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Photoshoot Self-Care & Prep

There are times when I feel like my life is a lie.  Yup, you heard me right...a lie. I kind of live a double life.  I am a model, yet I lack real fashion sense. To mask my inept sense of style, I tend to stick with the basics.  Luckily for me, leggings and tank tops are an easy option. And my favorite articles of clothing, bikinis and fitness wear, don’t require any matching!  So while I can’t give you much advice on exactly what to wear to your next photo shoot, I can give you tips on packing essentials because let’s face it, you can focus more on outfit selections when you know you have the rest covered.



Outfits: I’m sure you are all much more qualified than I to decide on your wardrobe, but make sure that you bring at least three different options of what to wear for a photo shoot.  Photographers like to have a variety. And you never want to run out of clothes to wear, so don’t be afraid to over pack. When a photographer says, “What else ya got?” and you have nothing, it’s not a good feeling.  Make sure you have tops, bottoms, and shoes for each outfit. And plan your undergarments carefully. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a hot pink bra coupled with a white crop top. And yes, I know this from experience.  Luckily for me, the photographer just laughed and told me to “own it.”

Accessories: I am also not the kind of girl to wear lots of jewelry and accessories, but they do photograph well.  So, pack earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry that will accentuate you assets and outfits. For me, I tend to think that less is more since I prefer the focus to be on me.  Sunglasses, hats, purses, belts, and scarfs make excellent accessories as well, so don’t forget to bring them along. One of my favorite things about accessories is that you can use them as props as you pose.  And sometimes specialty props can be included in your shoot. A basketball for a fitness shoot can provide new posing options, and photographers love the forethought and creativity.

Shoes: High heels are best for photo shoots.  They make your legs look longer, and they naturally make your calf muscles flex.  Try to stick with thin heels as opposed to chunky heels. I have several different colored high heels.  A couple pairs don’t even fit; I only wear them at photo shoots and only for the pictures. I’m more of a flip flop or tennis shoe kind of girl, but hey, when you model, you have to play the part.  Since bikini modeling is my favorite, I also often let my feet go naked, which I love. When your feet are bare, however, you still need to create the illusion of long legs, so you have to learn to pose on your toes.  This not only helps your legs look longer, it will also cause you to flex your calf muscles.

Skin Care: I’m not even going to pretend that I can give make-up advice, but don’t forget to pack all your make-up products.  Even if you plan to have a make-up artist, bringing your own along is never a bad idea. Foundation especially can be difficult to match, so having your own handy can be beneficial.  And being overly prepared in case of emergency is smart. Bring your make-up brushes as well. And don’t forget the fake eyelashes and glue. Many make-up artists will expect you to bring your own.   Always have lotion handy. I recommend Eucerin. As a fitness and bikini model, I need my skin to shine, so I like to keep it hydrated well. I also bring along cooking spray. I know that you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind, but cooking spray works well to give the oily effect on the skin.  Some people like to use baby oil, but I like the fact that I can spray the cooking oil onto my skin. So, don’t forget the Pam!

Hair Care: Again, even if you have a hair artist doing your hair, it’s a good plan to bring your own tools just in case.  A brush and comb are essential. I always bring a my curling wand, straightener, dry shampoo, hair bands, bobby pins and hairspray as well.  At on-location beach and pool shoots, a hair dryer can also be helpful. You never know when you’ll be asked to get your hair wet, and if you have other looks after, you may need to start fresh.

Random Stuff: Then there are items I have learned to pack because well...you live and learn.  So to save you discomfort and embarrassment, you may want to include these as well. I discovered early on that a robe and blanket are necessary.  I am almost always cold. This is terrible when you’re a fitness and bikini model. Even in the summer, most bikini shoots are at sunrise or sunset when the sun isn’t giving off its intense heat.  To stay warm and comfortable, I include a big fuzzy robe and blanket for in between shots. If it’s even cooler, I wear my boots as well. I’ve had my fair share of confused gawks from people passing by, but it’s worth it to be comfortable.  A towel is another must have for beach and pool shoots. I forgot my towel once and can’t even begin to tell you how long it took me to get all of the sand out of my van after the ride home. Nail clippers are another useful tool to have just in case.  They can be used not only to cut nails, but also tags or strings. Scissors are an absolute must have. It seems strange, but there have been several occasions when I’ve needed alterations made to clothes to make them fit better. My crew has literally cut a slit in a $4.99 Good Will dress.  They cut a random strap off a body suit, and they made a crop top into a v-neck. None of this would be possible without scissors. I think they may have used a knife once too, but in the name of safety, we will stick with scissors. I’ve also used hair clips to clip the back of clothes that were too big, so those bring a few of those along as well.  A floor fan can also be a great addition to your packing list because what looks better than flying hair and clothes that are flowing in the breeze? The real wind can be a detriment, but air focused systematically in the right direction can create an amazing effect.

Snacks: I have been fortunate to taken part in 18 hour photo shoots.  I am also a person who needs food to act like a human. Yes, I do get hangry!  Photo shoots do not always go as scheduled and there isn’t always time to eat, so be prepared.  Bring lots of water to stay hydrated and stay away from caffeinated and sugary drinks. Choose snacks that don’t get stuck in your teeth.  I find it most convenient to bring snack foods that I can eat in one bite so that I don’t mess up my lipstick. Grapes and cutie oranges are favorites of mine.  And bring your toothbrush and toothpaste just in case. Floss isn’t a bad idea either now that I think about it. Random food in your teeth is not a good feeling when you’re having your picture taken.

Honestly, I never use all of the stuff that I pack, but knowing that I have it just in case, puts my mind at ease.  Then I can focus my attention on bringing my bringing my best. And when you do forget something, don’t stress out about it.  You are the star, so shine brightly, be creative, and make it work!

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