What are the types of poses?

Gestures/Short Pose

"Short poses", sometimes referred to as "gestures", are 20 mins or less.  We typically do 1 min, 2 min, 5 min, 10 min and 20 min poses.  Before the 20 min segment begins, the instructor or monitor will tell you, for example, "we're going to do ten 1-min poses, followed by five 2-min poses".  As the model, you are expected to vary the dynamism of the pose depending on the length of the pose.   
This is your chance to be expressive with your body.  Do what feels natural yet interesting.  Catch the body in a moment that it's reaching, twisting, bending, etc.  In general, we're looking for an interesting relationship between the shoulders and the hips.  Be creative.  Standing, kneeling, sitting on the floor or the provided stool are all welcomed poses.  Lying down poses are less dynamic and we use them infrequently.  The model has a profound effect on the energy of the artists.

Long Pose

A "long pose" is a pose that is revisited after a break.  A long pose can be 3 hours (with a break every 20 mins of pose time), a full day, or can continue over a course of several days.  Once the model and the instructor settle on a pose, the monitor will mark the pose using masking tape to find key points on the floor or on the chair so that the model can situate him or herself in exactly the same pose after the break is over. 
The monitor is responsible for reestablishing the pose and will tell the model, for example to tilt the chin downwards or to move a shoulder backwards.  It's normal for the pose to shift over the course of time, but as the model, it's your job to pay attention to the natural movements of your body.  To help you hold a pose, find a focal point that your eyes naturally fall on when your head is in the correct position.  Find balance and stillness within yourself.  If you are drowsy or sleep deprived, it will be harder to maintain a pose.



Portrait modeling is a seated, clothed pose. The instructor may ask you to try a variety of shirts so be sure to bring some with you. In general it is helpful to be able to see your neck and clavicle. For portrait classes we are focused on facial features so you are generally free to move your legs and hands, but you will need to pay extra attention to the tilt and rotation of your head and the direction of your eyes.

What are good poses?

Each model will tend to have their own signature poses. Generally speaking "contrapposto" poses are desirable. There are lots of example on the internet. You can also find a variety of examples on www.onairvideo.com/croquis-cafe.html

Can I wear jewelry or watches while posing?

This is generally not a problem, but the final decision will be made by the monitor and instructor. If there is an issue they may ask you to remove the item during poses.

Can I wear ear buds while posing?

Please ask the instructor if this is an issue for their class.

I hear people saying the model has moved. What should I do?

You should only respond to request by the monitor. Students are instructed to request pose corrections from the monitor. It can be very confusing and chaotic if multiple people try to provide guidance. You may also just be hearing students talking to each other about how they want to adapt their work after they have noticed a change. This is not a request for you to adjust and is simply an artistic conversation between students. Students know you are human and expect there to be movement.

Will people be walking through the class while I am posing?

Only students and instructors will be present while you are posing. If there is a need for a studio guest or building personnel to pass through your studio, the monitor will first request your permission.

Will anyone touch me while I'm posing?

Absolutely NOT! If an instructor needs to point something out on you such as a shadow shape or anatomical feature, they will first let you know and ask your permission about approaching the model stand. You should feel completely comfortable and safe while posing.

Who is responsible for timing the pose?

The monitor will time the pose. The timer should start the moment you are on the stand even if students are not working. This included the time required to set and correct the pose.

Who is responsible for marking my position?

The monitor will tape the position of your feet and any other marks that you feel are necessary to regain your pose after a break.

Are these fabrics that I'm sitting/standing on clean?

Yes. Each time a new model poses the fabrics on the model stand are replaced with fabrics that have been washed.

What should I wear during breaks?

This is up to you, but you must wear something. For your own safety you should also wear some kind of shoe, e.g. sandals.

What if I'm hot or cold?

Let the monitor know. A heater or fan will be provided.

What do I do during break?

Anything you like that is not disruptive to the class. Many models use this time to stretch, read, or use their phones.

Students & Classes

Who am I posing for?

You will primarily be hired for our day classes, but there are a number of activities that require models:

  • Curriculum Classes. These are the normal classes that run each day during the school year.

  • Continuing Education Classes. These are classes that run one day per week and are attended by serious students who are often considering enrolling in the school.

  • Night Classes. These classes run from 6:00-9:00 one day per week and are attended by a wide range of students.

  • Open Studio. This is a weekend session from 1:00-4:00 that is open to anyone. It is generally attended by students who want more practice time, graduates who want to work from live models, and other local artists.

  • Workshops. These are weekend or week long classes often instructed by visiting artists. Attendees often include students who travel to Philadelphia for the workshop. Workshops run during the summer and during school breaks.

  • Emerging Artist Classes. This is a weekend class for dedicated high school students.

  • High School Classes. These are classes taught at local high schools. All models must wear leotards to these classes. If you are hired for one of these classes you will be provided with special instructions.

  • Special Events. These are special events that are usually a demo with an audience. They may be conducted at Studio Incamminati or an offsite location.

What are the students doing?

  • Level 1: Charcoal and Anatomy

  • Level 2: Grisaille (black and white painting), Color Study, and Sculpture

  • Level 3: Color Figure, Portrait, and Sculpture

  • Level 4: Color Figure and Portrait

Can I talk to the students?

Our first priority is to make Studio Incamminati a safe, professional and comfortable environment for students and models. You are not obligated to speak with students during breaks and may prefer to do your own work during this time. Some students are more outgoing than others and may strike up a conversation which is permitted as long as it is professional. Some students may even have pose or anatomy questions such as which leg you are putting more weight on.

Can I look at or photograph student work?

You can certainly look at student work during breaks. If you want to take a photo of a students work, please ask first. Generally it is considered a great compliment when a model wants a photo of a students work.

Can students photograph me?

No. Students will often take photographs of their work during breaks, but they should NEVER be taking photos while you are posing.

What if a student tries to contact me outside of class?

Some students hire models on their own and may try to contact you directly. All other contact is strictly professional and should follow Studio Incamminati policy guidelines.

What does this mean?

  • Hot Light. The halogen lights are considered "hot" lights. This is because they have a warm yellow/orange tint.

  • Cool Light. The fluorescent lights are considered "cool" lights. This is because they have a color blue tint.

  • Natural Light. This is light from the outside, e.g. sun.

  • North Light. It is often desirable for windows to be facing North. This permits the use of natural light with minimal changes during the day as the sun moves through the sky.

  • Settling into the pose. When a pose is first set it is usually the most dynamic, but it may not be a natural position for the model. It is thus typical that a model will "settle" into a more natural position that can be better held and remembered for the full day.

  • Locking the pose. Movement of a pose is expected. At some point, however, students must commit to a specific position. They will say they "locked in" with some specific positioning of the model.

  • Drifting. When a pose changes over time, it is said to "drift." If a models pose is drifting a lot, that's probably not a good thing.

  • Grisaille. Fancy way to say painting with just one paint color. This is often black and white, but may also be an orangish burnt sienna color. An open grisaille is when the area in light is not painted at all - just the shadows. A closed grisaille is when the area in light are also filled in with paint.

  • Color Study. During a color study, students are not worried about accuracy of drawing. Instead they are tasked with identifying key color values that collectively together best indicate the light source. Since drawing is not critical in color studies, the need to hold a pose is not as demanding as in other classes.

  • Form. This is a word for describing a three dimensional shape. It is not your pose, but it is a shape of your figure. Students are instructed to create studies that reflect the models form.


Who will be contacting me about scheduling?

Generally the Model Coordinator does all the hiring for the Curriculum Classes. He/She may also schedule for other activities as well, but in many cases the instructors or monitors will contact you directly for those events.

How does scheduling work?

The Model Coordinator works with the instructors to see what their upcoming needs are. Based on their requests an attempt is made to best match models with a consideration for minimizing overuse of any model for a particular class. Scheduling is generally completed 6 weeks in advance for most classes. It should be noted that there is no guarantee of if or when you will be scheduled (see below).

Why am I not getting scheduled?

Please remember that modeling is not a commitment to be scheduled. Model are scheduled based on a variety of factors starting with the needs of the instructor and class. This may not be a reflection of you or how good a job you are doing. There are a number of reasons why you may not be hired as often as you would like or expect. If you are confused, contact the Model Coordinator.

The top reasons for not being hired include:

  • Punctuality Issues. Models that consistently show up late are not rehired. Don't be late - you are paid for the 15 minutes that you arrive before class begins, e.g. 8:45. If you arrive at 9:00, you are losing 15 minutes of pay.

  • Class Requirements. Many of the classes require specific body types or skin colors. There are also often specific needs for male or female models. These needs will vary week to week. For instance, a color study class may want to alternate light and dark skinned models whereas an anatomy class may require a lean muscular model.

  • Variety. Students are trying to learn how to paint the human form. If one model is used too often then students begin to memorize proportions and forms. You may not get hired more simply because you've already done such a good job that you've been painted many times. Note: even if you are not getting hired for Curriculum Classes, if you are doing well you will get hired for other events such as Continuing Education classes.

  • Your Availability. Many classes run on multiple days, i.e. a pose that starts on Tuesday is continued on Thursday. If you are not available for both days, you cannot be hired for that class.

  • Diminishing Opportunities. As the school year goes on, poses get longer and longer. This means that only 1 model may be hired for a particular class for several weeks. Early in the year when poses are shorter, more models are needed to fill all the openings, but later in the year, fewer models are required.

What should I do if I can't make a day I am scheduled for?

Contact the Model Coordinator (or the person that hired you). We understand. You get sick, things happen, but the worst thing you can do is not show up or call out sick 10 minutes before class starts. Given enough time a replacement model can often be found. Remember that there are paying students and professional artists who are depending on you being the model for the day.

What should I do if I'm running late?

Contact the Model Coordinator and keep them informed of your expected arrival time. He/She will let your instructor know. Even if you only expect to be a few minutes late you should let the Model Coordinator know so that we do not begin to contact potential replacement models.


Who has access to my contact information?

Only the Model Coordinator, Assistant Coordinator, and school administration. Unless requested otherwise, information is also shared with Instructors and Fellows.

I am a musician/actor/artist. Can I invite students to my event?

Solicitation is not allowed. You may, however, leave advertisements (flyers, brochures, etc) in the kitchen or hang them on the bulletin board by the kitchen entryway. You may also forward e-mail announcements to the Model Coordinator who can relay it to the student body.

How does lunch work?

Lunch is from 12:00 to 12:45. You may store food in the refrigerator (but please do not leave things over night) or you may eat out at one of the local establishments. Eating is only permitted in the kitchen area. Lunch is a great time to talk to and get to know the students.

Should I expect tips?

No, students are not allowed to provide compensation to models.

Which studio am I modeling in?

When you arrive, the Model Coordinator should be in the kitchen area. You can also check the model whiteboard which will list the level you are modeling for that day.

What if I'm a little older or maybe not in the best of shape?

While anatomy classes certainly focus on muscles and their forms, other classes do not. We attempt to hire a wide variety of body shapes and skin colors.

What makes a successful model?

  • Reliability. The top reason that models are not rehired is that they are late to class or they do not show up for scheduled sessions.

  • Interesting Poses. This is art. You can play a part by inspiring students with interesting poses.

  • Positive Attitude. Professional, enthusiastic models always make everyone's life easier.