Photo Shoot Preparation Checklist for Models

It is indeed a serous thing - if you have decided you would like to expand (or even kickstart) your portfolio. But it is also very exciting and fun! 

Here is a very brief checklist type of guide with some tips and suggestions how to prepare for a photoshoot with a professional photographer. 

  • Always make sure you choose the right photographer and are familiar with his or her previous work and style. This way you will know what results to expect after the shoot in done. It is wise to choose a professional photographer (if you are finding on yourself). Be vary of very cheap photographers and always remember: ”You get what you pay for”! Do not forget about the safety too. Also, decide whether you would like a on-location shoot with natural light or a studio shoot. A good photographer will suggest you the best practise if you are not sure. 
  • A good idea is to prepare an idea for your photoshoot. If you are sure of what type of style you would like to have for the result photos and what kind of ‘vibe’ you would like the photos to give out, it is handy to create a moodboard - a physical or virtual board with inspirational images which reflect the mood you would like your photos to have, and maybe some poses as well. A very nice tool for this is Pinterest. Sometimes a friendly photographer will be willing to give you a helping hand with this as well. Do not feel shy to ask!
  • Decide what outfit would fit the best for your moodboard. It might be one set of clothes and a few alternative tops and bottoms to change. I am more than sure you have enough clothes and accessories in your closet for this, so a trip to a shopping mall is optional. If you have a more particular idea about a very specific piece of clothing, maybe try to see some new and up and coming designers or stylists who might be able to help you. 
  • Make up. Yes, it is finally time for the best part of it! What aspiring models usually do before my shoots is do their own make up before the shoots. Another option is to find (or ask if your photographer has any good contacts) a make-up artist to help you out. Sometimes it is nice to collaborate and build new relationships and the make-up artists might be able to even pull off two looks for one day!
  • Prepare yourself emotionally and feel confident. This is a very important part of the preparation before the shoot. You need to be happy with yourself and set yourself up with a positive outlook for the day! The camera can pick up if you are not entirely happy, especially if you have decided to concentrate on portraits. If you have any doubts before the shoot, again, feel free to let your photographer know and ask or advice. I am always happy to banish any negative concerns and give some nice confidence boost. :) 
  • If you are going for a posed photoshoot, make sure you practise the poses and facial expressions in front of the mirror. If you are shooting with someone like myself, I usually prefer to go for more of a natural look and will help you out with guidance for poses and suggestions, so it works out more like a collaboration. However, some photographers will expect you to have ‘everything ready’ to go. Make sure this is clear before the shoot happens. 
  • Always keep in touch with your photographer. Send the photographer the make-up you think you will be wearing and the snaps of the clothing you have chosen. Take any advice he or she gives and remember: you are working as a team for a common goal - great looking photographs!

And always remember… have fun and make the best out of it! Preparation for a shoot is a great and exciting process! 

If you have any questions or if you simply want to have a chat about this or any other photography related topic, feel free to email me:

Beautiful early spring morning in Purley Beeches & Wetten Tree Garden

This morning I woke up way before my alarm clock and a sudden spontaneous inspiration struck me! 
I had decided, about a week ago, I will restart another self portrait project and I had a just the location for it in mind. 
So - why not now, before I’ve fully awake, before I’ve had breakfast - let’s go!  I got (ok, jumped) out of the bed, grabbed my photo bag, tripod and coat. After half and hour ‘hike’ uphill I have reached the location to explore. Here are some images from the lovely Purley Beeches woods and Wetten Tree Garden. 

My notebooks

All right, let’s get personal! 

I had a request a while ago to share my passion (or shall I be honest and say: obsession) for paper, as some of you might know: I LOVE good stationery and I love keeping notes in paper notebooks. So here we are, these are my current ‘in use’ notebooks. (I might have forgotten one or two, sorry!) 

I think notebooks are very intimate extensions of a person; the thoughts, ideas and sketches put straight out of mind and onto paper. Raw, unrefined, just ideas. Free and ready to be explored even further.

From bottom up, my notebooks are: 

  • A4 watercolour sketch journal
  • a general notebook (more serious notes, like planned expenses, calculations and larger lists)
  • an extra large black Moleskine (a started, but abandoned journal)
  • a clothbound A5 watercolour journal
  • a green Moleskine for daily thoughts/journal entries
  • another A5 clothbound notebook, for photography notes, lists and research notes
  • a large Moleskine chapters journal - an impulse buy, now carries my photography lists and sent emails, keeping track of people and brands I’ve been in touch with and when
  • own-made notebook with some random photo concept drawings
  • handmade recycled paper notebook for writing
  • a Paperblanks 2015 week-at-a-time view diary 
  • a kraft colour pocket notebook for photography ideas, compositions and concept plans 
  • a small pocket Moleskine for on-the-go notes, always in my bag 

Milton Keynes - Easter 2013

This is a nice flashback from two years ago when I first visited Milton Keynes. Sometimes I just like to take a bus to a randomly selected location to explore the possibilities of on location portrait and conceptual photography shoots.

So it happened that this time I went with my partner to Milton Keynes (very convenient - just a short train ride from London Euston station) to have a brief walk around and see how I could possibly use the city as a location for any of my upcoming shoots. It turned out to be just wonderful!

Milton Keynes is perfect for ‘lost world’, massive concrete ‘abandoned’ type of feeling creations in the photographs. It is very very spacious, but you can rarely see any people around. It is  lovely concrete jungle, but with no distractions. In broad day light we struggled to see over 10 people in the area we explored and even the passing cars were so few, we managed to get some lovely middle-of-the-road shots, looking like the last people on earth (or maybe in the set of I am Legend).  All the shops (or ghost attractions?) were closed and had that spooky feeling of emptiness despite being filled with products. 

I will definitely move one of my next concept shoots over there, as it has so much to offer for on location concept photography and there is a guarantee that no one will ever distract or accidentally walk into the scene. 

© Laine Apine Photography 2016
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