So, you are finally ready to throw some magic dust onto your website, a.k.a you have booked the personal branding photo shoot with a kick ass photographer whose style you absolutely adore! I imagine that in anticipation for the shoot you’d go clothes shopping- whoo-hoo! As certain fabrics, colors and cuts photograph better than others, and often what looks great in real life doesn’t always translate in photos- you’ll do some research, get some advice from your photographer, or even hire a stylist. You’ll get a blow dry to tame your tresses on the day of the shoot, won’t you? Then, during your session- you will trust your photographer- even if they tell you to push your chin forward although that might seem weird, or, in order to create a dynamic and fun capture, you'll dance & spin, while laughing uncontrollably. Right?
But when it comes to a professional makeup, that’s often when the questions pile up. ‘Can't I just do my own makeup? I do it every day,’ or ‘Is this really necessary? I don’t ever wear makeup’ or ‘does it really make a difference?’.
Ask yourself, you are making such a significant investment of time and money into your high quality images - why would you leave your face - that which makes you, YOU - to chance?
As a photographer who has been capturing people for nearly 15 years, I can assure you that there’s an enormous difference between professionally done makeup (yay), a DIY job (meh), and no makeup at all (boo).
Searching for truth, I asked two professional makeup artists to chime in on the subject.
According to Laura Nadeau, a professional beauty coach & makeup artist (http://www.loandco.com ): ' Hiring a pro to work on your face is not about changing how you look - unless you’re a Kardashian. It’s about getting your face to look as it does in real life while being flattened and frozen by a photograph. The makeup artist is using light and shadows on your face to add dimension and definition. Not to mention providing the perfect photo-finish that will render your complexion flawless, and conceal any of the tiny flaws you might worry about. The MUA will work to enhance your most attractive features - accentuate your high cheek bones, add contouring to your eyes, or work with false eyelashes (which really open and bring out the beauty of your eyes).’
According to Sara Drury, a makeup artist and an educator (https://www.instagram.com/saradrurylocallooks), 'make-up for photography is different than the one you’d wear on a date. A professional will know exactly what to use so you look radiant and not washed out or overly made up. Trust that they know what they are doing. Makeup for photos or video is not the same as everyday makeup'.
Sara also adds another reason to hire a pro- ‘ It’s relaxing and empowering: we want to look beautiful and more importantly FEEL good about ourselves, and make-up can help with that. It takes away stress.
Having photos taken can be a little stressful. What should you wear? Do I need to bring props? Is there a theme? At least if someone is helping you get ready, that's one thing YOU don't have to worry about getting right.’
Laura notes: 'There are few things that freak women out more than having their photo taken. I’ve witnessed women that recently gave birth, stress out about a photo session! We place more importance on how we look in a photo than how we look in person. Just watch people check their selfies…'
Also, ladies that insist on doing their own makeup - here’s food for thought from Sara regarding the quality of your make up: 'Most makeup artists invest a lot of time and money into their makeup kits. You get the benefit of having very high quality products that look amazing on camera.’
She also adds: 'Having professionally done makeup makes you look more polished. If you are getting photos done for your business keep in mind that this is how you are presenting yourself to the world. With social media, hundreds or even thousands of people could be seeing your photos. In fact according to this article from Forbes: (http://www.forbes.com/sites/tykiisel/2013/03/20/you-are-judged-by-your-appearance/#17a30a0830f0) women who wear makeup are not only considered more trustworthy, but they also earn 30% more money! Now if that doesn't convince you I don't know what will.'
Sara offers these additional helpful tips on how to go about your session:
1. Get a recommendation from someone you know and trust (a photographer perhaps).
2. If there's a particular product you love or always wear, bring it. Or if you just cannot see yourself in red lipstick tell the makeup artist. They want you to look like you, and they want you to be happy with the result. Be as specific as you can on what it is you want - and they will be able to fulfill your vision - a natural look, a glam look, a smoky eye, glossy nude lips, red lips, dewy skin, or maybe a winged liner?
So what about these ladies who never wear make up, and want to look super natural? As a photographer, the first thing I tell makeup shy clients is that the camera never captures quite as much vibrancy as is visible by the naked eye. Even if you want a subtle makeup look in your photos, you still need to really exaggerate the makeup you’re applying, because it will not show up as strong through the lens. Light bouncing off of your face will change the way the makeup looks, and makes it look less dramatic in the photo than it really is. An experienced artist will know exactly what products to use and how to apply them if you want to look like you have no makeup on (yes, that is a style). That is why it is imperative to find a seasoned pro.
When it comes to working with professional talent, another really nice bonus is that you can consult them beforehand on how to prepare your skin (wax your eyebrows, exfoliate your skin, etc.), and make it look its best before the shoot. Yay!
Are you convinced to hire a professional makeup artist next time you book a portrait session? I can’t wait to hear your feedback. And don’t forget - the real beauty lies within. <3