Posing for the camera
The above left photo I found was the original stock image selected to sell this frame from the 90's. I was at a junk store in town searching for props and this image, while well executed is silly because a business like woman most likely isn't outside (lighting) playing the flute on her pen (pose) and that prompted me to write this post.
The above right image is a recent capture of my friend Steve and is a more relaxed and realistic photo with both the pose and the lighting.
I think that for me personally asking my clients to act natural and not really directing them gives me a more realistic looking composition. That's my aesthetic. I understand that composition is really a matter of "perception is reality" and in most cases the photography we see is directed. So beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I think something is beautiful it appears to be undirected even when I know that it was.
Most of the people I photograph are not models and are having their pictures taken professionally for the first time. The camera is more than capable of capturing those nerves and emotions so it's important to relax and build confidence with your subject. I find that it takes a little while to warm up to the idea of what's happening and going back to having natural facial expressions. That's what I'm looking for, the relaxed and confident person you are.
That means if you don't usually stand like Tyra, don't. If you don't usually smile with your mouth closed, don't. Just do your best to be yourself and you'll find that you'll enjoy your final images much more!