As a result of an upcoming series I’m beginning to plan for, I’ve been thinking recently about casting and test shoot etiquette in general. When it comes to casting, there are certain aspects that I look for as a photographer. So, I wanted to share some tips from my perspective for any current or aspiring models!

One thing to keep in mind is to always bring your A-game, even if you’re meeting with someone for just a short time. I’ve worked with a lot of different models, to the point where I can tell almost instantly whether or not they’ve got the right attitude and drive. 

For example: I was recently very impressed with a model who had driven to Cincinnati for a gig, and stopped by for a short time to shoot with me. Even though she had to make time for it in her already crazy schedule, this model was excited and eager the entire time, had a great attitude, and didn’t bring any drama to set. In general, the people who really want something are going to do things that others may not; and that’s the case as well when it comes to sessions like this.

 Additionally, the model I worked with pleasantly surprised me by working intuitively to give me a lot of cool, different looks to work with. For test shoots in particular, it’s a great idea to be a bit creative on-camera. As a photographer, I want to see what you think of on-set, and how you can take the shot to the next level.

Another important aspect to keep in mind with castings, go-sees, and test shoots is to come as natural as possible. It is crucial that you look like YOU, and not be overdone. It’s also a wise idea to come in comfortable – but still polished – clothing that won’t leave any marks on your skin due to poor fit. 

I want to wrap up these tips with a quick list of pet peeves that you should avoid at all costs. That said, DON’T:

  • Be late, under the influence, or hungover
  • Lie about or give a lame excuse about any of the above
  • Quit in the middle of a shoot (unless your safety is at risk)
  • Bring drama to set
  • Talk about unprofessional topics

Overall, it’s best to come to photoshoots (and castings) with an attitude that skews toward happy, hardworking, and striving for a common goal. The people who come to set and go above and beyond make it amazing – and they are always remembered.