• Austen Hunter

Preparing For Your First Professional Shoot (As a Model)

Updated: May 14, 2019

Many of us feel weird when we are suddenly expected to take a picture. It imparts upon us an abrupt and pressing feeling of self-consciousness. 'Do I look okay? Do my teeth look good? Will it capture that pimple on my chin?' These doubts come rushing at us from seemingly out of nowhere when we find ourselves in the viewfinder of a camera.


When I called up my friend Valentina to ask if she was interested in doing a photo-shoot, these were all thoughts that crossed her mind, too. Despite having no modeling experience, and a less-than-ideal confidence in herself, Valentina saw the opportunity to improve her self-image and take on a new challenge. Here are 3 tips she used to confidently model for her first-ever photo-shoot.


3. Practice Posing


Even though Valentina had never done a professional photo-shoot before, she had the good sense to prepare in advance for the event. The first thing she did after our phone call was look up how to pose naturally for a photo-shoot. Poses can vary greatly depending on your style and the feeling you want to convey to who is viewing the image. You can look up poses anywhere online (my Pinterest is a great resource, check it out here) but the important part to remember is to make a pose 'your own' by practicing it until you feel natural and confident doing it. Once you feel comfortable with a few poses, you won't have to fear having your picture taken. Time to dust off the mirror and get posing!


2. Wear What Makes You Feel Confident


A few days before our scheduled meet, Valentina called me to propose a sudden change to the wardrobe for the shoot. Instead of the proposed outfit, she wanted to shoot in her gym clothes. Valentina went on to explain to me that as someone who trains daily in the gym, her gym attire was the clothing she felt most comfortable in. "Of course!" I told her, and we modified the shoot according to that. Switching to gym attire made the photo-shoot more unique, and added a level of confidence that transferred through in her poses, leading to stunning images. Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to give the photographer feedback on what you need to look & feel your best. If you happen to feel the most confident in your gym clothes; just wear 'em.


1. Embrace the Moment


When it's time to strut your stuff for the camera, there's only one thing left to do: Embrace the moment. Ideally, your photographer will help you on this. A good photographer will help to create a relaxing environment by helping you pose and offering encouraging feedback, allowing the creative energy to flow. Still, even the best of us get a little nervous sometimes. If you're apprehensively anticipating your shoot, you will want to be gentle on yourself in the days or hours leading up to it. Apprehension or anxiety will show up in your photos, so that means practicing self-care beforehand if necessary and creating a positive attitude about the upcoming event. Everyone has their own way of doing this - and you know your self-care routine better than I do. Take some 'me time' to calm those nerves so you can nail those great shots.


Always remember: when you are modeling, you are creating art. Art cannot be perfect, nor does it care to be. It is simply unashamedly itself. So embrace the moment, and let yourself be art.


Your first shoot is a milestone - a little victory for yourself. It's a victory over self-doubt and bashfulness. A score for your self-image. Whether it's done just for fun or you're starting a career in modeling, you're taking the first step by boldly greeting the camera with a smile. Follow these tips and you'll be set to make that first photo-shoot a great one.


Don't believe me? Take a look at some of the photos from Valentina's first photo-shoot and see for yourself!







I hope you enjoyed this article about preparing for your first photo-shoot. Did any of these tips help you? Feel free to comment your thoughts down below, and consider subscribing to my mailing list so you can be notified of future posts! Thank you for supporting me.


-Austen Hunter


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