Drink plenty of water. I cannot stress this enough. A hydrated body contributes to great looking skin and hair. Planning on a boudoir shoot? Your first modeling portfolio experience? Your first event or paid shoot?
START DRINKING ENOUGH WATER AT LEAST ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE. It is the NUMBER ONE TIP I wish anyone had told me before I was 25.
The number two tip I wish anyone had told me before I was 25 was: good nutrition and exercise. It matters.
FIT bodies are what we see in magazines, not diet-thin ones, not starved-to-death ones. There’s a difference, and no one talks about it. (Mostly, I think, because it’s harder to capitalize on exercise and easy to sell fad diets and the promise of quick fixes.)
I’m not saying everyone needs to look like an Olympic athlete. I celebrate and worship bodies of all shapes and sizes and find them all beautiful. I happen to think curvy women are very sexy indeed and am often envious of their shape.
What I specifically mean is: when I eat well, my hair shines, my eyes are bright, my skin glows, and my nails are strong and look great. I’m able to hold poses with ease. I have excellent stance. I look great. I feel great. I broke out less. I felt more confident because of it. And when you feel confident and believe you look great, it’s ridiculously easier to nail a shot every time.
When I exercise, I have more energy and feel more alert. I have more endorphins making me feel good. I often have a better body image, no matter what size I am at if I’m exercising in a way I find fun. These things have an impact on not only your short and long term health. Your posture improves. So does your stamina, strength, and flexibility.
It may not be obvious to someone who does not model regularly, but these are very important factors in getting a stellar shot. The fact that you feel vibrant, full of energy and vigor, strong and fit, and healthy? That too, radiates in a photograph, making you glow with health and attractiveness.
(There’s a joke in the modeling world that if neither the model nor the photographer feels like they spent the day doing serious yoga and didn’t get into at least one position they feared they’d need help getting out of–you probably need to reshoot the entire set, because it’s going to be crap. In this sense, beauty is pain.)
While portraits are typically not nearly as physical as professional modeling, being able to hold a pose for an extended time can be tiring. So can sitting up or standing up straight or tilting your head a way you aren’t used to. Fitness and posture go a long way in making the process easier and physically more comfortable for you, whether it’s a headshot or a set for a portfolio.