When it comes to the pictures of a model, every details matter. The model, the clothes she’s wearing, the mishmash of colours, the angle of the camera, the face expressions, the poses, and even the font used if there’s a writing on the picture. All of those elements can make or break the experience offered by the picture (at least for me). So, what makes a picture of a model engaging for you? Here’s my yay and nay list for me :
The model :
Honestly, I don’t really care about who the model in the picture is, as long as I like them, they’re good. But there’s something special on pictures where I actually know the model. Of course that’s kind of a rarity, so have to make do with what I have. Also, certain names carries more weight than the others, trust me, I’ve got myself turned on just by reading those names on the correct typeface (see below) with the right colours. Getting turned on just by writing, ridiculous I know.
The clothes :
Looking back, loose clothes and “expensive” dresses seems to do it for me. Party dresses, gowns, robes, those really makes the pictures tick.
On the other hand, stuff like skintight clothes, latex, anything leather-based, or revealing clothes that are transparent for no good reasons are just utter turn-off for me. Looks like I’m more into the….. “elegant” side of things.
The poses :
I like natural poses. The best ones are those where the model is like…. “welcoming?” Or if the models are doing regular, natural things. It’s like the models are inviting me to come over, and that’s a real turn on. The best ones I have in my collection is when the models looks at the camera with undivided attention but still “casual”, hard to explain, I know.
Meanwhile, stoic poses like the majority of fashion models posing on catwalks are just unenjoyable to me, which brings me to the next point :
The face expressions :
The best ones are those where the model looks straight to the camera (at me) and smiles naturally. Not evil smile, not forced ones, just natural smile. Like when you call someone and she looks at you and smiles to tell you that you have her attention, that kind. I have a picture with a perfect smile that I always wanted to try using, but I only have one (and it’s from 2015) so I’d settle for something else. She had this friendly, warm, inviting smile, like that “it’s good to see you again” expression. It’s an ad for a makeup by the way, they nailed the composition for the picture.
On the far side of the spectrum, serious and / or cold-looking face (like the majority of closeups unfortunately) is a no go. Neither are those “seductive” expressions. I’m not sure why most models have those “straight” face like they don’t want to be actually taken a picture of, maybe the industry thought those are “sexy”? I’d take a cheerful expression any day, thank you.
The colours :
Pastel colours are king. A good looking clothes with pastel colours always get me excited. Pink, cyan, they’re particularly the best ones. This applies not just to the clothes, but the background too (if there’s one) or even the letter colours. I have a theory on why I like cyan so much, I used to have a page which was dominated with cyan colour (and other pastel colours), choices were limited back then so I used that page over and over again for months until it got destroyed. The fact that happened in such a young age probably caused my brain to hardwire cyan and pastel colours to getting turned on.
So what colours are turn off you ask? Glossy colours or muted colours. Bright yellow, orange, green, glowing blue, those don’t really do it for me. White also doesn’t have nay effect on me. Black is unique, I don’t really like black colour, but usually black colours tend to have thicker inks on the prints, which feels rougher and better. I like black not because of the colours, but because of the texture when it’s printed on a page.
The camera angle
This is kind of unspecific, but close-ups…. maybe slightly above the model is the best ones. My absolute favourites are the ones that captures the model from the waist up, because I can see most of the models “features” (for the lack of a better word) that way. A picture that’s too close (e.g. face only) doesn’t reveal much of the model, while a picture that’s too far (full-body) makes the model too small on the page to be…. “enjoyable”.
The font / typeface
I’m not a graphics designer so pardon my lack of knowledge. The best ones are those thin, curvy fonts. Not serif, not cursive, not blocky, but those clear, round-ish typefaces. A good example is the font used by Instyle on their covers.
Ok, so the big question now is : Did I ever find any pictures that ticks all the boxes above at once?
The answer is yes! And I have three of them, one newspaper, one tabloid, one magazine.
For the newspaper, it was a picture of an actress, taken from the waist up. She wore black party dress so it was ink-heavy and looked mighty fine. The background was some kind of a blurred-out park with generous amount of pastel-green colours. She was smiling cheerfully at the camera, with that “I’m glad to be with you” expression. She was posing with an open-arms kind of way. Her name was one of the special ones, and was printed with the correct font. The picture ticked all the boxes.
I blasted that page to oblivion when I was younger, a moment I still can’t forgive myself for, even though it was one of the best experience in my life up to that point.
The tabloid one was an ad for a makeup. It was a makeup aimed at teens, so it had plenty of “cute” graphics. It was dominated with pastel pink colours, which was perfect for me. The model was a bit too close to the camera, it was from the chest above, but she was showing one of the sweetest, most cheerful smile I’ve ever seen. The font they used for the product name was… adequate. This picture missed the model’s name (it’s undisclosed, albeit I ended up searching about it anyway by checking their website), camera angle and the pose (as I can’t see her pose anyway). But, it ticks most of the above, which is already great as many pictures probably only got one or two elements right. I still have the tabloid on me, I’m not here to repeat the fate of that newspaper.
And now the magazine. It’s an Instyle magazine, and it was the cover. The model is well known in the cinema industry. She’s wearing a gown, sitting a bit sideways in an inviting position, doing this “blowing kiss” expression. Very heavenly. Being a magazine the print quality is outright unmatched by the tabloid or newspapers. Colours pop like crazy, extremely high resolution, and it’s glossy. The camera was straight on, but she was in a sitting position so everything is nicely in view. The picture misses the pastel colour part (only very little amount of pastel colour on that), but everything else is top notch. Of course, I’m not going to pull that mistake again, the magazine is still kept in its original shrink wrap cover, kept sealed in the dark away from sunlight / moisture / etc.
That’s my story. What about you? What makes a picture special for you?