Whenever I'm getting ready for a photo shoot, I try to connect with the photographer, and if a makeup artist/hairstylist/designer/ are also going to be collaborating, I'll try to reach out to them as well. Maybe it's just me being (slightly) neurotic, but I like to know how many/what kind of looks we are going to create so I can plan accordingly. This way, just in case someone can't come or plans change last minute, we can still make the most of our shoot.
There are some simple clothing, and makeup items I bring with me to every shoot on the off chance someone forgets something, or if we decide to try something different, I've come prepared! As a side note, what you carry your things in can be important as well. For example I've learned that I prefer a backpack to a duffle-bag for shoots, especially if its a location shoot. Sometimes you'll need (or want) to go to a near by location and its easier to just walk . But keep in mind, even a short walk can feel long when carrying everything with you. Not to mention, if your photographer has lights, stands, and other items of that sort to create magic with, you'll probably want a free hand to help out. Not having to worry about getting strangled by the one strap on your bag, or slinging it just right over your arm so it doesn't fall off your shoulder, or create uneven weight while trekking, is beneficial for everyone (and your arms will thank you later). Now, onto the basics!
- Always bring a skin tone/neutral pair of underwear. If it's a thong, so much the better for the obvious reason of being able to see it even less. This has been especially true for me (on more than one occasion). Whether it was wearing a swimsuit cut a little higher than I usually wear, or dresses that have a VERY low cut back or high slit on the side, I was very happy to have it with me.
- Same can be said for a nude (even better if it is strapless) bra. When you're as well endowed as me (also read: not-at-all), sometimes you need a little help creating curves, no matter the color of the outfit you're modeling. Skin tone bra to the rescue!
- A nude pump is ideal to go with any color or pattern outfit. Being as it is a neutral, it won't clash with other textures, bright colors, or pastels. I like to bring a black heel with me as well for similar reasons, but with added contrast.
- Flats, while perhaps not ideal for the shoot itself, come in handy if you want to stretch your legs and walk around a bit without dirtying the shoes you may need to use on a white backdrop (footprints are not usually appreciated).
- I've found that a simple black scarf has multiple uses during a shoot. Comes in handy when you want a head shot sans whatever shirt you may have been wearing when you came in-make a quick wrap top, and keep your shoulders free. It's good for the reverse too-if you're cold between takes, just wrap it shawl style around your shoulders for a quick fix without worrying about messing up your hair/makeup. And, it's an instant turban/headband/belt/skirt and numerous other accessories as needed. Oh...it also makes a great scarf...obviously...
Even when a makeup artist is going to be at the shoot, I'll bring some of my own stuff in case they have to leave early and I need a touch up, or I know my sensitive skin won't react well to a particular item they may have
- Powder-it's the easiest (for me) to bring and brush on real quick. It also doesn't stick to any dry skin I may have as much as some liquid foundations I've used do. This may be a personal choice, but either way, something to help even things out-and just a little will help a lot in the long run.
- Lip shmutz- be it a lipstick close to your natural color, clear lip gloss with a bit of shimmer, chapstick, or Vaseline, just a little dab of something to bring attention to your pout/smile really pulls the rest of your look together and accentuates your features.
- Mascara-I'm always amazed at how much more awake I look when I put just one swipe of mascara on. Really helps open your eyes...unless you want to look asleep...in which case...your eyes will probably be closed (its a bit creepy if you open your eyes while sleeping-I speak from experience).
- Dark eyeliner-it doesn't have to be black, but a mid to dark brown can be helpful for adding a bit more depth to your eyes/lashes, as well its use for filling in eyebrows in a jam (hence the varied shades of brown depending on your hair color and how natural you're hoping to look). Also useful for some high fashion style makeup if you decide to do a dark lip color (this is where the lip shmutz can come in handy-mix them together as just eyeliner will dry your lips out noticeably).
- Blush-some people suggest bringing something for blush to add a little color to your face-I say, if desperate, do as they did in the old days and pinch/pat your cheeks for some added color (just don't do it too hard or you may end up with red outlines of your fingerprints instead of a rosy glow)...or you could bring a small blush with you if you get embarrassed easily and don't want to be seen slapping yourself...an actual blush does come in handy as an eyeshadow/lip color if needed.
You never know when you may need one of the following for various adjusting purposes:
- Safety pins-for holding clothes up/together/creating different shapes than originally intended for various clothing
- Large hair clip-comes in handy for a quick hair change/getting hair out of your face during makeup touch-ups/ or creating more "fitted-clothing" when a safety pin just doesn't cut it
- Brush/comb-kind of obvious reasons...if nothing else, you may want to tame your mane after a shoot if you have to make any stops on your drive home and aren't feeling a mohawk/afro/80s-do/etc.
- Bobbi pins-again, obvious reasons, but even if you don't use them for your hair, they can work for cinching clothes together...to a point...(same goes for hair elastics)
- Water/Snack- I will always bring water and a snack with me-no matter how short I may think a shoot will be. Because when you're prone to being "hangry", and you'd like to make a GOOD impression, you know to have a just-in-case- snack (helps you keep the friends you just made). You never know- if a shoot goes well (or poorly too I suppose) and ends up being longer than scheduled-or if you get lost en route there or home and find yourself getting hungry (or your car breaks down...as owners of older cars just expect daily) it can make a huge difference to have some sustenance (same goes for hydration).
These are what I've found most useful during the majority (if not all) of my shoots, though it may vary for different people (except the food and water-I think that should apply to EVERYONE...but that could just be my hunger speaking...).
Can't wait to start packing my bags for some shoots this fall!