Let’s talk about some tips on preparing for photo shoots as a model.

Every model has their own preparation ritual and there are a lot of details that can be more personal and specific to a model, but I’d like to share some general tips with you that you can modify as you see fit for yourself.

First, let’s focus on tips about you, as in your appearance and your body.

  • Make sure you take care of yourself especially well before shoots. Try to avoid foods that cause bloating (like pop/soda, lots of carbs, etc). Drink a lot of water and get your rest.
  • Make sure you eat something before your shoot. I’ve heard too many stories of models who felt they couldn’t eat before a shoot, went on an empty stomach, and ended up feeling ill at the shoot. As long as you don’t eat a super heavy meal, you’ll be fine eating before a shoot.
  • Remove any old nail polish and clips those nails to be an even length. Then you can apply a clear or nude/neutral color.
  • Take care of your skin and make sure it’s well moisturized. The only exception to this I can think of is bodypaint. With body paint you generally want to avoid moisturizes for a couple days before the shoot to avoid issues with the paint. Make sure to ask you painter!
  • If you shave, make sure you shave whenever you need to so that you avoid stubble and redness.
  • Avoid making any “new” changes to your appearance. Unless you’ve let the photographer know and they are okay with it, you should avoid changing your hair, skin tone (as in tanning/self tanner), etc once you’ve booked a shoot.

Another important thing you’ll want to put together for yourself is a modeling kit. This is usually a bag that contains items you use for every shoot. Some commonly included items: underwear (strapless bra and thong), hair stuff (bobby pins, brush, product you use, etc), a makeup kit, baby wipes, safety pins, pain relievers, some quick snacks, a bottle of water, a razor (if you shave anything, just in case you missed a spot), lotion, etc.

Now let’s talk about some other things you can do to prepare:

  • If you are providing wardrobe, make sure you try everything on a few days before the shoot to make sure you have all the necessary pieces, to check for holes, and to make sure everything still fits well. This will also give you a chance to make sure everything goes together well. Once you know that you can either set it aside or go ahead and pack it if it won’t wrinkle.
  • If you are unsure about any part of the shoot, ask the photographer before the shoot! It’s better to ask and clarify than to guess and end up disappointed or missing something. Trust me, this is one I’ve learned from personal experience.
  • Start a packing list as you start discussing the shoot with the photographer. I’ve found this really cuts down on forgetting items and it also gives you a chance to ask if you aren’t sure about something you need to bring.
  • Pack the day before the shoot. This will keep you from being stressed trying to find things the day of the shoot and it will also give you time to add anything you forget.
  • Check drives times and get directions ready to go in advance. Make sure you ask the photographer for the address and that you find out what kind of location it is and where you should park.
  • Check out some pose inspiration a day or two (or sooner) before you shoot. This will give you some fresh ideas and you can even practice some of them at home beforehand so you know how they will feel. It will also help you pose better on your own in case the photographer doesn’t have ideas of their own.

Go back to the main Michigan Model Resources Page or check out more of my New Model Guide.

If you’ve found this resource helpful, please consider leaving a little something in my tip jar (even just $1 is appreaciated). It helps keeps this site running!