It’s surprising how often people don’t make any special effort with their appearance before a photo shoot.
But most of those people are men. Most women realise that make-up for your portrait shoot is worth the trouble….
Writer and broadcaster Vanessa Feltz once asked me what I thought about the colour of her eye shadow. The make-up artist had just stepped away. I didn’t think anything, I had no opinions on any aspect of eye shadow or make-up in general but because I was directing this BBC film shoot I had to express opinions on this and anything else I was asked. “Well I think you look great Vanessa, but I can see why you’re questioning it.” I was playing for time, then the make-up artist returned and Vanessa asked what other colours she had. I helped choose by not saying much.
Having photographed hundreds of people I do now have opinions on make up, simply because my job as a photographer is much harder if the make up is wrong. I know how my lighting works with the flesh tones and face shapes as they’re hidden or exaggerated by make up. I’ve garnered my knowledge by being flattering. It’s helps distract people so they forget about the camera. I say how good they look and ask if they’ve used much make up, because I really can’t tell! So here are some of the general thoughts and some specific bits of advice.
- Do make a special effort with your make-up for your photo shoot: it’s a special occasion.
- If you can get professional help; do. Otherwise do it yourself because you know what works on you.
- Look like you, don’t try anything knew but be the best you possible.
- Be restrained.
- Choose a foundation as close to your skin colour as you can find.
- Don’t use mineral-based cosmetics because the camera sees them as shiny.
- Line both top and bottom eyelids.
- Use mascara.
- Avoid shiny eye shadow.
- Putting lip stain under the lip-gloss will be more stable and is less likely to need touching up
- Avoid very glossy lips; less can be more in a photograph
- Use a hair spray with glue-like properties.
- Take a brush or comb to the shoot.
It’s hard to look your best in photographs if you’re not feeling good about yourself so it’s worth doing your best to look your best. Of course there’s more to feeling good than slapping on a bit of lippie, but it’s a good start!