: Carolina Mediguren; Model: Nemi

3. Turn your head slightly toward your front shoulder


Photographer: Carolina Mediguren; Model: Nemi

4. Purse your lips and imagine the moment before kissing a largemouth bass


Photographer: Carolina Mediguren; Model: Nemi

Congratulations! You now know how to make the perfect duck face, the most important facial expression in the modeling industry. No other facial expressions matter. You can forget about them.  When you see a camera, immediately prepare your facial muscles for vigorous lip pursing. It is very important to practice daily, as you do not want to risk pulling a buccinator muscle, rendering you useless as a model for several days.

With practice, you will be able to perfect the subtle variations on the classic duck face, such as the Daffy Quack or the Full Platypus.


Photographer: Carolina Mediguren; Model: Nemi

What the pros are saying

“Advice to models who want to turn pro: Duck face it baby… Duck face it!” – T.H. Taylor

“The French call it ‘le visage d’un canard…’ And we KNOW that they know what’s sexy.” – Anonymous

“Most models don’t appreciate the work involved to become a successful model. I spend hours practicing my duck face every day.” – Christie Gabriel


Model: Christie Gabriel

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