I have been a photo model on and off since I was 16, yet I still sometimes send up little prayers for assistance and help. Sometimes the clients just have the strangest requests and I think how is it possible that the 10 surprised but cross faces I threw their way were not what they were looking for?? And I still have to give myself pep talks on my way to a shoot because even though I am use to it, I still need it to go well and who knows who I will be working with? So here are my tips that will help with a confidence boost before your photo shoot.

TIP NO 1 – BE PREPARED!

Drink plenty of water the day before. Don’t drink alcohol as it dehydrates you. Get a good night’s rest. Arrive with clean but not styled hair, a clean face with no product on and clean, clear nails. Usually no jewellery unless specified by a stylist. Make sure you have all the information from the stylist. Sometimes you are expected to bring a few of your own items of clothing. These are of course tips for a professional shoot. If you are going for test shots there most likely won’t be a make up artist. Arrive with a plain outfit. Jeans and a white t shirt will do. Very little make up. Your booker would need to see your true self. If you are going to get professional photos taken for personal reasons ask the photographer to arrange a make up artist or go get your make up done at Mac. You will always feel better about that extra little money you spend. Make up makes a big difference .

TIP NO. 2 DON’T BE LATE !

Don’t make everyone wait for you. Respect everyone’s time on set.When you go home after the shoot, they still have a ton of other post-shoot things to do. So starting on time is important especially if you are shooting outside and need to catch the perfect light.

TIP NO. 3 TREAT PEOPLE WELL – CONFIDENCE DOES NOT MEAN HAVING ATTITUDE

In an industry that can be seen as fake, I have met such interesting and awesome people, many who are still my friends. I have also worked with some fake and crazy-assed egotistical chip on the shoulder people but most of the time if I brought my best and put my best personality forward the whole shoot would go well and would generally be fun. A lot of the mood of everyone else on set is influenced by the mood and attitude of the “talent.” And to be honest for me it is not always bright skies. I struggle with early morning calls. When I have to get up at 4am to be on set and ready for make up and styling I need to be pumped with caffeine because I am the worst morning person. I once had to get into a lake at 5 am sunrise and I was not a nice person. I still regret this. It is something that haunts a models career. Good attitude is imperative. A lot of work as a model comes from repeat bookings.

TIP NO. 4 FIND YOUR “CHOCOLATE SIDE”

Usually photographers will guide you but it would already help a lot if you know what poses makes you look good and what angles works for you best. Practice poses in the mirror or ask friends to take pictures of you. Take selfies and memorise those poses that you loved.

TIP NO 5. POSES

Good photographers usually know what they want and will tell you. But you can take some initiative and move around in the same spot. Smile, don’t smile just work it a bit. Use your hands and your body. Look at the camera, look over the photographer’s shoulder, look up or down, just try all these poses. The photographer will tell you what works. Don’t be discouraged when you have to do the same pose 50times. This is what it takes to get the one perfect shot. Checkout youtube videos or Pinterest for tips on poses.

TIP NO. 6 FAKE IT

Pretend you do this all the time and you know what you are doing. Pretending to be confident has proven to actually make you more confident.

TIP NO.7 DRESS COMFORTABLY

This only goes for shoots that are for your own personal use. If you are doing actual modelling for advertising you will be expected to wear what the stylist suggests. Sometimes a stylist does take your opinion into consideration, but mostly it’s their decision what you wear. Don’t get involved, it’s their job. If it is a personal session don’t wear anything that is not you. Dress up or wear something that resembles you the most! When you feel uncomfortable you will not feel confident.

TIP NO.8 BE YOURSELF

Remember you are unique and there is a reason you were chosen to be there. So relax and don’t pretend to be someone you are not or if you choose to fake it be at least some version of the true you.

TIP NO.9 DONT TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY

Of course take the job seriously and be professional at all times. But don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and be open to for direction and correction. There will be great shots of you so don’t be unhappy and discouraged about the ugly shots. There must be hundreds of hideous shots of me out there. And we tend to takes this personally. Really it’s not your face or your mistake, it’s just bad shots happen.

Enjoy yourself and the experience.

             

         

Photos by Celine Lütolf

 

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2 Nadia Austin

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