Makeup For Photoshoots: Tips and Tricks From An Expert

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professional photography studio based in London Vanity Studios

This blog aims to bring industry knowledge to those considering booking a photoshoot, but are feeling lost at knowing where to begin when it comes to makeup for a photoshoot.

With the best hacks, tips and tricks from a renowned photographer based in London, we know how to advise customers to get the best photographic makeup that they wish for.

Hair and makeup for photoshoots

Makeup for photoshoots is part of the photography package here at Vanity Studios, and if you opt for this, we advise to always arrive with clean hair that has no styling products in and no makeup. That way the stylists can start with a blank canvas and create the look you want.

We do suggest you have makeup for the photoshoot, as the lighting is pretty strong, so you could look washed out without any makeup at all. However, you can choose to look very natural or have heavy photoshoot makeup or anything in between.

If you have a particular look you want to create, again, bring along a picture or magazine cutting to illustrate what you want – your idea of “smoky eyes”, for example, may not be what the makeup artist has in mind so it’s best to be clear. If you’re not 100% sure what you want, the artists can advise you and work with you to get you looking just perfect!

Men should also arrive with clean, non-styled hair and, for the photoshoot, we do suggest at least having some powder applied because of the lighting and to mask blemishes. Some men will want more than others, again depending on who you are and what you want to achieve, but it is completely optional and the makeup artists will work with you, too, to ensure you get the look you really want during your photoshoot

Reviewing your photoshoot makeup

The photographer will take a lot – and I mean a lot – of pictures. So, at the end of the shoot, there will be an enormous number of images to choose from. Generally, studios will have a “viewer”; someone specifically assigned to go through the shots with you and help you choose the right ones.

Remember what it is was you wanted in the first place and be sure you have those shots ordered – it’s crucial you leave with what you wanted in the first place. You may also find there are other shots that you really love and these are a real bonus from your experience.

make up and hair styling

Consider professional makeup looks that matches your brand

You are probably paying a lot of money for your professional photoshoot, so make you know what you want the resulting shots to look like.

Are you looking for a slick, professional headshot for your business, for example? If so, think about where you will be using it; on your company website, your LinkedIn profile, printed marketing materials. Then decide what you want these pictures to say about you.

If you are a Financial Director, you will want to look serious and responsible but if you are working on creative projects, you’ll probably prefer your look to be more arty. If you run a sports business or gym, you will be aiming for a picture showing you looking fit and healthy. 

These days, at the studio, we see a lot of potential influencers and bloggers. The selfie has its place in these occupations, but a well-thought-out professional picture can definitely give them an edge.

Photographic makeup tailored to your needs

We also see actors and models who are looking for portfolio shots and if that’s you, you should think about the kind of work you are looking for – do you want to look sweet and charming or edgy and dangerous, for example?

If you have a particular look or looks in mind, bring a photo from a magazine to illustrate it so the studio can get it right.

Know what makeup you like

Getting to work with a professional makeup artist is incredible. At Vanity Studios you get a makeup artist personally assigned to you prior to your professional photoshoot, and while their consultations are thorough, they are not mind readers. 

You might believe that only one shade of lipstick suits you or that there is only one way to apply eyeliner on your eye shape but no! The makeup artist you get before a shoot has never seen you before and as you arrive with your unmade face, they have no idea how you would usually do your makeup.

To ensure that you get a result you love, bring a reference or at least some images of makeup you like. This way the Makeup Artist can tailor the looks you like to you. You may even want to bring an image of you when you were particularly happy with your makeup. In this case, our artists will create the HD version for you and maybe make the odd alteration

If you are a complete makeup novice, it is even more important that you have a little scan of the internet to find looks that you like. If you are not used to makeup, getting an idea of what you might like to achieve is imperative to feeling happy and confident with your look.

How to find photoshoot makeup that you enjoy and feel good in

I can’t stress this enough, your photoshoot should be fun!

We offer Prosecco on arrival and the whole process of a professional photoshoot is very comfortable. Good studios will have great makeup artists and hair stylists so you can relax while they get to work.

Lastly, trust is key. You need to trust your makeup artists and the photographer. As I’ve said, turn up knowing what you want and, if you put your trust in the team, you will leave with what you anticipated and, probably, more!

So, with all this in mind, I do hope you book that photoshoot or look forward to the one in your diary more than you might have been doing until now. If it’s something you hadn’t thought of before, do consider it – did I mention how fun it is? Enjoy!

About the Author

Emeka Ikechi is Director of Vanity Studios. Vanity Studios is one of the most contemporary and popular studios for photoshoots in London, situated in the centre of Shoreditch. Our team of expert photographers all have their own specialisations, ensuring you receive bespoke photography that meets your high standards.

With Vanity Studio’s skilled creative team behind you, you will completely fall in love with the results of your photoshoot.

As well as unrivalled levels of technical photography skills, our team will help you to feel completely comfortable and relaxed, connecting with you to add a whole new dimension to your photoshoot.

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