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How to Prepare for a Photography Session as a Model/Subject

Key Tips to prepare for your session


Photographers love models. The more photogenic and professional a model looks, the better their photos will be. But it's important for you to know what goes into preparing for a photo session—and how to make sure your time in front of the camera is as enjoyable as possible for both sides!


Pick a photographer who can help you reach your modeling goals.

Now that you’ve chosen a photographer, it's time to figure out what kind of experience they have and how they can help you reach your modeling goals. The most important thing when choosing a photographer is their experience working with models. If the person behind the camera doesn't know how to pose or shoot well, then no matter how many tips and tricks he gives you, nothing will be effective!

Make sure that your new friend knows how to make all of his shots look natural while still being beautiful. He should also understand what makes good photography work and know why certain poses look wonderful in one photo but not so much in another. This helps him improve his skills over time by learning from other photographers' work instead of just copying them blindly (which often leads nowhere).


Photo via Windows on Unsplash

Communicate with the photographer about what you want to accomplish.

Communication is key when it comes to a successful photo session. Before the photographer arrives, make sure you talk with them about what you want to accomplish and how they can best help.

  • Sending the photographer a mood board is a great way to let the photographer know exactly what your personalized vibe is. Try to have this put together before you book your photographer to make sure that they can accomplish the look you are going for. A great app to use is Pintrest.

  • Tell the photographer what type of photos you’re looking for (e.g., posed shots vs candid shots). If it’s going to be an expensive session, let them know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly—and also ask if there are any specific styles that would work better than others based on your body type or personality traits (e.g., I prefer posing in front of natural light but hate being made up).

  • Ask if there are any suggestions for locations or props that might help facilitate the kind of images that appeal most strongly to your style/ideals/goals as well as what kinds of poses will work best given those factors too!


Consider your wardrobe ahead of time.

Before you start shopping for your clothes, consider the weather. You don't want to wear something that will be too hot or too cold in the studio. Also, think about how your clothing will fit in with the mood of the photos and what kind of look you're going for: casual? elegant? spicy?

When choosing an outfit that looks good at home but is appropriate when posing as a model during a photo shoot (or even before), it's important to take into account all three factors: comfort level; style/appearance; and appropriateness for shooting conditions (e.g., indoor vs outdoor).


Photo by Becca McHaffe on Unsplash

Get the right makeup and hair done.

You might be surprised to learn that you don't need to have perfect makeup and hair to be part of a photoshoot. In fact, most professional photographers will tell you that their models look best when they're wearing no makeup at all! But if your goal is to make an artistic impression on people who don't know what they're looking at, then it's important to think about how much time and effort goes into each element of your appearance before the shoot begins.

If you are going on a photo shoot as a model (which should not be confused with modeling), it's essential that both your face and body are prepared correctly in order for everything else about yourself—especially those parts which could potentially distract from or detract from the purpose behind taking this type of photograph—to work together well together toward achieving one goal: getting hired for another job opportunity.


Practice striking model poses to get ready for the session.

In order to get the most out of your session, you should practice posing while wearing different outfits and locations. You can do this by practicing poses at home in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member. For example, try standing up straight with your arms relaxed at your sides in front of the mirror so that you can see yourself from all angles and learn how to move freely through space without being restricted by clothes or other objects nearby.

Then take it outside! Go for walks around town or go on hikes through nature trails and be as silly and creative as you want.

Photographers will always correct your poses during the session, but it always helps when the model is comfortable doing just about anything. Even practicing standing in what you think are weird poses can help!

Practice relaxing your shoulders, resetting your smile every now and then, find what side feel more natural to lean towards, etc. You could even try and ask the photographer what their go to poses are so you can try and prepare.



Give yourself enough time to get ready for the shoot.

  • Give yourself enough time to get ready.

  • If you are running late, let your photographer know.

  • Be prepared for a shoot that takes longer than expected (they usually do).

  • Bring a change of clothes in case you get dirty or wet during the shoot (and don't forget to pack extra makeup and hair products if needed).

Be prepared to do different poses.

As a model, you will often be asked to do different poses. These can range from the more exotic (like standing on your head) to the mundane (like standing next to a wall). The key is that if your photographer asks for a pose that doesn't look natural, don't worry about it! It's part of the job and there are ways around them if needed. But don’t let this stop you from doing what feels natural in order to create the best photos possible!


Bring some props along with you if they fit the mood of your photos.

If you're going to be doing a lot of photos, it's best to bring some props along with you. Props can help you get into the right mood and add variety to your photos. They can also be used to help you pose in different ways, look your best and even get into character!

Props are good for:

  • Getting into character for an adventurous shoot (like a jungle safari)

  • Adding variety when shooting at home or in a studio setting

  • Giving your hands something to do


Photo by Jamie Brown via Unsplash

Be easygoing and flexible as you work with the photographer.

If you're going to put yourself out there and get photographed, be prepared for the unexpected.

Photographers may ask you to do a variety of poses, locations and styles of photography. Be ready for this!

Don't worry if it feels like they have a million ideas in their head; as long as they communicate clearly with each other and let you know what they want from your session, that's all that matters!


By getting ready in advance, you'll make sure your photo session goes smoothly and that you get great shots!

By getting ready in advance, you'll make sure your photo session goes smoothly and that you get great shots!

  • Practice your poses beforehand. Try out different poses with friends or family members so that when it comes time for the actual shoot, they won't be too distracting. This will also help keep your body relaxed during the photo shoot—which means less chance of flinching or looking awkward during any photos.

  • Bring props with you if possible (or at least try to). It's always fun when models bring their own accessories as part of their look, but sometimes we just don't have anything cool enough on hand! If this sounds like something that might happen during a photo session where "props" aren't allowed (like weddings), then bring along some extras instead such as an extra pair of shoes or hair pins; these small extras can add big impact without taking up much room in your bag or purse!


Congratulations! You’re now ready to get some great photos of yourself. As we mentioned at the start of this article, modeling can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but also one that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. If you’ve read through our tips here and feel inspired to go ahead with a shoot, then great! Just remember to always communicate with your photographer about what you want out of their session, so they can help you achieve those goals—and maybe even make it even more fun!

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