Tim Boothby is the Red Zone Photographer

Suggestions for Models


Fandemonium 2015 - Day 1 - 0082a

Alyssa Kelley - Senior - 0239a

Fandemonium 2015 - Day 2 - 0916a

Fandemonium 2015 - Day 1 - 0117a1a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 2 - 0831a1a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 3 - 1560a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 2 - 1036a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 2 - 1038a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 2 - 1123a

The Lonely Mountain - 0751a

In general:

  • If you have any notion that you’re not a model purge that notion now! If you are in front of a camera then you are the model in the simple equation: model + photographer = photograph
  • Plan to have fun! If you’re not having fun, tell the photographer, don’t suffer in silence!
  • Eat and drink on the day of the shoot! Apparently gum, anything carbonated or if you drink through a straw those can fill your stomach with air, if you’re worried about that sort of thing. Otherwise, food and water help keep up your energy.
  • Sleep the night before the shoot! No eye bags and you’ll have more energy.

Your Photographer and You:

  • Find the photographer that meets your needs, not everybody willing to take shots for you on the cheap will fit your needs, and just because somebody charges a lot doesn’t mean they’ll work for you either. Get a good look at their past work and see if it matches your needs. In the modern era that means check out their website pretty thoroughly. Not as easy at it sounds, for some reason most photographers hide away the bulk of their work like demented squirrels.
  • Find a photographer that you like, nothing worse than working with a jerk or when you feel uncomfortable. A relaxed model is a good picture waiting to happen, if you’re on edge then its going to be a long and probably unproductive day.

Posing and Expressions:

  • The first thing to remember is to relax and be comfortable in front of the camera. Every model has a few key poses they can fall back on when the camera points their way, ever notice how many celebrities always look like they’re doing the same few poses when they know a camera is pointed at them, they practice this. Practice your smile in front of the mirror, practice a few poses in front of the mirror as well. Need ideas on poses? At a shoot ask if the photographer has a pose book, before the shoot look at magazines and google models and posing and see what examples you can find. The mirror will show you what flatters you and what doesn’t. Photographers can give you suggestions, but knowing a few complimentary poses will do wonders for your confidence.
  • I also recommend that cosplayers know their characters hero poses. What are those, you ask? Every character has their poses and expressions when they do something great, something bad, make a mistake, when they are being cute… you get the idea. Study up on the character you’re cosplaying and practice their poses. This is part of what I call adding costume to persona to create cosplay.
  • Remember that confidence and attitude make the photo, not just the outfit. BE the person you want the photo to show, even if it’s just for the moment. If you need it, take a minute to compose yourself and become that person.


  • Don’t wait till the last minute to get ready. Assemble what you want to wear at least the day before and double-check everything you should have to make your costume/cosplay/outfit complete. If you do it all at the last-minute panic sets in; and it’s hard to calm down a nervous model, and the camera sees nervous. Figure out everything you want to wear on shoot day and make sure that you have everything you’ll need for changes.
  • The camera sees all; yes, photoshop can fix a lot but some patterns and fabrics might not allow some things to be fixed. So, if you’re worried about stains, smudges, rips tears and other things put on your outfit before the shoot and do a few turns in front of the mirror. This may make you change your mind about wearing it, or you can ask to have pictures taken at angles that don’t show them.
  • Choose cosplays/costumes/outfits that you’re comfortable in, uncomfortable shows up on camera.
  • For non-costume/cosplay shoots, decide if you want to look casual, professional, elegant, sporty, or whatever and plan accordingly for the outfit, including shoes and accessories. For ladies, the right undergarments can prevent things like bra straps from showing, and if you’re in skirts a pair of spanks can do wonders for your peace of mind.
  • If your cosplay/costume/outfit isn’t quite enough for the weather, bring something to wear over it between shots.
  • Have comfortable shoes handy if you expect a lot of walking.
  • Practice expressions and basic poses, you can find examples below, this will help you feel more at ease when the shoot starts. Also, it’s not a bad idea to find poses that you like and that you feel makes you look good, let us know what they are (email us links to ones you like) so we can plan for them. Practice makes perfect.
  • Let us know what you consider your good and bad points so we can help you look your best. Embarrassed to tell us? Email it to us, saves the blushing. Also, if you have wrinkles, moles, birthmarks, scars or things like this that make you self-conscious about, tell us. One person’s icky mole is another person’s beauty mark.
  • If you need help with hair and make-up, bring a helper with you or stop and have your hair and makeup done on your way to the shoot. Allow time to have it done.

Clothes, Costumes and Cosplays:

  • If what you’re wearing features bare shoulders or legs, anything with straps is liable to leave marks, socks are bad for this. Try and avoid wearing anything snug from the time you wake up if you want to stay line free.
  • If you want to wear nylons but don’t want pantyhose because of your costume or look, consider garters and stockings (if they fit your costume and era.) Thigh-highs and elasticized hose, if the tops are visible in the shot, can pinch into your legs and make then look like sausages, especially as you move around. Look for classic stockings that won’t bind your legs.
  • If you feel you have less than toned thighs, you might want to find some completely sheer pantyhose as a foundation, such as Sheer Energy Sheer to Waist (they have the green stripe on the box.) They can make your legs looks great, and then you can pull the stockings over them to have the stocking look with toned upper thigh.

Skin, Hair and Makeup:

  • If your hair is dyed, don’t forget to touch up your roots!
  • If you want to have hair waxed, do it a full week before the shoot, I talked to someone who had her lip waxed the night before a shoot and had to cancel because she had a red rash mustache. Similarly, if you’re getting a facial, do it a few days before the shoot. Yes, it cleans; but, can leave your skin red.
  • Ladies and gents alike, if you shave, do it right before you go to the shoot and use a brand new blade, used blades can cause razor burn or leave your skin looking like freshly plucked chicken. Moisturizing after you shave is a good thing.
  • If you’re not in costume or cosplaying, makeup should look natural, and if you have any worry spot talk to the photographer about them so he knows what you’d like touched up
  • Bring anything you might need to touch up your makeup and check now and then to see if you need to touch up.
  • Trim and polish, if you want natural nails, use clear polish.
  • Maybe this is a good time to go in and pamper yourself at a spa.

Posing Tips:

  • If anyone gives you posing tips and they make you feel silly, don’t do it unless you want to feel silly.
  • Try keeping your tongue firmly pressed to the roof of your mouth. Many find that this can slim your face, and cut down double chin.
  • Point your toes, this looks graceful and elongates and emphasizes the shape of your legs.
  • Don’t make fists! Keep them relaxed and graceful.
  • Wear things that fit well and that you are comfortable wearing, if you are self-conscious, it’ll show! The photo shoot shouldn’t be the first time you wear something, try it on a few days before so you know it all fits comfortably.
  • If you wear a corset, beware of cheap ones. Quality corsets enhance your bust, slim your waist and give you a dramatic shape. Cheap ones can (note “can” and not “will”) leave you looking boxy or lumpy.
  • Curves and angles are better than straight line; but, try not to point joints at the camera. Elbows, knees, or armpits straight at the lens can be unflattering. Create angles away from or around the camera, if it looks natural.
  • If you’re looking off to the side, try to look into the light, this brightens your eyes, looking around lights the light leaves eyes dull and dark.
  • Are you planning a pinup shoot? The Pinup Files is a great resource for classic and contemporary artists, CLICK HERE to look through their galleries for ideas.


No list can cover every question or contingency. So, TALK. If you’re nervous, tell me. If there are things you want, tell me. If there are things you don’t want, tell me. Say what you feel and not what you think I want to hear, I’m very hard to offend so don’t let that worry you. Talking can relax you and make you more comfortable, and that’s what makes good pictures!

Resident Evil Lockdown Shoot - 0963a

Fandemonium 2015 - Day 1 - 0131a-1a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 1 - 0078a1a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 2 - 0807a1a

Photo Shoot Ideas - 0518a

Photo Shoot Ideas - 0085a

Hetalia Photo Shoot - 0846a

Hetalia Photo Shoot - 0004a

Tomodachi Fest 2015 - Day 3 - 1704a

Backdrop and Light Testing - 026

Thanks to A.C., Belanne, Callie, Emma, Kelli, Viv & Miki for their suggestions, and to everyone that has ever stepped in front of my camera for making this possible!

Big thanks to Digital Camera World for making the two GREAT tutorials below available, and many others as well!




Red Zone PSA

2 Responses to Suggestions for Models

  1. Tyler Durden says:

    What are your requirements for models?

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