How to Prepare for Your Model Photo Shoot

Many have found this to be a very worthy article to read.  Comments are welcome.

Preparing for Your Model Photo Shoot 

I’m going to give brief answers to questions usually asked of me prior to organizing a photo shoot.

Before you go to the shoot

To be further prepared to shoot professional model photos, there are a few things you will need to do the night before.

Body hair  – Without using wax, remove any body hair you don’t want to show in your model photos. The reason not to use wax is that you may have red skin in those places when you go to the session.

Nails – As stated in the wardrobe checklist you’ll want your nails to look their best for the photo session. Do a complete manicure and pedicure the night before your model shoot.  DO NOT use red or any other color polish on your fingernails or toenails, only clear.

LipstickGloss always works better.  What I don’t care for is lipstick that is too dark or fire engine red.

Skin Care Be sure to remove any dead skin you have and use a good moisturizer to clean and soften your skin.


If you are new to this, posing may be harder for you than the next person.  Posing requires the use of expression, hand placement and being confident.  Almost everyone has posed in a mirror.  If you do this it can only benefit you.  Practicing prior to your shoot is recommended.

You should have already been doing this long before but look through some of the major fashion mags like Vogue, Teen, etc. to look at poses and to get new ideas.  It isn’t cheating.  Major agencies do the same thing!

When looking through these magazines, notice how the model is positioned, what clothing she’s wearing, look at her makeup and study her look and expression.

You may not think you look good in certain positions.  We may think differently!

Eating & Exercise habits

I know you’ll be excited and you’ll want to be in the best shape for your session and this is important.  But, don’t overdo it!  Diet and exercise should be done on a consistant basis and not on a binge just because you have a photo shoot this weekend.  I wouldn’t eat a full meal before your shoot.  If you need munchies during your shoot, you’re welcome to bring them.

Avoid new makeup

No matter what the temptation, stay away from new makeup and skin care products just before a photo shoot. You could be in for a big, unwanted surprise by having a reaction to these new experiments. Just stay with what you know works for you.Have you ever seen pictures where a person’s face appears to have a blue tint?  It happens often and most people don’t consider this as a factor.  Oil base makeup and/or powder with titanium content are things that cause this.  The UV light from strobes and flashes often create the unwanted glow in your face.  This is what we don’t want.

What to pack for your model shoot

Again, especially pack what the client or photographer wants you to bring and the other items discussed in the wardrobe checklist .  Depending on the shoot, you may bring your survival bag that has all your makeup, curling irons and loads of clothing.  You can even consider jewelry, hats and the like.  I usually say that you can’t ever bring too much.

Be Well-Rested

Again, I know you will be excited and geared up the night before the model shoot but be sure to get plenty of rest. Go to bed early even if you don’t feel you can sleep. The rest will do you good and you’ll be more refreshed the day of the photo session.  If you are tired or hung over, it will show in your pictures.

Confirming your shoot:

This part is very important and there is no grey area here. 🙂  I do not book entirely on Facebook or using text messages.  I DO communicate at times in that manner but do not get into the finer details like that.  I will need a phone number and good time to call you prior to booking the shoot.   Prior to the night of the shoot, I will often text to make sure you haven’t changed your mind.  The morning of the shoot I will call you if you don’t call me first.  If I cannot reach you, I will not load up and leave the house.  I will consider the shoot canceled.  I will not try to reschedule.  That is up to you.

If you have to cancel it’s okay, the more notice the better.  If you decide to do it by not answering your phone, rescheduling will not be an option.  I won’t make a big issue of it, won’t message you or call you to tell you how unhappy I am, etc.  But if another photographer asks me for a reference or how good our shoot was, I’m going to tell him/her.