How many photos will I get and in what format will I get them?
It is best in this digital age to get images on a CD. I still love film and I ask to see the contact sheet and then get the images on a CD or pick the ones I like to be scanned and made into a jpeg. As for the CD of images you want to be able to turn the images into large enough jpegs to print and turn them into your compcard so ask for the files to be 300 dpi or adjustable so you have the freedom to print as you need.
Models go through trouble when they work with a photographer who holds the rights to the photos tightly and then leaves the model unable to print images for her compcard, because the model has to go to the photographer and pay more money for prints, scans, or whatnot….so it is best to speak about this ALL ahead of time.
A professional will give you a CD of images. If you can not have a CD of ALL the images after the shoot or a couple weeks later, especially in this digital age there is a problem. Don’t work this person.
I suggest even getting the details of the shoot in writing if you are unsure about the photographer’s intentions. A professional will give you what is expected but it is good to sometimes have it in writing for an aspiring model who is new to the photography business.
Also you should discuss ahead of time how many shots will be taken. I suggest 50-100 shots. Many times an inexperienced models will not be comfortable in the first shots and you want to have enough of a selection to choose shots that work but you do not need a gazillion photos. I would say do three looks for your shoot. Jeans, a dress, and another casual outfit. Not to overly fashionable, you want to look nice but not overly trendy. If you notice print ads for beauty products, lifestyle products, handbags, etc, the outfits are simple. Makeup is natural,-don’t over do it!
Also I suggest keeping in mind to NOT over Photoshop or touch up the images, you want to be natural and look like yourself – that is what a commercial print agent wants to see.
Also when planning your shoot you want to plan how long the shoot will be and also what time of day. I think a shoot should be fun and not stressful; you will be less stress if you are prepared. I suggest bringing samples to the photographer of images you are going for, don’t just let the photographer shoot you without you as the model giving your input to what YOU need. The best results come when you are aware of what is expected and you don’t make mistakes wondering “Is this person going to give me the photos?”
It is better to stress what you need, take authority and do it with a smile but be clear about what you need, you don’t want to waste time or money with photography. And you want to be in control of your pursuits, creating the shots you need, making the compcard and mailing to an agency and wow’ing them.