Preparing for Model Portfolio Shoots

Preparing For Your Shoot

Do your homework!

Whether you are shooting for a modeling portfolio, headshots or private use, planning for your shoot will give you the best chance of having photos you will fall in love with.

Depending on your interest, We suggest signing up to receive free catalogs from companies such as: Newport News, Chadwick’s, Delia’s, and Victoria’s Secret. Study them and pay particular attention to how the models pose in different style clothing.   Look closely at how they hold their hands.

If you are a shooting model portfolio photos, find a model with a similar look or is working in an area modeling you would like to be in. Study what they are wearing, pay attention to what kind of locations were used, accessories, hair and makeup. We could make these decisions for you but feel you get far better results with a collaborative process.

Practice posing and facial expressions

Of course we will help you as much as you desire with posing but you will feel far more confident and create superior photos when you understand how your face and body feels when making different expressions and poses.

During our shoot, we may ask you to portray different emotions and expressions such as “intense”, “flirty”, “motherly/fatherly”. Practicing in the mirror along with shooting often are the best ways to master these poses. However, the practicing in the mirror is far less expensive.


An important factor in creating unique photos is what props are used. What are props? Props are any items that can accessorize your shoot and give it impact. Props can be anything from sunglasses, a laptop, an umbrella, top hat to animal print rug or fur coat.

Unless otherwise arranged, clients are responsible for supplying their own props for a shoot.

Clients that supply their own props tend to bring things that have significantly more meaning than what the typical photographer might provide. Plus, photographers who repeatedly use the same props over and over again in shoots tend to have photos that all look the same (or at least less distinctive).

Sensual or Glamour Photography Shoot

If you intend to shoot glamour style photos, boudoir photos, “Maxim/FHM style” photos, lingerie photos, or any type of photos intended to give off an “intimate” look, please consider bringing items that may help reinforce the look you are going for. These items can be used to help adorn the set. For example, if you wish to try some shots involving a fur-skin rug, then all you need to do is supply the rug.

Additional items to consider include comforters, pillows, sheets, fabric to drape across the set or hang from the ceiling, and anything else you think might help add to the look you are going for. If you have any particular ideas in mind and would like to know if you should bring something, please feel to ask.

Additional Items to Consider

It very common to get to a shoot and realize you should have brought something you didn’t. A little planning can go a long way in maximizing the time you are paying for to shoot. Here a few other items to consider bringing to your shoot.

*The Model Bag:
-Nude colored bra
-Strapless bra
-Nude colored panties… esp. a thong
-Spanx or Spanx-like stocking, either the pant version (waist to calf) or short (waist to knee).
-Pair of nude colored pantyhose
-Pair of black-strappy heels (heel portion must be thin for photographs, no wedges or thick heels)
-Lotion for body (ashy skin does not photograph well!)
-Safety pins
-Bobby pins

*(from Plus Model Magazine 1/1/08 )

1 week before your shoot…

Make sure you have decided if you want to hire a makeup artist/hair and clothing stylist.

Pay your deposits or payments in full.

Start pulling tears or examples of the look you are going for. Study them and practice your posing.

If not already done, finalize the shoot location.

Shop for wardrobe and accessories.

3 days before the shoot…

Call me to confirm date, time, location and parking instructions.

Ask any last minute questions.

If you have an iPod, create a play list to get you in the mood for creating great photos. You may like love songs but choose songs that will energize you.

Get your nails and toes done. Generally, short and neutral (nude polish or a French manicure) is the best way to go.

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

Start packing. In the process you may find that you are missing things you want to bring. I have a rolling rack at the studio. Iron all your stuff ahead of time and pack them into garment bags with hangers. Separate your accessories and make sure you have the right shoes (and the left ones :).

If you need any hair removed, do it now! You want to make sure your skin has recovered from any irritation resulting from hair removal.

Trim split ends and dye your roots. Studio lights exaggerate both of these! It is not the time to try a new hair color or cut. If you end up hating your hair it will show up in your photos.

24 hours before the shoot…

Go over what you have packed. Are you forgetting anything?

Bring tears (photos you would like to emulate in some way) or email them to me so I can print them out.

Print or write out your driving directions. I won’t always be able to help you find your way. If you have any doubts, address them now.

It’s shoot day!

Please eat a light meal before you leave. Photo shoots can be fun but exhausting. You don’t want to burn out and look tired in your photos.

Please bring bottled water, snacks, and anything else necessary to keep you going.

Wear loose fitting underwear and clothes to avoid leaving marks on your skin.

If there is going to be a makeup artist on set, please arrive with a clean and well-moisturized face. Bring along your own makeup too, just in case they don’t have your shade of foundation or are lacking a makeup item. Also, come with clean, DRY hair. Never arrive on set with wet hair.

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