When applying makeup for fashion shoots or beauty photography it is paramount to be precise…unless of course you want to invoke fits of rage from your photographer later when he or she is sitting in photoshop needed to retouch sloppy work.
Often when makeup is applied we do it in natural light which by its very nature is quite soft. The downside is that is also hides any flaws. Once the makeup is hit with a studio flash things become quite different. For one, the studio light has a far greater intensity than the light you probably did the makeup under. Additionally, the cameras used by most professional fashion and beauty photographers these days resolve an incredible amount of detail. Once you combine the two you will find that suddenly badly blended edges, fallout from mascara brushes and crooked lipstick will stick out like massive beacons of makeup-incompetence.
This doesn’t just apply to beauty photography but also full length fashion photography. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a designer handbag or 6″ heels will distract the viewer from a wonky cat-eye or a rushed blend job. As mentioned above, photography in 2015 will see this detail and even though on instagram it may fade into oblivion, make it a habit to work as if it would go on a billboard.
Speaking to Alex Pott, a Melbourne Photographer who shoots beauty and fashion regularly about his number 1. makeup turn-off:
“My biggest pet-peeve is clumpy lashes. From behind the camera it’s slightly harder to pick up and it requires close inspection. I can’t stand lashes clumped up with mascara because the makeup artist was too rushed to brush them out. Retouching lashes and often having to re-create them takes time, and often more time than it would have taken by just doing it right in the first place.”
Before any photography begins, check your model closely, open eyes, closed eyes. Don’t just stand back and be happy that she looks pretty but get in close and check the individual lashes. Look at eyebrow hairs and inspect the lip line. Yes, it takes another minute to do this but it will save time in the end.
Another person with many years experience in the Makeup industry, Melbourne Makeup Artist Bernice has this tip:
“For beauty photography use a lupe if you must! If you have to get in close and feel it’s a bit awkward explain what you’re doing so the model doesn’t think you’re creeping. There is good reason to ensure your makeup is camera-ready – a term that a lot of new makeup artist don’t understand the meaning of. It doesn’t mean it looks great on a selfie, but that it holds up to a close-up on a high end photo that will be closely inspected by the photographer, client and ultimately the audience for whom it was shot.”
All this applies to colour consistency with foundations, symmetry in your makeup and having some understanding of the photography process. All these things make a difference between makeup, and professional “camera ready” makeup.