What to Bring

  • If we are doing your make-up, bring some banana spring clips, a headband, or something to pull your hair back from your face.
  • Music Bring lots of music you like that inspires you to move and feel good.
  • Snack and beverages. This is especially important if you are doing a longer shoot and tend to need a little something to eat to keep your blood sugar level.
  • Complete outfits. Make sure you have the underwear, stockings, shoes, jewelry, belts, and other accessories you need to complete your outfit. Trying on the entire outfit at home and checking in a full-length mirror can help make sure you have everything together.
  • Bring about twice the number of outfits, or at least twice the number of tops, for the number of clothing changes you have booked. (If you are doing a 3 outfits shoot, bring 6 outfits or at least 6 different tops so that we can choose the best together.)
  • Hair styling aids if needed, such as a curling iron, hair spray you like, etc. • If you are doing lingerie or swimsuit, wear loose clothing to the shoot and avoid anything that leaves a strap mark or waistband imprint, including most bras.

Grooming Guidelines

Photoshoot and long-term use Skin & Face

Oily & acne prone

• All skin needs moisture, but oily skin can be tricky to moisturize without clogging pores. I like a clear lotion you spray on the skin from Twin Labs called Na-PCA. It is available in health food stores and the natural products sections of some stores like Smiths. It is also good on a cotton ball to set powder so it doesn’t look so powdery.

• Limiting the amount of high-fat foods (fried foods, butter, chocolate, and anything greasy) for the week before the shoot will help reduce the shine of oil skin and reduce breakouts.


• Especially if you have dry skin, drink plenty of water the week before the shoot.

• Na-PCA from Twin Labs with an emollient moisturizer (creamy lotion) over it is a great way to keep dry skin moist. It is hard to cover flaky skin with make-up, so keep yours moisturized well at least a few days just before the shoot. Salon Treatments

• If you decide to get a facial or other skin treatment before your shoot, be sure to tell the salon or clinic you are getting pictures taken. Ask how long before the shoot you should have the treatment to allow any redness or irritation to subside.

• Some treatments can irritate the skin and make it more prone to breakouts, so it’s probably best not to try something new right before the shoot.

• If you are going to have your brows done (waxed or plucked), be sure to have the appointment far enough before the shoot for the redness to disappear.


• Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (I like unscented), especially over NaPCA, is a great way to keep hands looking great. Just use it on the backs of your hands if you don’t like the slick feel and your cuticles will never look dry or flaky.

• Hands usually show in a shoot, unless you are doing nothing but head shots. Nails in poor condition can be distracting. Consider getting a manicure.

• If you get acrylic nails, you will probably be happier with your photos if you ask the nail tech to go for a more natural look. Getting them applied is hard on cuticle skin, so be sure to use the Neutrogena cream or other good hand product so the skin will look smooth.

• If you need to touch up a professional manicure or pedicure for the shoot (not chipped polish, just the dullness after a few days of wear) apply a coat of Glosser topcoat from Orly (beauty supply stores) and they will look as shiny as when freshly painted. If you do get polish at a manicure, buy a bottle of the color so you can touch it up if it chips.


• Be sure to shave your legs, armpits, and bikini area (if these areas will show) the morning of your shoot. The night before is frequently not good enough to prevent stubble showing.

• Using a depilatory cream (Nair) is also good since it removes the hair below the surface of the skin. It doesn’t exfoliate as shaving does, so you may want to do both on your legs.

• Exfoliate body skin with a net puff also and apply a good body lotion to prevent flaky skin.

• If you want a tan look without skin damage, consider a good spray-on tan. Try it at least once before you have it done for the shoot.

• If you’d like a bit of a glow but don’t want to go full-blown fake tan, you may want to try Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer (most need “fair”). It builds up to color skin slightly but is more natural and easy to use than most fake tan products.

• Check your feet if we are doing lingerie or swimsuit and consider a pedicure.

• The Neutrogena cream is great for improving dry skin on feet too.


Curly and wavy

• The most important thing with this hair type is to minimize frizz and to have a good cut so the volume creates a shape that frames and flatters your face rather than overwhelming it.

• To manage the frizz, we suggest some great and inexpensive Ion Professional products available at Sally Beauty Supply stores. Styling Solutions Styling Glaze is a sculpting lotion that works through damp hair. It can be used with Anti-Frizz Solutions Liquid Mousse which is sprayed on damp or dry hair.

• Blow drying (unless done very skillfully with a diffuser attachment or diffuser-type dryer) and brushing tend to create frizz.

• Unless you plan to blow your hair out smooth and finish with hot rollers or flat iron, scrunching and allowing hair to air dry (after applying good anti-frizz products) usually creates the cleanest look.

• If your hair is dull or limp, it may have a build-up of conditioners from your shampoo. Try shampooing once or twice with a good clarifying shampoo (Suave Daily Clarifying for Normal to Oily Hair) to clear off the build-up.

• A good rinse-out conditioner for curly hair is L’Oreal Vive Smooth-Intense Conditioner for dry, frizzy, or rebellious hair.

• Finish with just a touch of Ion Vitalizing Hair Wax. (Too much will look greasy.)


• The most important thing with this hair type is to get a little volume for some height and to have a good cut so the general shape frames and flatters your face rather than overwhelming it or emphasizing areas you don’t want to be emphasized.

• Most people look better when the hair frames their faces with a shape that radiates out a bit. If all the lines of the style go down, it tends to emphasize any facial lines or tiredness.

• A softer style is also usually most flattering to all but the most perfectly symmetrical faces. Pulling the hair back can be flattering if there is enough length to have some softness from the pulled-back portions. If not, wearing the hair loose is usually most flattering.

• To get that look of radiating lines, you want a bit of lift. This is best achieved with some good styling products (Ion Styling Solutions Styling Glaze is good) applied to the roots and then blow-drying the hair upside down. Add a bit of hair spray (again, just to the roots) before flipping the head back up.

• If your hair is dull or limp, it may have a build-up of conditioners from your shampoo. This will make it harder to get some flattering volume. Try shampooing once or twice with a good clarifying shampoo (Suave Daily Clarifying for Normal to Oily Hair) to clear off the build-up.

• If your hair seems to flatten back down, we can revive the lift at the shoot with a bit of water and a blow dryer.

Guidelines for Photo Shoot General

  • Draw the eye toward your face.
  • Choose clothes with clean lines and a good fit – nothing baggy, bunchy, or fussy.
  • Well-fitting clothes are essential to looking your best.
  • Especially if you are buying new clothes for the shoot, make sure you have the right underwear for the new pieces. The right bra can make all the difference in whether or not a top is flattering.
  • Make sure your underwear helps create smooth lines. Make sure it isn’t too tight so you don’t get unwanted panty lines or bulges. Tangas and French-cut panties can be flattering under snug pants.
  • If you are wearing a skirt, flattering stockings and shoes will help complete your look.
  • Choose neutral, flattering shoes. Avoid ankle straps and chunky shoes.
  • Solid color fabrics or prints that are so tiny they look like texture are best, especially near the face.
  • One or two pieces of jewelry usually look great but don’t wear so much it is distracting. • Long sleeve or tank-type sleeveless tops are usually most flattering.
  • Shirt collars (open), v-necks, and deeper scoops or u-necks are usually the most flattering necklines.
  • It’s usually best to avoid boat necks, turtlenecks, and high-cut t-shirt collars or crew necks that cut straight across just below your face. Colors
  • In photos, green (except deep hunter green), gold, yellow, orange, and fluorescent colors are unflattering to most people, especially when worn near the face.
  • Blue, true red, black, and denim are flattering to most people.
  • If you know cool colors work well for you: white, purples, cool pinks, true reds (no orange tone), and blues look good in photos.
  • If you know warm colors flatter you: cream, rust, warm browns, and taupe are good options. Lingerie, Fitness clothes and Swimsuit
  • Use clothing technology – pad it, push it, and add lace to it to flatter your figure.
  • Make sure nothing digs into your skin. • Prints here can be fun and playful, but classic black, red, and burgundy are always good choices.
  • White is hard to wear in these outfits unless your skin is very smooth and tan or with a dark complexion.
  • If you are self-conscious about some areas of your figure, lingerie layers can give you a sexy look while drawing the eye to your strengths.
  • Remember to bring shoes to complete your looks such as tan pumps (good & flattering with swimsuits), stilettos, or maribou mules (slip on high heel slippers with fluffy feathers).

Photo Shoot and Model Posing Tips Models


  • Create your comfort and safety.
  • Ask your photographer how he shoots, and adjust accordingly.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you are not comfortable with something! Be honest.
  • Be open and listen to constructive criticism and ideas.
  • Be willing to accept direction, without insult. Be pose-able and moveable.
  • Be clear on the direction and intentions of the shoot beforehand. Make sure you know what level of exposure you are comfortable with before you start, and let your photographer know!
  • Bring your favorite songs on a CD. Flow with the music you love. RELAX!
  • If there is no MUA, go to a cosmetic counter to have a free makeover.
  • Bring an escort for the first time with a new photographer. Bring someone who you are completely comfortable with! Don’t bring someone who’s intrusive or interfering.
  • When shooting outdoors in bright light, ask for a 1,2,3 count. Look away from the camera and then back for fresh eyes. Don’t be a Diva! Be professional and on time ALWAYS!
  • Work quickly and competently, and keep the flow moving.
  • Get to know your features, and know what poses work best for your body and face.
  • Do your research! Get magazines and study and practice the poses in front of a mirror.
  •  Turn your body in different angles and watch how it changes.
  • Come to a shoot with ideas in mind of the kinds of shots you would like to get, or bring examples. Tear pictures out of magazines, or print them off of the internet.
  • In any position, think of your arms forming triangles.
  • Have your hands doing something, playing with hair, touching the clothing, props, etc. • Don’t have feet, elbows or fingers pointed directly at the camera.
  • Watch your posture.
  • When shooting seated photos, sit at the edge of the chair and lean slightly forward.
  • Notice things! Keep your hair out of your face and off your shoulders, point your toes, and be aware of your hands and body.
  • Study your bad images and remember what works and doesn’t work.
  • Don’t get frustrated or discouraged. Just do your thing!
  • Bring accessories and extra clothes, just in case.
  • Be fun to work with, and have fun!
  • Energy is very important in a shoot. The energy you bring to the shoot, and put into it, will reflect the energy and quality of the photos you get from it.
  • Turn off your cell phone!
  • For faces, the eyes and the mouth should be in harmony. If the smile is not seen in the eyes, it looks fake.
  • A smile does not need teeth. Imagine the Mona Lisa with a big, toothy grin! The mouth is very sexy when the lips are touching lightly. A big smile can be fun if it is a spontaneous thing.
  • If the face pose is not full on or profile, the  shot should not have the nose break the plain of the far cheek. (Don’t turn your face too far.)

Copyright, James Zink Photography 2023