Modeling Tips for Facial Expressions

By Earl Smith

Before becoming a supermodel, Tyra Banks has confessed to practicing long hours in front of the mirror on how to strike poses and finding which facial expressions worked for her -- even which side of her face showed best. An art anyone can learn, modeling takes commitment and practice. Learning to put your best face forward means discovering what expressions show off your features.

Use facial expressions to define your model look.

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Practice facial expressions in front of a mirror. Develop a daily "model routine" involving posing, walking the runway and practicing facial poses. Use a hand-held mirror to view your profile from each side or from the back, or use or a three-way mirror. Critique your profile from each angle and practice expressions and make notes of what side of your face shows best. Fix your hair in different ways and repeat the critique, making note of which styles best show your features and expressions.


Models sell products for advertisers by making the products look more appealing. They don't typically use verbal persuasion. That makes nonverbal expressions even more significant. How would you sell a friend an item only using nonverbals? Supermodels learn to "talk" with their facial expressions. Practice nonverbally expressing emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, pouting, surprise and confidence and bringing them into focus on demand.


Immerse yourself into the world of modeling. Study models in a variety of magazines and routinely mimic their expressions in the mirror. See how close you can get to copying the style of each professional model. Make notes on the types of emotions you see in different magazines and keep a notebook of pictures of striking facial expressions you want to keep practicing.

Stay Current

Contact local agents or talent agencies and inquire about the landscape of current trends in the business. Agencies work daily with top modeling companies and stay up to date on industry needs. Make notes of the conversations you have with the insiders and adjust your facial expression exercises accordingly.