When first starting on modelling, if you don’t get any training, you might find yourself lost before a photoshoot. We understand training can cost some and not everyone is ready to put that investment down straight away, although you should, so here are some quick tips on how to prepare for a photoshoot, and some things to keep in mind during and after the photoshoot as well.

Please keep in mind there’s much more to it and you SHOULD invest on your training. A three hours session with a professional photographer coach you get you way ahead, saving you a lot of time and headaches.

Before a Photoshoot

To start with, it’s always good to know what style of modelling you want to do. No model needs to do EVERYTHING. The industry is more inclusive now – although we still have a long way to go on that – and you can choose the styles you’d like to do, as long as the market is there for you right now. Remember, agencies represent you, they don’t create work out of thin air.

Once you know what you’d like to do, start looking for inspiration. Look for magazines and websites that contain the style you want and start creating a mood board showing what you think your portfolio should look like. You can always ask your agent if that would work with for the current market. The industry changes all the time and what clients were looking for last year might not be what they’re looking for now.

Once you have the mood board, try to replicate those poses you see. Keep in mind every human is different and some poses work for some people. You need to know which ones DON’T work for you, so you don’t get bad photos of yourself.

Also remember the models you see on magazines and websites have years of experience on you and it will take time for you to be able to model like them. Again, coaching can help you catch up faster.


Communication is probably the MOST IMPORTANT thing before a photoshoot. It doesn’t matter if you’re communicating with your agent or the photographer or the client, you need to make sure everything is said and agreed upon BEFORE the photoshoot. Your agent will always make sure this is done properly.

Some things you need to know: location, date and time, what you should bring (clothes, accessories, etc), what’s the style for makeup and hair, is there a makeup artist for you there or are you supposed to show up ready.

ALWAYS arrive EARLY. Plan your trip with time to spare. Particularly in big productions, but even if it’s a small shoot, you don’t know where people on that team will be in the future and you could miss on future opportunities if you get known as the model who’s always late. In this industry, if you’re on time, you’re late.

As soon as you arrive, make sure you chat to everyone so you get to know them, that will make you more comfortable working with the team.

The Shoot

You have to be relaxed in any photoshoot. It is hard at first as you’re just starting out, but try to make everything you know can help you relax. A tense model really shows in the photos.

There’s usually music playing on any photoshoot and most teams will let the models pick the music. It helps models loosen up, which makes for better photographs. If music is not playing, you can always ask the team if it’s ok to put some music on!

Talk. You can ask anything during a photoshoot: what type of pose or vibe they’re looking for; how much of you they’re getting in the shot; if you can have a look at one of the shots to have an idea of what’s going on.

Some photographers, particularly in studio shoots, will have the camera hooked up to a computer so it’s easy for the models and clients to see the images. Some, like Bruno, will even have an iPad or two floating around so people can see the photos as they’re taken, from anywhere.

Some photographers will give you lots of directions, some will not. Everyone in this industry will work differently. You have to be prepared to understand the brief and do the work even if you don’t get a lot of help from the photographer.

Remember to have Fun!

In this industry, you always have to be very professional, but don’t forget to enjoy and have fun. Most professionals in the fashion and commercial industry chose this path so they can enjoy what they do, and so should you.

With enough time and coaching, you’ll get more confident in front of the camera and able to enjoy the shoot more as you know you can deliver.

* All photos courtesy of Bruno Domingues Photographer