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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Basic Must Haves for Any Photoshoot

There may be a period of time in your modeling career when you are just swamped with shoots, whether they're TFP/TFCd or paid bookings. Take it from me, the last thing you want to worry about is forgetting something or not being completely prepared when you step on-set.

When things get hectic with my shooting schedules, I've found that keeping certain things together and organized helps eliminate any snafus. For example, I have a greally great Victoria's Secret bag that has large straps and can hold a lot of stuff. That is my main bag that I use to carry my clothes, shoes and makeup.

Every model should have such a bag that is easy to carry around. Even if you have smaller bags that you carry, they can easily be put into your big bag so that you don't have to worry about misplacing or forgetting your smaller items.

Below is a list of things that I feel every model should have in her special bag for any and all shoots:


Even if you're not shooting for a footwear ad, having the right shoes are a must, especially when it comes to those full body shots. Some clients may have a precise color or style of shoe they want you to wear, while others may not care at all.

To be on the safe side, carry a small bag of your shoes with you to every shoot, even if you have been told to wear a specific pair ahead of time. You don't need to bring your entire shoe closet, however, but having the following will help greatly:

1) Black high heels (open or closed toe)
2) White heels (open or closed toe)
3) Sandals/flip flops
4) White nice looking sneakers

When hiking through outdoor surroundings for shoots on location you may want to bring some old sneakers to protect your feet and keep your nice shoes clean. In terms of heels, strappy ones are usually the easiest to match with any style of clothing so avoid huge platform heels or other funky styles.


You may not always have the luxury of a changing station or changing room. Shoots on location often mean just that--being outdoors where there may not even be a port-a-potty to duck into. Buy a good, comfortable and warm bathrobe and bring it with you to your shoots as well. Bathrobes come in handy when you have to change in front of others, behind a building, in a car, you name it.

Trust me, I am a pro when it comes to changing in weird places...sometimes you just have to work with what you have so having a bathrobe around you is a great help. Not to mention on cold days when you're freezing, you'll have something warm and snug to lounge around in between shots.

Extra undies & bras

Sometimes wardrobe can change and that may mean your underwear needs to also. You should always keep the following types of underwear in your bag for photoshoots:

1) Thongs (nude, white, black)
2) Bikini cut (nude, white, black)
3) Boyshorts (nude, white, black)

In terms of bras, bring the following:

1) Strapless in nude or black or bring both
2) Regular bra in black or nude or bring both


You won't always know what environment or surroundings you'll have to be in prior to arriving for your shoot, so it's helpful to have a large towel where you can set your stuff down without it getting dirty, or you may need a towel to dry/clean yourself off if you're shooting on the beach, for example.

Extra outfits

Photographers and clients always get inspired to want to do more sometimes and having an extra top, bottom or outfit always comes in handy. Depending on what type of looks you're shooting you may want to bring a few extra clothes just in case the wardrobe stylist or photographer isn't feeling your other clothes. It's always good to have more than less.

Even if you've agreed on outfits ahead of time, things can change and that particular outfit may not work. Don't go overboard, though...you don't want to bring a huge load of stuff to carry around. I usually bring three bottoms (jeans or other types of pants) and three or four different tops...of course make sure that all of the tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched. Think about the look you're going for and then pack accordingly.


You'd be surprised how dry your skin can get during a shoot. The last thing you want is a photo of your ashy skin, no matter your color!


Sometimes just the right pair of earrings or a bracelet can set off a shot perfectly. Bring a small jewelry box of your favorite earrings, bracelets and necklaces to your shoots and include all styles from classy and sophisticated to trendy and funky.

Hair & Makeup Items

Whether there is going to be a hair stylist and makeup artist or not, it's best to bring your own things that you are familiar with and that you know will make you look good in case you're on your own. Some key items to bring include:

1) A good hairbrush with hard bristles (for smoothing flyaways or other hair issues)
2) A soft brush
3) Comb
4) Black hair tie and/or butterfly clip
5) Hair spray (if needed)

You may need to bring all of these things or only one or two, depending on your hair type. You know what's best! Bring your makeup essentials and keep these items together in one place. Be sure to bring makeup colors that will go with anything.

Be sure to pack for a shoot the night before so that everything is accounted for ahead of time. The main things you should always keep in your main bag are your shoes, accessories, lotion, makeup, bathrobe and towel. The only thing that should change are your clothes/outfits for each shoot. Keep your main bag in an easy to spot place and I guarantee you'll save yourself a ton of stress for when your modeling career picks up and won't slow down!


Amber said...

Thank you for the great advice and the very helpful lists!!

ChiliLady said...

I'm a "model" too, but I don't carry thongs to a photoshoot. I like fashion shoots, which look a bit like Demarchlier.
I looked over your blog, and its pretty informative BUT I think you're presenting yourself always in these playboy-poses. I couldn't find any high fashion or really good photographs. I'm sorry but most of them look really amateur-made.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with chili lady. a definite A for effort but honestly the only reason it seems you are being booked is the pretty face and skinny body. Of course you actually have been booked and thats great, but when you go in most fashion magazines-do you HONESTLY see people posed and/or with the expressions you use? its cute, adorable, and pretty-but not professional, high fashion, or sexy