Prior to a shoot | | Thomas Holm

Prior to a shoot

Here are some standard advice and list for stuff to remember for models prior to a shoot

  • Always work with a model release and make sure you agree to the terms in advance. You know what you will be paid either in money or pictures. Don't leave this up til the last minute - always clear up the terms in advance (TFP/Payment/usage). 
  • Be at the session on time. Make sure you agree on whether the shoot will start at the agreed time or whether it's a meeting time and you have time for fixing hair/make-up.
  • If for some reason you are absolutely unable to attend, notify the photographer imediately to minimise the damage. It's not very popular when shots are cancelled, especially in the last minute, and it can make a great deal of difference for the photographer to know well in advance. Cancellation can mean a lot of wasted time, but also loss of money as a photographer still might need to pay for rental of studio, equipment and props.
  • If doing nude or lingerie shots make sure you wear loose fitting clothes at least a few hours before the shot (best possible choice is a long dress and no underwear/bra). Stay away from jeans, tight underwear and tight fitting jewelry. Also bring a bathrobe or kimono. Your skin looks much nicer without clothes-marks and will become blotched if if you are unable to keep warm during the session.
  • If doing nude shots, make sure you explain your limits in advance and communicate them to the photographer. The photographers idea about what a nude shot is may not be the same as yours. The session will be more relaxed if the photographer knows what you will do but especially how you won't pose. It's YOU on the picture so YOU have to define the limits and communicate them.
  • If you are inexperienced make sure you know what you are going to do in advance. Take some time to train poses and facial expressions in front of a mirror in advance. Try and find some magazines or online pictures on, say tumblr, that mimick the images you will pose for and use these as inspiration.
  • If you feel unsecure about the photographer, ask him/her if it is ok to bring a friend/girlfriend (it should be as long as you are not shy in front of the person you bring). Don't bring your boyfriend if you have any other choice!
    Even though your boyfriend is OK with what you do you will likely feel a bit timid, and possibly so will the photographer. In either case the image quality will suffer.
    If you do bring your boyfriend explain to him in advance that he might be placed in another room during the shoot and he shouldn't expect to be serviced a whole lot. 
  • Try and go to bed early the day before the shoot. Hung-over and tired models with bloodshot eyes generally doesn't go down well with photographers. It's essentially wasting everybody's time and energy.
  • If you need to shave/epilate do it as close to the shoot as possible (a 5'oclock shade or hairstubs rarely looks good in the pubic area), but with enough time for your skin to calm down and ease the irritation. Also attend to eyebrows the day before. Don't forget to apply lotion and generally clean your skin in advance.
  • Pay attention to your nails and toe nails. For nude shots in black and white colored nail varnish or fancy patterns will often look weird but for glamour shots it might be great. So ask the photographer in advance what is preferred. 
  • Don't go to a tanning bed for two days prior to a shoot (your skin can have a strange color for up to 48 hours). Don't spraytan a week before. Personally I recommend not to use artificial tanning at all.
  • Don't starve yourself the day prior to a shoot to look thinner, you will need the energy, and besides Photoshop and lighting can make you look great anyway.

Things to bring in general

  • Makeup
  • Lipgloss
  • Make-up remover
  • Lotion and baby oil
  • Lingerie (whatever you have that looks nice)
  • Nylon stockings, fishnets, garter belt/stay-up
  • Various clothes, normally anything you have that is elegant. But also think unconventional, a short jacket and a G-String might be visually exciting
  • Shoes, especially high heels
  • Accessories such as jewelry, scarves, bracelets. Generally large jewelry works well in images
  • Stuff for styling hair, such as fixative, braces, needles, hairpins etc.
  • Curler/flat-iron
  • If you prefer certain music bring a MP3 player or a CD.
  • A bottle of water and som fruit/food. Normally the photographer will take care of this, but you need to be able to fuel up so burn some in any event. Possibly dark chocolate and almonds are also a good choice of energy that will not leave you bloated.
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