Checklist: The things a model should take care of and bring along


Modeling is a job to take seriously. Even if your just modeling “for hobby” you should take it as serious as if it where your full-time job. Only if you take it as that and put all your energy into it every time, all participants can get best results.

Part of this serious job is to be properly prepaired for a photoshoot and to pack your bag beforehand.
In this article you’ll find out what to put in this bag and what to take care of before the shoot.

Models can take this list as “checklist” and I’d strongly recommend to photographers to hint models to this list.

Take care of:

  • enough sleep – The most simple, probably most heard but also most important hint. A night full of partying or the lack of sleep are things one can definately see in your faces – even with the best make up.
  • punctuality – Although some photographers may be of the “always-being-late”-type, as a model you should avoid being late by all means. Es macht natürlich nie einen guten Eindruck, wenn ein ganzes Team im Leerlauf wartet, weil das Model noch nicht da ist.
  • availability – Check again your mails, SMS and Mailbox before leaving. Is the cellphone charged and turned on? Unforseen events can happen anytime and there’s nothing more frustrating as when you can’t be reached to be informed (or YOU cannot inform anybody).
  • Vor einem Shooting heißt es: Jede Eitelkeit vergessen und ungeschminkt kommen!

    Vor einem Shooting heißt es: Jede Eitelkeit vergessen und ungeschminkt kommen!

    Always appear without make-up to the shoot (as long as you weren’t advised otherwise) – A make-up artist would not be pleased t have to take the make-up first. Besides that remains of make-up could be hard to remove and your skin could show unsightly reactions.
    Even if there’s no make-up artist present, the photographer most likely will want to (co-)decide about the make-up. So: Come with no make-up on your face.

  • Don’t wash your hair on the same day or the evening before the shoot. Nearly every make-up artist tells me this, so I give the advise to you now. It’s way easier to style, comb and dress hairs if the last washing was done more than 12 hours ago.

You need:

  • Different colored underwear, at least black, white and skincolored belong to every modelbag. The absolutely least is the “universal talent” skincolored.
    This is not only true for lingerie- and glamour-shoots but for any, as practically eveery time a piece of cloth will also be on the photo – it would be very awkward to see a piece of underwear beneath it that doesn’t match.
  • strapless bras – It will happen more than once that dresses which should be photographed will have no straps for the shoulderstraps. Others have very thin straps. Disturbing bra-straps are an absolute no-go there.
    There are times, by the way that it’s impossible to wear a bra under a dress at all. It’s concidered professional to not kick up a fuss then. Photographers and designers usually know what looks best and they’re all after the best results, not peeping. If you go to a photoshoot, you should have this much trust.
  • Bei Beauty oft üblich: "nackte" Schultern.

    Bei Beauty oft üblich: "nackte" Schultern.

    strapless tops – in different colors, especially for beauty-shoots. In beauty-shoots you often use a crop where only face and shoulders are shown. Nothing shall distract the attention from the face/make-up/hair. So strapless tops are the method of choice. The alternative is the strapless bra, if your not to shy (which you normally shouldn’t be as a model).

  • High-heeled shoes in different colors and shapes – mostly for fashion-shots (if you’re not told that shoes are already there).
    Like most women a fashion-photographer hardly ever has enough shoes.
    For a complete outfit you always need the right shoes. This is already hard enough. Add the personal taste of the photographer, designer or stylist and you realise: it’s better to have too many shoes with you than not enough.
    By the way: I, for one, am not a fan of shoes that are very tapering to the tip (does anyone know the correct name of these?).
  • alice band/scrunchy, hair clips – To be able to vary and make your hairstyle fit. Hair clips are also very useful to make cloths appear more fitting.
  • your book – Your book is your application folder. At a shoot a photographer is able to look into it to see what you’ve done in your carreer, what you are experienced in and what you’re especially good in. Above that it’s usually helpful to estimate how you will appear with different stylings.
    If the client is present on the shoot he/she maybe will discover some potential in your photos for more/other jobs with you.
  • A pack of comp cards – The comp card is the businesscard of the model. So every model should, like a business(wo)man, ALWAYS carry some with her/him.
    You never know whom you’ll meet and where the next big job is coming from…
  • At least one smooth-running pen – To fill out contracts and (in combination with a small scatchpad) to note important infos and adresses.

All of these articles are mendatory in my opinion!

Under certain conditions optional, but definitely an advantage are these things:

  • hairbrush, comb, some hairspray – Even if a make-up artist or stylist is part of the team on the shoot, it’s always possible he/she does’nt bring the right brush (e.g.), the hairspray runs out etc.
    Of course that’s not your fault, but you’ll get a lot of “bonus points” if you’re prepared.
  • Your mandatory make-up (foundation, concealer, at least 2 eyeshadows, at least 2 lipsticks mascara, powder)- Very important for allergic persons of course and/or if you’re sensitive to any products.
    Besides that it’s the same as in the article before. To be prepared to every possible event is professional and maybe you get the next job because of this.

All contents are the intellectual property of Michael Gelfert and may be used for non-commercial  purposes. Every commercial use needs to be explicitely authorised in a written manner.


Professioneller Fashion- & Beauty-Fotograf mit und aus Leidenschaft.

Ebenfalls aus Herzblut: Dozent, Autor.

Wurde nicht mit einer Kamera geboren, sie ist inzwischen aber angewachsen.

Hat einen "(Blitz)Lichtfetisch". Umfangreiches Technik- & Fotowissen.
Kann trotzdem brauchbare Fotos machen.

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