My Pre-Shoot Prep & Pep Routine

After so many years modeling (gosh, it feels weird saying it that way, but it’s true), I’ve gotten into, what I feel is, a great pre-shoot routine.  I’ve decided to take some time to share it with you, because a lot of new models have been asking about it.  I opted to start a few weeks out, instead of just the night before, because I do a lot of work for every shoot I do, and it’s generally much appreciated.

Few Weeks to 1 Week Out:

  • Work on getting a few basic ideas set with the photographer, to make sure we’re on the same page.
  • Once ideas are set, scan thru ideas folders for pose, wardrobe, and hair/makeup inspiration.
  • Put ideas into a separate folder and organize by look (using more folders).
  • Send a couple shots to the photographer as a “here’s what I’m thinking” kinda thing.  Generally it’s just hair, makeup and wardrobe ideas.  This concretes that we’re on the same page.

2 Days Before:

  • Print out all ideas, organized by look.
  • Gather up all wardrobe and accessories I plan on wearing, and try on all outfits.
  • Make adjustments as necessary (not everything looks as good on as it does in my head).
  • Any major adjustments to wardrobe get sent in a note to the photographer.  Minor changes are hand-written on printouts.
  • Make sure all wardrobe is clean, nicely hung, and pressed (if necessary).

The Night Before:

  • Get wardrobe/accessories and any hair/makeup products together.
  • Make a list of all items coming with me to the shoot (wardrobe, accessories, shoes, undergarments, etc.).
  • Make sure any ideas I have (printouts of poses, wardrobe ideas, etc.) are in bag.
  • Make sure everything that is coming with me is by front door so nothing gets forgotten. (Now that I have a garage, I could load up the car the night before instead, but some things might not be great exposed to heat/cold overnight, and others might be best left hanging as long as possible to prevent wrinkles.)
  • If, for whatever reason, something can’t be put by the front door, write a note and stick it to the doorknob.
  • Write down phone numbers, addresses and basic directions.  Make a second copy of same to have at home.
  • Create shoot playlist for iPod for drive to shoot. (I generally base this around the theme of the shoot, and vary it per shoot.)
  • Plug in cell next to bed to charge.
  • Set alarm for 2 hours prior to when I have to leave.  (I do this even if it’s a different alarm from my wake up, so I know when I need to start getting ready.)
  • Get in the shower to shave legs, do face mask, and deep condition hair.  Do not dry hair after shower–let air dry.
  • Take a hot bath with a glass of white wine, a few cubes of cheese, and good book.  (Remember to lock dog out of bathroom to avoid whining and/or nudging of wine glass into tub.)
  • Get to bed early enough to allow at least 7-8 hours of sleep.

The Morning Of:

  • Wake up, brush teeth, and shower (don’t condition hair, and shave pits in shower, just before hopping out).
  • Have a small bowl of cereal, or 2 scrambled eggs, and coffee.  Quick, easy breakfast that won’t make me bloat, and won’t have my tummy grumbling an hour into the shoot.
  • Brush teeth again.
  • Dress in loose fitting clothes to avoid lines, regardless of what I’m shooting.
  • Load up car.  Double check to make sure everything is in car.
  • Make sure I have purse, cell phone and iPod, as well as directions and photographer’s info.
  • Drop photographer a “leaving my place now” call or text.
  • Plug in iPod and start awesome playlist.
  • Head out.
  • If there’s time, swing by a gas station or Walgreens and grab a 20oz. bottle of Mountain Dew.  (Because I’m a caffeine addict.)

So there you have it.  Lots of work, and lots of little details, but it’s a routine I’ve gotten pretty familiar with now (hence why I’m calling it a routine) 🙂  Even after a break, I find myself falling naturally into it.

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