10 tips on how to prepare yourself for your first shoot

Posted by Choice Model Management in blog

It’s all very natural to get nervous and overly excited about your first ever shoot. You may find yourself stopping at every mirror in a store that you pass to strike a pose. Trying to find any aspects to perfect before the big day. These 10 tips will help cool your nerves and prepare you for your first photo shoot.

1. Communication

Communication is key! This process starts from the beginning, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the agency, the photographer and yourself. When there is a clear line of communication between all three then any misunderstanding is avoidable. Keep a notebook and pen with you always. So you can write any details down from phone calls that are necessary. Flag any important emails you receive daily to stay in the loop. This will help you feel at ease knowing if you have any concerns or inquiries you’re able to communicate with the photographer or agency without hesitation. Also, make a note of the right numbers and email addresses to contact.

2. Your requirements

You can’t turn up to a shoot in your tightest attire and bright coloured undergarments. You too boys! Find out before the shoot at least a week so you know what is required in terms of dress code or any specific styles they would like you to recreate. So, if you do need anything in particular then you won’t find yourself running around at the last minute. When going for a shoot you should always wear nude undergarments if unsure and loose clothes so your not leaving any marks on your body if you were to wear tight attire. Don’t hesitate to ask questions especially if they are very brief with the shoot details. Remember it’s your first shoot so you won’t know everything. Find out if they want you to bring accessories or props for you to use or to help perfect the shoot. Perhaps, find something for your hands so you’re not all over the place.

3. Look at inspiration

It’s always good to get a bit of inspiration for anything you do. Look at Fashion magazines especially those that fit the style of shoot you are going for. You have a wide range of fashion magazines to choose from starting with Vogue to Dazed. Look at how the models are posing, the position of their bodies, where are they looking, what expressions are they are using and look at their body language which is at ease and effortless. Additionally, look at the makeup, the hair, accessories and how props have been used to compose the shot. How has the spread been styled? Don’t be afraid to look at every detail or to look at a hundred images. When you’re in front of the camera, you don’t want to freeze in one pose or wait to be told what is your next move. You want it to flow smoothly as possible and to take in what you’re learning on the day.

4. Practise poses

Yes, you know what I’m talking about! Practising in the mirror endlessly and trying to perfect ‘the look’. It’s important for you to look natural and be yourself during the shoot too. Remember when your posing you don’t want to look too comfortable thus making your photos look unprofessional. You want to look comfortable, confident and get the poses right. As per my tip mentioned above and use the inspiration you have found by posing in the mirror for hours on end. So, that your poses come naturally on the day. It’s very important to think about your hands! Your hands will either make or break your shot! Practise how you can place your hands. It’s easy to default to the normal poses such as hands in pockets, hiding them behind your back or stroking them through your hair. Let’s think outside of the box, get rid of the typical ideas and improvise poses. Sit your hands naturally on your body, try it naked. Yes, I said naked, it’s easy to hide your hands as mentioned before. So, why not try positioning your hands on your body to find the comfortable positions for yourself. Additionally, on the day itself, don’t shy away from asking to see some shots along the way to give you an idea of your positions and how the images come out.

5. Nails & Hair

Make sure you’re well presented on the day. Not forgetting the split ends ladies or overgrown hairstyles boys! Make sure your hairlines are symmetrical too. You don’t want it to ruin your photos. Sometimes, it’s the finer details that can leave a big impact on the photo themselves. Nails! That is something people tend to forget. Make sure you book yourselves in for a manicure and pedicure. If you do wish to paint your nails, stick to a natural shade or a french manicure is always better. Again, something so simple can make a big impact. You want your photos looking good and don’t forget your toes!  

6. Perfect skin

Not everyone has perfect skin. Everyone has flaws but there are ways to make it clear and photo ready for a photo shoot. Drink water – at least 2 liters a day and ensure you get 8 hours of sleep prior to the shoot (I would start a whole week before.) So those puffy eyes don’t come through. Keep a sports bottle handy for throughout the day to hydrate yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself with consuming so much water that you make yourself sick. Take sips as you go about your day. If you drink alcohol, I would advise not to drink 72 hours before a shoot. You want to be full of energy and ready to conquer your shoot with ease.

7. Waxing

Your hair and nails are not the only hairs you need to take care of. You will need to defuzz any small hairs that may show up in your final images. Make sure your waxing three days prior to your shoot as you don’t want a red or sore face on the day of your first shoot. It gives your skin time to ease any redness and any spots that may occur. If you have never waxed then the ideal thing to do is a skin patch test beforehand to check for any possible reactions. Make sure you’re using the right products for aftercare too.

8. Don’t think too much and relax

It’s easy to overthink and worry yourself sick about your first photo shoot. Don’t forget to have fun & relax! It’s important that you feel relaxed as this will reflect in your photos. Remember your practice runs in the mirror and the inspiration you have been working with.

9. Know who is at the shoot

Your safety is crucial. Make sure you know who is going to be at the shoot. Let your agent, manager or team know where you will be going. If you don’t feel comfortable being alone with the photographer then ask if you can bring a companion with you. If not, don’t feel pressured into agreeing to the shoot as more opportunities will arise, so don’t feel bad.

10. Location 

Lastly, don’t be late and familiarise yourself with the route to the shoot location. Take yourself on a practice run by driving up to the location a couple of days beforehand or if you are using other methods of transport then go on a practice run on your route prior to the shoot as mentioned just above. Make sure you know what time you need to be there. It’s always good to be early as you will need time to prep and get yourself ready. If you choose to drive then ensure you know the postcode to put in your sat nav and be sure to sort out your travel arrangements immediately if you don’t drive or are unable to drive. You don’t want to miss out on your first shoot or leave a bad impression.

Good luck to everyone in their foray into modelling! We hope your first photo shoot experience goes as smooth as possible. Let us know in the comments below how it goes for you and if our tips have helped you in any way!

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