Many models starting off in this line of work will feel awkward when looking into a camera. Modeling is even more of a challenge I think because you need to pose in various positions for strangers. What I recommend doing is first looking into the camera with a straight and natural face. You do not have to smile in the beginning, instead what you can do is just turn your head from left to right.
Crossing your legs is also a very natural pose. Sometimes when I’m shooting models I start a conversation about a light topic. I have them sit down and cross their legs. I ask them to introduce themselves and talk about their favorite dessert or animal. It is important to feel comfortable with the topics you are talking about.
As a personal preference I like to start with the model’s fingers and finger nails because this is what a lot of models take pride in. Show your nails to the camera. If a model has clean and well manicured finger and toe nails she’s going to feel more confident showing them off, especially if they are decorated in pastels, hot pinks, and various patterns. I think it’s easier to show your hands in front of a camera than your body. Start a conversation about her finger nails. If you have a male model then maybe you can talk about his workout routine.
Humor is also a plus as it always helps the subject to relax and be more natural. Beauty is natural; having fun is natural; smiling is natural and being happy with what you are doing is totally natural. She begins to open up and find her inner charm. You as the photographer must encourage them and reaffirm their beauty and that everything she is doing is good, and that no pose is the wrong pose. A good model needs to have a good camera man who can encourage the aspiring model.
Affirmations are another great way to feel confident in front of the camera. Repeat positive words like beautiful, sunshine, bubbles, and butterflies. You can say these things to the camera. The more you do this the less shy you will become. Hopefully, you’ll soon realize that posing in front of a camera isn’t that bad at all. Less rehearsed and choreographed modeling is what should be your goal.
In modeling, the challenge here is trying to overcome your fear of being leered at by a cameraman who wants to bring out your sexy side. The photographer will do his or her best to bring out the very best image of you on film because it’s his/her reputation on the line, so the photographer will help you to relax by helping you discover the truest essence of your beauty. As you gain more experience working in front of the camera you will become less shy and more self-confident, so good luck.