What are test shoots?

Test shoots are designed to expand and build a model’s portfolio. The purpose of each shoot is to get compelling images that showcase your range and ability as a model, or that speak to a dream client you’re trying to reach. As a photographer, I've worked with both aspiring models and experienced professionals, so whatever your experience level is, I'll be able to help you look your best. I’m happy to help you from the ground up with detailed posing direction if you’re not as comfortable in front of the camera, or just sit back and capture you doing your thing with minor directions.

In addition to working with models, I also have experience working with dancers, musicians, actors, and other creatives. You do not have to be currently signed with an agency in order to book a test shoot!

Rates for test shoots start at $500.

How It Works


We start building your shoot by deciding what we want it to look like. My favorite way to communicate ideas and make sure we’re on the same page is to use mood boards and inspiration images. Mood boards help to dictate style, location, and the overall feel of the shoot.

If you are an experienced model who is coming with some thoughts on how to update your book, I am happy to plan the session around those ideas. If you are are brand new or are unsure of what direction to choose, I can send you a few mood boards of various concepts to help direct you.


Once the concept is finalized, I use that to build the shoot logistics like where the shoot will take place, how many looks we’ll be shooting, and whether a team needs to be hired to do wardrobe styling, makeup, and/or hair. When working with a team, I’ll also create a call sheet so everyone knows where to be when, what to bring, and other important details.


Time to create! Come with an open mind and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and have fun. I am there to give you feedback and direction as needed, and to make you feel supported.


After the shoot, my job continues with culling the images, sending you a gallery of proofs so you can make your final choices, and then putting the finishing touches on those via retouching.

A lot of work goes into getting each image just right, including color correction, skin retouching, cleaning up the background, etc. As a general rule, I use a very light, natural hand when doing any skin or body retouching, with the intent to only correct distractions made apparent by a high-definition camera. I want you to look as much like yourself as possible!

Things To Consider

Stylist Vs. Self-Styling

Whether you’re just getting into the fashion industry or have been working in it for some time, clothing is key to a successful shoot.

The perk to adding a stylist to your session is that you have someone experienced pulling clothing specific to the concept you have in mind. A stylist will come equipped with tools to temporarily tailor the clothing to fit your body shape, and also bring clothes that you may not think to buy for yourself or already have in your closet. Keep in mind that this comes at a price - on average wardrobe styling costs an additional $300+ depending on how many looks you want to shoot.

If you’d like to style yourself, you are absolutely welcome to, but you’ll need to have a keen eye. You'll need to study the mood board I send you to find outfits that match the concept and stand out. Since most of us have a set daily style in our closets, the best way to style yourself is to buy something new, thrift, or borrow from friends. If you decide to style yourself, please don't hesitate to reach out to me for guidance or advice. I'm happy to send you links to potential pieces to buy, and you can also send me photos of the outfits you’re planning so I can make suggestions if needed!

Hiring a Makeup Artist

Most of the time, you’ll only need minimal, natural makeup and hair for your test shoot and can probably do it yourself. However, if you feel like your skills are lacking or your desired concept is something more creative or beauty-focused, we can add a professional makeup and/or hair artist. Rates vary by artist, but generally start at $200.

Studio Vs. Outdoor Locations

Some concepts may be more suited to an indoor or studio location. Studios are rented hourly and pricing can vary depending on where they are located and how long your shoot is. If you’d like to shoot in a studio, let me know and I can send you links to various options so you can decide what’s best for your budget.

Generally speaking, outdoor locations are free of additional charge unless a permit is required to shoot there, or if it’s a more unique, private location that needs to be rented.

Regardless of whether we’ll be shooting inside or outside, locations outside of Orange County may have additional travel fees. Locations within Orange County have no travel fees.


What is required to reserve a date?

A signed contract and 50% retainer fee are required for all bookings.

If I cancel my shoot, will I receive the retainer fee back?

If unforeseen events occur, you are welcome to reschedule within the amount of time designated in your contract, but the retainer fee is non-refundable if you decide to cancel altogether. This covers any loss in the form of lost bookings and work done before the actual session.

How long until I get the photos back?

Proofs are delivered within 2-3 weeks of the shoot date, and then final edits are delivered in another 2-3 weeks from when you make your selections.

Can I shoot both on location and in studio?

Absolutely, but there would be an additional fee and time required to move from location to location. We can add it onto your session at the time of booking!

Do you do headshots, digitals, individual portraits, commercial photography, or other types of photography?

Yes, I have experience in many fields of photography and would love to hear what you have in mind! If you’re looking to shoot boudoir, that is outside my purview, but I am happy to send recommendations for other photographers that specialize in that.

Want to set up your test shoot?

Note: If you don’t receive a reply from me within a week of sending your inquiry, please check your spam folder as sometimes my messages get filtered out.

If you don’t see a reply there, feel free to DM me on Instagram @bynataliemichelle.