Getting ready for a photo shoot - a guide for models

July 31, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

 

I get so many questions on how to get ready for a photography shoot.  I have put together some links to other web sites that list what to do as a model to get ready for a photo shoot. I do not agree with everything they say to do. Your health is the number one concern so you need to do what is healthy for you before the photo shoot. I will also share my advice.

Practice!

Spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. Try different poses; different facial expressions. Flip through magazines to see which poses you like and try them clip them out and bring them with you to the photo shoot. Memorize successful poses and facial expressions; make sure you can quickly "recall" them without thinking. Your muscles should memorize it, not only your brain! It is like walking, you don't think how to move your legs, it just happens. It is in your muscle memory. Make sure you know how to make an attractive smile; no gums, no squinting. You should know how to make several common facial expressions and back it up with your body language. Do it when you are alone, turn off your TV or music. Yes, turn it off! Do not try all poses in one day; one at the time is much better. Repeat previous achievements at the end of every mirror practice. Practice with different outfits, not all poses can be used in every situation. It makes for a successful photo shoot when you are aware of your poses and facial expressions.

Skin

Remove hair from under arms and legs prior to photo session for ladies, men it is a matter of choice of hair or no hair.

Do not experiment with new skin products before the shoot. It can cause skin irritation, discoloration or allergic reaction, effectively ruining the photo shoot.

Nails

Fingernails should be moderate length and well manicured.Avoid vibrant colors that clash with your outfits.

Hair

Make sure your hair is healthy, no discolored roots and the style and color are flattering to your face. Show up with your hair clean and camera ready. Avoid making pony tail when going to a photo shoot. It leaves a mark on your hair.

Do not experiment with new hair styles and colors before the shoot; it may not work as expected.

Do not trim your hair within a week before the photo shoot. Freshly trimmed hair need at least a few days to accommodate and have tendency to stick in all directions.

Eyes

Use a lash groomer to smooth brows into place for a defined shape and to prepare before tweezing, trimming or applying makeup. Tweeze brows. Trim brows if needed.

Get plenty of sleep to avoid puffy eyes. No amount of makeup can fix this.

Use eye drops if necessary to minimize the appearance of blood vessels. Consult with your family doctor before using it!

Packing up

Model's kit

Here are some items you may want to add to your model's bag. Not all items are required and most are for female models, but it is useful to have a reference. You may think of other items not listed here. Bring anything you find useful.

·         Hair brush

·         Hair bands, pins, clips

·         Eye liner

·         Matt finish/powder

·         Makeup remover

·         Small mirror

·         Concealer in flesh tones

·         Loose transparent face powder

·         Lip pencil (nude or skin colour)

·         Lipsticks and lip pencils

·         Pencil sharpener

·         Travel size nail kit

·         Cotton balls and cotton swabs

·         Tweezers

·         Hair spray

·         Toothbrush and toothpaste

·         Hair dryer

Wardrobe

Choose your wardrobe carefully and have it ready the day before the photo shoot. It is best to bring several options when it comes to clothing. If you have more then you have more to work with. It is better to have more to work with than to have a lack of selections and a short photo session.

Props

Bring as many props as you would like. By props I mean bring scarves, sunglasses, fashionable clothing items like jackets and unusual items that you would like to try to work with. Also practice posing with the items before the photo shoot.

 

Accessories

Along with each outfit, try to bring accessories which will accent or match the outfit. Keep accessories simple.

·         Earrings

·         Bracelets

·         Gloves

·         Necklaces

·         Bags

·         Hats

·         Veils

·         Scarves

·         Other

Shoes

Shoes must match or accent the outfit.

·         High heels

·         Dress shoes

·         Stilettos

·         Boots or high heeled boots

·         Open toed

·         Closed toed

Remove stickers from the soles of your shoes. You can use nail polish remover to remove subborn stickers (use it on the soles only!).

 

Photo shoot (timeline)

72 hours before the shoot

Contact me by a call, text or email to verify that you are still available for the photo shoot. Make sure all your questions are answered. Verify where you need to be, at what time and how to get there on time. Make a check list of items you are planning to bring to the shoot. Read the model release  if you haven’t done so already (you will be signing it on the photo shoot).

If possible, e-mail me some images or a brief description of outfits and accessories you are planning to bring in.

If you haven't done so already, send me with your mobile phone number. I may need to contact you in case of unexpected changes.

24 hours before the shoot

Make sure all outfits and accessories are ironed and properly packed. Pack outfits carefully to avoid wrinkles on clothes.

Tweeze eyebrows and the area between eyebrows. Be careful not to over tweeze.

Use oil and toothbrush on lips to exfoliate and top with Vaseline the night before the shoot. Put Vaseline on hands, feet, knees and elbows (put cotton socks/gloves on feet/hands overnight to soak in) to soften the skin and minimize wrinkles.

Avoid greasy, spicy and salty food. Avoid alcohol. Drink plenty of water and have a good night's sleep.

Charge your mobile phone and make sure you have my phone number recorded.

The day of the shoot

If I notice alcohol or other "stimulants" being used, I will cancel the photo shoot without the possibility to re-schedule.

Relax. Take more time than usual to get ready. Moisturize your skin.

Eat a light meal before you leave. Take a bottle of water and some light snacks to the photo shoot, especially if the shoot is outdoors or on location.

Arrive on time. If late, contact me and let me know your estimated time of arrival. If you arrive with significant delay, the shoot may be shortened as well and the number of final images may be reduced.

Photo shoot (during the session)

Ideas

Models are encouraged to share their ideas any time before or during the photo shoot. Bring images you found elsewhere, tear sheets can be useful to explain your ideas.

My shooting style

I tend to "go with the flow". I usually give a suggestion and follow model's performance. I love trying new things, experimenting with different angles. If something doesn't work, it can be deleted right on the spot. I do not have a predefined recipe for all shoots. With every shoot I change my style slightly; I even interact differently with different models, based on my personal observation of the model as a person.

Posing

Relax and flow naturally. I give suggestions during a photo shoot and correct obvious mistakes. However, do not expect me to pose you like a mannequin in a shop window. Practice before the shoot, be natural, and keep moving. Photo shoot is a collaborative process and if I don't get any help from the model, I can only do so much.

Photo shoot duration

On average, a photo shoot with me takes about 2-3 hours

 

Wardrobe

Choose your wardrobe carefully and have it ready the day before the photo shoot. It is best to bring several options when it comes to clothing. If you have more then you have more to work with. It is better to have more to work with than to have a lack of selections and a short photo session.

Props

Bring as many props as you would like. By props I mean bring scarves, sunglasses, fashionable clothing items like jackets and unusual items that you would like to try to work with. Also practice posing with the items before the photo shoot.

Here are a few web site links that can be helpful for both guys and girls

http://www.pixiq.com/article/models-photo-shoot

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_5767597_ready-photo-shoot.html

 

http://jimmysmithtraining.com/interviews/how-to-get-ready-for-a-photo-shoot

 


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