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Not only is smiling good for the soul, but as a model it’s good for business.

Smiling is easy as 1-2-3, as model and actress Sabrina DiGiovanni demonstrates in the images to the right. But smiling on command at a photo shoot, with a camera pointed at you, and a team of people watching? That’s another matter entirely. Sure, the personality of the photographer or creative team can make a shoot more fun and smiles will flow more freely.

But what about situations where the pressure is on you to perform, or the vibe isn’t fun, or the creative team behind the shoot just doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing? At those times, it’s up to YOU to be the pro and create happiness on demand. A believable smile is key to connecting with image viewers and booking paid work.


Many models practice body poses, but neglect to work on smiles and facial expressions. Practice makes perfect!


If you hold a smile too long, the muscles in your face will tense up or fatigue, the corners of the mouth drop or quiver, and the result is a pained expression. It’s okay to stop smiling, look away, close your eyes, and do whatever you need to do to losen up your face before coming back with another big smile. Your photographer will love you for it.


There are smiles, and there are smiles. Your average six year old boy knows how to ham it up and make a big, cheesy grin to get what he wants… but these huge smiles look as fake as fake can be on adults. In fact, they might make you look a little mentally disturbed! So avoid cheesy grins like the plague (unless specifically asked). A little smile goes a long way.