The process of preparing for a shoot is in and of itself a huge confidence builder. What I have learned during my experience doing glamour photography in Phoenix is, when your confidence is higher, you are more relaxed and your shoots go swimmingly well.
Preparation involves a mix of proper diet, skin care, posing practice and perhaps targeted exercise. Proper preparation will have you at your best for your photo shoot.
Hydrate by drinking plenty of water, it makes skin supple and fresher
Sleep and get a nice healthy refreshing dose of it, beauty sleep is real
Shave, wax or otherwise depilate 2-3 days before your shoot. Plan to let skin rest a day or two before the shoot. Pluck or otherwise shape eyebrows. Remove mustaches and fine hairs on face. Depilate fully excess coarse hairs on underarms, legs, bikinis, you get the picture…
Use a non staining invisible solid deodorant
Have your nails well manicured and pedicured. Use neutral polish or a color specifically intended to work with your theme
Have your hair clean and ready the day before the shoot, wear it down for the stylist or discuss with the photographer if you are doing your own
Fix any dark roots 2 days ahead of the shoot as strobes can exaggerate this greatly
Moisturize your skin with a greaseless non shiny moisturizer the days before and morning of the shoot
Arrive with no makeup on, unless you are doing your own makeup and have agreed with the photographer ahead of time
If you work out, do your last several work outs emphasising your strongest body features
Pimples, leave em to photoshop. If you have a bad break out, strong mint tooth paste works wonders to kill the redness. Put it just on your blemishes at night. Cold crème will work also, but not nearly as well. Cold Ice Water (VERY cold) will also kill the redness is you use it repeatedly on your face. Get an Ice Pack and go to town.
Have your own hair and makeup kits ready and bring them with you, the stylists may not stay for the whole shoot
AVOID 1-3 days before a shoot :
Salty Foods which can increase bloat and make skin bumpy
Foods you may be allergic to and certain iodine containing foods like seafood which can create blotchiness or worst
Alcohol which can redden eyes and skin
Cigarettes from which even second-hand smoke in the air can damage skin and redden eyes
Marijuana may cause break outs, and severe oily skin
Avoid excessive sun exposure, keep skin burn and peel free for your shoot.
Perfume day of the shoot is to avoided as many people are allergic and this is close work, especially for stylists
Depilation, should be done 2-3 days before your shoot to let skin recover
Washing hair in the morning as fly away hair is harder to style, if you must wash, use a light conditioner
Using any makeup on shoot day, plan to arrive clean faced and makeup free if you’ll be having a makeup stylist
Last minute Pimples, leave them alone, they can be photoshopped out, and squeezed may be very blotchy indeed
Get copies of women’s fashion and men’s magazines, clip poses and looks you feel are sexy and cute, note any cool props.
Collect a set of props, like feather boas, hats, canes, belts, garters, ask your photographer for ideas and run your ideas by your photographer
Practice the poses you clipped for several days ahead of your shoot in a mirror, this will provide posing experience which will be a huge confidence booster and will be of real practical use in your shoot. Quirky poses often work remarkably well as do the old stand bys. Practice some of each. Be sure to incorporate some work on your body posture, hand positions and facial expressions.
Expressions, as a guide, when your expression in your eyes match the expression of your mouth, it will seem more sincere.
Practice poses with some of the props. You are acting, have some fun with it
Bring ID, if you are underage, both you and your legal guardian will need ID
Releases, be prepared to sign a release. If you feel you might have an issue with signing a release, ask to see the release ahead of time. Most ethical photographers always require some form of agreement or release and often a complete release of rights prior to shooting, these outline each parties rights and responsibilities
GOING TO THE SHOOT:
Have a bag, or several to safely carry your props, your wardrobes and your cool sets of shoes
Wear loose-fitting clothing, such as a bath robe or sweats and no undies or bras to the shoot, these can leave unsightly lines which can take over an hour to work out
Bring your makeup
Bring items you need to do you hair if you will be responsible for your hair, and just in case for touch up if stylists leave
Bring more props and clothes than you need if you have the space, more is better than less. Include if possible a variety of shoes, a pair of skinny jeans, assorted jewelry, SKIN Colored Strapless Bra, SKIN Colored Bra cups, SKIN Colored thong, assorted accessories (leg warmers, hats, gloves, etc) and a pair of leggings
Remove jewelry that will not be part of the shoot and leave in a safe place at home. Jewelry can distract, leave skin marks or get left behind if taken to a shoot.
Bring a change of clothes appropriate for after your shoot
Bring snacks and water
AT THE SHOOT:
Be safe, if you do not know the photographer, or his port seems less than professional, consider brining a quiet, helpful friend. Leave immediately if you do not feel a comfort level. Without a comfortable chemistry, the shots do not turn out well in any event.
Change into a loose-fitting gown or bath robe as soon as you have decided to stay
Look at and sign the model releases and hand the legal financial issues
Go over the shoot plan and props with the photographer and artist teams
Let the photographer know if you are wearing contacts, be prepared to remove them as they may not photograph as well as your gorgeous eyes
Communicate openly and professionally. If someone asks you to do something you are not comfortable with, say so. Be open to discussion of what might be more comfortable for you. This is a creative process. Work with it and enjoy the collaboration and camaraderie.
Pose for the camera. Remember, you are not posing for the sake of posing or copying. Get into the “part” of how the stylists prepared you. To make a great photo and be a the best model you can be, you need to be the best actress you can be. If you are doing pin-up for example, become “Marilyn Monroe.” If you are doing couture, become the Queen of England. Silly examples perhaps, but you get the point. You are playing make-believe. Yay!
Have fun! This is fun. Enjoy it and outrageously so.
Comments with questions, experiences, or sharing additional resources welcome and appreciated.