Model Basics: The Set Bag

“Expect nothing. Be prepared for anything.”

A casting director told me this during an acting workshop, and it’s always stuck with me.  Walking onto a set, you never know what to expect. Shoots vary in budget and scale, so one week you might have your own room in a trailer and be the only model the team is working on, the next might be a huge group shot where you’re changing clothes in a parking lot (okay, that’s an extreme example, but I’ve done it!). The point is it’s smart to come prepared. Here are a few things you should bring with you on any photo shoot.

Nude underwear. A nude bra set and camisole are essentials in any woman’s wardrobe, and are especially necessary on a shoot. Even if the wardrobe stylist has everything picked out for you, bring nude underthings in case the client changes her mind and puts you in a sheer white dress. You’ll save everyone a lot of time.

My favorites: Natori Understated T-Shirt Bra, Cafe, and Spanx Thinstincts Tank

Toothbrush kit. This is a must. Your makeup artist and fellow models and actors will thank you, plus you’ll save the editor from Photoshopping arugula out of your teeth.

Hair ties and nail polish remover pads. Everyone always has hair ties- duh. But being able to take off old polish is a must. I always carry a little finger pot of remover, but I’m OCD about polish chips.

Lotion: Right now I’m loving Biore’s Body Deli but I think it’s only available in Asia. It reminds me of the Body Shop creams I love in the states.

Notebook: Makeup artists always have the best recommendations, from products to tools to websites. Write down their professional advice—they’re working on you so they know what will work best! Besides, how cute are these?

Healthy snacks: Most sets will have craft services, but often there is a lot candy and processed foods (not that those are THAT bad…). I like to bring fruit or dried vegis.

Headshots and business cards. Often the assistants on set are also photographers or filmmakers. You can network during downtime and give out your info in case someone wants to contact you for future work. If you don’t want to carry you full-sized headshot, get super cute custom cards made from with your portfolio site and contact information.

Something to do. 99% of the time, there is downtime. It’s a hurry up and wait business. Bring a book, kindle, magazine, knitting, whatever. Chances are you’ll be working an actual two hours of your eight-hour day, so save yourself from boredom.

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