If you wanted to be treated like a professional model, you need to act like a professional model. And I am here to help you learn how to do just that!
Here are a few things that are always helpful and not too difficult to do either (in no specific order):
1. Give the photographer your cell phone number once you have booked the shoot. This has come in handy for me so many times. Sometimes you are running late, sometimes you cannot find the shoot location, sometimes emergencies come up, etc.
2. Be on time to your shoots. If you are going to be late, even 5 minutes late, text or call the photographer and let them know. Try to never be more than 15 minutes late, if that. If you do show up early, I would advise making it 10 minutes or less early. Photographers need time to set things up and get their equipment in order.
3. Bring a small modeling kit. This can be tailored to the style of modeling that you do. For example, I always bring a bottle of water, baby wipes, basic make-up, clear nail polish and a file, a robe, a hair brush and things to put up my hair (pins, clips, ties) and a bit of whatever product I use. If you model clothing, make sure to add basic underwear (tops and bottoms), plus basic heels to that list along with any other items you regularly use. I also might recommend items like cotton swabs, safety pins, Advil or similar, pads and tampons, leggings, plain tank tops, a pair of well-fitting jeans, shoes you can easily slip on and off, and some light snacks. Keep these things ready to go so all you have to do is grab it as you walk out the door.
4. Pack for the shoot the night before. This way if you are missing anything you have a bit of time to get it together before the shoot. It is much easier to schedule in a little extra time to stop by the store or wash an item or clothing if you have overnight to do so, versus just a couple or a few hours.
5. Communicate efficiently. Make sure you know when, where, what style, what you are responsible for bringing, and about how long the shoot is planned to last as you book the shoot. Do not leave anything to question. If you are unsure about a concept, or if you have one in mind, do not be afraid to share or ask for inspirational photos of the concept and outline what exactly you like about them.
6. Use your cell/smart phone if you have one. I use Google calendar with notifications for most of my shoots. It will set off an alarm at a time I can choose to remind me of the shoot. I also put the photographer’s number in my phone as soon as I get it. You can add in the address to the notes in the calendar event or the phone contact as well so you do not get stuck out without the address.
7. Act like a professional at the shoot. You are not there to flirt or socialize. You are there to create photos. Chatting a bit before the shoot is cool, and some people are totally fine chatting a bit while shooting. But do not take up half an hour talking if you can help it. And if you curb the flirting at shoots you are much less likely to run into issues of unwanted attention or advances. Sometimes the person is just that way, but if you act like you are just there to shoot, most of the time they will pick up on that.
8. Do not gossip at the shoot. It is perfectly acceptable to say brief nice things, but try not to spend the whole shoot talking about who you do not like or about rumors you have heard. I know it can be tempting, especially when the other person starts it, but try to keep your opinions minimal or at least non-specific. At the same time, do not spend all your time gushing about people you love to work with either as it can make the other person feel a bit uncomfortable.
9. Be physically prepared for the shoot. Show up well rested, clean, and well groomed. Do not go out and party late the night before. Make sure you eat something before the shoot. Make sure your nails are clean and the polish is not some crazy color, clear or neutral is always good. If you shave, make sure to do so in a time frame that does not allow for stubble to be showing at the shoot. Also, do not do some new crazy work out the day before that is going to make you super sore or anything like that.
10. If you do have to cancel, do so timely and with a good reason. It happens, but it should only happen for real, legitimate reasons. If you are sick, please contact the photographer as soon as you know and let them know what you are sick with and if you think you can still shoot. Many people would rather not get sick or spread that illness to family members.
11. Inform the photographer of any relevant changes to your appearance as soon as you can. This includes large bruises and cuts, hair cut and color changes, measurement and significant body type/weight changes, new tattoos or piercings, skin rashes, and so on. It is much easier for them to work around it or with it if they know it is there in advance.
12. Never, ever act unprofessionally. If someone cancels on you, ask to reschedule. If someone is rude to you, simply ignore them. If the shoot is going in a bad direction or if you feel uncomfortable, simply state that you no longer feel comfortable and leave. Report them to the authorities if you feel it necessary. But do not yell, scream, etc, in person or via messages or phone call. I do not care what they did or said, it will not accomplish anything.