Model Shoot Preparation Guidelines

You never know what could happen at a photoshoot, sometimes a weather change has us completely revamping a concept or wardrobe doesn’t show up on time – as such its always best to be prepared, even when things go perfectly! Below is a simple guide to preparing for a photoshoot.

Skin & Hair Basics:In the days/weeks leading up to your photoshoot be sure to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest; especially the night before your shoot. Exfoliate two to three days before the shoot to avoid any redness or irritation the day of and please arrive with clean and freshly moisturized skin. If you have any skin sensitivity or allergies PLEASE let us know BEFORE your shoot!!Please arrive with clean, dry hair any clip-ins, wigs or falls you may want to use in your shots.

Finger & Toenails:Make sure your finger and toenails (and hands and feet for that matter) are properly groomed. Keep your nails clean and filed to a uniform length, and make sure your skin is soft and smooth. If your nails are painted, it should be done with clear or nude polish (unless the job requires otherwise), and you should take care to ensure your polish is not chipped or bubbled. If you have acrylic nails please DO NOT arrive with the following: exaggerated length, fan or 3D styles, crazy decorative prints. Lime green zebra stripes are awesome for going out and looking fresh but will make your images look tacky and ill executed. If your nails require ANY special attention aside from a clear coat or French tip, it will be done on set by a professional.

Body Hair & Personal Hygiene:Please arrive freshly showered and powdered (if necessary). We don’t care if you smell but the designers whose wardrobe you may be borrowing will and in the case of particularly sensitive materials like latex and rubber, your bodies sweat will eat through the clothing!Please remove any excess and unwanted body hair previous to the shoot. Pluck, wax or shave any stubble from legs, under arms and bikini area as necessary – hair is incredibly difficult to retouch from an image and could make or break the perfect shot! Be sure to properly groom your eyebrows and any unwanted lip hairs a few days before the shoot as well.It is best to arrive to your shoot wearing something loose fitting and non constrictive whether you will be showing a lot of skin or not. Tight bras and panties can and will leave red marks on your skin that will be unsightly in an image.

You never know if we will be on location or not so be sure to bring the following: -Walking shoes; these are NOT flip flops. You never know how far you’ll have to walk, and on what kind of surfaces. Protecting your feet is a good idea, and can prevent you from breaking a toe, puncturing your foot, or spraining an ankle.-Towel; A towel can always come in handy, especially on location shoots. Consider keeping a towel or blanket in your car’s trunk or in your suitcase, so you have it at the ready should you need one.

Random Stuff

You never know what you’ll need on a shoot. Clothes can tear, nylons can run, things don’t fit right… and it’s best to be well-prepared for almost anything. Here’s a list of great “in case of emergency” items to always have on hand at a shoot: 

- Lint roller

- Clear nail polish

- Double-sided garment tape

- Small scissors

- Nail clipper

- Nail file

- Tampons and panty


- Tissues

- Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer

- Clear deodorant

- Permanent marker

- Bottle of “drugs” (I bring a bottle of Aleve, Tums, Tylenol, and Benadryl)

- Small pack of baby wipes

- Extra razor

- Plastic baggies

- Vaseline

- Small sewing kit

- Lotion

- Spray bottle of water

- Benadryl anti-itch cream

- Slipper socks

- Zip up sweatshirt

- Band aids or a basic first aid kit

- Safety pins

None of these things are NECESSARY to YOUR shoot and most of the above stuff is stuff that women carry with them on a regular basis. However, that kind of stuff is also the easy-to-overlook stuff. Having it all in a bag, ready to go for shoots makes it easy to not forget anything and will make a shoot go smoothly even if something should go wrong and is great genera advice I like to give to every model.

Food:Some models take for granted the fact that they need energy during a shoot, or expect the photographer to provide food and drink on set. This isn’t always the case, so it’s best to come prepared with your own food and drink. Not a full meal, just some snacks and other things. Here are some suggestions:- Bendy straws- Bottle of water (or 2, depending on shoot length)- Easy-to-eat snacks- Toothbrush and toothpaste- Dental floss- Mints Granola bars, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, dried fruit and bananas are great sources of energy that are easy to carry and easy to eat with makeup on. Make sure the food you bring isn’t anything that will make you retain water (so nothing salty) or get stuck in your teeth. If you drink something other than water, make sure it’s not something that will stain your teeth and mouth. It always helps to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss on shoots for this exact reason, or at the very least, mints. Fresh breath is a must if you’re working closely with someone, like a makeup artist, and a clean mouth makes less work for a photographer in post-production. Bendy straws come in handy for drinking while doing minimal damage to your makeup!

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