How to Prepare for a Photoshoot

Don’t be caught unprepared at your next photoshoot. This is a guide for those new to the modelling scene, those who are well seasoned and all those in-between.

This post includes; a packing list for your handbag. A checklist for getting all groomed and ready for the shoot the night before and a few extra tips for the day.



Wash your hair – Second day hair is usually the easiest to work on. It's probably not oily yet but it should hold curl better than squeaky clean hair.
Remove any nail polish from the fingers and toes and apply a clear base coat – This will create a clear base for any colour paint on top of it at the shoot, it will help prevent colours staining the nail bed and it looks a nice and neat for when you arrive on the shoot.
Clean your face - Thoroughly cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturise. See my post on skincare here. Shave your legs and underarms – If there is swimwear or underwear be sure not to forget to shave the bikini line (sometimes a good idea to do it anyway, you won’t always know beforehand if it is swimwear/lingerie).
Avoid any alcohol – Even one glass could make you puffy.
Moisturise your body – So that your skin will look healthy and glowing on set.
If requested, get a spray tan – See my post on spray tans here. Do not have a spray tan if the client has not requested it.
Plan your route and try be 15 minutes early – Be sure to look up the location for the show on google the night before, plan your route, how long will the drive take? Where will you park? Clients appreciate it when models are on time or early. Rocking up to your shoot late is unprofessional and may not reflect well on the clients impression of you. Always plan ahead and give yourself an extra half hour allowance for travelling incase there is traffic or you cannot find a parking space.
Pack your bagSee the packing list below…



A bottle of water – to keep your hydrated, they may not have any on set. Snacks – something easy to eat that isn’t messy.
Undergarment accessories - These are optional but it is handy to have bust boosters (chicken fillets) and things like fashion tape and nipple covers incase you need them.
Nude undergarments – A nude strapless bra, Nude g-string and nude sockettes are basically your model uniform. Go for super plain designs without any branding or patterns and the more seamless the better. Consider also packing nipple covers just incase a garment is backless or too sheer for a strapless bra. 
Panadol – These are handy for unexpected headaches or when your feet start to hurt halfway through the day, they can be a real life saver at times.
A good book & an iPod – Something to keep you entertained as you may be waiting in-between shots, or driving to location or just something to keep you entertained whilst in hair and makeup. (Read a book whilst getting your hair styled and listen to your iPod during makeup. Vice versa doesn't work so well...)
Your mobile – Keep in contact with your agent, record your start and finish time and take some BTS shots for the gram!
A portable phone battery – Keep your phone from dying half way through the day.  I love the ones by power pod. I can get up to 4 full charges of my phone and it has 2 usb ports so you can charge your iPod/ipad/kindle at the same time. (Disclaimer: I am not associated with powerpod at all, in any way shape of form. I just have one and I love it.)
Wear something simple –  Simple is easier, the easiest is a zip up jumpsuit, a wrap dress or a button up shirt with a skirt/pants. If it is swimwear wear something loose that won't leave lines on your skin.
Wallet with your travel card and cash - Makes transport to the shoot and getting a coffee on the way easier.
A change scarf – A scarf to put over your head when changing so that you don’t smudge the makeup, mess up the hair or stain the garment. Some clients may expect you to always have one.
Perfume – Only spray it before getting changed if you need it. Never spray it after you are in your outfit as it could stain. You should always be wearing a invisible deodorant that won’t leave stains on the clothes, and will keep you smelling fresh.
Any thing else the client has requested - Read your call sheet carefully, if the client has requested you bring something make sure that you do. If you don't have something they asked you to bring, call you agency and they will let you know how to proceed.



Always rock up to a shoot completely makeup free! (Unless you have been requested to do your own makeup or you have come from another event/shoot) It will take longer if the makeup artist needs to remove your makeup before starting.
Don’t be afraid to say No. If the designer wants you to wear something a bit risqué and you are uncomfortable or underage, its ok to say no. But be polite about it. If you are underage, definitely refuse to wear anything that is revealing or shows your nipples. This may be illegal and any photos taken could be considered child pornography.
Have fun! But be professional - Having fun at the shoot will make your day enjoyable and it will also go much quicker. The people you are working with will appreciate your positive energy and might be more likely to work with you again or recommend you. However, always be professional!
Do not post any BTS shots on social media - Unless you have asked the designer if it is ok to do so beforehand, avoid uploading any images to social media as some shots can't be released until a certain date. You don't want to spoil their surprise!
Ask someone to take a couple of BTS shots for you - They can be good for your social media, just be sure not to spend too much time on your phone all day as it could look unprofessional.

What else do you do before a photoshoot? I'd love to know, leave a comment below!

All images sourced from behind the scenes at a lookbook/campaign photoshoot for Melbourne brand 'Friends with Frank'.