I always get told to ‘pack light’ whenever I’m getting ready for a trip overseas. It’s not always easy to pack light especially with a pinup wardrobe if you like to go all out every day, it gets especially more difficult when you plan to do photoshoots on your travels. As an avid traveler, I’ve done several photoshoots and have even been flown specifically for shoots so I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks which I’d love to share with you all.
Make sure you know all the details about the shoot including when and where it will take place, who is going to be there and your transport. It’s ok to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable and ready including how your hair should be cared for (day old or freshly washed), what colour to paint your nails and if you are required to bring any specific undergarments. Make sure you feel comfortable doing this shoot.
This leads on to say that you should feel safe at all times doing the shoot. This is especially important when you’re in a new country meeting people you don’t know. Do your background research on everyone (even ask previous models they have worked with how they felt) and if you can, take someone with you. If you are alone, tell someone where and when you will be shooting and see if they can check in with you. It’s worth investing in an overseas sim card with data/wifi so you can make emergency phone calls. Have local emergency service numbers saved in your phone.
If you’re really worried, at your hotel, check-in with your concierge so they know who you are and what you’re doing. They can call you to check in with you if you need to and also tell you the best way to travel to and from your shoot. I’ve even had a concierge organise a car too and from the shoot at a set time with an emergency number in case I needed to leave earlier.
How you pack is directly related to your mode of travel. By car you can pack lots more and space becomes less of an issue but if you’re flying, you need to be really good at packing Tetris.
Take delicate and special items such as gowns and dresses as carry-on (check with your airline for specific sizes and weight limit).
Bring a steamer with you so if your items wrinkle, you can smooth them out before a shoot.
Take a smaller duffle bag so on the day of the shoot, you ave a smaller bag to take your things in rather than your suitcase.
Make sure you know exactly what items you need so you don’t overpack. Weight and size is really important so pack smart. It helps if you can pack things for a shoot that you can wear during your tourist days
If you need to take props or something breakable, see if you can take it as carry-on or pack delicate items into a box surrounded by soft items such as socks and t-shirts to stop it breaking.
Finding your Team
If you are not invited to a shoot overseas but rather want to shoot on your travels, you will need to organise your own team. Figure out if who require including photographer, makeup artist, stylist, and hairstylist. Whenever I travel, I always opt to do my own hair and makeup unless the photographer specifically asks a makeup artist/hairstylist to come along for the ride. If you have a popular social media account, you can put out a travel/casting call asking if any photographers in the areas you’re traveling to are interested in working with you. You can also try a website such as Model Mayhem (can be hit or miss) or by finding local modeling pages on Facebook where you can also put out a casting call.
If that doesn’t work, you can always really politely ask photographers directly if they would be interested in working with you. Be courteous and understanding; also be specific, do you want to pay for the shoot or do it TFP. Never ask a photographer to pay you to shoot with them, it just doesn’t work that way. If a photographer says their not interested, be understanding and thank them for their time.
Note: check your ‘others’ folder after posting up your casting call in case messages get marked as spam or lost from your main folder.
Give yourself ample time whilst traveling. I definitely don’t look my best when I get off a flight so if I’m traveling for a shoot, its best to arrive the day before, get settled and wake up fresh the next morning. If you can’t arrive the day before, pack a kit to refresh yourself once you land. Also make sure you have several hours before the shoot just incase your plane is late; keep your team informed if you need to. It also helps to get to the airport early in case there is an issue whilst checking in.
Look after your skin whilst traveling. To read my whole post on this suject, click here.
These are my main tips for you if you plan on doing photoshoots whilst traveling. The best tip I can give you is polite and courteous especially if there is a bit of a language barrier. Have fun on your trip if your traveling for a holiday and don’t get too worried if things don’t work out how you want them too (ie. weather).
Have fun, happy travels and I wish you all a wonderful photography session.