How Models Prepare for a Photo Shoot

photo shoot checklist for model

Whether you’re a parent of a budding little superstar or you’re a teen model who is just getting started in the industry, there’s no denying it—that first photo shoot is nerve-racking to say the least. What do you wear? What should you bring? How early do you need to be there? There are just so many questions.

Well, luckily for you, we know quite a few kids and teens who’ve been there and done that. Kids and teens who have overcome their first-shoot nerves to become successful models in their own right. And it’s their experience that we’re going to draw from right now as we tell you how models prepare for a photo shoot.

They get started early

model photo shoot

And by early, we don’t mean 5am early, we mean they start prepping for their shoot days or possibly weeks beforehand. 

So what do they do? 

Well, this could be anything from practicing their poses (see below) to doing some research on the company to see what kind of things may be expected of them in the shoot. As a child or teen model, you’ll get some background info from your agent, but parents and teens might also want to do a little homework of their own. 

Of course, getting started early isn’t always possible as sometimes there’s only a few days between landing the job and the actual photo shoot, but if you can, we still think it’s a good idea to learn what you can beforehand. 

They practice their poses

Poses are super important for kids modelling and any kind of modelling really. These are the go-to poses that you can bust out any time a photographer says ‘give me an excited face’ or ‘try to look bored’. But you can only do that if you spend some time practicing your poses at home. Sure, it may feel a little silly at first, but you’ll get the hang of it and it will help give you a little more confidence in your photo shoot. 

Parents of younger kids can do a little role play and become the photographer. This will make it a little easier for your child to get into the habit of dropping into poses on command. 


They eat properly

By eating properly we mean they eat healthy food and always finish their meals. They don’t snack on too much junk, but they do enjoy a few sweet treats now and then just like we all do. A healthy and balanced diet gives kids boundless energy and that nice healthy glow to their skin—two things that all photographers love to see in a child or teen. 

A healthy diet doesn’t just mean plenty of fruit and veggies, it also means eating enough so that you’re full. Skipping meals or not eating enough is never a good idea and any successful model will tell you the same.

They don’t use any new beauty products

This one is a little more important for teens but it’s still something that parents of younger child models should also bear in mind. Models should always avoid using any new creams, soaps, or any other type of beauty product before a photo shoot.

This is because new products can sometimes cause irritation to the skin or perhaps even an allergy. The last thing a teen or child model needs is to have to deal with an itchy rash right before a shoot. So stick to the products that you have always used before and that you know won’t irritate your skin.

Remember too that you should wear minimal makeup or hair product when going to a shoot. You’ll be in hair and makeup as soon as you get there and the artist will only take off everything that you have put on.

They get plenty of rest

That means the proper amount of sleep each and every night. It means no crazy late nights followed by early morning starts. And it also means naps as and when you may need them.

Children aged between 5-12 need anywhere from 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. Older teens can get by on a little less, but they absolutely need to get a minimum of 8 hours.

This is particularly important the night before the photo shoot for obvious reasons. We don’t want any sleepiness affecting the day’s work. So do a little exercise the day before the shoot and get an early night. Sure, those nerves might keep you awake for a little while, but we also have a tip for that.

They believe in themselves


Self-confidence is like a super power. It can give you the motivation and belief that you need to do pretty much anything. But child and teen models will sometimes suffer from low self esteem. This is often due to their nerves or the fact that they know that they work in a highly competitive industry. 

This is why they need to remind themselves that they have been chosen specifically for this job. This means that the photographer or casting director saw something in them that made them think ‘This is the right model for the job’. In other words, they believed in you, so you should believe in yourself. 

Of course, there’s self-confidence and then there’s overconfidence. This is why parents are so important as they can help their child or teen find the right balance between the two. 

They know all the details of the shoot

This is extremely important and usually falls under the job description of a child model’s parent/personal assistant/manager! These details include the time and date of the shoot along with any travel instructions. You may even need to figure out where you can find parking and how much it costs. 

It’s also a good idea to include a back up plan for travel just in case something happens on the day. Know the public transport options or have someone else available to take you to the shoot if it comes to that. Remember too that it’s crucial that you know of any requirements or instructions laid out by the casting director or photographer such as specific clothing to bring along to the shoot. These instructions must be followed to a T, but if you have any issues, you should speak with your agent about it as soon as possible. 

And that is how the prep work is done by the pros! Follow these tips and you can banish those pre-shoot jitters knowing that you’ve prepped like a true professional model. Now all you need to do is shine on camera! 

If your child or teen has an interest in modelling and you think they’ve got what it takes, then get in touch with us today or go ahead and apply to join the Bubblegum family. We’re always looking for fresh talent and would love to hear from you. 


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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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