The difference between a snapshot and a professional photoshoot is planning elements and executing the portrayal of concepts and stories.  

Below are some concepts and ideas to build from…

Let's Discuss Specifics

“A deep dive into the images we consume in advertising, social media and entertainment reveals repetitive patterns that establish the “code” of shared culture. Below is a guide I use when planning photo shoots based on what a model has available to wear, the location where we might end up doing the photoshoot, activities he or she may be depicted as doing to tell a story, etc. Sometimes it is more of a vibe than a look to be faithfully recreated.” 

Steven Stiefel
Steven Stiefel


  1. Coat and tie
  2. Wife-Beater tied to expose midrift (straddling Motorcycle?)
  3. Ruffled Shirts and skirts
  4. Cowboy Hat
  5. Lacy tops
  6. Hip Graphic Tees (Paired with Trucker’s Hat?)
  7. Tanks and Camis
  8. V-Necks / Henleys
  9. Plain White Buttoning Shirt
  10. Knit sweater
  11. Simple jeans-and-t-shirt combo (paired with Sunglasses?)
  12. Tie-Dye shirt (Paired with Skateboard, guitar?)
  13. Iconic 90s band t-shirts (Paired with iPod or iPhone?)
  14. Polo shirts
  15. Slim-fit sweaters
  16. Rompers
  17. Bodysuits

We are only limited by your wardrobe and imagination…

Add to Tops

(Pair with JACKETS)

  • Tight Hoodies, Biker Jacket, Trenchcoat, Winter Woollies, Tuxedo & Formal Wear
  • Blazer or jacket (without top underneath for implied topless)

(Pair with HATS)

  • Scarf / Knit Hat, Hat (Trucker‘s hat / Cowboy hat / Fashionable Beret, etc.), Fur coats, Motorcycle jacket)


  • Belt / Bracelet, Pearl Necklace & pendants, Glasses, Sunglasses, Suspenders, Gloves
  • Scarves, Watch, Handbag, Headband, Necktie, Bowties, Earrings, Rings, Umbrella, Veils, Headphones)

Activities for Portraits

  • Walking down the street
  • Undressing (while being watched or alone)
  • Putting on MakeUp or Admiring Self in Mirror
  • Driving
  • Taking a Phone Call
  • Flirting with Someone of the Opposite Sex
  • Dancing (by self or with a partner)
  • Riding a swing or a bicycle
  • Rolling around in the grass
  • Entering the Lobby of a Hotel / Office Building
  • Preparing to Take a Trip
  • Riding in a Taxi Cab / Driving or Riding in a Car
  • Playing a Musical Instrument / Sitting at a Piano
  • Reacting to someone/something off-camera
  • Trying on a new outfit in a dressing room mirror
  • Doing a Runway Show
  • Sitting in the Stands watching a Ballgame
  • Listening to an iPod
  • Riding in an Elevator
  • Grocery Shopping while Over- or Underdressed
  • Reflection Caught in Rear View Mirror or on Surveillance Cam
  • Flying an Airplane or Helicopter while dressed Sexy
  • Couple (Flirting / Fighting / Laughing / Bored / Embracing)

Pants and Bottoms 

  • Tight Leggings
  • Fishnets
  • Yoga Pants
  • (at Gym, Park, Gazebo)
  • Daisy Duke Shorts
  • (at Woods, Field of Flowers)
  • Tight skirt
  • (at Nightclub, Sports Arena, Concert Venue, Museum)
  • Ripped jeans
  • (Suburban street, Urban Alleyway, Stairway)
  • Skinny Jeans
  • Pleated skirts
  • Khaki pants (preppy)
  • Tutus
(Pair with FOOTWEAR
  • Go-Go Boots, Sandals, Thigh High Boots, Heels, High Heels, Stripper Heels
  • Exercising at the Gym or Jogging
  • Doing Yoga / Meditating

Dresses and Gowns

  • Wedding Dress
  • Sexy Black Dress with Spaghetti Straps
  • Polka-dot vintage dress
  • Floral print




Planning is what makes a good photoshoot GREAT!

This Bonnie & Clyde-themed image is a perfect example of how pulling together a concept, wardrobe and props can lead to something truly special. As with most things, the more you put into it, the more you get from it, impact-wise. 

For Male Models


  • Blazers
  • Button-down Shirts
  • Polo Shirts
  • Ripped T-Shirts
  • Sports Jerseys 
  • Boxer Shorts
  • Tuxedo
  • Three-Piece Suits
  • Military Uniforms
  • Tie-Dye or Hipster Look
  • Shorts and Sneakers

Stock Photography

On every photoshoot I do, I try to get some new stock photographs to add to my catalog of images. This is content that can be downloaded by creative agencies and bloggers to illustrate products and services in content marketing pieces such as brochures, websites, etc. These are images showing generic “lifestyle” moments of people at work and play. As such, I’m always looking to photograph people of various ages, ethnicities, cultural beliefs, sizes, and shapes interacting with one another in what the stock agencies describe as “aspirational environments”. I want to include diverse people working in a variety of trades, including construction, electrical work, plumbing, and welding. Also, supply chain, factory, and warehouse environments. Plus, warm-weather and outdoor activities (like BBQs, cookouts, picnics, people grilling, people watching parades and enjoying fireworks) and groups of people having fun while enjoying delicious foods. Signed model releases and property releases from all involved are required.

Let me know if you're interested


  • Cosplay
  • Police or Firefighter Uniform
  • Schoolgirl
  • Hooters Girl
  • Sports Jersey
  • Mardi Gras Mask / Burlesque Attire
  • Cheerleader
  • BDSM Black Latex Leather
  • Ethnic attire such as African-inspired looks
  • Fitness wear and active wear
  • Hiking outfit
  • Skater Boy or girl
  • 70s disco queen
  • Goth and Alternative
  • Street Style
  • Hipster vibe
  • Roaring 20s fringe flapper dresses, dapper suits



Beach and Boardwalk / Pier / Boat Dock, Lake / River and Waterfalls 


  • Polka-Dot Bikini
  • (paired with Pool Float, Water Hose, Towel, etc.)
  • Elegant One-Piece Swimwear
  • Surfer apparel (paired with Surfboard)

Swimwear Activities

  • Putting on MakeUp or Admiring Self in Mirror
  • Driving
  • Walking down the street
  • Undressing (while being watched or alone)
  • Riding an Amusement Park ride
  • Taking a Phone Call
  • Flirting with Someone of the Opposite Sex
  • Dancing (by self or with a partner)
  • Sunbathing or Basking in the Sunlight
  • Playing Volleyball
  • Listening to an iPod
  • Washing Car / Truck
  • Eating Ice Cream seductively
  • Making Exaggerated or Obscene Gestures
  • Getting a Tattoo or Showing One Off
  • Couple (Flirting / Fighting / Laughing / Bored / Embracing)


  • Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Dance Clubs, etc.


  • Bra & Panties
  • Push-Up Bras
  • Babydolls & Chemises
  • Bodysuits & Teddies (possibly paired with jeans or skirt)
  • Bodystockings (pair with skirt or dress)
  • Silk Bathrobe
  • Garter Belt & Stockings (under a miniskirt)
  • Holiday-Themed Lingerie
  • Dinner Jacket with lingerie and heels
  • Black Bra, Black Skirt and Black Heels
  • Sheer Lingerie
  • Lingerie Sets
  • Pajamas

That word “lingerie” can freak some people out. But if you think about it, many pieces of lingerie actually cover more skin than a swimsuit you might wear at a public beach. It can be beautiful garments tastefully photographed rather than something vulgar. The intent can be playful (as in a boudoir photograph intended as a risque gift for a boyfriend or husband) or straightforward (such as photographing a line of clothing for a designer or a retail store’s website).

I respect the boundaries of everyone I collaborate with and never ask a model to pose while wearing any outfit that he or she feels uncomfortable posing in.  

Pair with other garments
Pair with other garments

Coat, jacket, buttoning shirt

Lingerie as undergarment can feel more like an accessory.


Sex Symbolism

On the other hand, some many images in pop culture take advantage of lingerie's sensual appeal.

The Art of the Tease
The Art of the Tease

Often, less is more.

It's not about how much skin shows, but how much is left to the viewer's imagination.

Lingerie Activities

  • Lounging in Bed on a Lazy Sunday
  • Reading a Book, Newspaper or Map
  • Gazing out of a window
  • Reacting to someone/something off-camera
  • Relaxing in a Bubble Bath with candles burning
  • Eating ice cream on the couch
  • Talking on the phone
  • Watching a movie or TV
  • Playing a video game
  • Painting Toenails & Grooming
  • Reacting with shock or surprise while caught being naughty
  • Putting on MakeUp or Admiring Self in Mirror
  • Driving
  • Undressing (while being watched or alone)
  • Being Watched by a Voyeur / Running from a Psycho Killer, Being Restrained / Attempting to Escape
  • Packing bags for a trip
  • Laundry day
  • Trying on a new outfit in a dressing room mirror
  • Listening to an iPod
  • Riding a Stripper Pole / Giving a Lap Dance
  • Doing Laundry / Ironing
  • Shaving Legs
  • Singing with a Hairbrush Microphone
  • Words written on the body
  • Dressing Sexy, Preparing to Meet a Lover for a Discreet Rendezvous
  • Making Exaggerated or Obscene Gestures
  • Leaving a Lover while They Beg you not to Leave
  • Crying or appearing Melancholy
  • Couple (Flirting / Fighting / Laughing / Bored / Embracing)

The Experience

What are your ideas?

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