If it’s a lazy Saturday morning, you’re on your couch eating some cereal watching some Saturday morning cartoons and your favorite photographer calls – you know, the one you’ve been dying to work with for months, and they tell you they have a sudden opening this afternoon and would love to shoot you. No set Concept, just bring your favorite pieces and let’s make some magic.
Do you know what you would wear?
Base List of Items for Models to Pack for a Photo Shoot
- Little Black Dress (LBD)
It doesn’t have to be black necessarily but you need a good simple ‘staple’ dress. Be it dark blue, or pink, maybe green to match your eyes – make sure you have a killer simple dress that fits you perfectly. Some great low budget solutions for this dress can be found at forever21 or American Apparel. Consider going with a knit dress – especially a jersey knit since they don’t wrinkle very much which makes them a perfect duffel bag item!
- Just Right Jeans
You know your favorite jeans? The ones that you would wear out to a party with friends or with a nice sweater to a Christmas dinner with the family? You need those with you too. A pair of jeans that fit you perfectly and can easily go from conservative casual to sexy by just changing the top and shoes should be a staple in your wardrobe already, make sure to bring em!
Usually you’ll want to keep your tops simple but layers are almost always key especially when you are going to be outdoors shooting. Start with basic tank tops in white or black and bring along some brighter colors. Stripes and prints are often fine but most of the time you’ll be better off with simple tops. Grab a shirt or three you can layer over you basic tank, maybe a light hoodie or sweater. Bring along a t-shirt or two as well.
This is a variable item depending on your style and personality. Boots – Uggs or leather heals. Bring flip flops if it’s warm and always have a great pair of pumps that can go with 90% of your wardrobe. A great pair of flats are great for many shoots as well and you can often find them in some flashy colors to contrast a simple dress or outfit. Sneakers are only appropriate sometimes and usually only if they’re sparkling clean.
Here’s where you can go wild. Bring scarves, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, headbands or even props like an iPod with headphones or books if you think you might be able to incorporate them into a shot or two. If you keep your base clothes simple you can use extra fabulous accessories to jazz up an outfit just enough.
This is by no means the end all ultimate list but it’s a good start for a new model.
If you have other cute items bring ’em – always bring more than you’ll need because it’s better than wishing you had brought specific items. It’s good to find out from your photographer if it’ll be an outdoor or studio shoot – what the weather is like and what the location looks like so that you can modify your base kit of clothes off of that and add/remove items as needed.
Photo by Juan Galafa
How do I get all this stuff to a shoot?
Toss all your clothes, shoes and accessories in a duffel bag. Duffel bags are much more manageable than shopping bags and are the kind of thing you will probably use off set when traveling as well.
I have an LL Bean duffel bag that’s perfect for things like this. And be sure to put all your earrings and jewelery and small accessories into a smaller bag so you don’t have to dump out your whole bag on the floor to find anything.
Present yourself an a professional an energetic and organized person when working with a photographer – yes they’ll expect more out of you if you come off that way; but it will show in the pictures if there’s a mutual professional respect.
Someone turned me on to this eBook, Let’s Model: Your Complete Modeling Guide, and for under $20 it’s wonderful it’s got lots of really helpful tips for new and aspiring models. It’s the kind of ebook that I’d like to email to all of my models before I work with them!
– Terri Ann