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Portfolio Photo Shoot Guide – Women’s Version

While there are truly no absolutes when it comes to what to bring along for a photo shoot, there are quite a few items which both photographers and models agree on when it comes to being prepared. You should always check with your photographer in advance to see if they have anything specific you might want to bring along for a particular shoot, but here are a few basics below.

Starting When You Wake Up

  • Do you need to leave your hair unwashed for a day? Many hair stylists working for photo shoots will recommend not washing hair the morning of a shoot, and to leave it 1 day old. This will allow the hair to take and hold different styles which might be thrown at it.
  • Loose Clothing! Loose fitting track pants, no socks or very low socks, no jewelry, watches, or hair ties around wrists or necks. Why? Chokers leave a line on the neck, elastic and jewelry can leave an imprint on the wrists, and things like knee socks or mid calf socks leave an unattractive marking on the skin which can take hours to go away or require extensive photo shop work to correct. If you want to be invited back for more work, then don’t arrive and cause a delay to the shoot, or cause hours more work for the graphic designers or photographers with additional post processing work. Bring all of those things with you thought! The socks, hair ties, jewelry, etc. are all items you may need during a shoot
  • Unless other wise directed by your hair and makeup staff, or the shoot director, arrive with a fresh clean face. No makeup beyond lip balm. A makeup artist may ask you to apply your own foundation, or to bring the foundation you use with you so that they know they will have your color, but unless asked do not arrive with makeup on to a shoot if it has a makeup artist unless directed to prior to the shoot.

Hair and Makeup

  • Consider a professional stylist for hair and makeup. Your photographer may have one he trusts who will come to the studio.
  • If you do your own, start with very light makeup and very basic hair, and get progressively more intense with hair and makeup as you change your looks through the shoot.
  • French manicure or clear nail polish unless otherwise directed
  • Bring makeup remover and nail polish remover (get the individually packaged towelette version rather than a bottle of liquid)
  • Elastic hair ties (not around your wrist), bobby pins, headband

Clothing and Shoes

  • Jeans, varying lengths of skirts, tops (include a jacket, button up shirt, zip up hoodie, things you can wear layered and open)
  • Solid black and solid white camisoles or body suits
  • Little Black Dress or something equivalent you feel great in
  • Athletic shoes, rugged boots, black pumps (highest heel you can)
  • Hats and/or scarfs
  • Jewelry (bold statement pieces as well as subtle smaller pieces)
  • Solid colors are best but avoid anything neon. Patterns are fine if they aren’t overwhelming
  • Think about textures as well as colors layering a textured shawl or other items over top of base layers can yield great results

 Assorted Accessories

  • If you have one, bring your portfolio containing your most recent photos. This will help both you and the photographer to produce new photos which will not be too similar to photos which are already in your look book/portfolio.
  • Anything you might think would make a great prop. Headphones, skateboard, sunglasses, purses or handbags

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