Whether you are an established professional model or you are a new model just starting out there are a few essentials that you will be expected to have with you every time you go on a modeling job, audition or go-see.
A good model is a prepared model. Just think how good you will look if you can say to your client – “Don’t worry, I have that!” Your client and agent will love you and you will get booked again and again!
Here are the basics you should have in your models bag or kit:
1. Your Book (Portfolio)
ALWAYS have your book with you at go-sees, interviews and bookings, even if you’ve already been hired for the job. Your book should contain your photos and modeling comp cards ONLY – no contact sheets, negatives, notes or junk. Your book should be neat and tidy, not a catch-all for stuff.
If you don’t have a portfolio yet, that’s ok. Take some good snapshots with you and make sure you have copies that you can leave with the client or agent.
2. Basic Makeup Kit or Palettes
You will need the basics such as foundation or BB cream, concealer, blush, bronzer, eyeshadows, liners and mascara. Male models don’t need all the items that women do, but men should invest in a good concealer palette, bronzer or blush palette. Even male models can use a little touch-up here and there.
3. Black and Nude Colored Undergarments
Women should have a selection of undergarments such as a regular and pushup bra, strapless bra, one-piece bodysuit, panties, thong, boy cut underwear, stockings and socks. Just in case the client would like you to wear their undergarments be sure you have some panty liners. It is polite to use a panty liner when wearing garments that are not your own. Also, remember to have other feminine products with you at all times.
Male models should have a selection of undergarments such as simple boxers, boxer briefs and low rise briefs that are form fitting to your body. Men should also have clean white and black t-shirts and tanks.
4. Flats and Heels
A small selection of flats and heels of different heights are very good to have in your bag. Often you will know the type of booking you are going to ahead of time so you can ask your agent or booker what type of shoes to bring so you’re not lugging around heavy shoes. Having said that, it is very important for models who are traveling to Asian countries take a good selection of shoes since finding American or European size shoes in Asia can be tricky (they have smaller feet than we do).
5. Hair Products
Brush, comb, bobby pins, clips, elastics, hair spray, gel and other hair products are very important to have in your bag.
If you have a hair style that will take hair extensions we definitely recommend that you have extensions in your bag. Think how great it would be if you can change your hair from short to long in just a few minutes! Your clients will be impressed!
6. Skin and Body Products
Deodorant, moisturizer, makeup remover, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, mouthwash, floss, mints, etc.
7. Small Sewing Kit
A small sewing kit with a needle, thread, extra buttons and pins can be a real life saver when you need it.
8. Notepad, Pen and Paper
Nothing is more annoying than a model asking a client or agent for a pen and paper to write something down. Be prepared. Even if you have a cell phone or tablet that you can make notes on having a pen and paper can be quick and easy. You can always add the notes to your phone or tablet when you have more time.
9. Bottled Water, Healthy Snacks
Photoshoots, fittings and shows can often go on much longer than planned. Don’t try to work when you are starving, besides no one wants to work with a hungry, grumpy model. Remember that a professional model will never eat while wearing the client’s clothes! If it is absolutely necessary be sure the client’s clothing is covered with a towel or something to protect it.
10. Map or Cell Phone with GPS
Always plot out your route and where you need to be beforehand. Having a cell phone with GPS (Google Maps) or a city map is essential.
11. Cell Phone and Charger
We know you’ll remember your cell phone, but don’t forget to take your charger or have a second charger that you always keep in your bag ready to go. Remember to put your cell phone on silent or turn it off while you are working and on the client’s time.
12. Something To Pass The Time
Sometimes there can be long wait times between shoots or when it’s your time to work. Bring something with you to keep you occupied so you are not just wondering around or looking bored. Listening to music, playing a game on your cell or iPad or reading a book is a great way to keep occupied and not bother others who are working.