7 step guide – preparing for your photoshoot (Part 2)

The Pinup Academy

7 step guide – preparing for your photoshoot (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of our 7 step guide – preparing for your photoshoot, if you haven’t read part 1 yet I suggest you stop reading this post and start from the beginning, you can find it here www.pinupmakeover.co.uk/7-step-guide-preparing-photoshoot-part-1/.

As mentioned in part 1 I want you to think of this guide as a step by step pre-photoshoot checklist; you won’t need to follow all the steps all of the time but, it’s good to know you’ve got them in check.

How to prepare for a photoshoot

The 7 steps

  1. Face
  2. Hair
  3. Skin
  4. Hands
  5. Clothing
  6. Communication
  7. Travel

We covered steps 1 – 4 in part 1, so let’s continue with step 5. Clothing.

5. Clothing

Clothing… is a vital part of any photoshoot, so why is it so often overlooked or taken for granted? Often resulting in a last minute rummage through the wardrobe.  Dressed in the right clothes we look and feel amazing, but a word of caution, the opposite also applies! If you’re not happy with what you’re wearing you’ll feel uncomfortable, awkward and generally out of sync and I can tell you now “You’ll never truly like the photographs” as you’ll instantly be transported back to remembering how you felt wearing them!

how to prepare for a photoshoot clothing

Models… attending photoshoots don’t always get a say in what they wear, especially on commercial product shoots (when you’re getting paid you don’t care so much about what you’re modelling!) however, when it comes to portfolio work or creative photoshoots it’s clearly a different story!  Whatever the purpose of the photoshoot we always recommend you take a range of “basic essentials” with you. Over time you’ll build up your own list of what you consider to be essential however, we recommend this includes a nude thong, strapless bra, a white and black lingerie set, stockings, tights and shoes… we mustn’t forget shoes!

Whilst we’re on the subject of “basic essentials” we recommend models always take their makeup and hairstyling brushes etc., even on the occasions when you’ve been assured a makeup artist and hair stylist will be present, as you need to be prepared for the occasion when the unforeseeable happens and something goes wrong, trust me it will and you’ll be left to literally make it up!  This is where you’ll be glad you came prepared!

Fail to plan… plan to fail!  We discuss this more in step 6 Communication however, it’s worth a mention here, plan your photoshoots well in advance to avoid disappointment, if you’re working to a brief, make sure you understand what is outlined and what is expected of you? What are you expected to bring / provide?  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification where necessary, visual aids and points of reference are always helpful here.

Ladies… attending a makeover & photoshoot the same rules apply when it comes to clothing, you should always take a selection of your favourite outfits! Even if the company claims to have an amazing wardrobe (which they will) take your own as you can never guarantee you’ll find something on the day that you love and that fits you perfectly! Remember “be prepared!”  One more thing… you can never take too much or have too much choice, as long as you can carry it, of course!

Packing… when it comes to packing your bags for a photoshoot be methodical, group items together so you can lay your hands on them quickly and easily, if possible lay the items out when you arrive, taking extra care not to crease them wherever possible (although most good studios will have ironing facilities onsite) and don’t forget to check and double check you have everything!  This also applies to when you leave the studio, you’d be amazed how many items get left behind after photoshoots.

Accessories… it’s always good to accessorise and there will come a time when you’ll be glad you packed that item of jewellery, hairpiece or prop.  If you’re working to a brief it’s always good to try to imagine the looks beforehand in order to build a mental image of the desired look and style.

how to prepare for a photoshoot

6. Communication

Good Communication… is the key to a successful photoshoot, this could be as simple as researching the photographer / studio, getting to know their style and getting a feel for their work.  Seek the answers to any questions you may have early in the discussions so to be clear on all aspects of the photoshoot, if you’re not sure? Ask!

Commercial Brief… most commercial photoshoots (if not all) will be working to a brief, just because you’ve not seen it, or it’s not been mentioned doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! Remember, it’s always better / safer to ask “what’s the brief?” than to assume there isn’t one!  It’s worth remembering familiarity and understanding build confidence whilst uncertainties and surprises create anxiety, we often get asked “how do you settle someone who’s nervous?” and the answer often lies in good, clear communication.

Levels… is a term used within the modelling industry to define the level (sometimes referred to as shoot style) which the model is happy to work to, or the assignment requires him or her to work to! I.e. clothed, lingerie, implied nude, topless, art nude etc.  Let’s be perfectly clear YOU should be the ONLY one to determine what LEVELS you work to and you should NEVER be coerced or pressured into CHANGING your levels, stick to what you’re comfortable with and ensure this is clearly communicated in any correspondence relating to the photoshoot. Identifying and agreeing the “levels” required beforehand is essential to any photoshoot, this is not the place for vagueness, be clear when communicating your levels to avoid any misunderstanding, if you don’t want to work the level advertised then say it’s not for you and move on to the next job / opportunity!

how to prepare for your photoshoot levels

Makeovers & Levels… levels also apply to ladies booking makeovers & photoshoot experiences, remember you’re the client and in charge of the brief, state what it is that you want from the photoshoot, what levels you want to work to and discuss any ideas or concepts you wish to create to the photographer beforehand. It’s your experience, they’re your images, you get to decide!

Copyright & Usage… this is a complex subject to cover but it would be remiss of me to ignore it!  In the majority of cases the answer lies in advance communication which is why we’ll cover it here!  Please Note: this is NOT meant as any kind of legal advice, if in doubt seek professional legal counsel.

Copyright & photos… all photographs are controlled under copyright, yes that’s right ALL photos even if there’s no © copyright displayed or watermark, most laws state the originator (photographer) of the photograph owns the copyright (unless assigned otherwise) and this is automatically applied as soon as the photo is created, either in print or digital format.  If you have any concerns or requests concerning copyright you should discuss / agree them with the photographer in writing prior to the photoshoot.

Usage rights… usage rights and copyright are not one and the same, for example a photographer may agree for all parties involved in the photoshoot to use the images in their respective portfolios however, this does not give them permission to sell the images, or have them published.  Again, the answer here lies in clear communication, discuss / agree in writing how you can and cannot use the images before you agree to the photoshoot, if you want to be able to sell the images from your photoshoot get it agreed beforehand! Likewise if you want to restrict how the photographer can use your images, get it agreed beforehand.

Model release… what does it mean, usually a model release simply states that the model releases any and all interest they may have in the images (again this is a lengthy subject and depends on the Country in which the agreement is governed under!) however, it could be argued that if a photograph consists primarily of a person, then that person could have a say in the way that photograph is used, because it’s of them!  A model release usually exists to remove any interest that person may claim, so the originator / owner of the image can use it as they intend. By now you know what I’m going to say, if in doubt ask? Reach an acceptable agreement before you proceed with the photoshoot and get it in writing, there’s little point bolting the gate after the Horse has already bolted!

7. Travel

Familiarisation…. As mentioned earlier familiarisation is the key to avoiding stress, no one likes to be late or rushing around, so it’s worth taking the extra time needed to familiarise yourself on where you’re going and how you’re going to get there!

preparing for your photoshoot

Google Maps… it may sound silly but Google (other search engines are available) where you’re going, is there a coffee shop nearby? Is it in the city centre or out in the sticks? Are there bus routes? Will I need a taxi? Is there ample car parking? How far will I have to walk with my luggage? A few minutes online can provide the answer to all these questions and more and can save a lot of messing about and delays on the day of your photoshoot. It may sound silly but building a picture in your mind will also help to put your mind at ease.

Plenty of time… I’m old school (ok I’m just old) however, I’ve always opted to arrive early and find somewhere nearby to collect my thoughts over a coffee, than be stuck in traffic getting more and more wound up as the minutes tick by! The last thing you want is to be rushing into a photoshoot all hot and bothered with everyone stood around waiting on you!  Take your time and leave in plenty of time, allowing that little bit extra to catch your thoughts when you arrive.

Return trip… as you planned your way there, plan your way back, well in advance! What time do you have to leave? What will you do if the photoshoot runs late? Do you have a cut off time, when you have to leave by? How will you get to the bus stop? Do you have the number of 2 or 3 local taxi firms? Will it be dark when I leave?  What times the last train? What if it’s cancelled? Have I got enough fuel in the car to get me home? Have I got enough cash / cards on me?  Please do not rely on using the payment owed from a shoot to get you home! What happens if you don’t get paid on the day?

Safety… it’s not our aim to cover the topic of personal safety here, that’s another guide all by itself and a lengthy one at that, so I’m going to leave it here by saying follow your instincts “Stay aware! Stay safe!

Let us know your thoughts: have we missed anything?

  • Do you do anything different when preparing for photoshoots?
  • Do you prepare for paid photoshoots differently to TF photoshoots?
  • Do you have any tips on pre-shoot communication?
  • Did you find this guide useful?

Please follow this link and tell us about you and your thoughts https://thepinupacademy.typeform.com/to/FCaBo1

What happens next?  Well we’re going to gather your thoughts and review this guide to make it even better! Then we’re going to turn this into a free guide available as a download (we may even include a simple TO DO list form that you can tick off prior to each photoshoot!) Click here… if you’d like us to E-mail you your free copy of this 7 Step Guide – Preparing for your photoshoot once it becomes available.


  1. 15/02/2017 at 10:01 pm

    Love this!!! So much thoughtfulness thankyou! Ann Denise xx

    • The Pinup AcademyReply
      15/02/2017 at 10:15 pm

      Our pleasure Ann, glad you like!

  2. mohamedReply
    15/02/2017 at 10:10 pm

    it’s very beautiful photo keep going it’s very wonderful

    • The Pinup AcademyReply
      15/02/2017 at 10:15 pm

      Thank you Mohamed

  3. 25/02/2017 at 2:56 am

    Thanks again guys,
    Very well said and you covered all of the main point. I no this will help all of us and we really do appreciate the time taken for you to do this and advise in the best possible way with the best intentions 🙂
    Elle xx

Leave a Reply

Your message*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>