How to Prepare
1) Preparing for the Shoot
The Model Information Form: A critical part of preparation is to fill out and submit the model information form as far in advance as possible. This form gives the Photographer your physical details that are relevant for the shoot and allows him to prepare adequate resources (space, equipment, lighting designs) in advance of the shoot. This, in turn, minimizes down-time during the shoot itself and keeps things running smoothly. More importantly, the form (as well as any other conversations that you may have with the photographer) gives you a chance to give valuable input towards the design of the shoot and to discuss your creative interests, your portfolio needs, and your ideas about bringing your individual personality out in the shoot.
2) Chaperones: Yes you may bring a chaperone to my shoots. You always have the option of bringing a chaperone with you to the photo shoot. Please note however, that a disruptive or uncomfortable chaperone can seriously jeopardize the creative process and can compromise the quality of the photographs that are produced. I ask that no behind the scenes images or videos be posted with out my consent first. If you are shooting for a magazine submission and the magazine editors gets wind of the BTS images/videos, they will pass on your submission.
If you intend to bring a chaperone, inform them on they style of shoot you are doing and prepare them if there is any hiking involved in the process to get to a location. Communication is key,
3) Practice: It is important to know how your face feels when you smile, or laugh, or frown, or pout. It is important to know how your body feels when it is posed in an attractive manner. Practice facial expressions in front of the mirror – learn how your face feels with a perfect smile – no gums, eyes open – not squinting shut, just a slight squint is okay. The deer in the headlights look will not be your best shot, nor will duck lips. Practice , Practice , Practice
Poses in front of a mirror – while naked. Yes – it says “naked”. With clothes on you have pockets, collars, etc. to “hang on” to. Without clothes you have to learn how to place your hands and make them look attractive. You will be much more confident if you are able to do some basic poses on your own. Swap posing images with your photographer so you are on the same page will be a great help come shoot day. Magazines and searching on youtube are great resources.
4) Clothing and Props: The exact items of clothing that you bring with you to the shoot will vary depending on the theme and mood of the shoot, which is another reason why it is critical to communicate in advance. Regardless of the specific theme (high fashion, specific professional outfits, lingerie, swimsuits, etc.), compose and select your outfits in advance of the shoot – don’t wait until the night before. Bring specific clothing that corresponds to the style of shooting you will be doing. In general, be sure to have at least 2 changes of clothes per hour of shooting time, unless instructed otherwise. Sometimes this process even provides a good excuse to do a little extra shopping! Shopping for specific outfits for your shoot are usually the best option to keep you in todays fashion trends. This is key if your shooting for your portfolio. No body wants to see the bathing suite from ten years ago, thats faded and worn out.
Remember to add specific shoes and accessories to your list. High heels are essential, as they make photographs of EVERY type of outfit and almost EVERY theme look better. Bring a pair of sneakers in case your have to hike to a location and a pair of sandals. If your shooting in a beach setting or in an area of water where you can not see your feet. Bring a pair of water proof beach shoes.
5) Tips for Looking Your Best on Camera: Here are some recommendations that a model may want to review in order to prepare for a photo-shoot. Invest the time to make yourself look the best you can be so you can feel confident during the shoot. If you feel great about yourself, you will exude confidence.
Body and Skin Preparation
Moisturize: Hopefully you moisturize your skin regularly. If not, certainly apply moisturizer on the days before and morning of the shoot. To make your skin look smooth, supple and glowing, consider using with a hydrating cream containing exfoliators such as hyaluronic or glycolic acid.
Remove: Shave 2-3 days before the shoot, in order to give your skin a chance to recover. If you do it yourself, follow the main rules of depilation to avoid irritation and ingrown hair: cleanse your skin and exfoliate before depilation. Remove any facial hair, even peach fuzz. this can be a real problem in post production in photoshop.
Avoid too much salt and iodine in your diet. Salt can lead to water retention in the skin and the skin surface does not look smooth and tight but tired and bumpy. Iodine, for example in sushi and marine dishes, can trigger break-outs. Include more fiber into your diet it will help your body to get rid of toxins, and drink plenty of water.
If you do get a pimple the day of the shoot, do not touch it, as you will make it redder and harder to cover. Most photographers have no problem with one or two pimples as these can be easily covered with makeup or digitally removed by Photoshop. If you have serious acne problems, be sure that your photographer knows this in advance.
Do not experiment with new skin treatments and self tanners the night before the shoot. Any new treatment can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions. Test out the treatments well in advance of the shoot in order to know how your skin will react and how long your skin needs to recover. Not using the correct self tanners will result in you looking like an oompaloompa! I find a natural sun tan or tanning at least 4-5 days out from your shoot is best. If you tan the night before you will find yourself scrubbing your hands raw to get the orange off.
Hair: If you dye your hair, make sure that you have had your roots recently treated. Studio lighting can exaggerate dark roots.
Nails: Make sure your finger and toe nails look clean and manicured. Use a clear nail polish which will go with any color clothing. If you must color your nails use a neutral white or cream. No crazy florecent colors or designs, they get distracting.
Makeup: If there will be a makeup artist at the shoot, arrive with no makeup on. Otherwise, you will lose time and potentially irritate your skin (and your photographer) when the makeup comes off. If you will be doing your own makeup, remember that photography lighting and the heat from the lights tend to make the skin look shinier than usual. Do not use any shiny or bright make-up that might cause reflection or glare during the photo shoot. Apply a base to smooth your skin and make it look consistent. Use mascara to bring out your eyes. Bring several colors of lipstick that you can apply depending on the color of clothing. If you don't know who is going to be your makeup artist, ask. I will be happy to give their contact info for you both to discuss things.
Avoid: Using any deodorant which may stain clothing.
What to wear to the shoot: If your shoot is glamour, swimwear or lingerie, wear loose fitting gym clothes which have no elastic bands. Do not wear underwear. Underwear leaves lines on the skin, which can require 30-60 minutes to disappear. Bring a robe or towel to help cover your up if you are doing a lingerie or boudoir shoot.
Get plenty of sleep the night before a shoot. Bags, dark circles, and bloodshot eyes WILL ruin a shoot. Do not party the night before.
Bring music – shoots are more fun and more relaxed with music, and you often feel more comfortable listening to something that you like while you work. If the shoot has a particular theme or there is a particular emotion that you want to elicit for the camera, consider bringing music that is in sync with this feel.
Nutrition: Water to drink. Eat something please before or bring a snack.