5 Things You Should Never Forget When Preparing for a Photo Shoot

5 Things You Should Never Forget When Preparing for a Photo Shoot

5 Things You Should Never Forget When Preparing for a Photo Shoot

So your budding little superstar has landed a modelling job and there’s a big photo shoot coming up.

While this is definitely exciting, you might be a tad apprehensive about making sure it all goes perfectly. After all, you want to make a great impression, and you want your child to do a professional job.

Take the pressure off yourself by following the below tips on how to prepare for your child’s photo shoot…

1. Encourage Your Child

The most important way to prep your child for the photo shoot is to encourage them ahead of it.

When they book the job, congratulate them. This is half of the accomplishment. They did good! Then it’s up to you as their parent to engage them ahead of the shoot by filling them with confidence so they go into it eager to do a great job.

There’s a line here, which you should make sure not to cross. On the one hand, you can’t overinflate their ego so that they become too confident. Yes, they landed the job, but they still need to DO the job. The hard part isn’t over yet.

At the same time, don’t overstate how important this is or put pressure on them. This could only flatten their confidence and make them worry. As a result, this might backfire and they’ll fall apart at the shoot due to the build-up.

Find the line between the two. You know your child best. You know how they need to be addressed to produce the best results. Find a balance – not too much pressure, don’t let them get cocky, but instill professionalism in them.

A behaved, respectful child model who will do a great job and not get carried away or clam up in front of the camera is what you’re looking for.

The Big Day

On the day of the job, set an alarm early enough so that you and your child are not rushed and flustered. This will help them relax and do a great job too.

And make sure they enjoy it! Allow them to feel relaxed ahead of the shoot and on the set. The best kind of photograph is one where the model doesn’t seem tense. They need to have a feeling of comfort in the scenario.

Also, allow enough time for them to warm up before shooting commences. The first few shots can be stiff, but coach them in how to feel at ease in front of the lens.

2. Looking Good

This is important – but again, you need to find a sensible line.

Models are there to be photographed and so need to look good. Yes, this goes for the fashionistas and hunks of the grown-up editorial world, where hair, make-up, and fitness are important. It also goes for child models–but be sensible with this.

Essentially, you don’t want to become an obnoxious stage parent who slaps cosmetics all over their child and insists they only eat lettuce in the run-up to the shoot.

That being said, the child has been hired to look how they look in their headshots or audition footage. It’s therefore about KEEPING them looking that way.

Parents should encourage health and wellbeing with their children anyway. But if you are providing a child model for a paying job, it’s crucial to make sure they retain this.

Just make sure they’re still out keeping fit – playing a sport, going for walks – in the lead-up to the photo shoot. Make sure they’re not overdoing it on the sugary treats and that they are eating their greens to keep their skin glowing.

On the night before, give your child a bit of a pamper to make them feel relaxed, special, and confident. A bath, moisturizer, and a good night’s sleep are what’s needed. No late nights or fizzy drinks 48 hours before the job!

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Children aren’t used to being preened for photo shoots, so try to ease them into this in the run-up to the big day.

You will be told ahead of time what to expect from the job. You’ll be briefed on whether they need to look natural or whether they’ll be somewhat glamorized or wearing stage make-up.

Thinking about the ‘look’ of the shots, you can prep your child on how they need to come across on the day of the shoot, and get them used to the make-up and hairstyles they’ll need.

Boys, who might not think to wear make-up in the first place, may need advice on this, while girls may need to be tutored in how to wear make-up subtly. This isn’t playtime with their dollies, after all.

Similarly, children aren’t going to be used to wearing products in their hair. It’s up to you to prep them for this ahead of time.


Of course, a make-up artist and stylist will likely be present at the shoot, but you can prepare your child in advance by applying make-up on them at home and styling their hair. Make it fun – sit them in front of a mirror and have a laugh with them while doing this. Play around with funny looks to relax them in the styling chair.

Get them used to someone styling them and then advise them on how not to ‘fiddle’ with their hair and face. This also helps with the professionalism that will be expected of them. A photographer will potentially be irritated if your child smudges their make-up and requires constant touch-ups if they haven’t been told what to expect.

On the day, comb their hair and make sure their skin is cleansed and toned, ready for make-up application. Don’t apply make-up to them before the shoot unless you are specifically told to. This just means the make-up artist will need to wipe it off and start again. Your child needs to be a blank canvas.

It’s also sensible to make sure your child is aware of their own face, so they can communicate with the photographer.

If you feel your child has a particularly good side, encourage them to work that angle more. This way, those in charge of the shoot will be happier with the finished product.

4. Clothing

There are two things to consider here: whether clothes are being provided for the shoot or not, and what your child wears to arrive at the shoot.

With the latter, this is a simple case of making sure your child doesn’t turn up a scruffy mess. Although it’s likely hair and make-up will be styled after they arrive at the job, as mentioned in the above point, you don’t want your child to need extra attention on set ahead of time.

If they will be changing outfits for the shoot, make sure they arrive in comfy yet presentable clothes, easy for them to change out of when the time comes.

If you are told to provide clothing, find out about changing facilities. If there are some, bring the clothing for your child to change into on set. If there aren’t, arrive with the child dressed ready to go to save time. This shows efficiency and also means you can get them looking as camera-ready as possible at home before you head to the job.

If you are told to provide the clothing, you need to decide what is appropriate to fit the brief. If you’re unsure, ask ahead of time. Ask whether the shoot will feature a particular color scheme. Avoid any branded or overly patterned outfits. Clean, plain lines are always best for photo shoots. Black is also always a safe bet.

Ask about little details. If your child is wearing a shirt, does it need to be open-collar or buttoned-up? Clothing choice should be timeless so that it won’t look out of date in a few years’ time.

Attire must be ironed if appropriate and tried on in advance to avoid any drama on the day of the shoot. Also, check the ensemble for any wayward lint or pet hairs.

kids fashion photoshoot

5. The Finer Details

It’s up to you as the parent to know the little details involved in the job.

For example, unless you have an agent to do this for you, you’re going to want to check through the contract ahead of time. Go through this with a fine toothcomb. This way you will know what you and your child are signing.

This also sets expectations for everyone involved – such as what content and service will be delivered, the fee you will receive, any editing agreements, the deadlines, and more.

This is legally binding once you have signed it, so don’t hesitate in going through it to work out any issues you have with those running the shoot ahead of the job. This should be done way in advance, so as to sidestep any awkward confusion.

Do The Legwork

Find out how the images will be used. Are they for online? Will the images be shared on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? Are you entitled to your own digital copies?

Are the shots going to be used in print? Will they be color shots or black & white shots? What is the setting? Does your child need to prepare for being photographed on a set, outside, or just against a plain background?

What is the vibe of the shoot? Knowing this will help you prep your child for how to come across during the session? Are they ‘fun’ or ‘serious’ photographs?

It might also be a good idea to ask about what the atmosphere will be like on set too. For example, some photographers and models like to play music when they shoot. It’s something to work to, keeps things relaxed, and sets a tone.

Who is directing the shoot? Knowing this information will help you and your child understand who to ask questions to and who is running the show. Are they to be guided by the photographer or by a creative director? Make your child aware of this when they arrive on location. Point out the appropriate people on the set that your child can go to if they need to ask any questions.

Think about buzzwords that might help you to understand the type of gig this is. Is it a ‘professional’ shoot? Is it ‘family’ orientated? Is it ‘casual’, or ‘soft’, or ‘friendly’? What message is being conveyed? What is your child being paid to project? Coach them through this beforehand.

Figure out where you can be, on set, in case your child needs you mid-way through for any reason. As their chaperone, and their parent, you are there for them. This will help them do a better job.

Photo Shoot Ready!

These tips are a great way of making sure you and your little model are raring to go on your photo shoot.

Bubblegum has provided some of the brightest young talents in Australia to some of the biggest showbiz names. We have worked across film, TV, theatre, and commercial, collaborating with many of the country’s most famous brands and production companies.

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely keen to hear more. So be sure to get in touch with us via the contact page and reach out for more advice or information about what we do.

Not only are we the go-to child talent agency for Australia’s biggest brands (and the country’s longest-running child modelling agency). we are friendly, trustworthy, and eager to talk to you.

We’re aware that dealing with youngsters in the world of showbiz can be a little daunting. We are here to make it comfortable for you, all the while keeping things professional and safe.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Picture of About the Author

About the Author

Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest-running agency specialising in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia's biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.

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At Bubblegum, we represent some of Australia’s brightest young stars, but even so, we’re always on the lookout for fresh new faces and talent.

If your child is aged anywhere from 3 months to 18 years of age, and you think they might have what it takes to shine in front of a camera or on stage, then we want to hear from you.

We’ll set up a quick informal chat where we’ll get a feel for your child’s suitability for working in the industry.

The lucky kids that make it onto our books benefit from in-house workshops and coaching sessions to help them brush up on their skills. They’ll also get great advice and tips from the Bubblegum team, some of whom have worked as child models and actors themselves! We’ll even arrange a portfolio shoot with our in-house photographer.

We want all the kids on our books to have their chance to shine and if that means working twice as hard to make it happen, then that’s what we’ll do!

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