Portrait modelling is a bit different to life modelling. You’d think it would be easier, right? No getting naked. Piece of piss?
Nah, not really. OK, so there’s no nudity, but people are staring at YOUR FACE. It’s really off putting. At least with life modelling you don’t really notice people or where they are looking, as they’re not generally in your eye-line (I always choose a spot in the distance like a picture on the wall or something to stare at).
Portrait modelling you likely have to hold your head at a certain angle, and you’re probably at the same height as the artists, meaning there’s a chance of either movement or eye contact. Both of these can be off-putting.
Movement means you have to try and ignore it’; there could be something super-exciting going on and the urge to move your head is almost subconscious.
Eye contact can be uncomfortable, for both parties, given that we as humans are naturally awkward and avoid eye contact with people generally, but especially if, god forbid, it’s for a prolonged period of time.
The Good Thing about portrait modelling though, is that you can generally move the rest of your body. As long as you’re not doing the conga, and anything like jazz hands are probably a no go too. Basically small movements = OK, anything bigger might make your head move. Even if it’s slightly, the artists will be able to tell.
Don’t be tempted to try and smile. It’s hard to keep a smile for anything longer than a minute or two, unless you’re genuinely happy about something. And no one can be genuinely happy about something for a good two hours. Well, not enough to keep the same smile. Resting face is what you need. Everyone has one. Mine is resting-fed-up-face.