Everything You Need To Know About A Sexy Photoshoot!

Hey lovelies!

(or maybe I should say something French like Oh La La).

This post is dedicated to Dudoir Photography.

What is it? Who does that? How does that happen? How much is it? and more important:

How can you get the best pictures of yourself ever, while having a great time/experience,

while gaining posing coaching and long-lasting self-confidence facing the cruel camera (and the crueler own eye)?

Well… Start reading the pages below and have a look at a few sessions I did recently. Then hit your forehead, shake your ass, and contact me to book. 🙂

“Vita brevis, ars longa.” (Life is short, Art is long) Hippocrates

  • F.A.Q.

Questions from 99% of people

“I don’t know how to pose.”

Good, it’s not about posing, I’ll give you actions to do and demo for you to see.

“I’m really nervous.”

Good, the very goal is to go outside your comfort zone and beat your fear while having fun.

“I need to lose/gain 10lb.”

Never ending battle. No-one is never ready. That’s my job to get the best pose and angle to make you look best.

“I don’t want to do nude.”

Good, then let’s not do it.

“I take terrible pictures.”

Good, I will take them then, your job is to show up and have fun.

What to Bring

I encourage you to get some pampering before the shot, hair, make-up, skin, manu/pedi… you deserve it!

Avoid: botox, new haircuts, fake tans.

Clients bring their wardrobe. Avoid prints, logos… Think variety of shape, color… More is better. We usually do 2-3 outfit changes per hour.

LADIES: Bring some kind of cocktail dress, high heel, a man white bottom down shirt, black lace undies, and a meaningful item. Clothes: think classy and sexy, usually people like to bring sexy lingerie, lace, high heels, corset, jewelery/perls, flowers… Make-Up: go above everyday make up. Foundation is not a priority. Think definition: contouring of cheek bones/eyebrows/lips, a bit darker eyes shadow and lots of individual eye lashes. 🙂

MEN: it’s more raw and “manly”. Today’s underwear have as much creativity as women’s lingerie. And for some reason men like nudes 😉

HOW FAR: People are looking for different things: (1 PC) swim/underwear, (2 Sexy PC) sexy underwear/jockstraps, (3 Fetish) daring, leather, props…, (4 naked ass), (5 naked frontal), and for some, (6 a bit more explicit) 🙂

SELF-MARKETING: It all depends on what you would like to convey in your images, who you would like to attract, if you want to look like a clean-cut top, maybe reconsider your favorite leather and lace harness… though at the end it all depends on the expression we can give to the camera 🙂

{ DARE. FLAUNT. ENTICE. NOW. }

Make-Up Tips for Photoshoot

Paid photo shoots will most likely offer you a make-up artist, but that’s a luxury you may not always have.  Find out before the shoot if you will have a make-up artist supplied, if not, here are some great tips for your next shoot:

  1. Even though you will most likely shoot in sunlight or under heavy strobes, you need to put on heavier make-up than daytime use.  Extra contrast and heavy powder.  Heavy powder is very essential and will reduce post work on your images.  Applying heavy make-up make feel awkward but it looks good on camera.
  2. Moisturize your face thoroughly and then follow with concealer.  The concealer should be about 3 shades lighter than your skin tone.  Cover blemishes and discoloration with a concealer.  Lighten the area around your eyes and fix any blemishes around your lips.
  3. Foundation can be tricky.  Match the foundation to your neckline and chin, that is, your face should have the same tone as you neck.  Yes, put make-up on your neck (some make-up artists will go down to the shoulders).
  4. Powder it up!  Powder is the key to better photos.  It truly makes the biggest difference between good and great photos.
  5. Your lips should be a solid color and a shade or two deeper than you usual wear.  Don’t wear any dark lip liner, make the liner the same color as the lips.
  6. Blush is another tricky effect.  Too much and you look like a clown, too little and you look sick.  Practice with blush until you get a tone.
  7. Apply eyeliner from the outside of the lower part of the eye and extend almost to the inner part.  Eye shadow is your call.  The lighter the shade the livelier you look.  Darker eye shadow makes the images mysterious.  Ask the photographer what kind of feel or theme the shoot is going for.  Apply eye shadow to the upper lid and above the eye below the brow.  Remember, most photographers focus their lens on the eyes, so spend some time on those peepers!

Bring your own make-up!  I used to have a kit with me until a photographer told me about a horror story when all his models used the same kit and woke up the next day with pink eye!  So, when my make-up artist can’t show, I rely on the model to bring their own kit.  Yes, this also applies to men, obviously you won’t use as much make-up but powder is very important to make a guys skin look great on camera.

Highlight & Contour cheat sheet

Make up & skin care / How to sculpt your face with makeup. (Thanks @Too Faced Cosmetics!)Lips

HOW TO: HIGHLIGHT AND CONTOUR YOUR FACE (Dark/Brown Skin)

The Basics of a Photoshoot

You’ve booked a photo shoot… now what?

Making the most of your photo shoot involves several key steps.  Making the photo shoot run smooth not only produces better images it also will get you hired again.  Photographers may seem tense and demanding sometimes, but try to understand the shoot’s success is on the shoulders of the photographer.  Photographers are there to work and you should have the same focus.  It’s work.  The fun in modeling is getting the desired image and making the client happy.

Before the Shoot

  1. Contact the photographer, preferably by phone.  Getting aquinted to a new photographer helps avoid any issues that might come up during the shoot.  For example, the photographer might be going for a certain look and you may need to prepare for it the night before.  Contact is important for a portfolio shoot or a concept shoot, when it comes to higher end shoots, skip the contact.  You could also get some insight on your photographer by chatting for a bit.  A model once told me she had a weird feeling about the next days shoot and decided to call the photographer.  Everything sounded okay until she mentioned bringing an escort.  Well, the photographer flipped out and demanded her to come alone.  She refused to show up by herself and he canceled the shoot.  Not sure what the photographer had in mind, but that call may have prevented an uncomfortable situation.
  2. Drink water not alcohol.  Water has a great effect on skin and keeping you hydrated the next day.  Remember, once you get thirsty, you’re dehydrated and it’s too late to fix the problem.
  3. Don’t party the night before.  Wait till you’re done with the shoot to celebrate.  Looking and feeling hungover isn’t the look of choice for most photographers and clients.  I’d booked a model for an early morning shoot to which she never showed for.  Why?  Well, she was so excited about her big shoot she called all her friends, went out to party and didn’t wake up until later the next day.  By the time we found her, the studio had lost tons of time and money and she was replaced with another model later the same day.
  4. Get a good nights sleep prior to the shoot.  Waking up refreshed prevents baggy eyes, a tired body and a cranky attitude.
  5. Get organized.  Put everything you plan to bring to the shoot in an easy to carry bag.  It’ll get you out of the door faster in the morning and reduce stress.
  6. Bring a snack and water.  Keep your body fueled during the shoot.  Modeling is a good workout, so be prepared to get tired and hungry.
  7. Be professional and courteous with the photographer, the client and the crew.  They are all there to make you look great and they are counting on you to get the images they have dreamed up.  The nicer you are to everybody the easier it’ll be working with them during the shoot.  Nice models get call backs.
  8. Ask for a break if you need one.  Take a 5 minute break if you start getting tired or overwhelmed.  If you’re feeling dizzy or exhausted, tell the crew!  There is no reason to get hurt over a photo shoot.  Sometimes the heat from the lights or standing in the sun for a long time can be draining.
  9. Perform and be creative as the camera clicks.  For more info about posing, go to my posing tips page.
  10. Listen to the photographer because they can see you through the camera.  They are doing everything possible to make you look great.  Follow directions and ask questions if you are having trouble understanding.
  11. Be in control of the shoot.  This is a very important point.  If something makes you feel uncomfortable or is hurting you, stop the shoot and tell the photographer you can’t go on.

During the Shoot

    1. Be professional and courteous with the photographer, the client and the crew.  They are all there to make you look great and they are counting on you to get the images they have dreamed up.  The nicer you are to everybody the easier it’ll be working with them during the shoot.  Nice models get call backs.
    2. Ask for a break if you need one.  Take a 5 minute break if you start getting tired or overwhelmed.  If you’re feeling dizzy or exhausted, tell the crew!  There is no reason to get hurt over a photo shoot.  Sometimes the heat from the lights or standing in the sun for a long time can be draining.
    3. Perform and be creative as the camera clicks.  For more info about posing, go to my posing tips page.
    4. Listen to the photographer because they can see you through the camera.  They are doing everything possible to make you look great.  Follow directions and ask questions if you are having trouble understanding.
    5. Be in control of the shoot.  This is a very important point.  If something makes you feel uncomfortable or is hurting you, stop the shoot and tell the photographer you can’t go on.

After the Shoot

  • Exchange information with the photographer.  The photographer will need to email or snail mail your images after the shoot.  Give the photographer up to 2 weeks to get images back to you.  If a photographer starts taking too long, start calling them and bug them until you get your images.

just a normal chill photoshoot //

Posing Tips

A very important part of looking good in front of the lens is knowing how to pose.  Many of my beginner models tell me that not only their photo shoots are more successful once they learned to pose, but even everyday photos with their friends and family look different.  Once you learn how to position yourself on camera you will see a drastic change in the way photographers work with you and an increase in demand from clients.

A photographer, during a photo shoot, will direct you to capture a specific look, but your creativity and input is what makes the entire process successful.  The thing to remember is to listen to the photographer and give them more than they expected with as little direction possible.

The first myth to get over is some people just look good on camera.  Not true, so many things are involved in a successful photo shoot that saying a person looks good no matter what is unrealistic.  It’s a combination of a good photographer, the correct lighting and a model that knows her positioning that make a good photograph.  I’ve worked with some models that most people would never image being professional models.  But, once in front of the camera, they get to work and know how to pose and look to make the image work.

Another important thing to remember is to listen.  The photographer will be complementing your poses and keep taking shots.  With the advent of digital photography, the concern of running out of film is a non issue, most cameras can take several hundred shots in a session without stopping.  Because of that fact a photographer will continue shooting as you change positions.  Listen to the shutter click, if the photographer isn’t asking you to hold a position, change your pose.  Some photographers, like me, will hold a model into position and them move around the model to capture different angles.

The best way to learn how to pose is to practice in front of a large mirror.  Pretend the mirror is the camera and hold positions for a count of 5 then move to another pose.  Do this for 10 minutes at a time to condition your body, posing is tough work!

There are 4 types of poses:

Lifestyle

This pose is used mostly by product and stock photographers.  In order to be good at lifestyle posing, you must be able to create common emotions.  Training and experience in acting is a plus.

Movement

Just as it sounds, motion is key in this type of work.  Train for this pose by doing an action (jumping, dancing etc.) and smile at the same time.  Feels weird but looks right on camera.  Women’s health magazines are filled with these kind of shots.

Portrait

The focus is on the models face.  Jewelry and hair photography is the most common use for this.  Make sure you take care of your skin and hair to be in demand for this work.

Body

Full body shots are commonly used for clothing catalog work.  Use the posing tips below to be great at this.  Photographers love to shoot full body shots and make use of the entire model.

The following tips will help you pose better during a shoot and become more in demand.  Remember that most models rely on their posing skills to continue working and always practice.

  • Breathing

Don’t hold your breath.  All that odes is make you look like your holding you breath.  Leave that to the photographer (photographers commenly hold their breath to keep their camera steady).

  • Posture

Most of us have bad posture, but bad posture is terrible on camera.  Keep your back straight and shoulders up.  Avoid slouching, not only does this make you look taller, but your tummy flattens out.  Also, flex your stomach by sucking it in, even if you have a belly this helps you look tone.

  • Arms and Legs

Do something with those limbs!  If it bends, bend it.  Straight arms and legs are boring and creepy looking.  Do the same with fingers.  Bend fingers in front of a mirror and you’ll notice how straight fingers look like you’re missing fingers.  Bending your fingers shows all your fingers.  Lean on one foot when standing.  Shifting your weight helps you look comfortable.  Do the same when sitting, shifting your weight from one thigh to the other while raising one hip up.  Don’t hang your arms, bend the elbows and wrists, rest your hands on your hips or something else.  If you do straighten an arm or leg, make sure the other is bent.  Be as asymmetrical as possible.

  • Face

We’re raised to smile at the camera.  Unfortunately, to succeed in modeling, you have to unlearn a lot of things.  Smiling is good, especially if you have a good smile and nice teeth.  But, being versatile is important, change it up by throwing a serious look or a cute crooked mouth while looking up.  Add the rest of your body into the mix.  When you put on a scared expression, run your hand through your hair or cross your hands when you pout.  Change the size of your smile throughout the shoot, letting the photographer see how you look helps them come up with other ideas. Practice facial expressions by standing in front of a mirror, close your eyes, think of an expression, make the expression and then open your eyes.  If it doesn’t look right, try again until you get it right.  You can’t see your face during a shoot, so practicing will help you know what you look like.

  • Head

Most photographers will focus on your head, keeping your head as the key point of the image.  How you pose your head is very important.  Try this out: look in the mirror, straight on, now turn your head to the left an inch, put your chin down then turn your eyes towards the mirror.  Compare the two looks, they are like night and day.  Try tilting and turning your head at the same time.  Don’t always look at the camera, look away and when you do look, peek at the camera lens while turning your head.

Keep all these tips in mind the next time your at a photo shoot.  Practice every day!  And remember, not all positions will work, learn from your bad shots as much as you do from the good ones.

Untitled | via Tumblr

What to bringt to a Portfolio Photoshoot

(This applies only to portfolio shoot, a commercial shoot you might require more depending on the client and project)
The first thing in making a photo shoot work just right is preparing 3-4 days before the shoot.

PREPARATION

  1. Plan for 3-5 outfits if you are shooting for a basic modeling portfolio * Make sure you don’t do any wild designs; solid colors usually work the best. If you do decide to do certain design(s) make sure you talk it over with the photographer first.
  2. Every outfit should have accessories Some of these accessories include:
    A. Necklaces
    B. Earrings
    C. Scarf’s
    D. Flat & high shoes
    E. Belts
    F. Colored bras
    G. Different colored undies
    (the absence of accessories can make a photo look too bland)
  3. Plan a certain location; whether its in a studio or at an outdoor location
    (most of the time the photographer will plan this)
    make sure your outfits fit with the location or backgrounds
  4. Make sure you talk to the photographer a day before the shoot and confirm everything that you already talked about, this helps avoid misunderstandings and lack of communication.
  5. One of the most important things the night before is to get sleep; don’t go out drinking and partying it will make your eyes puffy and your mood cranky.

This is normally a day before the shoot

THINGS TO PACK FOR THE SHOOT

1. MAKEUP

A. Eye cream, eye gel for puffiness and body lotion
B. Eye Make-Up Remover
C. Eye Drops
D. Blush
E. Foundation
F. Mascara
G. Eye Shadows
H. Lip
I. Face Powder
J. Moisturizer
K. Cleanser
L. Tweezers
M. Mirror

2. HAIR

A. Brush
B. Hairspray
C. Hair Ties (thin)
D. Headband
E. Bobby pins
F. Hair Appliances (Curling Irons, straightners, etc)

DAY OF THE SHOOT

  1. Make sure you arrive about 15-20 min early so you can be fully prepared by the time the photo shoot starts.
  2. Bring your portfolio with you along with a couple photo clip outs of pictures you want in your portfolio
  3. You are now ready for your photo shoot

GOOD LUCK!