When you look at a photograph, what makes it a strong image? Many say lighting, wardrobe, location, expression, and the list goes on. Did you know that makeup is part of that list? In this blog post, I will discuss why having your makeup done for a photo session is critical to a great photo shoot. 

Makeup is usually an after thought when we are getting ready for a photo session. We pick out the perfect outfits, we make sure our hair is done and we throw on our everyday makeup. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with everyday makeup. Many test shoots are amazing and the girl has little to no makeup on. But, want to know a secret? Even those girls had their makeup done. Why? It’s just a little mascara and a nude lip??

See, a great makeup artist knows the nuances of lighting and photography. They understand what photographs well and what won’t. That shimmery highlighter you love so much? It may not photograph well due to the pigment. You may end up looking like Edward from Twilight instead of the radiant beauty that you are!

Let’s talk contouring. Why is it so important? As we all know, contouring can make or break a fierce face.  This couldn’t be more important in a photo session.

Did you know that photographers are masters of lights and shadows?-
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When we are editing, we are painting the shadows on your face to make your image pop. Have you ever seen a killer image where the eyes seem to sparkle? That is editing my friend and it started with a great face of makeup.

Did you also know that in-studio sessions sometimes require a matte finish rather than a dewy finish? The general rule is that with flash photography, matte finishes are preferred because of hotspots that show up from the flash. As with all photography rules, this one too, is made to be broken. Magazine editorials always show a dewy makeup in a studio session. I have shot in-studio dewy makeup. Keep in mind, however, that I change my lighting for this. Hot spots are only cool if you intentionally put them there. No one wants a CEO headshot to look like it came out of a Nylon Magazine. Unless you’re a badass #girlboss. Then I say let’s do it!

Men, the same goes for you. Yes, my guys wear makeup. It smoothes and evens out the skin tone making editing easier for me. Will you look weird? Honestly, no one will notice and I carry extra makeup removal cloths so you can wash afterward. 🙂

My favorite artist Sue Bryce speaks about hair and makeup often. This link shows some incredible before and afters. There are many other articles on this. As I find them, I will put them here.

For those lovelies that are amazing with their makeup, I have linked a Buzzfeed article to how to do your own makeup for a photoshoot. Alternatively, I have makeup services available to all of my clients as a way to pamper them before their session. When the client feels good, that confidence comes through in the shoot. If you need a list of my favorite artist, visit here.

As always, stay beautiful.


Some additional articles regarding makeup for photoshoots.

Makeup tips, tricks, and products to help you look great in pictures-Babble


Glamour portrait taken at SePark Mansion in Gastonia NC

70s Fashion photo shoot published in Alchemist Magazine

Ardrey Kell High Senior Portrait

Charlotte senior girl in sunny portrait

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