Have you ever watched the movie Zoolander and wondered how exactly Ben Stiller always managed to strike a pose at any given moment? Yeah we’ve wondered that too, then it all started making sense- every single muscle in your body needs to be trained to work in sync together and posing will come to you naturally.

A model has to be ready and alert for the camera at all times, ready to look poise and fabulous wherever she/he might be, under any given circumstance. A big part of any modeling career is photographing well and a great way to achieve this is by noticing every single movement in your body while posing.

One of the best exercises you can do is to practice in front of the mirror as this will make you conscious of what works for you and what doesn’t. Try to take note of as much as you can, notice where your hands are, notice how elongated your neck is and take particular note of your eyes. The eyes can tell an entire story, you can speak a thousand unsaid words with your eyes; they are essentially one of your most powerful assets.

Another fundamental to successful photography and posing as a model is to know all your angles. Once again, use the mirror and look at yourself from different angles while making different faces. Try a quirky smile, a poker face or just a subtle smirk and establish what looks best. Use all your best assets to your advantage, if you have a dimple on your left cheek for example, then tilt your head to the left and make use of it.

Keep your neck long, chin forward and mouth slightly open as this will give some definition to your jawline and your face will also look more relaxed. Your shoulders make all the difference when taking pictures, so use them! By popping one shoulder higher than the other creates a crucial difference, it adds more dimension and depth to the shot you’re posing for.

If you taking full length pictures then shift your body weight so that you look slimmer. Either have one leg in front of the other or one leg out to the side. Your hands can either be on the side of you or on your hip, depending on what you’re comfortable with. A great method to use when practicing full length poses is to look at how celebs stand on the red carpet, a lot of the time you can learn some great poses from them.

Movement makes all the difference in a great shot and you can gain drastically by making the right movements when being photographed. Try a few subdued movements like leaping up into the air or lifting one foot of the ground, this creates a playful and fun atmosphere in the images.

Now that we’ve mentioned a few points on what you should do, it’s just fair that we talk about what you shouldn’t do when posing. The most obvious yet over looked act by many is the duck face; this gives your face an awkward looking structure which is unflattering. The second thing that you should never do is over flex your muscles or push your chest out, as this only makes you look unnatural and is a big no-no. Assure that whatever you do compliments you and works well with your body.

While taking good photos and being able to pose like a pro is important, you also need to have great communication with your photographer on set. Build up some on-set work chemistry so that you both feel comfortable with each other. Listen and take direction well from them so that only the best shots can be taken. Don’t take criticism personally but use it as a means to improve yourself in areas that need more attention.

Being authentic is what will differentiate you from every other model, be unique and know your body well enough to work it in all the best suited angles for you. Your enthusiasm and energy also reflect a great deal when taking pictures, so always be lively and this will shine through in all your pictures.