When photographer Kevin Ames used to offer a professional hair + makeup artist as an option for his sessions, “Women would answer “No, thanks. I can do my own.” Men would give a look that said having make up applied was an idea from a far distant planet. Those who chose to have make up and hair done were much happier with the results than those who opted out. That was then. Now it’s not an option. When I get a commission to make an executive portrait, the hair and makeup artist is part of the session. Period.“
The time a client/model spends in hair and make up is a transition between the hectic busy-ness of their day and the photo shoot. This is the time we spend talking and getting more accustomed to one another face to face. Arriving on set and jumping directly into shooting with someone I’ve never met before doesn’t feel right, it isn’t the experience I am looking to offer, and doesn’t provide us with the same end results.
“We recognize how imperative positive energy is to the overall outcome of the shoot. We put an emphasis on communication to ensure that we are all on the same creative page and everyone feels comfortable. We love to poll the room and put on the perfect playlist to prep to.” Belle Starr Salon
“Photo shoots are stressful enough. Leave the stress of making sure you look good to someone else so you can focus on feeling yourself” Danni Bond, Photographer
In any photoshoot, you want to be as relaxed as possible, as your mood and demeanor will have an impact on the way your images turn out. This transition time is calming, it’s a time to be pampered and build up your confidence. This confidence and sense of ease translates and gives us a drastically better result.
“Even if you’re not used to wearing much makeup day to day, and may not plan on wearing much for your shoot, there are many reasons we still require you to have a hair and makeup artist on set. Makeup adds so much to images even if you’re typically not accustomed to wearing much makeup. It takes an experienced eye to see the structure in each face, and then use professional techniques to ensure that beauty comes out in your photographs.” Chicago Corporate Photography & Video
Remember – even if you prefer to do your own makeup, you can’t see yourself while you’re being photographed, and as a photographer my specialty is not hair and makeup and catching these details. The professional photo shoot hair and makeup artist are there to ensure that you maintain flawless beauty in every single shot. This way you are not lugging around your own makeup kit and a mirror to be doing touchups between shots — which adds stress and takes away from our shooting time.
“I’ve done both – not had a HMUA and had a HMUA and the difference was outstanding. Besides the fact that I looked better than ever before (which made me feel most confident), I never had to worry about how I looked because someone else was worrying about it. It saved me so much stress and anxiety! I would never do a shoot without it moving forward.“ Alex Krahling, CEO High Moon Studio
“Makeup for photography is entirely different from everyday makeup. How many times have you seen a bride that just didn’t look quite right in her photos? Maybe her skin was uneven or shiny or her eyes didn’t quite have that ‘pop’. More than likely, the person who did her makeup did not understand how to apply makeup suitable for photography.” Riki Lebied, Makeup Artist
Makeup translates differently in professional shoots than real life or in your cell phone pictures. I’ve had a lot of girls that are amazing at makeup, but when it comes to shoot day they over-do their makeup and it translates very tacky in the images, which is not something I’d like represented in my work. Our certified artists have gone through extensive programs and learned how to create makeup looks using the right products for different lighting conditions being used in order to make you look as flattering as possible. The artists add the illusion of depth in a 2D photo. Before I started requiring professional photo shoot artists I had SO MANY flat images. Yes, it can be fixed through advanced retouching, but let’s avoid that!
“I’ve had clients say “I’ll have my makeup done at Macy’s.” This just doesn’t work. Practically every time I’ve made a portrait of a person wearing department store makeup, they’ve hated it. I finally came to the conclusion that it’s not professional to accept a client who won’t pay for a makeup artist.” Kevin Ames, Photographer
One of the objections clients offer is that hair and makeup are too expensive, but when it comes down to it, not having one costs more. Photographers can’t shoot for free. We can’t retouch for free either. To withhold the standard of the the work I output, when the problems listed above are apparent in the images I will outsource and send these images over to an advanced beauty retouching professional which on average costs around $50/image. Why pay for retouching when you can just look 100% in the shots naturally!
I have been working in the industry for 10 years, am extremely picky and only work with the best professional hair and makeup artists. Our team will meet you on set to treat you to the full model experience, leaving you feeling like the best version of yourself.
Please drop any questions, comments or concerns in the comments below!