How to Prepare a Subject for a Professional Photo
Digital cameras have made photography more accessible, but that doesn't mean that professional photos are easy to create. Anybody may be able to use a point and shoot camera to take a photo of a model, however this doesn't mean that they can take professional quality photos.
Step 1 - Preparing the Studio
Before worrying about preparing the model you first need to work your magic on your photo studio. The background used needs to be simple so that it doesn't steal any interest away from the model herself. Lights should be used to improve certain features of the model. The lights should all be placed at 45-degree angles from the model. An additional light can be placed directly above the model to give the hair a nice shimmer.
Step 2 - Preparing the Model
Once your studio has been set up, get to work preparing the model. The most important thing here is to make her feel comfortable and at ease. If she is stressed or nervous then you're not going to be able to take the best photos. The model may look beautiful already but mistakes on your part can create horrible results. In order to make the model like you you must make her look as beautiful as possible.
Look at the composition of the shot and adjust the lights as neccesary. Adjust her pose to see how different thigns will look, you will be amazed at how much difference a tiny change can make. Also ask your model to remove any contact lenses if she's wearing any because the bright lights and dry air can cause them to dry out.
Step 3 - Fanning the Model
To give your photo some extra life and feeling you should use a small fan which can be placed in front of the model. Turn the fan on but keep it at a low speed, this will make the hair look beautiful in the photo shots. The fan is optional and doesn't always need to be used.
Step 4 - Test Shots
Take test shots to see how everything will look on film, you might be able to see her in front of you but until you actually press the shutter you won't know how the photo will look. Decide whether or not the photos look good.
Step 5 - Making Adjustments
If necessary you should make adjustments as required. These adjustments will depend on your opinion of the previous shoot. Move the lighting, adjust the fan and change the models poses until you are happy. When you are happy then all you need to do is take the photo.
Make sure you take a number of different photos just in case some of them aren't suitable. Ask her to change pose slightly several times throughout the shoot to get variation.