Tips for Model / Portrait Session

We have compiled a guide to help you prepare for your photo session.  It's broken down into 3 parts - not everything may apply to your situation.  


 1- Preparation

For Girls

Paint your nails (clear or neutral colors work best)

Style your hair before your session, choosing a comfortable style you know looks good.

Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early to your session.  This will allow time to make last minute adjustments to your hair and clothing, as well as give you time to relax before the session begins. Apply make-up before you arrive and bring product with you for touch-ups if necessary.


For Guys

Trim nails.

Style your hair before your session and bring a comb or brush for touch-ups if necessary.

Consider getting a haircut approximately one week prior to your session.

Shave before your session.



Bring multiple outfits (formal and casual) that express who you are. 

Bring matching shoes, socks, and accessories to complete your outfits.

Iron wrinkled clothes prior to your session.

Darker colors are slenderizing.

Consider bringing "props" (letter jackets, uniforms, sports equipment, and musical instruments) to express your interests, making your portraits personal.



Fingernails should be moderate length and well manicured.

Girls may consider getting their nails done.



Do not experiment with new hair styles and colors before the shoot; it may not work as expected.

Do not trim your hair within a week before the photo shoot.



Use a lash groomer to smooth brows into place for a defined shape and to prepare before tweezing, trimming or applying makeup. Tweeze brows. Trim brows if needed.

Get plenty of sleep to avoid puffy eyes. No amount of makeup can fix this.

Use Visine if necessary to minimize the appearance of blood vessels. Consult with your family doctor before using it!


Model's kit

Here are some items you may want to add to your model's bag. Not all items are required, but it is useful to have a reference. You may think of other items not listed here. Bring anything you find useful.

  • Hair brush
  • Hair bands, pins, clips
  • Eye liner
  • Makeup remover
  • Small mirror
  • Concealer in flesh tones
  • Loose transparent face powder
  • Lip pencil (nude or skin color)
  • Lipsticks and lip pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Travel size nail kit
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Hair spray
  • Moisturizer


Your outfits should be well fitted well. Try to avoid tight or baggy outfits. Outfits should be clean and ironed. Avoid outfits with busy patterns, stripes, signs, logos, etc

Wardrobe ideas

  • Strapless bra in skin/nude color
  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Business suit
  • Skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Tights in various colors


Accessories to consider for each outfit

  • Earrings
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Bags
  • Hats
  • Veils
  • Scarves
  • Shoes
  • High heels
  • Dress shoes
  • Stilettos
  • Boots or high heeled boots
  • Open toed
  • Closed toed



2 - Photo shoot (timeline)

1 week before the shoot

Make a check list of items you are planning to bring to the shoot. Read the model agreement if you haven’t done so already (you will be signing it on the photo shoot).

If possible, e-mail me some images or a brief description of outfits and accessories you are planning to bring in.

If you haven't done so already, send me your mobile phone number. I may need to contact you in case of unexpected changes.


2-3 days before the shoot

Use light neutral color manicure. No red or black nails, please, they don't work with most outfits and make-ups and draw too much attention to hands and/or feet.

It is the right moment to get your nails done. Make sure your nails are good for close-up images.

Avoid greasy, spicy and salty food. Avoid alcohol. Drink plenty of water and have a good night's sleep.


24 hours before the shoot

Make sure all outfits and accessories are ironed and properly packed. Pack outfits carefully to avoid wrinkles on clothes.

Tweeze eyebrows and the area between eyebrows. Be careful not to over tweeze.

Use oil and toothbrush on lips to exfoliate and top with Vaseline the night before the shoot. Put Vaseline on hands, feet, knees and elbows (put cotton socks/gloves on feet/hands overnight to soak in) to soften the skin and minimize wrinkles.

Avoid greasy, spicy and salty food. Avoid alcohol. Drink plenty of water and have a good night's sleep.

Charge your mobile phone and make sure you have my phone number recorded.


The day of the shoot

Relax. Take more time than usual to get ready. Moisturize your skin.

Eat a light meal before you leave. Take a bottle of water and some light snacks to the photo shoot, especially if the shoot is outdoors or on location.

Avoid wearing sunglasses on the way to the shoot.  It will leave marks on your face.

Arrive on time. If late, contact me and let me know your estimated time of arrival. If you arrive with significant delay, the shoot may be shortened as well and the number of final images may be reduced.



3 - Photo shoot (during the session)


Models are encouraged to share their ideas any time before or during the photo shoot.


The photo shoot is a collaborative process between the photographer and model. 

Relax and flow naturally. I will give suggestions during the session whenever something doesn't look right.  Practice posing before the shoot, be natural, and keep moving.

Our shooting style

I tend to "go with the flow". I usually give suggestions for location and poses and follow the model's performance. I love trying new things, experimenting with different angles.  I do not have a predefined recipe for all shoots. With every shoot I change my style slightly; I even interact differently with different models, based on my personal observation of the model as a person.