By Kelly Benton on | No Comments
We all have those rare photos of ourselves that we look at and can’t help but think "Wow, I look good!
Maybe it was your clothes, the way your hair was styled, or perhaps the combination of the perfect lighting and the right angle.
It really doesn’t matter if the photo was taken by a professional, or by a friend’s iPhone in a dark club… those image are priceless to us, because we all really just want to know we look good once in a while.
For me, those perfect photos were the ones taken on my wedding day. It was the first time in my life I had my makeup professionally done, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked prettier. It’s not that my makeup artist tried to make me into something I’m not… it’s that my image finally matched how I saw myself in my head.
It felt like the very best version of me, and I loved it.
If you can offer that same feeling to your photography clients, it can mean a better client experience, better images for them and your portfolio, and most likely higher sales!
Family portraits, engagement sessions, boudoir shoots, seniors, weddings, headshots… you name it. If a woman is involved, having her makeup professionally done is definitely something you should consider.
Let me list the reasons:
1. Confidence: If your subject is looking her best on the outside, she’ll be ready to show you everything she has on the inside. This can really help with camera-shy clients.
2. Vendor Relationships: It’s never a bad thing to foster good relations with a fellow vendor. Maybe you can plan a styled shoot or other collaboration in the future.
3. Expertise: We may know light and camera gear, but no one knows makeup like a professional makeup artist. Leave it to them to pick the colors and sheens that will photograph the best.
4. Save Time in Post – The better your client’s makeup looks, the less retouching you will have to do when editing after the photoshoot.
5. Better Sales – If the client is thrilled with how they look in your images (instead of feeling just “okay” about it), you will have a much easier time selling them prints and products.
Unless the makeup artist is willing to work for free, or for some kind of exchange, either the photographer or the client will have to pay for their services.
The Photographer Pays: If you’re aiming to be a luxury brand, it might be a good idea to include a makeup artist in all your photo shoots. It will feel like an added “perk” to your client, but you can simply work it into your session pricing ahead of time.
If you’re not ready to hire someone for every session, you can start by bringing a makeup artist along for “all-inclusive” type shoots. An example of this would be a boudoir session that includes the time, a hotel room, free champagne, and someone to do their hair and makeup. You will attract the type of client who is willing to pay a little extra to have everything taken care of for them.
The Client Pays: If you’re more of an a la carte type photographer, then you should probably leave this option up to the client. Make sure you can provide them with at least one good makeup artist referral. The downside to this is they are now shelling out extra cash on the side, adding to the overall cost of their session.
If you’re a wedding photographer, the client will typically secure and pay for their own makeup artist on their wedding day… but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to educate them beforehand as to why this is important.
Neither: If you find a makeup artist you know and love, you may be able to work something out where they will do it for free.
Perhaps they would be willing to assist with engagement sessions, in hopes the client will love their makeup, and subsequently hire them for their wedding. Or you may know someone who is breaking into the business for the first time and would like to trade free makeup for some much-needed portfolio images.
Ask Other Photographers: If you’re a member of a forum or local photography club or group, ask if they have makeup artist they like and have used before. Most photographers will freely offer that information because they will want their favorite makeup artist to succeed in this business as well.
Hit Up a Salon: Drop by your favorite salon or spa and ask to chat with their lead makeup artist. Find out if she’s interested in doing some side gigs, or if you could add her to your referral list. Maybe offer to trade photographs if she’ll let you sit in on a future makeup session so you can see how she works.
What To Look For: Does the makeup artist's personality mesh well with yours? If they are given a time limit, can they stick to it every time?
Do you have any questions or comments about Using a Professional Makeup Artist for a Photoshoot? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Kelly Benton lives with her husband and two adorable dachshunds in Northeast Indiana, where she works from home as a Wedding Photographer. When she’s not photographing over people’s love, she’s a wannabe-rockstar triathlete with a penchant for funny movies and craft beer.