Awhile back, somebody happened upon my blog with the search string "holding a pose and started getting lightheaded." I could imagine the circumstances that led to somebody sitting down to search online to seek an explanation, or some understanding behind what must have happened that day. Why would a normally healthy person be suddenly struck by lightheadedness while they were simply standing around?
The fact is that sooner or later most life models get hit by lightheadedness while working. It just comes the the job. It doesn't mean you're unhealthy, it doesn't mean you're doing it wrong, it doesn't mean that you're a failure as a model. It just means that you do a job that involves stressing and challenging your body in a way that nature didn't quite plan for. It's okay. It happens to the best of 'em.
Happily, there are a handful of things that can be done to head off getting lightheaded on the job.
Of the handful of times that I've had to break a pose early, I've often either been in a very hot room or right by a heater. I get cold easily, so it is all too tempting for me to snuggle up next to a blasting hot fireplace or heater. After 10-20 minutes though, it can start getting pretty intense, even for me. Be aware of the temperature and how your body responds to it, and adjust things as necessary.
Not eating well the day or two before a session. Getting worn down from too much time on the road. I've found that being in states like these make me more vulnerable to getting lightheaded. If I know that, for whatever reason, I'm apt to start getting droopy, I make a point of having some sort of sugary hard candy with me. And not that zero-calorie sugar-free shit- something that will give me a prompt glucose kick if I need it.
Tweaking body parts into extreme angles is all fine and dandy for photoshoots and gestures, but can get dicier if you're going to be holding the pose for more than a minute or two. I've found that excessively contorting and stretching my torso, or selecting poses that really ratchet my arms behind me, can start doing weird things to me. It's fine for gestures, but once poses are lasting five plus minutes, those poses can become more problematic. Standing poses can also be challenging over longer periods of time if it's a hot room or you haven't eaten in awhile. Occasionally pump the muscles in your legs to keep blood flowing. It's a good habit to be in, even if you're feeling great.
Even with this awareness, lightheadness can still sneak up. If it does, let the artist(s) know what's going on, and that you need to take a break. Even if it means breaking the pose early. Get some water, and something with sugar in it- candy, fruit, non-diet soda, whatever. Take a minute to sit, and then move around or stretch. Once you've bounced back, go for easier poses for the rest of the night.
And remember- it's okay.