Day 5: The Finale of Jay McLaughlin’s Modeltypeface Takeover!

So we’ve learnt about light, smizing and using vowels to pout. For our last day, we thought we’d look at how to act in front of the camera.

We’re showing three categories today – ‘edgy and editorial’, ‘commercial and happy’ and ‘sexy’.

You might need to be any (or all) of these on a day’s shoot. When you start out modelling, it’s all about being moody, angry and edgy. Then, as you become more commercial and mature as a person, you might have to display a sexier, more confident vibe (think Jamie Gunns) or a cheesier, fun personality for catalogues and commercials.

I learned a lot about myself doing this particular shoot with Jay. Every model should be able to portray a range of emotions, immediately – and I’m very good at having fun and smiling, quite good at doing sexy…And not very good at edgy. In fairness, my face doesn’t really lend itself to frowning and shouting – a bit bulldog chewing a wasp – so we did our own version of edgy.

How should we get to a place where we feel comfortable enough to experiment with characters and acting for camera? Jay has the answer…

Practice in front of the mirror. Photographers always tell models to do this, and models always ignore it! But this way you’ll learn how you look best, how to interact with light and whether to tone up or down your expressions.”

1) Edgy

‘Pretty’ is anathema to ‘edgy’. Look through a high end editorial and you’ll see no pretty, but a lot of haughtiness, some sexiness, and lots of of ugliness too. Not ugly as in double chins and spinach in your teeth, but more like strange angles, scowls and snarls.



We went with this pose because my profile isn’t a commercial, ‘pretty’ angle (it’s downright odd) – but you run with things like that when you’re going for edgy. The lack of eye contact and messed up hair on the face means that we’re not selling anything – glossy, shiny curls or a particular make up.

For ultimate edgy inspo, check out Penelope Tree, Karen Elson and Edie Campbell.


Commercial modelling is HAPPY and PRETTY! Commercial means SELLING a PRODUCT – in this case a bowler hat! There are shades of perkiness – below is a bit of a grating jazz hands vibe…


Woohoo! The hat makes me so happy! I’m taking the piss but I love a bit of commercial modelling – it’s my comfort zone because I am, by nature, a smiley person, and I like to think that I might be making the magazine reader feel a bit brighter.


If you need help on feeling comfortable smiling, I have a vlog on that! Below is a bit more toned down – commercial clients don’t always want jazz hands, and you can say it with a smize rather than a gleaming set of gnashers.


Commercial modelling is not to be sneered at (which everyone in the edgy world does, of course!) It’s where a lot of money is – just look at the ultimate commercial models, the Victoria Secret Angels! Smiles + waves + kiss blowing = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!


Weirdly, I was a lot better at being a smokin’ hot sexy lady when I was about 17 and had kissed about 1 boy in my entire life. I was even in FHM and the cover of Arena!

First thing you want to do if you’re being sexy for the camera is tip your head back whilst looking down the camera lens. It elongates your neck and looks as if you’re feeling ecstatic!


Secondly, touching your skin (lightly) gives a sensual vibe to the picture.


Lastly – hands behind your head is a total instant ‘sexy’ pose, as is opening your mouth.

The thing about being ‘sexy’ is you don’t want to overdo it. Touching your skin/hair/parting your lips? Yes. Kate Moss has nailed this look to perfection. Sucking on a finger whilst squashing a boob? Too obvious.

Sexy can mean Playmate, but it can also be sensual, coy, quiet, confident, vulnerable and/or understated. Have a look at Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and Milla Jojovich to learn how to do multi-layered sexy.

This concludes Jay’s takeover of Modeltypeface. I hope you enjoyed it – I am so chuffed that he took the time to do these pictures and give us so much helpful advice. And isn’t his photography stupendous?! So thank-you, Jay!

Rebecca x

Here’s Jay’s website:

Here’s his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Here’s my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



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