For Aspiring Male Models

So, you’ve already arranged a photoshoot with your photographer, and the date is already set. Whether it’s for your set cards or your portfolio, or for your very first print ad, your pictures should look clean and professional. Here are a few tips I gathered when I tried modeling (for a few years, anyway I took a break). Take note, these are tips, not rules.

Preparing for the Shoot
  • 6 weeks before -If you haven’t started yet (which you should have done a long time ago) now is the time to start firming up and toning your body. If you can’t build muscle before the shoot, then at least look fit. Cardiovascular exercise will help you get rid of excess fat and as a bonus, you’ll even get healthier looking skin. Don’t be afraid to lift weights, it won't kill you (trust me). Better still, enroll at the gym. Your gym instructor should know how to help you get in shape just in time for your shoot. Don’t underestimate the power of diet plans. I believe a combination of an exercise program and a healthy diet at least six weeks before your shoot will yield much better results than chewing weight reduction pills one week before your shoot.

  • 2 weeks before - Start avoiding the sun. Sure, you love the beach and the outdoors, but now is not the time to expose yourself to harmful ultraviolet rays which can lead to dry skin, uneven skin coloration, freckles and even sunburn. If you really have stay under the sun (let’s say you’re addicted to wakeboarding), use sunscreen.
    Get a facial (and if you plan to show some skin during the shoot, get a body scrub as well); it pays to have really healthy looking skin on the day of your shoot.

  • 48 hours before - Continue avoiding the sun (or keep using sunscreen)
    Avoid consumption of red meat, nuts, chicken skin, alcohol, or anything with nicotine or caffeine – these things trigger oil production Drink lots of water to moisturize your skin.

  • 24 hours before - Do not party, or drink alcohol. It is also important that you get a lot of rest because if you’re tired on the day of the shoot, or if you have hangover, it will show in your photos.
    Exfoliate your skin; this will get rid of dead skin cells and reveal smoother, more youthful skin.
    Continue drinking at least 2 liters of water
    Oh yeah, don’t forget to wash your hair. Use shampoo, okay?

  • On the day - Be at the studio early. Based on the little experience that I have, most photographers (perhaps all) don’t like to wait. Besides, it’s really unprofessional to arrive late. Also, arrive wearing the clothes you’ll wear for your first layout (this saves you and your photographer lots of time).

Layout Suggestions

Should be sharp and clean
Shot at an angle to show profile
You may reveal skin, but the headshot must remain wholesome and professional
You may take a pensive expression; a half smile is also acceptable
Hair, hands or shadow should never (never!) cover your face Corporate:
Coat and tie with matching slacks and shoes
Hair should be styled appropriately The Boy-next-door Look:
White long sleeved shirt and dark jeans
White long sleeved shirt and light (or faded) jeans
Boyish smile Smart Casual:
Dark blue, maroon, or warm yellow polo shirt (depending on your complexion)
Matching jeans or slacks
Leather shoes> Character shot: Be a cowboy or a biker or a super hero, this is your character shot, be creative>

Note: Don't limit yourself to the layouts given here.

Other tips:

  • Don’t get a haircut before the day of your shoot
  • Remember, your finger nails should be short and clean
  • Trim your facial hair, or get rid of it
  • For men with really light skin (read: pale), choose a makeup base two shades darker
  • For men with really dark skin, don’t bother trying to get fairer. Instead, emphasize your color (there’s always self tanning products in the market)
  • Puffy eyes? Try placing an ice bag over them four hours before the shoot.
  • Before your shot is taken, try to extend your neck to avoid double chin
  • Tilting your head to the far shoulder will give you more masculine look
  • Do not squint in front of the camera
  • Your smile should never be toothy; your gums shouldn’t show either
  • Shifting weight on one leg has a slimming effect
  • Avoid clothes that will take attention away from you

I really suggest you hire a professional makeup artist (and hairdresser) but if you’re too cheap, maybe your girlfriend can do your makeup (heck you’ll probably need just foundation and lip balm anyway, besides it’s one opportunity for her to prove she supports your dreams) About your hair... well. Good Luck. *evil laugh*

Now you’re all set. Relax, and have fun.