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It was my first swimwear shoot ever… and I brought what I’d thought to be everything.  We were on a public beach and I was wet and covered in sand from laying in the water, when I discovered I’d forgotten to bring a towel!  They wanted me to change into another look, but there was nowhere private to change.  What to do, what to do?

Well, I went under the boardwalk and tried to shield myself while an assistant blocked the view.  And as you can imagine, wet sand got everywhere.  We had an awesome shoot, but I went home afterwards wet and sandy and uncomfortable.

I learned from that beach experience; aside from remembering the obvious things like a towel, I should always have  a large shirt to change under when shooting on location.  And baby powder too… it removes sand like nothing else!

Hundreds of photo shoots later, I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks for successful photo shoots, and it all starts with being prepared.  This means talking to your photographer or client first about their specific needs.  From there, always keep a model-bag handy with standard items you may need from one shoot to the next.

Even when wardrobe or makeup are being provided, you should have a backup plan in case things go wrong.  Bring makeup for times when the makeup artist’s car breaks down.  Or hair bands in case the hair stylist runs out of them.  You’ll come across as a real pro if you are always prepared… especially on commercial shoots.  Time is money, and the most-wanted model is the one that can get the job done in a short time.

Always show up a little early for a photo shoot.  It is better to be 30 minutes early than one minute late.  And don’t rely on a GPS alone to get your to your location.  Mapquest the address the day before and make sure you know where are you going.  Add  a little extra time to allow for traffic or other delays.

If you are modeling clothing which shows a lot of skin (swimwear, lingerie) then arrive to your shoot wearing loose-fitting items that will not mark up your skin with lines.  If you are supplying the wardrobe, press or iron them beforehand and transport them as flat as possible to avoid wrinkles.

Expect the best… but prepare for the worst!




  • Foundation
  • Eye shadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Lip Gloss
  • Lip stick
  • Nail polish remover
  • Makeup remover


  • Hair ties
  • Brush and Comb
  • Curling Iron
  • Flat  Iron
  • Hair Spray


  • Shoes.  White, black, red, gold and silver will get you through almost anything
  • Model underwear, such as a nude thong that is smooth and invisible under most fitted clothing.
  • Bras.  Staples, push ups and regular… nude is best as it works under all items


  • Safety pins to keep clothing together or tight
  • Jewelry accessories such as  bracelets and necklaces.  Metallic gold and silver at a minimum.
  • Posing Props: scarves, hats and purses (black, gold, silver and red)
  • Baby oil or lotion
  • Water
  • High Protein Snack

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