Countdown to a Nude Shoot – a Model’s Guide

Here is the general advice that I give models to prepare for a shoot. I’m posting it here since it may be helpful to other models and photographers. It is in chronological order from about a week before the shoot. Models should read the whole list before beginning the schedule because the order of some steps will vary based on particular situations.

7 Days before the Shoot

  • Confirm all details of the shoot and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for clarification.
  • Know what makeup (if any) you are expected to do before arriving to the shoot.
  • Don’t experiment with hair or skin treatments. There’s not enough time to recover from a mishap.
  • Don’t change your hair style unless requested.
  • Cut back on tanning, this can dry skin. Use sun screen.

3 Days before the shoot

  • Do your nails. Unless you’ve discussed otherwise, I suggest trim nails with a neutral color (e.g. French manicure).
    Take care of your skin. Avoid sun exposure, tanning salons. Avoid getting paint, ink or bruises on your skin. Stay moisturized.

2 Days before the shoot

  • Get some moderate exercise.
  • Get rid of any unwanted hair in your normal fashion. Do this more than two days before the shoot if it normally takes you longer to recover. Don’t experiment with a new method; you won’t know the recovery time.
  • Exfoliate dry skin, don’t forget your feet.
  • Exfoliate lips if needed.
  • If this is your first nude shoot get a restful sleep tonight. You may be too excited the night before the shoot to get enough rest.

The day before the shoot

  • Pack your kit. Bring moisturizer, a snack, makeup, robe/cover-up. (see my post: Nude Model’s Survival Kit)
  • Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol. Eat sensibly.
  • Stretch. Stay limber. Stay active enough to burn off any excess energy before bedtime, but don’t do any marathon workouts today. Stay hydrated.
  • Get a full night’s rest if you can.

The day of the shoot

  • Wake up early enough that you don’t feel rushed.
  • If you’ve been asked to have your hair and makeup a certain way, allow preparation time.
  • Don’t put on any tight clothes or anything with elastic in it. We want to avoid elastic lines on your skin.
  • Don’t tie your hair tightly, that can also leave a mark.
  • Avoid anything that will stain your teeth: tea, coffee, cigarettes; they all show up on the image.
  • Moisturize everywhere from the neck down. You don’t want anything close to dry skin.
  • Directions to the shoot: Don’t forget to bring them with you. Call if you’re lost, don’t be embarrassed, just call and ask. If you’re going to be late or can’t make it, call ASAP. Don’t be a no-show without calling.
  • Once at the shoot keep cell phone use to a minimum.
  • Be friendly and professional

After and between shoots

  • Take care of skin. Bug bites and tan lines can last a long time. A model’s body is her income, protect it.
  • Eat healthy foods. Stay away from sweets, fatty meats, and junk food.
  • Exercise vigorously five days a week. Perform a mix of strength, flexibility, endurance, and fat burning exercises.
  • Practice posing and posture.

Nude with red cloth