10 Model Tips to Prepare for Your First Shoot

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your first photoshoot. However, let’s avoid the “deer-in-the-headlights” look (I’ve seen it a million times) to get something really great for your portfolio!

Many new models don’t realize what it takes to get a good image until after their first shoot. It isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it, but until you do, here are some tips to remember to get you started on the right track!

  1. So long as we’re talking about preparedness…. Always make sure to bring essentials! The bare minimum? Nude undergarments… and whatever they ask you to bring. Or, if you know the clothing you’ll be shooting, wear nice undergarments that will blend well. Black, white, nude are the basics. Pasties are good to have on hand, as well as a pair of heels. If you really want to impress, paint your nails a clean, neutral color, and bring some supplemental wardrobe.
  2. Look at magazines. Find inspiration here. What do you connect to? Look for poses, and then do them. See what works and what doesn’t. Later, you can reference what you see during your shoot and try the poses out. If it’s not working, the photographer will tell you so. Also, watch fashion shoots on youtube.
  3. Pose/practice in front of the mirror. Find what angles you think look best. And then take lots of selfies. This is silly-sounding, yes, but it can help. What you see in the mirror doesn’t look exactly like a photo would. Find attractive angles, poses, and faces. Make a silly face in the mirror and see what you like and don’t like. I like to make silly faces. Sometimes the shot turns out great. I’ve had photographers refuse to take a picture of my silly face. They know what’s best for that shot. They are essentially your eyes.
  4. Practice your pretty model hands! Hands can make a shot or break a shot. If your hand looks like the claw of no return…. it’s going to look a little awkward. If it feels awkward, it may just look awkward, too.
  5. Know your assets. Maybe you won’t know what your assets are until after your first shoot. That’s ok. Figure out what your most unique and wonderful features are and how to utilize them. Example: lips. Don’t do the same expression with your face/lips for every shot. Try to change it up and see what looks best. Some assets are hard to work with, because they are so unique. But when you harness their power…. POW.
  6. Understand who will be on the shoot. Escort or no, it’s good to require a collaborator on board (such as hair, MUA, stylist, etc.), especially when working with someone you’ve never met before. Always be cautious with who you meet and where and never be completely alone with a stranger in an uncomfortable situation. Trust your gut.
  7. Relax. There is a good chance you will be nervous. It happens to all of us at one point or another. It may help to meet the photographer for coffee before the day of the shoot and discuss the type of images you’re each looking for. Hopefully you will have discussed them before! Good communication helps the shoot roll along smoothly and makes everyone happy.
  8. Be organic. Don’t hold a pose/awkward pose for long. You want to be constantly moving, so the images look more natural and fluid. Thinking of a pose and then executing it may look more stiff than you imagined.
  9. Don’t think too much. This goes back to organic movement. If you think too much, it will show in your face and your body.
  10. How to not look like a newbie? It’s hard to say, since the experience is different for everyone. A good photographer will know how to give you proper direction. Though, with time, they shouldn’t need to. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the photos during a quick break between frames, so you know how your movement and facial expressions are translating on camera.

When in doubt… simpler is definitely better! Look at agency websites and the models there. Many of their portfolios are made up of raw, organic black and white photos. Give some attitude, show the world what you’ve got. Don’t hold back. And be you!

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

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