Tag Archive | photography

Pinup 101Photo Shoot Checklist

Hello Darlings!

Today I thought I might share with you my checklist for photo shoot preparations, including what to bring. Every model should have a model bag that holds the various odds and ends needed on any given photo shoot or runway show. The contents of your bag may change depending on the job, your experience, and so on. I’ll go over the basics, and you can add on from there. I’ll also share with you how I prepare for photo shoots with my pre-shoot schedule.

First, lets touch on the importance of being prepared. I have heard some pretty interesting stories from photographers about models who have shown up late (really late), with unshaven legs and/or underarms, unkempt finger and toenails, soiled or wrinkled wardrobe, and so on. No matter how much or how little actual experience a model may have, showing up prompt and prepared is the mark of a true professional. The opposite is, well, exactly that. In a sea of beautiful faces, a professional attitude and a winning personality will set you apart and keep the jobs rolling in.

The Model Bag 

The model bag is a model’s personal bag of tricks. It holds everything one could possibly need during a shoot or show. Even if hair, makeup, and wardrobe are being provided, there are things specific to you that you alone are responsible for bringing. Here’s my checklist, and while your bag will be specific to you, this is a good start.

Dolly _Marlowe's_Model Bag

My model bag is a vintage train case that has doubled as a prop.

*Water bottles (Lights get hot, stay hydrated)

*Straws (Stay hydrated AND keep your makeup in place)

*Energy snacks (Bite size things are best to keep from ruining your makeup)

*Safety panties (Thong or g-string panties as close to your skin tone as possible. These are for wearing under a photographer’s or designer’s wardrobe, especially swimwear and lingerie.)

*Full coverage panties in black, white, nude, and a fashion color like pink or red (These are for show, so make sure they are in nice condition)

*Heels in black, white, nude, and any fashionable style or color that suits your wardrobe (Beware of too ostentatious a shoe if you’re working for a designer, their clothes are the focus, not your shoes. Make sure you can walk in the shoes you pack if you’re walking the runway)

*Bras in black and nude, with AND without straps

 

*Stockings: black, nude, fishnets, nude pantyhose (Bring backups in the event of snags)

*Scarf (For wardrobe changes to prevent makeup transfer)

*Makeup, yes, even if its being provided (Foundation, lashes and adhesive, oil blotter, translucent powder with brush, lipstick, liner, chapstick, hair pins, hairspray, comb and brush, tissues, cotton swabs, cotton balls, anything you need for your specific look)

*Body lotion

*Nail polish remover

*Clear nail polish

*Colored nail polish to match your freshly manicured nails

*Nail clippers and file

*Small first-aid kit with clear bandages, NSAIDs, allergy medications, cough drops, feminine hygiene products

*Deodorant

*Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

*Breath mints

*Baby wipes or makeup remover wipes

*Static Guard

*Small sewing kit with safety pins

*Fabric tape

*Portfolio, resume, and comp cards if you have them

*Your handbag with your usual things (Be sure to have cash, cell phone, and your ID)

*Music (I have several playlists depending on the mood of the shoot, and a compact bluetooth speaker)

*Something to do (There can be quite a bit of downtime, so have something to keep busy)

*Wardrobe and accessories (Even if the photographer is providing, it’s always a good idea to have options. The only time it’s not appropriate to bring your own wardrobe is if you’re shooting for a designer, then you’ll obviously be wearing their pieces)

*Travel clothes and robe (Loose fitting clothes that won’t leave impressions or red marks on your skin whilst you travel to your gig or sit for hair and makeup. Don’t wear socks!)

Pre-Shoot (or show) Preparation Schedule

Preparations for a photo shoot or runway show start long before you ever show up to your gig. Everything from eating right and getting a good nights sleep effect your performance in front of a camera. Here is how I prepare for shows and shoots.

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Calendar art by Alberto Vargas for Esquire Magazine

Always (as in, I’m always doing these things because they’re important in the long term):

*Exercise and eat right. This doesn’t mean you have to be a size two, but you should strive to look and feel your healthiest best.

*Practice. I’ve covered this before, but it’s so very important to know how to pose and feel comfortable in those poses. Have a wide variety of poses, facial expressions, and moods to show (at least 10).

*Take a dance class. This may sound silly, but nothing trains your body to move with poise and grace better than dance. It doesn’t matter what style of dance class you choose, just pick something and get moving!

*Don’t pick at your face! If you have a pimple that decides to make an uninvited appearance, use a spot treatment. Picking will only cause irritation and scarring which will take a lot longer than the original blemish to disappear.

One Month Prior (as you book more jobs, this will became a standing thing):

*Gather wardrobe pieces and items for your model bag if you don’t already have them. If you need to order things, give yourself enough time for delivery and exchanges if needed)

*Make any sewing alterations to wardrobe as needed

*If your shoot has a theme, collect some props. This is an especially good idea if you’re doing a package shoot where the photographer has a set theme and is offering it up to multiple models. Bringing a few small props will give your photos something a little different. Though, respect the photographer’s wishes if they’d rather not use them.

*Double check your schedule. Make sure you have time off work, babysitters, transportation, a chaperone, and the correct day and time of the shoot.

Two Weeks Prior:

*Double check measurements and wardrobe fit, especially if you’ve changed your diet or started working out. You’d be surprised how the loss or gain of a couple of inches can drastically change wardrobe fit. Make any alterations (or contact whomever booked you if you’ll be modeling for a designer) as needed

*Double check that schedule!

*Start whitening your teeth if you’ve never done it before.

One week Prior:

*Do any kind of facials or skin treatments now so your skin has time to adjust. I do not recommend trying any kind of new treatments this close to a shoot, should your skin positively freak out on you!

*Start sleeping 6 to 10 hours a night. Sleep experts say it can take a whole week to catch up on one bad night, so be sure you’re getting plenty of beauty rest.

*Drink water. Proper hydration not only keeps you healthy, but it also fills in fine lines, wrinkles, cellulite, and clears the skin. (*pro tip: “water” is in bold because I mean water, not juice, not soda, not energy drinks, but actual WATER).

*Have your hair done. If you color it, get that done. Have a trim done as well. When you book your appointment, ask for a deep conditioning treatment as well to add some luster to your locks. Again, now is not the time for anything new, just maintenance.

*Wax whatever needs waxing, if you are so inclined. Remember, your skin will need some recovery time.

*Whiten your teeth if it’s part of your maintenance beauty routine.

Two or Three Days Prior:

*Groom your eyebrows. It’s best to have this done by a professional if you’re not experienced in this area.

*Exfoliate your face and body.

*Keep drinking water and getting good sleep!

*Cut out high sodium foods and alcohol. Too much salt will make you look bloated, not hydrated. Cut out as much salt as you can. Take it easy on sugary foods too. They can lead to weight gain and skin issues. Alcohol will make you look tired and puffy, so skip the cocktails until your shoot is over

*Steam and press any wardrobe, then hang it in a garment bag being careful it won’t get crushed or creased. DO NOT FLAT FOLD YOUR WARDROBE!

*Contact the photographer. Confirm wardrobe, hair and makeup plans, etc.

*Arrange a safety contact if you don’t have a chaperone.

*Double check that schedule.

The Day Prior:

*Keep drinking water!

 

*Have a manicure and pedicure done. Buy a bottle of matching color nail polish if you don’t have one at home.

*Pack your model bag.

*Wash your hair in the morning or the night before, and don’t use any heavy styling products. Your hairstylist will want “day old hair” to work with. (*Pro Tip: Day old hair, not dirty, nasty, stinky hair).

*Shave your legs, under arms, and bikini line if you don’t wax. Be sure to moisturize after.

*Get good sleep!

*Charge your phone

The Day Of:

*Wake up early enough that you’re not in a mad rush.

*Shower and shave again. Don’t forget to moisturize after.

*Wash and moisturize your face. Don’t put on any cosmetics if you’re working with a makeup artist.

*Throw anything in your model bag you used that morning you may need later. Don’t forget your phone charger.

*Eat a good breakfast. Stay away for greasy heavy foods, and opt for quality proteins and carbohydrates that will give you energy without weighing you down.

*If you’re supposed to arrive photo ready, be photo ready.

*Let your safety contact know when you’ve arrived and where you are. Keep in contact throughout the day during breaks if it’s an all day shoot.

*Show up 15 minutes early. Use the restroom if needed. Put your phone on vibrate.

*Relax and have fun!

After You Shoot:

*Thank the photographer and HMUA (and anyone else who worked on your shoot) for their work.

*Give them copies of your comp cards or business cards and exchange contact and social media information. Never miss an opportunity to network.

*Clean up your mess. Photo shoots are fast and hectic, no doubt your stuff is everywhere. Pack up your things and throw away your trash.

*Go over any details with the photographer regarding publication, photo sharing, etc.

*Call your safety contact when you’re in your car and ready to leave.

*Stop and reward yourself with a greasy, sugary treat. You’ve earned it!

 

Every photo shoot and runway show will be different in some way. As you gain more experience, your bag and routine will change accordingly. What’s important is that you get in the habit of being prepared. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line via electronic post or in the comments section below.

Dolly_Marlowe's_cat

Every time I pack for a shoot, I have to remind him that he can’t come with me.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

 

Pinup 101:Bookings

Hello Darlings!

In today’s Pinup 101 lesson, we’re going to cover bookings and building a portfolio. This topic will likely be a little dry, but I’m hoping you will find it informative. These are the things no one told me when I was starting out. I had to just stumble though it all as I went. I’d like to save you that hassle.

You’ve studied the masters, practiced your poses, perfected your hair and makeup techniques, now it’s time to take the next step. Before you can ever hope to become a published model, you must first book photo shoots and build a portfolio.

 

Types of Bookings

There are a few different types of bookings. It’s a good idea to get to know them before striking out on your own.

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“Barn Find” from Car Kulture Deluxe issue #37, Photography by Mike Harrington

Paid Bookings: A paid booking is when either a model or photographer is paid money for their services. This is, for obvious reasons, the most desirable booking. Starting out, don’t expect to be offered many of these. In fact, YOU will be the one paying photographers for a while, but we’ll discuss that piece in a bit.

TFP, TFCD: These are acronyms for “trade for prints/photos” and “trade for CD (or flash drive files)”. This sort of booking is when the photographer and model (and at times the hair and makeup artist) trade services for a project. This sort of arrangement is only mutually beneficial when all parties involved are either at the same experience levels or are working on a project that is of special interest. Trade is a kind of compensation. Many people forget this and inappropriately ask for trade work.

Trade for Merchandise: This sort of trade is fairly common when working with brands. Models are hired by a company or photographer with the payment being some sort of merchandise. This saves the company money, as goods are generally less expensive than the model’s time rate. The company is paying their production cost, and the model is receiving compensation at the retail value of the merchandise. Like all trade, this only works if the compensation matches the value of the work. For instance, if a model’s time rate is $100/hr, but the merchandise only has a retail value of $30, that compensation may not be enough. Likewise, a new model who has yet to receive compensated work may take the $30 merchandise because it also comes with exposure and published work for her portfolio.

Booking Photo Shoots

The most important piece in a model’s professional arsenal is her portfolio. Before you can put together an impressive portfolio, you need photos to put in it.

dollymarloweautograph

Photography by Jillian Danielson, HMUA Dolly Marlowe, Model Dolly Marlowe

As I said earlier, at first you will need to hire photographers. Photo shoots don’t come cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $400 (and up) for a quality photo shoot. If you don’t have that kind of cash lying around, save up. Don’t be cheap. Be selective. You’ll need to work with talented people, experienced pin-up photographers who can help you hone your craft. Look for photographers who offer coaching and who are frequently published. Look at their portfolios. Do you like their work? If so, hire them. If not, find someone else.

You can save money by booking your photo shoots at the right time. Lots of photographers offer discounts and mini shoots around holidays and weekenders (like Viva Las Vegas). Mini shoots are usually themed and timed. A photographer may offer a Valentine’s Day themed shoot at 50% off their normal fee. These shoots often offer one set or backdrop, no wardrobe changes, and are shorter on time. You will also be expected to arrive camera ready. Be prompt. Your being late cuts into someone else’s time. Working with photography students and clubs is another way to save money. While these shoots rarely yield print worthy photos, they are great practice (and FREE!). Technically TFP, students and new models are equally matched in experience, so the trade is mutually beneficial.

Now please hear me out on this. I mean really listen. Once you’ve gotten a few shoots under your belt you’re going to feel pretty great. You’ll get some positive attention. Maybe you’ve even gotten published. This is the time to remind yourself you’re not as hot as you think you are. You are still a novice. It is considered bad form to approach photographers to ask for TFP shoots. The pin-up community is a small one. The last thing you want is to gain a reputation as someone who expects free stuff. Yes, your work has worth, but unless your work has the same value as the photographer you’re approaching, your request will likely be seen as insulting. Wait until you have a solid portfolio and published work before asking for trade bookings…and even then do so sparingly.

Building a Portfolio

A portfolio is either a print or digital sampling of one’s work, think of it as a pictorial resume. While most portfolios are digital, I recommend having a print copy as well.

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A “tear sheet” is a digital or print copy of published work. This one is from a shoot I did with Heart of Haute. Photography by Mitzi Valenzuela.

Digital portfolios can be a third party hosted site, like Model Mayhem or your own website. Avoid using social media as your portfolio. Remember, this represents you as a working model. As impressive as your Instagram may be, it isn’t the same as a professional portfolio. Make sure your digital portfolio is easy to access. Asking photographers to input passwords and other permissions is a great way to get passed up. The idea is to promote yourself. You can’t do that if your best promotional tool is hidden.

Print portfolios are the traditional way to share your work with potential clients. While you may not use a print portfolio as frequently as a digital format, they’re nice to have on hand for casting calls or even chance meetings. Print portfolios should be nicely bound in an art portfolio folder. Your photos should be professionally printed in (at least) 8×10 format and 300 dpi, DO NOT use grainy or pixelated images. Starting out you really only need 6 to 12 images in your portfolio, certainly no more than 20. Less is more. Quality is more important than quantity.

Because your portfolio is often your first impression, it is imperative the photos you use are your very best work. You will be judged by your worst photos, not your best. Separate your photos into four categories: bad, good, great, and outstanding. Toss the bad, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. The good can be used in social media or sent to your grandmother. The great and outstanding make it to your portfolio (they can also be shared with grandmama and Instagram). For print portfolios, set the great photos on the right hand pages and the outstanding on the left where they are most visible.

Be sure to show a good sampling of your work. Anyone can look at you and see you’re beautiful. Your portfolio is to show your versatility as a model. If you’re focused on pin-up work, show lots of different styles: 1940’s noir, cheesecake, old Hollywood glamour, 1920’s flapper, 1930’s starlet, and so on. A mixture of color and black and white images will add interest. Its also a good idea to include both headshots and full body images. Variety is the spice of life, so give your portfolio that WOW factor.

 

Another tool to have on hand is an actual resume. Modeling is a job. Like any other job, you need to present your experience. Just starting out, you may think you don’t have anything to list on a resume. Be creative. Were you active in drama, band or choir in school? What about community theater? Have you done any public speaking? Those all count as experience. You will also want to list your particulars: height, dress size, shoe size, measurements, weight and body type, current hair and eye color, tattoos and piercings, and of course your contact information. A modeling resume is formatted much the same as any other resume, with the addition of a color photo of you in an upper corner.

dollymarlowemnt

Any stage or performance work should be on your resume. I am first and foremost a singer and dancer. All of my performances are listed on my resume, not just the photo shoots.

And there you have it. I do hope you’ve found this week’s lesson informative. When next we meet, I’ll share with you my photo shoot preparation checklist and some very important safety tips. Be sure to subscribe to my diary so you don’t miss any of my Pinup 101 lessons. As always, you may leave questions and comments here, electronic telegram, or via social media (@DollyMarlowe on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe