Planning to become a successful actor or a model

Being visual and being able to be showcased professionally, you need a good photographer who understands your needs and the purpose for your portfolio. Capturing your best angles and able to make you stand out from the rest is what is necessary to boost your future and secure those roles and contracts. Models and actors alike need more than just the looks, they need to show expression and display the mood that is required for the look and the style of the shoot as well as adhere to the requirements of the brief. A pretty face and a good body without “soul” will not make the grade. Remember that your images are what sells you, so they need to talk to the camera.

Tips to ensure you are prepared for your photoshoot

  • References
  • Poses and facial expression
  • A good makeup artist/stylist, that is able and experienced in this field
  • Clothing and accessories to meet the various looks for your story board
  • Professional attitude and confidence to be the best you possibly can


When you meet with the photographer for the first time, be prepared to spend quality time planning your photo shoot. As per your brief and the client or agency request, have a certain idea in mind to meet these expectations and communicate this from the start with your photographer. The photographer will need to have a clear vision when planning the shoot and this will require references that depict the 4 looks you are going for on the day. For the photographer, it is essential to be prepared in order to turn around images that meet the standards of your client/agency. Lighting, location or studio as well as set up is important and requires planning.

Be realistic and take season, the type of work you have in mind, as well as what your market is looking for from you. Take a long look at yourself as to where you feel you will fit into the system. It is about your confidence and your determination that will ensure positive results. Nothing is easy and you will have to work it, so be realistic as to what you want out of the shoot.

Poses and facial expression

References will assist you in this important step, as each look requires a difference pose, and again, each pose must suit your posture as well as provide direction for the photographer to compose you to capture the “money shot”. It will be up to you to practice these poses in the mirror or with the guidance of friends or experienced people in this field. Knowing your various poses will relieve you of stress so you are able to focus on yourself and take direction to capture the shot first time round. Again, this will give you confidence which means you perform better.

Makeup is just as important. Good makeup, not only makes you feel the part, but will lighten the work for the person editing your image selection for each look. Over edited images just do not work and will limit your chances of securing jobs. Heavy editing also cause deterioration in quality of the final image. Once you have an idea of your make up for each of the looks, practice the facial expressions required for these looks. As mentioned, it is not just a face that sells it’s the expressions that sell that need to depict the mood. You need to be able to ”speak to the camera”. Clients are vast and require different looks and expressive moods to sell their product or service. You need to give them what they require. To conclude, the better you can pull these looks and moods, the more work you will get.

Clothing and accessories for your photoshoot

Again, this all boils down to your initial meeting with your photographer in the planning stages. Your 4 looks will determine the clothing, the accessories as well and the location. Once you have the references as well as the look and feel for your shoot, pay attention to the clothing that identifies these looks to make it believable in the image for your portfolio. Take style, the fit, and the colours into consideration, they need to work together in the shot. For the model without the wardrobe, borrow from friends, apro the clothing, or hire the clothing for the day. Knowing a good stylist is often a bonus to assist you in this process, as they are normally well connected in acquiring wardrobe.

Professional attitude and confidence

It is all up to you, as a starter to the industry or as an experienced model or actor, you need to prepare and do your homework. Magic will only be achieved once you have done all your planning and you are 110% ready on the day. Confidence and the ability to nail the shoot requires the effort that you put in. There is no such thing as just winging the shoot, it simply does not work.


So, my final say to you is go for it… and make it happen first time round with good planning and dedication. This is a decision that you have made, so don’t waste your time and effort, be serious and know you are going to succeed.