Model Photo Shoots

Updated: Jan 4

If you are pursuing to become a professional model who wants to work in front of a camera, there are a few things you should know in order to perform to the best of your ability and to flourish in your career as a model.

Test Shoots

Test shoots usually refer to the practice of a photographer wanting to try out a creative idea, test new equipment, wanting to build their own portfolio, or the photographer might just want try out how a photo shoot would go with the set-up of the photo session. The other side of test shoots is for models who need test shots for their portfolios. This can be organised by the model themselves so they can get professional shots to show to agencies, or by an agency who wants to represent a new model.

Test shoots are usually a simple trade of services. Do not expect to get paid for a test shoot, just as a photographer will not expect a reward for the photography he/she does. So you could view it as friendly set-up of one professional helping another, which works both ways.


There are some basic points which you should aim to fulfill as a model, in terms of photo shoots and photo sessions.

Firstly, you should know how to make the photographer’s life as easy as possible. A model, who knows what he/she is doing and who does not need so much managing, will definitely take a nice stand with the photographer. If you show flexibility and you can adapt to the setting easily, this will make the photographer feel much more at ease, and will consequently allow for the photo shoot to go according to plan without delays or disruption.

The second, very important thing to remember is to keep yourself healthy and energetic. You should never arrive to a photo shoot looking tired and exhausted as this will have an effect on the photo shoot in a variety of ways. So remember to always get a good night’s sleep before the photo shoot and come to the shoot with energy and eagerness to work hard, as expected.

Thirdly, when you have a photo shoot scheduled, always come well prepared. Usually all details relating to a photo shoot are discussed and set beforehand, therefore coming to a shoot with all the necessary items is vital. This is a good representation of your own reliability, so in order to appear as professional as possible, make sure you come fully prepared.

In addition to the latter, always make sure you arrive on time. Nobody appreciates waiting around, especially as Studio time is often based on hourly fees. So it’s always better to come early rather than late.

When all the preparations have been made for the shoot, then starts your one-on-one with the photographer. Your ability to communicate with the photographer is key as it sets the tone and speed of the shoot. So listen to the instructions of the photographer carefully and try to make his/ her job as easy as possible. Naturally, the more a model and a photographer work together, the smoother the photo shoot, but whether it’s your first or your tenth time working together, you should always aim to ask the photographer what he or she wants in order to facilitate for the most effective working environment.

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