Prior to a shoot | | Thomas Holm

Prior to a shoot

Here are some standard advice and list for stuff to remember for models prior to a shoot 

  • Always make sure you agree to the terms of the model release in advance. Know and understand what you will be paid, whether payment is in the form of money, pictures, or a combination of both. Don't leave this up til the last minute to discuss - always clear up the terms in advance and preferable have it in writing (TFP/Payment/Usage). 
  • Arrive to the session on time. Make sure to discuss if the agreed meeting time allocates time for hair and make up or is simply the start time for the shoot. 
  • If for some reason you are unable to attend, notify the photographer immediately to minimize the damage. A photographer may have done some advance planning, preparation, or invested money by reserving a space to shoot and now will need to take care of those arrangements. It's unfortunate when shoots have to be cancelled, especially last minute, and it can make a great deal of difference for the photographer to know well in advance. 
  • If doing nude or lingerie shots make sure you wear loose fitting clothes at least a few hours before the shoot. Stay away from jeans, tight undergarments, and tight fitting jewelry. These things will leave clothing marks that take a long time too dissolve. The best outfit to wear pre shoot is a loose fitting dress. To be comfortable between shooting and changing of sets, bring a bathrobe or kimono. This helps keep you warm during winter and prevent your skin from becoming blotchy.
  • If shooting nude, make sure to set your limits in advance and communicate them to the photographer. The photographer's idea about what a nude shoot is may not be the same as yours. The session will be more relaxed if both the photographer and you know what makes you feel comfortable and how to pose for those limitations. It's YOU are in the picture so YOU have to define the limits.
  • If you are inexperienced, make sure you know how you would like to pose in advance. Take time to train poses and facial expressions in front of a mirror. Find magazines, online pictures on, say tumblr/instagram, that mimic style of posing you feel comfortable with. Use these photos as inspiration and share them with the photographer to discuss.
  • If you feel insecure about the photographer, check references. Reach out to models they have worked with before and ask about their experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer if they have references and where. If you are still unsure ask him/her if it is ok to bring a friend (it is important that you are comfortable and not shy with the person you choose to bring with you). As a last resort, your boyfriend or partner is an option. Even if your partner is OK with what you do, you may feel a bit timid, and potentially the photographer may be affected as well. In either case the image quality will suffer. If you do decide to bring your partner, discuss with them in advance what proper etiquette for them as a guest to the shoot would be. Your partner may be waiting in another room during the shoot. One last point: if you are unsure or feel there is something dodgy about the photographer don't book the shoot.
  • The day before the shoot, go to bed early. Hung-over and tired models with bloodshot eyes means that you are unlikely to preform to the best of your ability. This would be a waste of time to all parties involved as the goal of the shoot is to create to the best of everyone's talent and ability. 
  • If you need to shave/wax do it as close to the shoot as possible (hair stubs rarely looks good in the pubic area), but with enough time for your skin to calm and ease the irritation. Also make sure to attend to eyebrows the day before. Don't forget to apply lotion and generally clean your skin in advance.
  • Pay attention to your nails and toe nails. For nude shots in black and white colored nail varnish or fancy patterns will often look weird but for glamour shots it might be great. Discuss with the photographer in advance what is preferred. 
  • Don't go to a tanning bed for two days prior to a shoot (your skin can have a strange color for up to 48 hours). Don't spraytan a week before. Personally I recommend not to use artificial tanning at all.
  • Don't starve yourself the day prior to a shoot to look thinner, you will need the energy, and besides Photoshop and good lighting can make you look your best. If you are worried about bloating, research foods that will help ease that but also keep you feeling full and have energy.

Things to bring in general

  • Makeup
  • Lipgloss
  • Make-up remover
  • Lotion and coconut oil. Or massage oil or as a last resort baby oil
  • Stuff for styling hair, such as fixative, braces, needles, hairpins etc.
  • Curler/flat-iron
  • If you prefer certain music bring a MP3 player or a CD.
  • A bottle of water and som fruit/food. Normally the photographer will take care of this, but you need to be able to fuel up so bring some in any event. Possibly dark chocolate and almonds are also a good choice of energy that will not leave you bloated.
  • Kimono/Bathrobe to stay warm during breaks

If shooting Glamour/fashion nudes

  • Accessories such as jewelry, scarves, bracelets. Generally large jewelry works well in images
  • Lingerie (whatever you have that looks nice)
  • Nylon stockings, fishnets, garter belt/stay-up
  • Various clothes, normally anything you have that is elegant. But also think unconventional, a short jacket and a G-String might be visually exciting
  • Shoes, especially high heels
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