If you are an actor looking at making the most out of your photo shoot (and you should, it's your photo shoot) then whether we are shooting theatrical and/or commercial headshots, we both want someone real in the frame.
What does this mean? The camera reads you and knows if you are present or not.
The easiest way to be present is to have some sort of destination, no matter how loose or undefined this destination might be. We can, and will take detours during our voyage - and will make wonderful discoveries too - but having an idea of what you want, will allow you to stay relaxed and focused during the shoot and - what is equally important - it will keep you honest, simple and available.
Know your type. Or your types. If you have representation, then make sure you and they are on the same page in terms of who you are - the type/s you will most likely be cast as and how they plan to "sell" you. Deep down (in most cases) no one knows better than you what your spectrum is. And though stretching never hurts, you have to know what are the first handful of parts you will most likely be called in for.
This will also help you better define wardrobe. Which, regardless of type, should always remain simple. Sure, on commercial shots we can expand the gamut a bit, but the right wardrobe is the one which propels you to the foreground, without calling attention to itself. You wear the threads; they don't wear you.
We can also discuss these topics during a consultation prior to the shoot and further define these notions.
In addition to all of the above, you need to look well-rested and the only prescription for that is sleep and going to bed early the night/s before your shoot.
In terms of hydration all bodies and faces react differently, and although you should hydrate during your session, it is often the case that the water we drink today will only show up tomorrow, or better said, what you did in the day/s prior to your shoot is what is going to show up. And you can't fix that from the outside (make-up or clever lighting).
The same applies to what we eat; for example, avoiding red meat the day/s before will clear areas under your eyes.
Needless to comment on alcohol and tobacco.
If you plan to shave during your session - in between looks - bring along your toiletry pouch and include a non-oily moisturizer as well to give your skin a rest after shaving.
Remain active in the days or weeks prior to your session. This will keep your energy up and you will avoid becoming lethargic during your photo shoot.
Do you have a favorite playlist on your mp3 player? Bring it. We'll plug it right in and we'll flow.
A cup of green tea will greet you when you land here. Arrive on time but not early. I am often doing one million things prior to your session - some related to your session and some not. But by all means, arrive on time. When you rush in, you bring elements into your shoot that will prevent you from unplugging and be present. Extra time will allow you to abandon mundane aspects of daily life and enjoy your shoot. You deserve it.
If you are going to have a facial (a skin cleanse) I suggest you to do it with at least 5-7 days prior to your shoot. There all types of facials (mild to deep) but they all have to mechanically and chemically work on your skin to remove impurities and there is a degree of erosion on the upper layers of the dermis. Although the end results may render cleaner and healthier looking skin, some areas of your face will be irritated in the days following your treatment.
The same goes for inner cleansing. Most of these treatments consist of removing toxins from your lymphatic system and organs (and your skin is the largest organ of your body) and flushing them out. This process takes quite a while, with toxins still being expelled long after your treatment has ended. I recommend a 45-60 day period between the end of treatment and your shoot date during which you return to your normal diet.