Advises for models. Preparation for a portfolio photo shooting

I’ve been working quite a lot in model portfolio photo shoots lately and accumulated some tips what to do if you want to look your best for the portfolio pictures…

First of all… Sleep! Please please please get a good night sleep of at least 8 hours! This advice can go for anyone before a photo shoot really. Sleep does magic tricks for us: we have more energy, our skin feels and looks better, our under-eye’s gets lighter… I know that there is a makeup artist and Photoshop to help you, but the better feeling and looking you will arrive, the better job would be done by the team :)

Moisturise and exfoliate your skin a night before the session. The best way to go is to use a light scrub and a moisturising mask after. It would get rid of any flaky skin and unevenness and the moisture that plump up your skin, it calms any redness down, so any makeup would look better. I like to use moisturising masks on a clients on the day of session myself, but there is never too much moisture for the skin!

Practice in front of the mirror. Try different face expressions and body poses and see which ones are looking the best. Try to avoid cheesy poses as they are not suitable for a professional model portfolio. Think of a story you want to tell and try to achieve it in your pose.

Come well prepared- always have some of your personal clothes. Sometimes wardrobe would be provided and sometimes you would have to bring all the clothes yourself. But those are a must haves at all times:

For woman:

  • Nude and black underwear (it’s good to have a good push-up bra)
  • Strapless bra (better nude)
  • A little black dress
  • Nice tight jeans (not too worn up looking)
  • Black or tan pants
  • Few T-shirts and  tops
  • Shorts
  • Black high heels
  • Sandals, low heel shoes (black or tan)
  • Accessories (bring some of the bigger jewellery, scarves, hats- whatever you have in your collection- it can certainly ‘make’ the look)
  • Socks
  • Leather or jeans jacket
  • Bathing suit (one-piece or two-pieces according to your figure)

For men:

  • Couple of polo-shirts (in few different colours)
  • T-shirts (white, black and couple in different colours)
  •  Nice jeans
  • Suit
  • White and 2-4 coloured shirts to wear under the suit
  • Accessories (a nice and new looking belt, few ties that would go with a suit and shirts, watch, sun glasses, hats, jewellery if you have some)
  • Black or tan colour shoes
  • Tennis shoes  
  • Socks
  • Swim shorts

Don’t be late! Firstly because it causes further delays, secondly the team members might be potential people to hire you for future jobs, and you don’t want to give a wrong impression!

Listen to the photographer directions. Even if you have your ‘pretty side of the body or best side of the face’, keep in mind that he’s the professional who understand lighting and poses and his experience lets you know what would look the best. Be flexible and easy to adapt, so the photo session will flow according to the plan without any disruptions.

Always make sure you deal with a professional photographer. Always check their portfolios (keep in mind if it’s too good looking- it might be not his photos). The guy that brags a lot about how awesome of a photographer he is, might be not the professional you are looking for!  You don’t want to spend all this time and then realise that finished result is not suitable to show to anyone.

And... Enjoy! :)