Photo shoot Tanning Tips


spray tan

Model Alexi Gropper for Perfect Glow Sunless


If you have an important photo shoot coming up or modeling event you might be thinking about getting a spray tan. It is a great idea as a tan will always make you look thinner, accentuate your muscles and definition if it is a fitness shoot. It also will make your teeth look whiter, eyes look brighter and help cover up many skin imperfections.

If you want to use a self-tanner to do it yourself to save some money make sure you choose a high quality product. I created Melissa Weinberg Tanning and Beauty self-tanning mousse with the highest grade of ingredients from my professional salon formulas. Using a top quality product can ensure that you will not have an orange or yellow looking tan when applied properly. Make sure you read the instructions when choosing any product for tips on how to best apply the product and to prevent the feet and hands from looking dirty. You can find out more about them here Shop

Model Heather Hansen for Perfect Glow Sunless

If you want to go the route of getting a professional airbrush tan make sure that you do some research beforehand. Get recommendations for a top rated professional that can provide a custom airbrush tan for your important shoot. Also take a look at their website and check out their portfolio to see if you like their work and read their reviews. The great thing about using a professional spray tan artist is that we can customize the color according to your skin tone and the level of tan you want to achieve. It is not just 1 color fits all. We can also contour to enhance or slim certain body parts that you cannot do if you use a spray booth.

If this is your first time getting a spray tan I highly recommend doing a trial first if you have enough time. If you are going to use a self-tanning product it can take also some practice to apply it properly. Unlike makeup or a hairdo, you cannot just wash off a sunless tan easily as it will be on your skin for 7 + days. So doing a trial session first is the best way to go to ensure you get that perfect color and best results.

If you do not have time for a trial tell the spray tanning tech to do a natural looking shade to avoid possible disaster by being way too dark for your skin tone. A spray tan works with your natural skin tone, so if you are very pale (Think Nicole Kidman) there is no way we can get you as dark as Jlo and not have you look pretty silly. So just keep that in mind and let the trained professional select a shade that they recommend for you. Although there is Photoshop it is very hard making a bad tan look good! So go natural and you can always darken up the color with body makeup or body bronzer if needed.

Don’t forget about the face! Make sure that your face has a natural spray. Two of the biggest disasters I see in photos are always related to the face. If you spray your face very dark and then apply very heavy makeup it can make it look orange or much darker than the rest of your body.

The other problem is when someone gets a spray tan but does not use a little darker makeup to match. This results in a tan body but a washed out paler face and that contrast does not look very good. So remember if you are doing your own makeup buy a shade or so darker or use some bronzer.

Rapid Tan Cocktail

Rapid Tan Cocktail- Model Shaana Ashley

So here are the answers to some important questions you need to know:

“How should I prepare for my Tan?–

It is imperative that you exfoliate your skin the day before or even for a few days leading up to the Spray Tan or when you are going to apply the self tanner.  (Do not exfoliate the day of as many scrubs will leave a film on your skin resulting in the tan streaking or being blotchy)  Exfoliation is important so the skin can be a clean even canvas. If the spray tan is applied on uneven skin, it can look blotchy and uneven. Plus the older dead skin cells will come off first causing the tan to possibly fade poorly.

Do not have any existing self- tanner on or any old spray tan on your skin !! This is a very common thing that I see and highly recommend you get all of it off. I compare it to getting a manicure. Would you want a new manicure being applied over chipped polish? (I don’t think so) So please have your skin void of any self- tanner. If not you would be combining different colors that can wind up looking very poor and patchy.

Any manicures and pedicures should be done before your tanning session. If you must get it on the same day as your spray tan session you must refrain from the massage. You do not want any oils or lotions on your skin as they will cause a barrier.

Waxing and shaving should be done at least 24 hours before your session. Streaky legs are almost always caused by shaving right before the sunless tan is being applied. If you shave the day of, the shaving cream can leave a barrier. Also many razors have the moisturizing strips that will cause the spray tan to streak on the legs!

Do not shower right before the session. You may think that you are helping by having fresh clean skin. But what you may not realize is that your pores are being opened and your skin is getting hydrated. It might not absorb as much of the spray tan solution resulting in a much lighter tan. Also many soaps, shampoos and conditioners leave a film (even if you can’t see it) that can cause blotchy areas and streaks.

Do not apply any oils, lotions, perfumes or deodorant the day of the tan. They can also cause a barrier and if you spray over perfume that area can result in the tan peeling.

What do I need to wear?

Wear a dark colored swimsuit or undergarments. I always recommend going topless or nude as this way you will not have to worry about tan lines if you do not know what you will be wearing at your photo shoot.

How long until my tan develops?

You will see instant color due to a cosmetic bronzer but the actual tan will take from 9-12 hours to fully develop. You can NOT shower or get wet until you rinse off as you will risk washing off the spray tan ! (no skin to skin contact either) If you do not have time to leave a tanning product on for that long & need to rinse off quickly ask the salon if they offer a rapid tanning option. This is a special tanning solution that will allow you to rinse off between 1-4 hours depending on the level of darkness you want. It might be a little more money but is perfect for those that have a busy schedule or do not like sleeping in spray tan solution. I also offer a rapid self-tanning mousse as well for those that want to diy– RAPIDMOUSSE

What should I wear after the tanning session?

Please prepare accordingly. Many times spray tans are ruined because the client did not wear the right clothes to wear after the self tanner or spray tan is applied. Wear either a loose t-shirt, button down shirt and loose pants or shorts. A strapless sundress is one of the best things you can wear. Do not put on any bras, spandex, jeans, leggings or yoga pants. No tight elastic around the waist or ankles & no socks or sneakers so bring flip flops. If is raining an umbrella does not always protect the tan. Water can splash up from your flip flops and get on your legs and heavy wind can still get you wet so long sleeves and loose long pants are the best thing for rainy days.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to the perfect tan for your beautiful photo shoot.

Melissa Weinberg Tanning

Melissa Weinberg is the creator of Perfect Glow Sunless which is a premium luxury line of professional spray tan solution and self tanning products. Her products are used by professional salons and spas all over the world. She is also a spray tan expert and trainer located in South Florida.