Model Mondays! How To Take a Perfect Picture: 3 Tips to Make Your First Photoshoot a Breeze!

The beloved and feared photoshoot. Almost as long as I can remember, I have always said I am dancer not a model. I never dreamed of modeling or walking run ways I just wanted to dance in fablous costumes at gorgeous venues and be paid to do so. Which is a lofty goal in and of itself. I hated posing for pictures, a video fine but a photo and I would and often still do, something goofy or silly to prevent it from being taken seriously. I just found myself awkward when captured in a single moment.

 Emad Sayyah Album Cover

Emad Sayyah Album Cover

 I Wear Glass Promo 

I Wear Glass Promo 

 If you had told child or even teenage me that I would be modeling for ads and album covers and would actually love going to photoshoots I would have probably thought you were crazy though mostly because you were claiming you were a time traveller. But besides that I would never believe it. So what changed? How did the dancer who wouldn't stay still for a photo become the dancer with the portfolio? Here are some tips that helped me!

1- Assess yourself and what you would like to look like in a photo.

Not everyone is photogenic and no one or at least hardly anyone is without practice. 

Take a look in the mirror and see how you like yourself. Practice your angles and smiles see what looks nice and what falls flat. Everyone will have their own unique set of poses, angles and smiles that work for them. For example, I hate my smile. Hate it. If I am legitmately smiling my high big cheeks smoosh into my somewhat slanted eyes making my eyes disappear and I am just cheeks and teeth. While that's fine for a candid shot for a professional image I will control my smile so my cheeks don't overwhlem my face. It sounds cliché but knowing what works and being able to recreate it again and again will make your photoshoot much easier, at least at the beginning. Think of it like dance. You first learn combinations and choreography and only after much practice are you able to improv.

 Still from K Mac Music Video 

Still from K Mac Music Video 

2- Find a photographer you click with.

This is not always going to be an option if you are on a shoot where you are being paid but if you are buying a session you hold all the power of selection. You are never going to get a good photo if you and the photographer have different visions or if you don't feel comfortable with them. Discomfort will read in your photos despite how much you are trying to cover it up. To avoid that, try to find a photographer that you are already impressed with their work so you can trust them to help you create something beautiful. Be open to discuss what you like and what. Which brings me to...

3- Know what you like and what you want!

Far too often we expect photographers, stylists, makeup artists, whomever to be mind readers and to just “know” our goals from the photoshoot. This is because often times we don't know what we want. Just something cool or pretty is not a goal. 


Are you looking to build your portfolio and show your range? Are you looking for headshots for dance or acting? Or are you looking for photos for adverisements and business cards? What type of energy do you want to convey? Do you want to be perceived as fun, sexy, cute, mysterious, a combination of these things? Take time to create feasable goals for your shoot and create a timeline. Run this by your photographer and work out any details, like changing and makeup changes if you are on location and an honest estimate of how much time it will take you to change. Only you can provide this information and if you know that you take an hour to get ready for each look let the photographer know so they can tell you if this is possible. Otherwise you may risk finding yourself with half the looks you wanted because the photographer ran out of time!

Interested in becoming a model or promo model? Want to take a Model Workshop? Go to for more information to sign up as a model or attend any of our upcoming exciting workshops!

3- 3 Ways To Blow Your Photoshoot the Day Before

So you've found the perfect photographer, you've researched what looks you want, got your nails and hair done no it's time to have a little break the day before the shoot right? Nope! You're not out of the woods yet! Here are three ways you can ruin your photoshoot the day before

1- Go out Drinking

Drinking alcohol dehydrates your skin and can make you look tired and run down. This goes double if you plan on looking serious or sultry. Sultry turns into sloppy when you are hungover. Keep caffeiene intake at moderate or lesser amounts as well. Anything that dehydrates your body can lead to less than glowing skin.

2- Eat a lot of Salt

Where alcohol and caffiene dehydrate you, salt makes you puffy and bloated. Reason being that your body must maintain a certain salency level at all times. When you consume more salt your body has to temporarily hold more water to keep you from messing up your internal body. So more salt equals more water weight, bloating, puffy face, eyes, hands, feet and everything else undesirable you can think of.

3- Do ANYTHING Drastic

Don't do anything brand new. This is not the day to try something for the first time. Whether it's a new face soap, conditioner, mascara, sky diving or dance class. If it is something new just don't do it till after the photoshoot. You don't want to be experimenting now. New products can lead to irritations, rashes or just odd results. You don't want you in the photo to be that one day you thought an ombre dye job would work on you or new blunt bangs. Save the makeovers for either a week before the shoot or the day after. As with new activities, you don't want new and fresh brusies and cuts to be apparent in the shoot. Or worse, more severe injuries like broken bones. Don't laugh, I've seen it before! Maybe it's a curse but I am sure if you graphed it out you would find that the day before a big event all models, dancers, brides, whatever experience expoentially higher chances for injuries.

Interested in becoming a model or promo model? Want to take a Model Workshop? Go to for more information to sign up as a model or attend any of our upcoming exciting workshops!