Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Guide to Photoshoot Preparation

Here is a little guide that I've come up with on how to prepare for a photoshoot.  These are just things that I've learned over the last year from working with various photographers and being involved with House of Style Productions:  
They have helped me make every photoshoot I do, a successful one.

2-3 weeks before:
  • Stay in contact with the photographer before the shoot-
    • Whether they have asked you to shoot with them or you have asked them, someone has to have ideas on what you will be shooting.  You will need to find out if you have to provide your own wardrobe, hairstyling, and make-up.  Speaking with the photographer several times before hand about what look you want in your photos or what look they want, will tremendously help the day of the actual shoot.  Each of you will know what is expected to happen at the shoot. You will each come in with ideas and be ready to go.  
  • Safety- 
    • Discuss with the photographer, at this time, if you would like to bring someone with you to a photoshoot, as a chaperone.  If I have not worked with a photographer before and the photoshoot was not set up through my agency, I always ask that I am allowed to bring a friend along with me.  You can never be too careful, if you don’t know the photographer.  
    • DO NOT TAKE A HUSBAND OR BOYFRIEND, unless the photographer invites them to come!  Many times this can be very distracting and you will not get your best work from the photoshoot.  
    • If you are not taking anyone with you, make sure to let someone know where you will be.
  • Find Inspiration- 
    • Look through magazines or online to find inspiration photos.  If I see an ad in a magazine and would like to do a shoot similar to it, I tear it out and put it in a folder of ideas.  Many times photographers will ask you what you would like to do at the shoot...this will help in that instance.  Send the photographer a copy of a couple photos you have found, and they can try to figure out how to make it happen.
  • TF- 
    • Stands for "time for..." this describes a common arrangement between photographers and models. TFP stands for "time for prints" and TFCD stands for "time for CD of images." TF* projects allow models and photographers to work together and exchange services without having to pay money. It is a popular way to get new images without having to pay a lot of money. 
    • Hairstylists and make-up artists may offer to work TF as well, if the look you are going for is something that they don't have in their portfolio already.  
    • While I have had several TF shoots throughout the last year, don't automatically assume that the photoshoot will be TF. Make sure that everyone involved is on the same page before you show up for the actual shoot.
  • Money- 
    • Discuss all payment before the shoot, so you are prepared the day of.  
    • If the shoot is TF for all parties involved, plan on tipping your hairstylist and make-up artist.  They have to buy a lot of products for photoshoots. Even tipping them $5 for each look you have them do, will help them replenish their product inventory.
  • Release forms- 
    • There should always be a signed release at every photo shoot.  This should specify where and how your images might be used.  
    • You will also need a release form from the photographer, if you plan on getting any of their photos printed at a place like FedEx/Kinkos.
  • Beauty Tips- 
    • Any facial waxing needed should be done at least 2 weeks before.  If a few stubborn eyebrow hairs start to come back before the shoot, they can always be plucked with tweezers.
    • Talk to the hairstylist and find out how they would like for you to have your hair when you show up for the shoot.  Some like it if your hair is one day dirty.  Some prefer it is clean and slightly damp.  It just depends on the hairstylist and their particular preference
1 week before:
  • Start to prepare your modeling bag- 
    • I typically start thinking about what my wardrobe for the shoot will be a week in advance, just in case I need to run to the store and pick something up for a particular outfit.
    • If wardrobe is NOT offered at a shoot, bring enough outfits for at least 5 outfit changes.  If a shoot calls for 4 changes, then bring 6-8 just in case.  This goes for shoes as well.  5-6 pairs is a good number.
  • Beauty tips-  
    • Exfoliate your skin at least one week before the shoot.
    • If needed, this is the time to color/cut your hair.  You don't want to wait until the last minute, and then decide you wish your hair looked different.
72 hours before the photoshoot:

  • Avoid-  Try to avoid the following items.  They are known to cause oily skin and sometimes swelling.
    • Red meat
    • Alcohol
    • Heavy amounts of caffeine
    • Alpha Hydroxy Creams(cause peeling and will really show with make-up)
    • Retin A
    • Spicy Foods
    • Oily Foods
48 hours before the photoshoot:
  • Healthy Eating-
    • You should always be eating healthy and drinking plenty of water anyway, but make sure to do this at least 48 hours before your shoot.  
    • Carry water with you everywhere you go for about 2 days before the shoot.  This will help your complexion and skin tone look it's best for the shoot
  • Sleep-
    • Make sure to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep the two nights before a photoshoot.  You don't want dark circles or puffiness around your eyes in your photos.
  • Beauty Tips-
    • Make sure your nails are well groomed.  Finger nails and toe nails should all be one length.  Polish should be colorless or a French manicure, unless you are looking for a specific color scheme for your shoot.
    Night before the photoshoot:
    • Pack-
      • Make sure you pack your modeling bag the night before.  I always do this to make sure that I'm not missing anything if I happen to be running late the next morning.
          •  Girls- make sure your bag contains smooth strapless bras in black and nude, nude and black hosiery, a variety of shoes, black and nude smooth line thong underwear, all of your makeup and hair accessories, plus your clothing if you are providing your own wardrobe.  Make sure you are prepared for anything.  Pack a razor and shaving cream, just in case you missed a spot.  I typically pack the bottle of nail polish that I'm wearing, for last minute touch-ups. 
          • Guys- make sure your bag contains a shave kit, white and black underwear/boxers, black and brown, belt-shoes-dress socks, athletic shoes, a manicure kit, skin and hair products, and a toothbrush.

    o       Make-up-

    §   Always pack your own make-up and bring it with you to a shoot.  There have been a couple times where there has been an emergency and the make-up artist couldn’t get there.  Be prepared to do your own make-up if you absolutely have to.
    §        Bring false eyelashes and any extras you might want applied.  Make-up artists typically do not provide these for you.
    §        Bring your own foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. Although make-up artists bring eyeliner and mascara, sometimes they use the same wand on multiple models.  You want to bring your own foundation, just in case they do not have an exact match for your skin tone.
    o       Hair accessories-
        • Bring with you any hair accessories that you would like to use.  Extensions, hair clips, head bands, barrettes, etc.  The hairstylist will most likely only have the essential bobby pins and hair ties with them.
    • Beauty Tip-
      • Lip care
        • You can exfoliate your lips by softly brusing them with a soft head toothbrush before bed every night.  After exfoliating, apply a small amount of Vaseline on your lips before going to bed and then again in the morning.  This will help lipstick go on smoothly at your photoshoot.

    Photoshoot Day!-
    • Make-up-
      • All traces of make-up should be gone from your face when you check in at the shoot, unless you are providing your own makeup. 
      • Some models wash with toner 30 minutes before the shoot, but do not add any make-up at all, unless you plan to do your own make-up.  
      • All eyeliner and mascara should also be gone from your face.
    • Snacks- 
      • If you're attending an all-day shoot, you are going to want snacks to have with you.  Try to pick something healthy, but not messy.  I always like to take a box of wheat thins with me to snack on.  
      • Take a bottle of water with you.  A bottle of water, NOT SODA!  
      • If you decide to eat at a shoot, DO NOT eat in the wardrobe if it's borrowed from the client, a designer, or a boutique. You wouldn't want to spill anything on the garment and then have to buy it, would you?
    •  Be On-time-
      • Punctuality is always important at every photoshoot.  15 minutes early is on-time.
    • Be Professional- 
      • Always present yourself in a very professional manner, whether it’s your first or 200th photoshoot.  Everyone in this industry knows everyone.  Your reputation, as a professional, is important when other photographers and clients are looking for models.
    Please feel free to comment or email me with any specific questions!

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