How to prepare for a model shoot

Model with purple dress

Practice as much as you can

Even top models spend hours in front of the mirror practicing expressions and poses. It is important for you to know what your face feels like when you smile, laugh, frown or pout. You must know how your body feels when it is posed in an attractive manner. Practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror; you need to learn how your face feels with the perfect smile; no gums, eyes open and no squinting.

Select your outfits and write a detailed list of styles and colours that you are bringing and give it to the photographer prior to the shoot. Remember to add the specific shoes and accessories to your lists. Do not bring jewellery unless requested by the photographer or the client, the portfolio images are about you and not the jewellery. Think about props you can use to match your outfits. Props make a photo more believable and also give you something to do with your hands.

1 Week before the shoot

Send your list of detailed outfits, including colours, styles, shoes accessories, props etc to the photographer so that he or she knows exactly what to expect on the shoot. Great photos needs planning, so be prepared.

3 Days before the shoot

Wax or shave your legs and armpits 3 days before the shoot. If you are modelling swimwear or lingerie, be sure to hit the bikini line. Also make sure your facial hair is under control. Don’t have your facial hair waxed in the 3 days before the shoot, do it before that time in order to allow for the irritation to disappear.

Check your hair, if it has been a while since you had a trim, now is the time. Speak to your hairdresser that she knows not to go wild with your hair. If your hair is dry use a deep conditioning treatment. If you colour your hair, get a refresher or have your roots done. Remember this is not the time for a new style, colour or treatment. If your colour doesn’t come out as planned your skin will be affected.

2 Days before the shoot

Call your photographer to confirm the shoot, date and time. Confirm your list of outfits etc. Ask any last minute questions you may have.

Get your nails done, don’t forget your toes. Generally, short and neutral is the desired look. For nude polish or a French manicure will do.

Drink plenty of water; avoid salty foods and alcohol before the shoot so that you are not puffy the day of the shoot.

24 Hours before the shoot

Get plenty of sleep before the shoot. Bags, dark circles and bloodshot eyes will ruin the shoot. Sleep at least eight hours a night for the 3 days before the shoot and avoid alcohol.


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