7 Ways a Model Can Turn a Photo Shoot Into a Nightmare – Simple Rules for a Successful Photo Shoot

Occasionally I come across models that out of carelessness and neglect they manage to turn a prospective photo shoot into a nightmare. Simple situations that could have been easily avoided turn to be the crux for a failed session. There are unwritten rules that are obvious for some but not for others when shooting a session. It is high time that these rules are put down in writing and followed rigorously.

I am sharing these rules with both models and photographers in mind.

Never Try to Fit In Clothes Smaller Than Your Size

If a model is a size 12 there is no point in wearing size 10 or 8 dresses. This would only make things worse. Dressing appropriate clothing according to one’s figure is vital. A girl with a heavy bust should make sure that her shirt buttons up nicely and underwear fits properly. If a model has thicker legs direct her to go for longer dresses or trousers.

On the other hand, if your model still persists to wear certain sizes and styles one can consider other measures. If the shooting is being planned well in advance, one can easily enrol at a local gym and follow a programme intended for one’s needs. Nothing is impossible if the model is committed and willing to do it.

Do Not Drink and Smoke

Any responsible model should avoid drinking or smoking heavily the night before a photo shoot. It would be difficult for the model to follow your directions and concentrate on the job. In short, the model will not give her best and perform poorly.

It is important that a model is in a sober state when doing the session.

Do Not Eat Before a Photo Shoot

Eating a snack is fine; on the contrary eating a three course meal would make the model look sleepy and tired. Heavy meals before a photo shoot should be avoided. A bloated model would likely be less able to perform awkward and demanding poses.

Never Try a New Brand of Make Up on the Day

The make up should be tried and tested way before the actual photo shoot. Particularly this is very valid if the model is going to work with a different brand of make up. Skin or other reactions arising from non compatible products is not uncommon.

Do Not Get Sun Burned

If a model intends to wear off shoulders, tank tops, boob tubes and other revealing clothing special attention should be given when sun bathing. Whereas a nice evenly golden tan is encouraged, sun burns should be avoided at all costs. It is imperative that the appropriate sun screens are used and mid day sun bathing avoided.

Do Not Wax Before a Photo Shoot

If waxing is done the night before, the results are a reddish skin covered with goose bumps. This is definitely unattractive and not always possible to cover it up with make up. Any waxing should be planned days before.

Last But Not Least Get Ample Sleep

In order for a model to be alert and manage to focus on her photo shoot she must get the right amount of sleep. A couple of days before the shooting the model should be getting roughly a solid 8 hours sleep every night. This means that a model should keep away from partying till the early hours!

Most of the points mentioned above are pretty obvious when you think about it. Still many tend to oversee them, be it by choice or by neglect. The end results are most of the time disappointing photo sessions. In making sure that you are not let down, next time you plan you photo shoot make sure that you check these guides.

How Much Do You Know When Choosing a Location for a Photo Shoot – Take This Quiz to Find Out

Do you normally work in a photographic studio? Are you bored always working behind closed doors? Do you feel that you lack motivation and inspiration? If you are this type of photographer, I suggest you consider doing your photo shoots on location. This kind of shooting can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. It requires determination, focus and stamina. A number of factors must be taken into consideration.

Unlike shooting in a studio, where you are in control of everything at all times, shooting on location has got many variables. Though you are never in control of weather, light, noise and what have you, as a photographer you can mitigate their effects. In doing so, one has to plan way ahead.

In order to achieve the knowhow for this type of shooting, one has to brainstorm the mind with the right questions.

Below I have listed five vital basic areas, which one needs to take in consideration before undertaking the actual photo shoot. Within each particular area, you will find questions that need clear answers, in order to make sure that you are in the right direction for a successful photo shoot.


What mode of transport is needed?

Can the location be reached on foot, by car or 4×4?

How long does it take to arrive to your destination?

Where are located the closest pumping stations?

Gear and Equipment

Is the area accessible?

Do you need any special equipment or kit?

What kind of clothing do you and your model/s need?


Do you need a changing room?

Is there any shelter in case of a sudden stormy weather?

Does the place have a degree of security and privacy?

Is there a bathroom/shower nearby?


When the location is least frequented?

When is the ideal time to do you shooting?

From where do prevailing winds blow?


Do you have a limited budget for the shoot?

Did you consider the overhead expenses?

For how long you will be shooting?

Is there the need of a lunch or a quick snack?

Do you need a permit to shoot in this particular location?

Is the place protected by copyrights?

As a responsible photographer you should be asking these kinds of questions in order to avoid waste of time and disappointments. For a photo shoot to run smoothly, all aspects must be taken in consideration and assessed properly.

I hope that in this short brainstorming exercise, I have managed to tease your mind and put it in the right track. Though shooting on location is a challenging task, the satisfaction and results you achieve makes it all worthwhile.

How to Make a Good Photo Shoot


Avoid plain black or white clothing colors, as they may cause lighting trouble. Wearing these colors may result in contrast problems with finished prints even if a professional photographer is able to work with these extremities of contrast. We recommend wearing colors closer to your skin tone, as this will help accentuate your natural features and complexion.


Learn to compensate for certain noticeable features, such as the length of your neck. A V-neck will make the neck appear longer and slimmer while a round neckline will shorten it. A collar frames the face well without taking away length from your neck, and as such, is the most popular clothing selection. Plan your outfit accordingly, remembering that a turtleneck is totally unflattering during a photo shoot and must be avoided at all times.

Subdued / No Patterns:

Avoid bold colors and crazy or intricate patterns, as they provide a distraction both during the photo shoot and on the finished photograph.

Limited Jewelry:

Avoid distracting accessories. If you have pierced ears, wear studs or small hoops. No matter how much you love your gold necklace, remember it will take the focus away from your face.


If you wear glasses or are using them as a prop for the photo shoot, take the lenses out of the frames and only wear the frames. Lenses can cause a glare or reflect the flash, ruining perfectly good shots.


Wear something that makes you feel great and relaxed and at the same time emphasizes your best assets. Do not come overdressed if it makes you uncomfortable and do not attempt to wear the latest trend if it clashes with who you are.

No Jeans:

Jeans are a little too casual for photo shoots; more formal attire is often necessary. Jeans do not offer the necessary sophistication sought by most casting agents and do not make you look as stunning as dressy attire.

No Leather:

Unless you are going for a very specific part, avoid wearing leather clothing, as it is cliche and unflattering.

No Jean Jackets:

Tactless and tacky, they make you look outdated.

No Logos:

It is very important that when you take photographs, there is NO WRITING ON YOUR SHIRT or any other article of clothing. You are not making an advertisement for a brand yet. This goes for auditions as well.

Makeup! Look your best

Remember, the focus should be on your face and make-up must be applied in moderation. Get your hair and make-up done by a professional if you can afford it, but doing your own make-up is sufficient if you follow these guidelines:


Use a high quality base that covers without caking. You want your natural skin tones to show.

Skin Features:

Do not cover up the features that make you unique. Don’t conceal your freckles or mole; these features make you stand apart from the crowd and are a part of who you are. Generally, these features are an alluring element and help get you noticed.


Apply eyeliner sparingly with a brush, using very little on the lower lid. Again, the principle is to not take attention away from your face while accenting your features.

Straight Hair:

You want to frame your face, so if your hair is long and straight, give it some body to accentuate your face.

Pimples, Etc:

Use make-up to conceal slight imperfections and blemishes on your face. If you cannot conceal them without wearing too much make-up, do not panic. Your photographer can retouch your photographs.


Do not cut your hair right before a shoot. You may not like your new look and the haircut will not look completely natural the next day. Give your hair at least a week to grow into your new haircut and relax before a shoot.


Do not cut your hair right before a shoot. You may not like your new look and the haircut will not look completely natural the next day. Give your hair at least a week to grow into your new haircut and relax before a shoot.


Dark beards usually get accentuated in photos, so some men may want to use a little cream base to slightly lighten their beard.

For Men Only:

A light coat of powder will help even out your skin tones. Otherwise, use make-up very sparingly.

Put Yourself in the Mood

Taking the best photographs requires you being completely at ease and relaxed during the shoot, so do whatever you can to soothe yourself and ensure your session flows as smoothly and organically as possible.


Bring some music that eases your mind and makes you happy, as opposed to something that unnaturally pumps you up. It is easier to go from relaxed to energetic than vice versa.


Bring several fashions with you to the shoot and alternate between them to change your look and your feel.


Make sure that you are energized and not hungry during the shoot, but do not eat a huge meal right before your appointment. Eat a few hours before you begin shooting and bring something to drink to the shoot. Needless to say, do not consume alcoholic beverages before the shoot, even if you feel nervous.


Scents can have a dramatic effect on your mood, so if you have a cologne or perfume that boosts your confidence and makes you feel great, use it. If you have a scented candle or certain incense that soothes you, bring it along.


Have a close friend or significant other come with you to the shoot. They will provide wonderful reinforcement and bring a familiar element, helping you feel more confident and at ease.

Check more tips on http://www.casting360.com

Photo-Shoot Safety Precautions for the First-Time Model

I was recently stood up by a new and inexperienced model. In itself, this is not a new thing. The model had every right to walk, because the situation felt strange and uncomfortable. However, she utterly failed to communicate with me, even after she’d decided not to attend.

So, here are a handful of tips that will help you stay safe and confident, not just during your first photo-shoot, but in every one that follows.


Get a good solid idea of what they like to shoot. Does it overlap with what you want to do? Are there reviews, comments about this person? If their stuff makes you feel uncomfortable, working with them will probably make you feel uncomfortable.

Does he or she credit their models? Don’t ask for references… contact the credited models to ask for their opinions. Believe me, the other models will be glad to share their experience, good or bad.


Tell someone you’re going to a photo-shoot. Give them all the information you have from the photographer.

If shoot constraints permit, agree to meet in a public place, agree to photograph in a public place. But it’s not just location. You need to talk with the photographer to arrange what you’re going to shoot. if you have specific boundaries, you need to communicate those too. The photographer doesn’t want you nervous and uncomfortable–that shows up in the image.

Arrange to call someone you trust at specific times. Say, every hour, to say you’re okay and this is where you’re at…

Ask the photographer if you can bring someone along to act as an escort. Different photographers have different takes on the presence of an escort. Many don’t like the idea of multiple strangers in their studio with unsupervised access to their equipment. It’s always good to ask. If they say no, it’s might be a concern for you.

If, for whatever reason, you decide you don’t want to go through with things, tell the photographer! You want to minimize the photographer’s investment of time and–potentially–money invested in this. It’s possible that other people might need to be informed, such as a makeup artist, hair-stylist, and other support people. If you don’t tell them that you’re not coming, they will see this at best as flakiness, at worst as an insult. And it’s possible the photographer may still have to pay the makeup-artist, hairdresser, support-people. The sooner you tell them, the better!

I recently shot with a fantastic young lady earlier this summer. I approached her on the street, looking to fill a spot left by another last-minute cancellation. The concept I pitched was her under the covers making faces… Consider that this involved the dubious-sounding situation of her coming to my hotel room for the shoot.

This lady did her homework. She checked out my Facebook page, my website, checked out “the dirty”… , She got a feel for who I am and what I shoot. We set a time-limit and she called a contact at specified intervals.

Because she had her safety protocols in place, things went off without a hitch. She didn’t seem at all nervous. Shooting with her was fun and relaxed. And we communicate now and again, hoping to arrange another shoot next time in her neck of the woods.

It doesn’t matter who you shoot with, if you’re new to modeling, you’re going to have to deal with nervousness and discomfort. You’re doing something new. But if this is something you really want, you’re going to have to push through it.

Discomfort shows that you’re pushing your boundaries. A LOT OF DISCOMFORT shows that you should probably get out of there. You have to take care of yourself. But it is respectful to make sure the others involved in this know what’s going on. Once you’re safe, of course.

Online Resources
For more discussion on model safety, check out these great resources:
Model Safety Net – http://www.modelsafetynet.com/
Model Mayhem Education Page – http://www.modelmayhem.com/education