Things to Think About Before a Photoshoot

  • Melissa Keen

Knowledge is power, so the more you know about a modelling photoshoot you’ve been hired for, the better.

Below, we’ve outlined a few questions you might want to ask yourself to help you do your absolute best and hopefully make that all-important excellent first impression which could lead to future jobs.

Who Am I Modelling For?

When you get signed to a job, either via your agency or by freelancing, you will be working for a specific brand, company, photographer or publication. If you are signed to a modelling agency, your agency should be able to give you all the information regarding relevant parties and any specific requirements. You may be required to do, prepare or bring certain things to the shoot. For example, you may be required to shave your legs, bring certain underwear, or have clean, unpainted nails.

You should do your own background research regarding the people you will be working with, as well as the work they have done previously. Make sure to take a look at the photographer’s website or portfolio so you know who they have worked with before. t could be seen as ignorant to not know the people you are working with.

Research will also help you understand what they may expect from you, and what sort of looks, poses and styles they have approved before.

What Does the Brand/Publication Sell or Promote?

Understanding the brand or publication you will be working for will help you understand what sort of modelling you will be doing. If you’re going to be working with a clothes brand, you may be asked to do catalogue-style posing that is typically more casual or candid.

A high-fashion brand will expect more editorial posing and may require you to wear more unusual clothing, or perhaps sport a less typical hairstyle.

If you’ve been hired by a holiday company, you may need to travel and be expected to wear swimwear and get a spray tan.

If you’re working with a health or beauty brand, the chances are you’ll be asked to work with a product.

You get the gist; understanding the brand is to understand the assignment.

Who Are the Target Audience?

Knowing the brand’s target audience is really helpful because it helps you gauge what sort of approach you need to take at the shoot. If you’re modelling for a brand that sells to an older generation, desired poses will likely be more classical and traditional. If you’re modelling for a brand or photographer whose target audience includes young people, you will probably be encouraged to playfully pose to create quirky and more fun-loving images.

Turning up with no idea of a brand’s target audience will seem a little unprofessional, so being one step ahead of the game will ultimately work in your favour.

What Are the Brand/Photographer’s Goals?

Are you being employed to sell a product, or are you being employed to show how a product works? Perhaps the photoshoot is purely conceptual, so you’re being photographed to get people thinking rather than buying. Whatever the reason, it’s good to understand the drive and motivation behind the shoot so you can act accordingly. Photoshoots nearly always have an end goal of making money via sales, but sometimes they may be to back a certain cause or raise awareness for something.

The goal will be explained at the casting or on the day of your photoshoot (so don’t panic if you have no idea before you turn up), but you will likely be given this information ahead of time so you can do your homework and

Are They a Conceptual or Literal Brand/Photographer?

Conceptual photography, if you’ve not heard of the term, relates to ideas that are creatively inspired rather than being very traditionally approached. For example, a photographer may be inspired by Henry VIII, but instead of dressing a male model up to quite obviously act as the King, the photographer might employ eight very modern women to represent his wives. It’s all about intelligent scene setting. This type of modelling tends to happen in the editorial or high fashion world.

Literal photographs are far more popular in catalogue, commercial, fitness and glamour modelling. These photographs are not designed to be overly clever; they are designed to show off a product or service in a very matter-of-fact way. The primary goal of literal photography is to sell, so it needs to make an impact within seconds.

By understanding the approach that the brand/photographer is taking, you will be able to alter your poses accordingly.

How to Find Information About Your Photoshoot

Aside from asking your agency for more information, there are many ways you can research the brand and photographer before a photoshoot. A brand’s website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn pages are all really good places to find out information.

If you’re really struggling to find any information beforehand, you can have a good chat with the photographer or creative director on the day of your shoot. They will likely set ten minutes aside at the start (or at the casting) anyway to explain their concepts and ideas, so be ready to ask some questions to really help you understand their vision so you can do your best to meet their expectations – and even hopefully go beyond!

Are you interested in becoming a model? Register with us today and find out if you have what it takes – it’s free!

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.