The Business of Modeling

Authored by Joe Edelman

How To Prepare For A Photoshoot

Practice – Practice – Practice!

Even top models spend time in front of the mirror – practicing expressions and poses to prepare for a photoshoot.

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.

Practice your 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.

If you are shooting with me, I will guide you in poses – however you will be much more confident if you are able to do some basic poses on your own. Look through current magazines for ideas.

Sign up to receive free catalogs from either of these two companies. Chadwicks / Newport News.   Their catalogs are the ultimate models posing guide!   Study them and pay particular attention to how the models pose in different style clothing.   Look closely at how they hold their hands.

Select your outfits and write a detailed list of the styles and colors that you are bringing. Add specific shoes and accessories to your list. Do NOT bring jewelry unless requested by the photographer or client. Portfolio images are about YOU – you are the product – don’t water down the image with jewelry.

Props! – Think of props that you can bring to match your outfits. Props make a photo more believable and also give you something else to do with your hands.

1 week before the shoot…

60 hours (3 days) before the shoot…

48 hours (2 days) before the shoot…

24 hours before the shoot…

1 week before the shoot…

If you are shooting with me, send me your detailed list of outfits, including colors, styles, shoes, accessories, props, etc.

Remember – great commercial photographs aren’t accidents – they require planning.

60 hours (3 days) before the shoot…

Wax or shave your legs and armpits 3 days prior to a shoot. If you are modeling swimwear or lingerie, be sure you hit the bikini line. This is also the time to be sure your facial hair is under control. Don’t have your facial hair waxed in the three days prior to your shoot in order to allow for irritation to disappear.

Check your hair! If it has been a while since you had a trim, now is the time. Just be sure your hairdresser knows that he/she can’t go too wild this time. If you hair is dry, opt for a deep conditioning treatment. If you color your hair, get a refresher or have your roots done.

Note: Now is NOT the time to try new hair color/style or beauty treatment! If your color doesn’t come out as planned or your skin breaks out because you reacted to a new cleanser, you won’t look your best!

48 hours (2 days) before the shoot…

Call your photographer. It is VERY important that you call 48 hours prior to the shoot.

To confirm the date and time.

To confirm the list of outfits – styles and colors and props.

To ask any last minute questions that you may have.

Get your nails done. Generally, short and neutral (nude polish or a French manicure) is the desired look.   I can’t even begin to tell you how many great photographs have been ruined by horrible nails!   Don’t forget your toes!

Drink plenty of water, avoid salty foods and alcohol prior to a shoot so that you are not puffy on the day of the shoot.

24 hours before the shoot…

PLEASE – Get plenty of sleep before a shoot.

Bags, dark circles, and bloodshot eyes WILL ruin a shoot. Sleep at least eight hours a night for the three days prior to your shoot and avoid alcohol.

Recommended Reading about Photo Shoots


Do you need help getting your modeling career started?

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Remember... if you are serious about modeling you are considering starting a business. The "business" - is the business of marketing yourself for use in advertising. You are going to invest TIME and MONEY to make this happen. With any business, if you want to be successful be sure to do your research first.

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