top of page

Lights, Camera, Action! Mastering the Art of Model Selection for Your First Editorial Photoshoot

Today, we're diving deep into the glamorous world of photoshoots—particularly the fine art of selecting the perfect models for your first editorial model campaign. We’ll go over the most critical key factors you should consider when selecting models for your first (or any) photoshoot. Get ready to strike a pose! 📸

A plus size model is standing in green tropical grass with a spanish style resort behind her. The background has a pool and palm trees. She is wearing a blue chevron printed tankini and matching swim bottoms.
Behind the scenes of an Adore Me swimwear photoshoot that Kristen oversaw.

Choosing models for your brand's first editorial photoshoot is exciting but incredibly challenging. Your business is riding on your choices; it’s not like there’s zero pressure. 😜

Don’t forget what a considerable expense it is to shoot on-location, especially if you’re doing swimwear—everyone wants those beach shots! Recently, we had a client fly over to Australia to shoot her swimwear in *just* the right spots, so you can imagine the model conversation was a BIG DEAL.🛫🏖️

As the founder of your brand, you want to feel like you've got the perfect crew for the job, especially your model. A great model will show off your apparel, represent your brand's aesthetics, and connect with your target audience.

There's WAY more to consider than just looks alone when picking models for your photo shoot. Finding someone who aligns with your brand's values and aesthetics while showcasing your designs' versatility and diversity and connecting with your audience is essential.

So before you even start hunting for the perfect person to wear your gear, grab those mood boards and customer profiles to ensure you nail the overall direction and vibe.

Below are key factors to consider when selecting models for your 1st editorial photoshoot.

You want models who:

1. Match your brand identity

A blonde model is posing against a white wall with wainscoting. She is wearing a pink and black lace bra with coordinating pink and black underwear.
Behind the scenes of an Adore Me lingerie photoshoot that Kristen oversaw.

First on our list because it's likely your top priority when daydreaming and planning your first model shoot!

Before ensuring your model fits your brand, know what you're aiming for with your overall vision of the shoot. This is a great time to pull out those directional mood boards and make any edits to ensure everything looks cohesive before you start.

Remember that you need a deep understanding of the aesthetic, vision, and values your brand wants to convey. Many elements are involved in this kind of photo shoot, so the mood board is a fantastic tool to keep handy and front and center while you search for suitable models. For example, is your brand young, colorful, and peppy? Sophisticated and elegant with a feminine essence? Moody with a dark edginess? Your mood board will tell the story and keep you right on track.

Aim to select models whose appearance complements your brand's identity and enhances the overall look of your garments. Consider each model's unique features, style, and presence, and envision what they can bring to the brand as you evaluate your options. Remember, the models you choose will be the face and driving force behind your sales, so pick people who completely embody your brand's spirit.

2. Fit into your size range

This should go without saying, but it's so important that I can't leave it out. Your model should fit in your final size range. If you're selling plus-size clothing that runs from 1XL to 6XL, don't opt for a size ‘large’ model, or you're just asking for trouble.

You'll want to do a try-on beforehand to ensure your selected models fit comfortably into your marketing samples. For swimwear, intimates, shapewear, and activewear, it's a great idea to use a model slightly on the larger side of the sizes you use in your photo shoot. If you're creating a foundation garment or something body-skimming, you want the garment to be filled out and wrinkle-free.

Remember to consider diverse body shapes and sizes to represent a more inclusive image of your brand. This is especially important now, so be considerate of your audience and don’t alienate them by displaying only one body type on your site.

3. Resonate with your target audience

A woman is modeling in the background of the photo. She is wearing a black robe with pink sash. A man holding a camera is in the foreground. You can also see his lighting and equipment set up in the foreground.
Behind the scenes of an Adore Me lingerie photoshoot.

Pull out those customer profiles and consider your target demographic.

A clear vision of your target audience will help you decide on the type of models you want, as you’ll want to ensure it feels like a fit for your demographic.

For example, are your customers younger, older, or more like a mix? What kind of body shapes and sizes do they have? Are they toned and fit or more soft and curvy?

Perhaps your customers may look to you for high-end fashion with more of a serious-faced runway look. Maybe you’re going for someone more of an athlete influencer type—your everyday gal-pal running from task to task? Or… neither of those works, and you’re doing a super curvy line that focuses on fuller cups and big behinds, so you want someone with a more Kardashian-esque physique.

Either way, your editorial model should represent your ideal customer just like with fit models.

4. Express a wide range of emotions + looks

You want models who can pull off a full range of faces and poses that work for your brand.

Models with great range will better convey the story you want to tell through your designs. When looking at potential models, pay close attention to their portfolios, especially the areas most closely related to your product category.

A well-rounded model’s portfolio will display a variety of looks, poses, and expressions. If it seems like much of the same, it might be a sign they're not a good fit or that you need to ask for more examples of their work.

Models with an expansive range of expressions will allow them to better connect to the audience, a crucial component for a successful photoshoot.

Consider the model's ability to communicate and connect with the camera. This is especially important for editorial photoshoots, which are often more emotive, story-driven, and concept-focused. Select a model who can tell a story with their expressions, poses, and body language—it makes a world of difference!

5. Have experience in commercial photography

A model is having her hair adjusted by a hair and makeup artist on the set of a photoshoot.
Behind the scenes of an Adore Me lingerie photoshoot.

You’ll want to find a model with some experience in commercial fashion photography.

Experienced models are usually more punctual, easier to work with, and more helpful on set compared to inexperienced influencers or people just starting their modeling careers.

People with more experience also take direction better and are more likely to collaborate with the team to make a shot work. A model with a positive attitude can make a massive difference in a photoshoot's overall success and energy.

Knowing how to show off the garment comes down to a critical factor: experience.

You’ll also want to look for models with experience; they’ll know how best to show off your collections. Models with experience will quickly learn the best ways to move in front of the camera to showcase your garments in their best light.

6. Work within your budget

For this to work, you have to actually *have* a budget, right? So once you know how much you’ve got to burn on your editorial shoot, consider your options.

From most expensive to least, we have at least a handful of choices to pick from. You could use a model from an agency, the most expensive route, or you could go with a freelancer model, an influencer, or, for the truly crafty and cunning, the most affordable option—a family member or friend.

Consider holding an open casting call if a freelance model is more in your price range. Social media platforms like Instagram are also great places to find new faces on the influencer scene if that’s where you’re looking. Another option for keeping costs low is to use a family member or friend to help you model.

Casting a family member or friend can be a great way to get the ball rolling, even if it’s just a placeholder image until you can do a more professional shoot. I’d highly recommend paying family or friends *something* if you can—even if it’s a few free products when the bulk order comes in. You don’t wanna burn any bridges.

Choosing the perfect models for your first photoshoot is not just about good looks or a killer portfolio. It's about finding a model that embodies your brand's identity, fits your size range, resonates with your audience, has a broad emotional range and experience, and fits within your budget. These considerations ensure that your brand messaging is clear, your target audience feels represented, and the garments look their absolute best.

Three female models are posing in the doorway of an elegant room with crown molding. The models are wearing pink and black lingerie and high heels. You can see photoshoot equipment in the foreground of the shot.
Behind the scenes of an Adore Me lingerie photoshoot.

Remember, your models are the faces of your brand. They play a critical role in connecting with your audience and translating your brand's vision into compelling images. Therefore, the model selection process should be thoughtful and aligned with your brand's core values.

We hope you found this helpful guide as you embark on your brand's journey and plan your first editorial photoshoot. But remember, there's no 'one-size-fits-all' approach; it’s all just you making business decisions. Don’t wrap yourself up in someone else’s way, do it your way.

Want updates on our latest blog posts, tips + tricks for starting a purpose-driven fashion brand, and news of the latest trends?!

Sign up below for our newsletter. 👇👇👇


bottom of page