While working with models so frequently I thought it could be useful to make a list of some things that can be important for you, a model, and for me - photographer. Of course a lot depend on photographer and his own expectations, but most of the scheme always stays the same.
Here are some tips you will find useful before shooting:
1. How to apply?
- It is always important to be clear about everything. First of all try to avoid any spelling & grammar mistakes - especially if we are from different countries, we need to find common space in English, which is simple, but can be tricky.
- You can apply via email, or any other website contact - as Facebook page / any social media, model portals such as Model Mayhem, etc.
- First things first, you need to write what kind of cooperation do you expect (some photographers don't work on TF basis, so they will expect you to pay them - being clear is important here).
- Always check where the photographer is based, if he / she leaves in a different city you need to write if you are willing to travel to him (which is most common, as photographers work in their studios a lot), if you have any interesting location in mind it is worth to mention as well
- Don't forget to write about your availability - the more specific dates, the better. I have a lot of plans scheduled, so the sooner I know the date we want to shoot, the better, as it is easier to keep everything in order.
- Last, but one of the most important: remember about your portfolio. Of course, we don't want to judge people by their look, but being a model means you look in a certain way, so you need to attract photographer. How to attract? By your portfolio. The more various, the better, it may be the most convincing way to book a shooting. On the other hand, forgetting about it can be a disadvantage - a photographer won't even bother to ask you for next message. What if you are starting and don't have a portfolio? Send anything, use your friend and a mobile phone: face shot, whole body shot showing how you look like. Doesn't have to be professional at all.
2. What to prepare?
- We are all creatives, and sometimes if I have some specific needs I am asking the model to bring some things with her. However, there are some basics you have to remember about, otherwise it can end with problems during the shooting.
- Shoes - very important, but often so obvious that we... forget to take them. It happened to me onece - I had a model without shoes, and it was rather tricky to hide the fact. The best are high heels - always good, they will make your body look slimmer and straighten, and they give every woman a confidence, really! Black will fit everything. Of course, if you know what the outfit will look like you can take as many shoes you like, as long as they fit. And still, high heels will be the best. Even if there is a stylist on a shooting, there still may be shoe size problem, so be sure you always take yours.
- Leggings / tights - especially during the winter. Again, all depends what are you shooting and how. If you're ready to get cold with bare legs while shooting on location - that's fine. But be sure, just in case, to have some black tights with you, so you won't have to ask photographer if she has a spare one. They are basic for some outfits and they are still part of an underwear, so you will be expected to have yours.
- Underwear - black and nude bra, the less visible, the better, especially for a transparent outfits. For beauty shoots you will be ask to have bare arms as well. But don't worry - no professional will ask you to be naked. It is always important that underwear is not visible, that's why nude and black are the safest colours.
- Outfits - if there is no stylist on the shooting, because all we do is portrait I will probably ask you to take few things with you - dresses, jeans, tunics, whatever suits.
- Jewellery - in most of the cases it's good to have your own earrings, etc. Then we can pick the best and most suitable. No need for that if the shooting is for jewellery or clothes designer.
3. Hair and make-up
- It is the best when we have a make-up artist and hair stylist on the set. However, sometimes it happens that they are not present or we need to deal with some things by ourselves
- As it sound stupid to remind, one of the most important thing is: prepare you hair, wash it before the shoot so they won't be greasy. Doesn't matter if there is a hair stylist, or not - feashly washed hair will always look good.
- Don't forget hair pins, just in case. There's never too many of them.
- If there is no make -up artist I ask models to do their own make-up, simple, natural, so your complection won't be shining, it is good to have some foundation, powder, blush, mascara and eyeliner.
- Remember about wearing no make-up before the shoot and to keep the eyebrows clear.
- Nail polish is welcome, as long as it is fresh and clear. No photographer will want your fingernails half red, half bare, so remember to refresh it or get rid of it before you'll come to the shoot. Nudes and reds are the best.
4. Final arrangements
- It is great to exchange phone numbers - just in case. In case you will be late, in case you can't find the place or person it's the easiest and best way to keep everyone updated
- If you have any doubts or additional questions ask before the shoot. I always try to let the model know about everything so she will be satisfied with the shooting.
- Emergencies and cancelling - are the worst. Lots of models cancel last moment or don't show up. I probably don't have to say how unprofessional it is and how we, photographers, prevent this behaviour, I personally don't believe in second chances. We need to respect each other and our work and time, so if you reserve a date you need to show up or at least cancel few days before. Sometimes we all have bad days, but remember - other creatives may do something else if they knew earlier you will cancel. Fortunately, we have mobile phones, social networks and emails, so we can communicate fast and easy. Communication is the key.
Always remember that after shooting we can give each other references. When I like the model and enjoyed working with her I'm trying to work with her again, if possible take her for a commercial shooting or let someone else know she is a good model. So it is very important to leave good impression, and, once again communicate.
That's probbaly all you need to know before you go to the shooting. What happens next and what can be useful? Stay tuned, I will share some tips soon!
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