Whether you are a first time model, or a pro in front of the lens, preparing for your photoshoot will make all the difference in the final package of your pictures. One of the most popular questions I get from a model when they book with me is “what should I do to prepare?“. Valid question of course, especially to someone new to a photoshoot. My goal as a photographer is to give you an overall “experience” during your shoot. Killer Hair & Make Up, a friendly & positive environment, and a “VIP” feeling. After all, you are paying me to make you look good right? You need to feel good to look good! I always attach an article written & published in a magazine by my wife Nichelle Laus, which includes important tips to prepare for a photoshoot, but I thought this would also be a great avenue and reference for models. Here are 5 simple tips you need to do to prepare for your photoshoot and get the most out of your shoot!
I can’t stress enough how important clothing is. If you are spending money on a photoshoot, then you should definitely have the right clothing for your goals of the shoot. You can always find great clothing at thrift shops that can be ripped or altered on set. There’s also nothing wrong with purchasing clothing you might want to use, keeping the tags on them, and if you don’t use it, return it after the shoot. You simply CAN’T BRING ENOUGH CLOTHING. I love when models show up with massive suitcases of clothing. We can always go through your stuff and pick your looks, and change things up on the fly. If you’re lucky, and the shoot is going well, you may even be able to work in an extra look or two if time permits! A good variety of shoes works well, clean running shoes and different colour heels (for women obviously lol) are a must. If you show up with only 3 sets of clothing, then you are missing out on what you “could have” had… What might seem weird or not enticing to shoot with to you could actually be a diamond in the rough in front of the camera. Lastly, Make sure that the clothing you bring is clean and not faded. MORE CLOTHING IS BETTER!
Above: Nichelle Laus has LOTS of clothes laid out to choose from at her photoshoot. Valeria Nova also featured
Tanning is a very important part of a photoshoot that is often overlooked. If you come with a nice base tan or spray tan, then the muscle definition that you worked so hard to achieve will pop in your pictures. The tan should be less darker then a competition spray tan, but darker then a normal suntan. Any of the professional tanning companies involved in the fitness industry should know the level of spray tan you require for a photoshoot and spray you accordingly. One of the worst things that you can do is show up to a shoot with a blotchy tan that is days or weeks old. This will require more touch ups in your final pictures, and limit the look of your unedited photos. Bottom line is… contact a professional tanner and have a nice spray tan done to make yourself look great.
3. PHYSICALLY PREPARE
If you are working with a fitness coach, you should consult with them to prepare you for your shoot date, just as you would for a fitness competition. This includes preparing your body to look the way you want to look in your pictures. Are you looking to be ripped and defined in your pictures? Softer and sexier? Athletic? These are all things to consider. Most clients book a shoot with me around their fitness competitions because they will be in their best shape. I usually recommend that they book up to two weeks before or two weeks after a show, or anytime in-between. Your coach should also help tweak your diet for the shoot day and days leading up to it. This way you can achieve the look you are striving for, and not feeling tired, lethargic or bloated on the shoot day. They can also provide you with some “tricks” if the trade that will make your muscles and veins pop if thats what your looking for. Im no expert in that category, so consulting your coach who knows your body best is your best option.
Above: Regan Grimes
You are potentially spending a lot of money on your photoshoot, so make sure you do your research and look through magazines at looks or themes that you are trying to achieve. Keep an ongoing folder or clipboard with pictures from magazines or books that you would like to see yourself look like. Of course, you don’t want to copy the look but it could be an inspiration for you or give the photographer an idea of the look you are striving for. Also, if one of your goals is to submit photos to magazines for consideration, make sure you aim your themes towards the “look” of that magazine you are submitting to. Also, familiarize yourself with the magazines that you are aiming to submit to. Your photographer choice is also important for this purpose. If you want to submit photos to a particular magazine, make sure that the photographer you are shooting with is not restricted from submitting their pictures to that magazine. For example, if a photographer is the Chief Photographer for a magazine, more then likely they cannot have their photos published in other magazines. Do your research and if you need more information on selecting a photographer, click HERE.
Above : Nichelle Laus
5. PRACTICE POSING
Once you book a shoot date, make it a habit to practice some poses leading up to the shoot date as much as possible. Whether you are in front of a mirror about to brush your teeth, or taking a selfie in the gym mirror, practice your poses. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be on your shoot date! Also, you will know what facial expressions or tweaks on your physiques during your poses show off your body the best. Again, look through magazines and use some of the poses as your inspiration. I don’t mind at all working with models on posing, in fact there may be a pic or two of me demonstrating “booty shots” lol, but the more time we take perfecting your poses for the camera, the less time we will have to shoot. It can make a difference between getting 500 pictures and 1000 pictures during a shoot. As silly as you may feel, practice, practice, practice, and have someone help you once in a while and critique you as to what works and what doesn’t.
Above : Fitness Model Brandee Madis
Get your moneys worth from your photoshoot and be prepared! As I mentioned before, it can mean the difference between you getting a few quality photos and getting ALOT of quality photos. The more prepared you are, the better the package will be for the photographer and make up artist to work with, and that means the difference in getting you good photos and amazing photos!
All the best!