A few days before the shoot...
Call your photographer! Confirm time, location, wardrobe and ask any last minute questions. Avoid greasy, spicy, and salty food. Get your hair trimmed by your regular stylist if you need it. This is not the time to try a new style! If you dye your hair, make sure your color is good and roots are not visible. Get a touch-up done, if necessary.Get a manicure and pedicure or do one yourself. Short to medium length nails with just a clear coat of polish is what you want for any job you are doing. If you are doing a portfolio shoot and prefer something different, make sure it coordinates with your wardrobe and try to stick to light, neutral colors. For a do-it-yourself mani/pedi, do the following:
- File nails to an even, uniform length
- push back and clean up cuticles
- apply cuticle oil
- exfoliate hands/feet and apply deep moisturizer, leave on overnight.
- use a pumice stone to remove any rough areas on your feet
- apply clear or neutral polish
Tweeze eyebrows. Don't overdo it!
If you are having close-ups done or getting makeup applied, have a light facial to close the pores. Test-run this step several weeks prior to make sure you don't have any adverse reactions.
Even if you have very light and fine hair, you may have "peach fuzz" on your face. It often catches the light in portraits, especially headshots. I highly recommend using Finishing Touch to get rid of this, it's available online or at most Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, etc type of stores. Use it along the jawline, cheeks, forehead, upper lip, or anywhere else you might have fine hair that could be visible in photos. It also has a great tool for grooming eyebrows.
Exfoliate your face and body.
Give your hair a deep-moisturizing treatment.
Ensure you have everything you need in your model kit.
Day/Night Before the Shoot:
Remove hair from underarms and legs. Don't forget your bikini line if you are going to be in swimwear! Don't wax this close to the shoot, it can leave the areas red. Exfoliate and moisturize your whole body. If you are using self-tanner, do it after you shave and exfoliate or you'll just scrub it off. Try to do this in the morning so that any mistakes are visible by evening. This should not be your first time using a product, only use self-tanner the day before a shoot if you are experienced with it and know it will look natural.
Avoid drinking any alcohol, it leaves the face puffy.
Remove any watches, rings, or other jewelry that could leave an impression on your skin.
Unless you have very oily hair, wash your hair the day before the shoot, not the day of. Second-day hair is more manageable.
Lay out your wardrobe, with shoes and accessories. Make sure it is all clean and ironed.
Charge your phone and make sure the contact info for the photographer is saved in it. Ensure you have a map and/or directions to the shoot location.
Try not to schedule any activities today, just relax and rest your nerves if you are anxious about the shoot.
Confirm a meeting time and go over the plan with your friend or relative who is accompanying you.
Get plenty of sleep!
Day of the Shoot:
If the shoot is very early (sunrise), go for a light jog prior to the shoot to wake up your face. This eliminates the tired look we see on most people first thing in the morning.
Shower and apply deoderant. Do not wear perfume, it attracts insects and can stain clothes. Deodorant also stains clothing so do not apply it if you are modeling clothes that don't belong to you.
WHAT TO WEAR TO GO TO THE SHOOT:
Do not wear a ponytail to the shoot, it leaves a kink in the hair. Style your hair and either leave it down or wrap it in a loose style that you can let down when you arrive (a loose bun secured with pins can give the hair body and a nice wave)
Wear a button up shirt so you don't mess up your hair taking it off when you arrive and get into wardrobe. Wear sweatpants and loose sneakers. You'll look like hell when you arrive but you won't have any marks on your skin during the shoot - and isn't that what's important???
Do not wear a bra or underwear that will leave marks on your skin. In fact, don't wear a bra or underwear at all if possible.
Don't eat very much for 2-3 hours before the shoot, you may get bloated. Sip water and eat light.
Make sure you are relaxed. I recommend doing yoga or meditation on the day of the shoot to get rid of jitters. If you practice this routinely it can be extremely effective.
Don't have too much caffeine.
Wear sunscreen for outdoor shoots, they sometimes last hours!
Pack all of your wardrobe (with shoes, accessories, and props) and your model kit and arrive on time. It's so important to be punctual, especially for outdoor shoots. Make this a priority.