Hepburn and Leigh: For the independently-minded lingerie lover

How to model lingerie?

by Maz Spencer September 07, 2017 0 Comments

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!  (See the rules HERE!)

And this time round, you lot have to get involved by sending pictures in which you wear your favourite undies from Hepburn & Leigh, so Catherine (the headmistress) has asked me to write a little “how to pose in lingerie” post, on the strength that I’ve been known to do the odd spot of modelling. Except I call it moddling (a term coined by Catherine, actually) owing to the amateurishness of my endeavours. You see, the first thing she said to me on that topic is that every single professional model she’s ever met told her that they spent hours and hours practising posing in front of the mirror. I can’t think of a worst way to waste my time (and I am REALLY good at wasting time), so I just looked at her blankly and said “oh”, or something equally witty, to gloss over the fact that I’m clearly not a real model.

(Ed's note; Maz has in fact been modelling for money for a number of years and featured in any number of publications!)

Having said that, if you want to spend ages looking at yourself in the mirror, by all means, go for it: you might just nail the perfect pout. Otherwise, you can just later delete the pictures in which you think you look rubbish – because bear in mind that after the shoot, you WILL have to spend a lot of time staring at yourself again to select your favourite shot(s).

So, my non-suitability to write this post established, I was delighted to discover that other people have already covered the subject in a most helpful manner (often advising the exact opposite of what I would, and consistently urging to practice in front of the mirror): just google “how to take a selfie” or “how to pose like a model” and you’ll find lots of help. So in this post I’ll remain quite general and raise a few practicalities.

If you are going to take the competition pics yourself, armed with only your smartphone’s camera and its timer, Estelle X recently wrote an in-depth article for The Lingerie Addict which is full of technical tips; you can read it HERE.

If someone else is taking your picture, get them to give you directions. Sometimes, tilting your head this way, twisting your body that way, or lifting/lowering your arm will improve the photo no end, and it should be relatively easy for them to guide you.

With full length photos, it is generally advised to not stand too straight or face on, as it can appear a little stiff. If you’re reading this, chances are you are into retro pin-up aesthetics, so you might want to consider the classic S shape as Bettie Page demonstrates:

Generally, try and keep a certain flow with your silhouette by remaining linear: try and make graceful lines or shapes. I suppose a background in ballet or other dancing helps. Conversely, you might want to pass off your natural awkwardness for an edgy look by bending in weird ways and standing pigeon-toed, like they do in fashion magazines. Paradoxically, it also works. Whichever way you decide to go, bear in mind that neither style feels natural: the best-looking poses will often be the ones that are the most exaggerated and uncomfortable!


S shape vs angular (photography by Gothic Image, outfit by Miss Katie)

Don’t forget that facing one way is not the same as looking one way. General consensus is that it’s more flattering to have one’s head slightly facing sideways rather than straight at the camera, but it doesn’t mean that your eyes can’t still look at the objective. In fact, it’s not unusual in fashion photography to have your body, head and eyes all facing different directions.


Harlow & Fox catalogue shot; Kiss Me Deadly customer Elli in her Jezebel briefs

This is all very good, but at the same time, we appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with posing in their undies. Bear in mind that whatever reason you may have for not showing your face (be it natural shyness, a corporate job where it would be frowned upon or something else), there are many, many ways of keeping your anonymity. Consider cropping your picture, either just under the nose or completely headless, as in many catalogue shots. Close-ups of body parts, pictures taken from the back, or with your head turned away are of course another way to get around that issue. Think also of hiding your face behind a door as if you’re peeping through it (wardrobe, cupboard, fridge etc.). If you have long hair, use it to conceal your face. Don’t forget about props: wide brimmed hat, massive sunnies, masks… but you can also hold a fan or even an open book in front of your face. You are actively encouraged to get your cat or other pet to sit on your face, but sadly animals are notoriously difficult to direct in a fashion shoot environment.


Anna in Kiss Me Deadly by Sugar & Spice Photography; selfie in KMD and baseball cap

Whatever you do, have fun, don’t worry about your lumps and bumps (we all have them!), and don’t take it too seriously. Good luck with the competition - read the rules HERE!

Maz Spencer
Maz Spencer