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Thread: Mermaid Modelling Tips (image heavy)

  1. #1
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    Mermaid Modelling Tips (image heavy)

    Hey there!

    I've been professionally modelling, on and off, for the last 9 years. I have learned a lot that applies to being a mermaid! I thought I'd share some tips. I've had some of my images published in magazines, print, online, in art galleries, and in art books! I've done a few runway things, and been a promo girl too. Just to show you what I'm working with, here's some pics from my portfolio

    (scroll to the bottom if you want to skip right to the tips!)

    Suzi Shier Ad


    Portfolio work


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    Randoms












    Modelling for students taking photography courses:




    Fine Art Nudes

    (this is the only sfw, if you wanna see others check out my deviantART raine-angel )





    From an art book series


    Concept series





    So now that you've seen what I can do as a model, let's apply some of the stuff I've learned there in terms of mermaid modelling tips!

    General modelling tips


    • Light the SHORT side of your face, not the long side. If someone is taking your photo, typically unless they direct you to otherwise, you want to turn your face slightly to the light. If you turn your head the other way, you'll end up removing some of your jaw line with the light, and this will make your face look distorted, larger than normal, and sometimes horse like! As a mermaid model, it's your job to find that light and work it. (if you're doing studio stuff, you'll likely have light from most angles unless the photographer is going for a specific look/feel) Here's an example below:



      In this image, the short side of the face is lit. If the long side of the face was lit, imagine the one reversed, her cheek, jaw, brow etc would all be lighter and make her face look wider. It *can* work, but not usually. So as the model, slightly turn your face to the light. it's more flattering, and makes for less post work for the photographer.

      here's an example of me modelling toward the light with my short side for a self portrait:



      Here's some more tips about short and long lighting: http://www.valentinetti.com/photogra...long-lighting/
    • Posture! Posture can make or break a picture. If you're going for a specific look/feel, a broken down slump can certainly give a desired affect, but most of the time we don't realize how much we're slouching and how it affects the way we look. With mermaid tails on, we may often slouch our shoulder forward in order to balance our centre of gravity and feel stable. I have found that a slight arch in the back not only fixes this so you don't look hunched, but also gives a more mermaidy look.



      I often make this mistake out of my tail, so my main photographer's favourite word to say to me is "posture!"

      Here's an example of how my bad body posture changed the dynamic of a photo:



      my entire torso area is compacted together, shoulders forward, head awkward. This is because I wasn't actually modelling, but rather trying to adjust myself when Sean snapped the pic. (I posted it online because of how nice the tails looked) you'll see a lot of my candid photos have posture like this, because I am using my shoulders to counter the awkward balance my large fluke gives me.

      whereas, in this older photo of me, a slight arch of the back ad putting my neck back, gave me better posture, and a much more mermaidy look:



      And again, similar adjustments, allowed me to still somewhat use my hands to anchor my balance, but remain in better posture and still have the mermaid look.



      If you're uncomfortable with your stomach, and getting chin rolls, a posture adjustment will instantly thing and elongate you.

      Here's what I think is an accurate example of bad model posture, though some could work with the right concept: http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/photo...rd-model-poses

      and an article about good posture! http://greatist.com/health/ultimate-guide-good-posture
    • Be dynamic. Not just in poses. You can make a simple pose dynamic but tightening or flexing your muscles, or if you're someone who is too rigid- breaking them up. If you're double jointed, be aware of the noodle arms! I am double jointed and sometimes my arms get into unnatural positions in photos. Simple adjustments as a mermaid, for your arms, can change the whole tone of your image!

      for instance, nice concept for a mermaid photo, but my weird backwards arms sort of ruins it!



      whereas in this photo I applied the posture rule, and made my arms dynamic. Generally- giving your arms a job to do will give a better pose, instead of awkwardly holding them there:



      Pointing your toes is important as a mer model, it allows you to make your fluke look the best, and stretch the body of your tail out so you have less wrinkles and look dynamic. Throw in the posture, model to the light, and make sure the rest of your body is dynamic and...

    • A great trick for modelling in a tail or modelling nude, is to have a blanket or a towel underneath you when modelling on rough surfaces like rocks. Simply fold it so it cant be seen or can easily be edited out. Nearly all of my photos on rocks or nude on rocks have a towel underneath.

    • Have the area you want to model in scoped out before hand, make the most use of an area before moving on to another, be prepared to either take your tail off and on a few times, or have someone carry you. Tails can be heavy and combersome, don't be afraid to ask for help when moving around. Better safe than sorry!
    • If you're modelling in nature... you're stuck with the elements! Try and make every shot count... but obviously... sometimes... things get a little wet






    A lot of what I have on my mermaid page, is more candid. Shots of me while doing stuff, less posing. You may find that's what you end up with too! But at least now, you'll have a few things to think about, to make every shot count... so even those candids... turn into really dynamic shots...




    I'm going to be continuing this for underwater shots too

  2. #2
    these tips are awesome, raina! thank you!

    ​formerly Mermaid Brianna

  3. #3
    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!
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  4. #4
    Thanks a lot! This is very useful. I'm much more used to being behind the camera than in front of it, and I have pretty bad spatial awareness--making me look awkward since I can't tell what how I'm posing will look like till I see it on the camera

    From the photography side: don't feel bad about staring at yourself in a mirror from different angles!! Different facial shapes and bone structure work better from different views. For instance, I have almost no cheekbones, small eyes, and a long/biggish but straight nose, so I find I often like my profile better from a slight downwards and to the side angle (as in the camera is slightly above and pointed down at me, not that I'm lowering my chin--this compacts the neck and makes it look shorter), with my head slightly tilted. This helps emphasize the features I want to highlight and minimize those I don't like so much. One of my friends looks really great from an upwards and tilted angle, emphasizing her jawline. Other people look amazing facing the camera squarely! So, if you're finding you like the way you look in some pictures more than others, pay attention the the angles they were taken at
    Don't restrict yourself to just one angle/pose though!! That gets boring. Try out lots of things to see what you like/don't like! I have a lot of pictures of me taken from a more upward angle that have still turned out really well. Getting to know your bone structure can be useful, but don't let it stop you from trying different things


    (Disclaimer: I am not advocating that you should not like how you look, in any way!! Just some ideas about being aware of different effects small positional movements can have. I may have a largish nose, and use angles to reduce how big it can look/avoid ones that make it look bigger, but it is the family nose and I don't hate it by any means )
    Mermaid Jade
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  5. #5
    Thank you Raina! <3 I'm... not very good at posing myself >< But I'm trying my best to learn! The arching your back thing is something I NEED to remember- otherwise I get lovely skin rolls around my ribs :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    don't we all? I get a pouch haha

  7. #7

    Mermaid Modelling Tips (image heavy)

    Thanks, Raina! I need to remember my posture more and figure out how to find the light when I'm underwater. One thing that I also need to remember is NOT to tuck my chin and give myseIf a double chin! I'm lucky enough to have a couple of photographers who are SO patient about telling me what to do with my arms, face, etc. because they recognize that I'm still learning.
    Last edited by Thalassa; 02-16-2014 at 10:57 AM.

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    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Miyu's Avatar
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    This has been extremely helpful, I've never been able to figure out how I should pose without someone directing me :P And my bf/mertender is not exactly a photographer, LOL! Great at taking pics, not at posing me. Thanks Raina and Jadestone for some awesome tips! <3

    Jadestone, I totally get where you're coming from! I just started trying to look in the mirror more to find my most flattering angles, because I also have "the family nose", as well as bags under my eyes and lots of really prominent facial scars that interact badly with my stupid forehead wrinkle... But I've started noticing if I just turn my head a certain way I like how I look! Now the trick is to figure out how to do it to a camera and not a mirror...

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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Miel's Avatar
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    The biggest problem I have during photo shoots is to NOT BLINK! I've ruined tons of good photos by having my eyes closed. I find this is easier to manage if the photographer tells me "3,2,1" :click: So that I blink on the 3 and have my eyes open for the shot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Meilyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Miel View Post
    The biggest problem I have during photo shoots is to NOT BLINK! I've ruined tons of good photos by having my eyes closed. I find this is easier to manage if the photographer tells me "3,2,1" :click: So that I blink on the 3 and have my eyes open for the shot.

    Close your eyes and relax your face, then when you're ready, just open them and it's okay to blink. Don't try to hold your eyes open for too long as well lol.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain Pod Mermaid Dottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    • Posture! Posture can make or break a picture. If you're going for a specific look/feel, a broken down slump can certainly give a desired affect, but most of the time we don't realize how much we're slouching and how it affects the way we look. With mermaid tails on, we may often slouch our shoulder forward in order to balance our centre of gravity and feel stable. I have found that a slight arch in the back not only fixes this so you don't look hunched, but also gives a more mermaidy look.



    Lol, I have a REALLY bad posture photo from when I cosplayed as Cindy Donovinh from Gaiaonline.
    Name:  36360_1513110271017_8023600_n.jpg
Views: 1567
Size:  120.5 KB

    There are a whole lot more photos in this album, some good, some bad, some silly. In all the photos with me, however, my younger brother or his girlfriend were behind the camera. Needless to say, they had very little experience. Same here, though, so I can't complain.
    Mermaid Dottie
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  12. #12
    Member Chesapeake Pod
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    Amazing information guys! Hmm mirror on the wall, looks like I might find a use for you after all! (Never been beauty conscious)
    User formerly known as "Hinata Evans".

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