I’ve been considering writing something like this for a little while. A nice concise blog post for mainly new models on what to do before your shoot. There are a few common problems or niggles we all run in to and if you do the things on this list, you should avoid most of the problems and make your photographer want to work with you again.
Prep is everything for a shoot. If the photographer is putting time in to finding a location, creating multiple lighting setups, finding a MUA/hair stylist, working with them on your look, the very least you can do is be prepared.
Depending on what you’re shooting, a day before the shoot you should:
1. Wax/shave/thread/remove hair – This means anywhere that will be on display, eyebrows, top lip, armpits, legs, back, even the “lady garden” if it’s going to be on show. Don’t ever think “Oh the photographer can photoshop that out” – if I’m working on 10 or even 100 photos and they all need your stubble photoshopping out, I’m not going to be a happy bunny. BUT, if you were prepared and sorted all that out the day before the shoot, I’m going to think you’re professional and WILL work with you again.
2. Nails – get your nails done! Even if you’re just putting on fakes. They don’t have to be talons or crazy elaborate things. Just slap some paint on and make sure they’re even. No chipped nail varnish please.
3. Hair – Unless specified, make sure your hair is washed and clean, ready to be styled. No, dry shampoo is not a substitute for clean hair.
4. Don’t go out the night before – Yes you may think you’re Kate Moss, living life in the fast lane, but in reality you’re probably not and coming to a shoot stinking of booze with bags under your eyes will not get you a call back for the next shoot.
5. Skin care – we all have break outs from time to time, but don’t spend the night before squeezing your face so you show up looking like Freddie Kruger. That’s not cool. Leave it, the MUA will have ways to conceal and cover up any spots or blemishes on the day. If it really is a nightmare, contact the photographer beforehand so they can speak to the MUA and see if there is a way around it. YES, they can probably photoshop it out!
6. Fake tan – Everyone likes to look tanned, a healthy glow if you will, but orange smear marks all over your body are not cool. Get a professional spray tan a few days before so it has time to not be so Oompa Loompa orange that’ll be great! Also fake tan in between your fingers, behind your knees and on your elbows goes really dark! Avoid this!
On the day of the shoot
1. Be on time – Seriously, do I need to explain this? Show up where and when you’re supposed to. If there are problems, let the photographer know as soon as possible. If you can’t be bothered to get out of bed, great, I don’t care, just let the photographer know so he can get a more reliable model to take your place. Any shoots you cancel on last minute, what ever the reason, make you look unprofessional and photographers just won’t work with you again. If you respect their work, get there on time!
2. Wear loose fitting clothing – If you’re shooting anything where you’ll be displaying skin, don’t wear a bra 2 sizes too small that’s going to leave huge red marks across your body. This is more work for the photographer to remove. Also, skinny jeans, very bad idea. A long red seam running down both your legs is not a good look when shooting lingerie. Wear something loose a pair of sweat pants and a hoody top is more than enough to cover you without leaving awful marks all over your body.
3. Take a strapless bra and seamless pants – What ever you’re shooting you should always take a pair of seamless pants with you, so you can wear them under other clothing; your normal bright Bridget Jones polka dot pants will show through under studio lighting.
They’re not going to win you any sexy undies prizes, but they will make your photographer book you again!
4. Have fun – We’re very privileged to have a great fun job. Enjoy it, be professional and you’ll go far!