fashion industry

Part I: Preparing for Your First Photoshoot

So, you’ve booked your first official photoshoot. Congratulations—the work has only just begun! Ritta Kelly, who’s worked with a slew of commercial, lifestyle and beauty brands, as well as high-end designers such as Valentino and Oscar de la Renta, knows all about what it takes to prepare for a variety of photoshoots.

Ritta gave us a behind the scenes look at her life in the days and hours leading up to her recent L’Oréal Matrix shoot. In addition to getting her hair styled and extensions re-sewn in, a manicure and pedicure were a must. Ritta recommends opting for a neutral color or no polish at all, depending on the client or brand requirements. “For about half of the jobs I book, I have to do my own makeup in advance of the shoot; for the other half, a makeup artist is provided on set.” 

If a client asks you to bring your own clothes to a shoot, Ritta stresses the importance of being “proactive” in selecting an outfit to wear, instead of waiting until the night before. For test shoots, she makes sure to pack a nude color bra and underwear. For high-end clients or swimsuit/lingerie shoots, Ritta pays particular attention to what she eats in the days and weeks leading up to the shoot date. Runway clients are also more critical because each outfit is carefully custom-fitted, and models are expected to remain the same exact size as originally measured. Even if food is provided on set, she will opt for a lighter meal.

Time management is equally important. Ritta relies on her phone to manage her busy schedule and keep track of her appointments. In most cases, she avoids scheduling more than one gig per day.

Read more about Ritta’s background and experience in her bio.