photos by Manny Roman, courtesy of Bella Management

Stefania Ferrario of Bella Management is a model who has taken the fashion world by storm. The short haired, 23 year old Australian beauty, shows variety of emotions with a simple shift in expression, and she’s doing it effortlessly. Her ability to transform in front of the camera accompanied by her bold attitude and a doll- like appearance, make her every photographer’s dream model.

But it’s not only Stefania’s undeniably good looks that make her a standout. She has a deep understanding of the art of pose, and many in the industry have sung her praises when it comes to this specialised skill. The pose is a transformative art, and every successful model’s area of expertise, which makes it an inseparable component of a powerful image.

In the interview bellow, Stefania has shared her tips and tricks when it comes to nailing the perfect pose.

photos: 1. by Dan Williams for Vivienne Westwood, 3. by Peter Coulson, courtesy of Bella Management

What’s your secret?
The secret is I don’t stop being true to myself, I love what I do! In fact I love being in front of the camera so much that I proactively organise as many shoots as I can in my spare time.

Who & Where do you pull inspiration from?
I pull inspiration from many places, I especially admire androgynous models like Erika Linder and Andreja Pejic, the fluidity they convey when it comes to gender I find so empowering and liberating, I definitely try channelling that in certain photo shoots. In others shoots, say the more glamorous and feminine shoots, I pull my inspiration from Hollywood greats like Marilyn Monroe. I also use myself as a source of inspiration, especially with my more raw work, I just let myself go with whatever vibes I’m feeling at the time.

When you’re in front of the camera what’s going through your mind?
Not a lot, I feel my way around more than I think.

Tips and tricks on what to do with your hands, arms, legs, and even fingers?
You do have to be aware of hand placement, for a more feminine look you don’t want your hands to be flat towards the camera, they should be at different angles with fingers soft and delicate. When it comes to arms and legs, I find the best poses are the ones that come naturally, let your limbs ‘fall’ into place.

And your chin?
I push my chin out and down, this gives me a stronger, more defined jaw line.

photos by Manny Roman, courtesy of Bella Management

How would you describe your posture when shooting?
I stand up very straight and often on my tippy toes if I’m not wearing heels. I used to pretend I had a string running through my body and up through my head with someone pulling on the top of it, like I was being pulled up.

How do you work with the photographer to achieve the best photo?
Before shooting I always discuss what the theme is, and/or go through inspiration pics with the photographer so we are both on the same page. During the shoot I’ll listen intently to the photographer to gage where they are at and to respond accordingly with my poses.

What would be your advice on where to stare or what to look at?
Firstly, listen to the photographer as sometimes they’ll ask specifically for your eyes to be in a certain place, otherwise let your eyes fall on things naturally around the room, mix that up by looking straight down the barrel too, and just above and beyond the lens.

photos for Flow Clothing by Yong Tiong Tan, courtesy of Bella Management

Do you have any requests on set that seem to bring out the best in you? Music? Food?
Great music is such a good way to get me flowing on set, not to mention great snacks and food to re- energise in between sets.

How long would you spend on average researching and practicing your posing?
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the mirror or looking back on test shoots and seeing what are the most flattering poses and expressions. I think mirror work is very important for modelling and I would suggest at least 10-15 minutes a day. Move your face and body in front of the mirror to find your best angles and more importantly to just get to know how YOU move and work with that.

How do you interact with lighting and how does lighting effect your posing?
You should always be aware of where the light sources are, making sure you are not facing away from it as that can cast unflattering shadows across the face.

photos by Penny Lane for Dita Von Teese Lingerie, courtesy of Bella Management

How could a model work their flaws?
Own them, be proud of them and don’t try to necessarily hide them… Remember that often it’s our so called ‘flaws’ that are actually our strengths and what sets us apart from others.

Do you take direction or are you more spontaneous?
I like both, I find some photographers like to give direction more than others and I just adapt to that situation. I think it’s important to be able to take direction but also be spontaneous on shoots.

Any advice for models just starting to work on their posing skills?
Do the mirror work I talked about, where you practice posing and expressions for 10 to 15 minutes a day. More importantly, organize test shoots so you get very comfortable being in front of a camera. I remember on my first ever shoot I was so nervous and stiff, but on my second, third, fourth, I gained that confidence that is so effortless now. Practice definitely makes perfect!


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