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Swimsuit Model Secrets

11 Secrets From Swim Shoots Only Supermodels Know

Models Devon Windsor and Rachel Hilbert aren't just great friends — they're also complete pros when it comes to the art of posing for swim shoots. Both women work with VS Pink and have been longtime faces (and bodies) of the brand. This month, the pair had a rather fun assignment: traveling to Mexico for VS Pink's annual "Spring Break Party."

We caught up with Devon and Rachel, who go by the nickname DevChel, with the hopes of discovering a handful of heretofore unknown facts about their business. We weren't disappointed — it turns out that there's a lot to learn about what these women do for their jobs. For example, SPF is a requirement. And then there's the part about the person who holds their umbrella. Read on for 11 surprising facts about the world of swimsuit modeling.

  1. Models need to rest.
    Swim shoots go all day long. That means rest is essential — before and afterward. "I just try to get as much rest as possible," Rachel said. "After shoots we're usually pretty exhausted," Devon added. "Especially after a beach shoot — the sun wears you out."
  2. Between setups, models head for cover.
    "When we're not in the shoot currently wearing an outfit," Devon explained, "We're usually in the shade drinking water, staying hydrated. You don't want to get sunburned or worn out." Rachel agreed: "When I'm not shooting — if we're waiting for a light or something — there's usually someone with an open umbrella around, so you should always stay under the umbrella . . . you just cannot get sunburned. It's the absolute worst."
  3. Sand is only kind of annoying.
    Being on the beach for work means inevitably dealing with sand. "You just kind of play with it," Rachel said. "You just make it be part of the shoot."
  4. There are tons of people on set.
    "For a VS Pink shoot, it always depends where we are," Rachel said. "If we're on location like at a beach shoot there are around 20 people on set, or more."
  5. Wardrobe is picked out well in advance.
    Rachel explained how a stylist usually selects looks beforehand. "They're all styled out," she said. "And we put on different sunglasses and jewelry on set."
  6. It's a mix of work and play.
    "I love to listen to music, so I always have speakers around with a good playlist, like upbeat and fun," Devon said of her swim shoots. "It's really awesome — just dance around and have fun with the crew. If you're shooting with your friends, like whenever I shoot for Pink, it's usually with Rachel, who's my best friend."
  7. It's a familiar crew.
    For Pink, Devon said she sees a lot of familiar faces. "It's the exact same photographer, producer, art director, stylists, and makeup artists," she said. "So you get really comfortable with everybody on set."
  8. There's a lot of travel.
    Swim shoots mean getting to a beach. "It can be a bit exhausting," Devon admitted.
  9. But sometimes there's also vacation.
    It's possible for models to take advantage of the corporately booked travel. "Sometimes I just go a couple days ahead — or stay a couple after," Devon explained. That's not the norm, as Rachel said. "Usually we don't get an extra day because we're working all of the time," she confessed.
  10. Swim shoot hairstyling comes in handy IRL.
    "I love the beachy look," Rachel said. "It's my go-to look now for my hair. Beach spray, salt spray is my big thing." Devon agreed. "There are a lot of kind tricks that we learn from pro makeup artists, on these beach shoots specifically," she said. "They like to keep things fresh and natural — just a little curling of the lashes or waterproof mascara."
  11. Sunscreen is a swimsuit model's BFF.
    "SPF is super important," Devon said. "We get at least 30 SPF all over our face and bodies."
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