Should I Hire a Makeup Artist For My Headshot or Portrait Session?

First let’s think about all the places you might use a headshot. Could be for a personal website, a company you work for, social media, marketing purposes, and article about you. The list goes on. Maybe you’re an actor, or a business professional. Ether way your headshot is a marketing tool, and a powerful one at that. It’s an investment, and admittedly can be a pricey one too. So, why spend extra on a makeup artist as well? Well, here’s a few reasons why you may want to, and some benefits to doing so.

Experience with makeup for the camera:

To me this is probably the main and most important reason. Makeup artists are experienced and knowledgable about what looks best for the camera. Camera’s pick up everything, and I mean everything! Blemishes, chapped lips, bags under the eyes, oily skin, that unwanted pimple that just popped up the day before your photoshoot; all kinds of things. A makeup artists will not only help hide those things from the camera, but they also know what products to use and how to apply makeup in a way that translates well to the camera, yet still looks natural.

Will help you feel less stressed, and more confident:

It’s true that many of the things like blemishes can be improved upon in post processing, but the confidence associated with looking good and feeling good during the shoot itself will translate to better photos. If you’re stressing about how you’re looking on camera during the photoshoot, or how your makeup is looking, it’s going to be hard to get the best photos possible. It can become a major distraction. People can become very self conscious when they’re having their photos taken. If you’re too worried about how you look, it affects confidence and in turn, the photos produced. A Makeup artist who knows what they’re doing eliminates that stress and you can focus solely on posing, having fun and projecting your best self to the camera. Simply put, It’s one less thing for you to worry about. On top of that, since they will be present during the entire shoot, they are there to fix issues with the makeup as we go, or make adjustments as needed.

They will have high quality professional products:

Not all makeup is made equal, and not all products look good under studio lighting. So, while you may be perfectly able to do your own makeup and look great day to day, it may not look as good on camera. That is something you definitely don’t want. You want to look your best right? Especially if that headshot or portrait is going to be blown up to a large size. For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent and your headshot will be blown up to a large billboard size and posted around town. I imagine you’d want to be looking your best in that image. A makeup artist will help to ensure that. They have the knowledge about what to use, what’s appropriate and will look good on you for the camera.

More range in looks:

Finally, with a makeup artist there is the possibility of achieving more range in looks and therefore more variety in the photos you’ll receive. As mentioned before, since they are there for the duration of the shoot makeup can be adjusted and changed as well as your hair. This means you will get more variety and depending on what you’re looking to get out of your particular photo session, something that may be desirable to you. If you’re an actor for example, you likely will want to have a range of looks in your headshots to showcase your range in characters and talent.

To Conclude:

While you can absolutely do a headshot session without hiring a makeup artist, I highly recommend it for the reasons listed above. While I certainly don’t feel it’s a necessity, I do think it will put the quality of your photos up a level. Now, If you wear makeup normally, i also highly suggest hiring a makeup artist, simply for the fact that they know what will look best for the camera. If you come in and your makeup doesn’t work well under the studio lights, nothing can be done about it at that point. If you come in and have a makeup artist available, they can apply as little or as much product as needed, and you’ll have the confidence in knowing that it’s meant for the camera and in studio use. In the end it’s all about feeling confident in front of the camera and looking and feeling your best will only help in that. In turn better photos can be produced since you will feel more relaxed and confident knowing you look good.

The Importance of a Headshot

When we think of headshots and those who need them, most people perhaps think of actors, models, or business executives. The truth is though that nowadays almost everyone needs one for some reason or another, or at the very least could probably benefit by having one. Perhaps it’s for your organizations website, a business card, branding, promotional purposes or something as simple as your Linkedin profile. In fact, so many of us these days have a digital identity or online presence to some degree. All the social network platforms for example require a profile picture. Whatever photo is on there will be seen by many, and often may be the first impression others will have of you. Therefore it should be impactful, and hopefully stand out from the rest. This is true of any headshot for any purpose. After all, it is in fact a marketing tool. You’re marketing yourself to others.

People want to know who the person is they are, or will be interacting with, whether they’re doing business with you, hiring you for a job, working on a project with you etc. Your headshot gives them a sense of who you are. That’s where having a good professional headshot comes in and having an experienced photographer to bring out the best in you.

Many people are not comfortable in front of the camera and when someone is uncomfortable in a photo, it shows. This is why a professional photographer is important. Not only will they know how to position you, get good lighting and take a quality photo and get the best shot possible; they can also help you feel at ease, and bring out your personality to get a headshot that looks as natural as possible. A good photographer will know how to help you feel relaxed and make you look your best; which ofcourse is what you want. Most of all though, they will know how to make it a fun and enjoyable experience for you. By doing that you will get a headshot that looks professional and feels like an authentic version of you and one you can be proud of.

Techniques To Look Your Best

Ever wonder how to look your best in your headshots? It’s all about projecting confidence. The problem is many off us feel awkward when there’s a camera pointed at us, which ofcourse works against that confidence we want to portray. Peter Hurley, a well known Headshot Photographer from New York has created a number of videos to help combat this exact problem. You can check them out below and use these techniques to make yourself look your best at your next photoshoot!

Practice Sessions on a Lazy Sunday

As professional Photographers, we do so much more than just take photos. In fact photography is probably only about 10-15 percent of what we do. The rest is business. That means things like marketing and promotion, accounting, reading, replying and sending out emails, paying bills, researching and educating ourselves about equipment or the industry. The list goes on I'm sure. However, even with all that, there are still times where one might find themselves with some down time. There are periods where business might just slow down for a while and it can be hard to deal with, especially when there are bills to pay or rent for that sweet studio space you've acquired. I'm more than aware of the stress this can put on a photographer. However, I think this is also a period of time that creates opportunity. How? Well, now you have exactly that! Time! with few or no clients to deal with or paper work to sort through, you now have the time to go out and take photos for the fun of it, or explore a new concept you might have had on your mind. I find slow periods to be the perfect time to brush up on my photography skills and explore ideas. A few weeks back I had this opportunity. Business was slow, I wasn't getting many injuries and I felt like I needed to get my camera out even if just so it wouldn't collect dust on the shelf. So, I went to my computer, opened Facebook and used it in the most productive way I know how. I put a call out on some FB groups for a model. I love social media for this, especially Facebook. There are so many groups you can be a part of and get involved in the community with. Anyway, I found a model to work with and set up a time to do a shoot. She had an AirBnB booked downtown which was perfect for a lazy Sunday morning type theme. Here are some of the shots from that session. 

Model: Drew Cathernine

I'm a Portrait photographer and I do much of my work in studio with controlled lighting. It was nice to get away from that and get back to a more natural approach using the light available. Fortunately the apartment was full of natural light with white walls that  diffused that light beautifully throughout the room. It also really helped that Drew here was experienced in front of the camera, took direction well and was super easy to work with. She also had a huge wardrobe of clothes to choose from.