So i’ve been working with makeup artists for the last couple of years which has been eye opening. Not for me, but for them. The makeup artists who were contacting me thru model mayhem were just not understanding what makes a good makeup artists book.
What and how do I look at their book? My top choices are:
- great mascara, non clumpy, non crossed
- well blended seamless matt eyeshadow
- well groomed/gelled/blended eyebrows ending properly
- proper balance between eye and lip choices
I understand makeup artists want to have fun and all, we all do. But until you have a fabulous straight forward book I would put that fun over the top stuff on the back burner. I need to see real makeup for real models of all generations and situations. I need to see head shot makeup on a 50 year old model not just hot gorgeous chicks. Skip the over the top glamour makeup. Show me you understand what clean, natural commercial makeup is.
I don’t want to see poorly photographed, retouched and executed makeup on a so so model from a makeup artist just starting out. These type of images will actually hurt your book not help it.
A story often told at the studio is about Tammy Pore who I have used numerous times over the last two years (95% of her website has been shot with me) The first two times Tammy contacted me to test I turned her down, why? Because I couldn’t even tell if she could do makeup from her book. It had crazy drawing, glued sequins and nothing to do with the types of makeup that my clients pay me for. No client has ever written me a check to draw or glue stuff on their faces.
My assistant at the time asked if I knew of a MUA he could test with and I recommended her because she was persistent. While I was out of town they got together and I saw the images afterwards. I was blown away, they were gorgeous. I tested with her the very next week and right away offered her paid work, we’ve been a team ever since.
The sad part of the story was that she paid a photographer to shoot these images to build her book. (she wasn’t aware of testing at the time) After a couple of weeks I told her why I turned her down and suggested she take down all the images she had and start replacing them. I could tell she was saddened by the news because it represented throwing away money. What I liked is that she took action on the advice and took them down immediately. She never doubted the advice I gave her and she always took action to make sure her book represented the commercial market, not the internet glamour/crazy market.
Tammy was working at the Mac counter 2 years ago when we first met. She has since quit her $65. a day counter job and freelances full time. Commercial day rates in Detroit consistently run $550. a day (she has picked up several repeat commercial clients) versus a comp card shoot for about $175-$225 a day or head shot for $100. So ultimately a makeup artist wants to capture the commercial market and understand what commercial photographers need to see in a book. It’s become harder and harder for me to book Tammy for a lowly head shot these days but she always tries to do her best squeeze me in. (This was always my hope,to make her so popular that I would have trouble booking her and this is why she tries hard to fit me in)
I have worked with other makeup artists that I try explaining if you do weddings have great studio wedding makeup in your book. Just because you’re booking weddings currently with your snapshots doesn’t mean you can neglect having stellar studio wedding images. Test what you want to get paid for and that there are actual paying clients for.
We are not mind readers…just sayin