Learning from the past.

The beauty and makeup industry is growing every year. New brands, new approaches to applications and certainly not just the old Smokey eye style anymore. It has been 2 years since I started to photograph makeup and I recently went back and had a look at the photos. A quick reflection of what I know works and what doesn’t.

1. Eyelashes. Fake eyelash strips do not work in beauty photography. There are so many options now. Individual lashes applied on the day or the model could opt for a lash curl or light eyelash extensions. But certainly, no strip lashes. They can make the top eyelid drop and I want the models eyes to shine. 2ndly, hiding and editing those dot lines takes time. And finally, they fall off just when you get the shot and it is up to the photographer/retoucher (me) to fix this in post.

2. Eyebrows, and eye shape. I will look for a model that has great eyebrow shape. Makeup artists can enhance the eyebrow but I am starting to steer away from dark shadowing of the brow. It is easier for me to add hair to the brow in photo shop than to get soften to dark brows. Learning about eye shape and how it impacts on the final choice in choosing a model and the makeup.

3. Great skin. A blemish on the model’s face is not a concern. Dry skin, is a concern as well as poor foundation application. In fact, I prefer little or no foundation when it comes to editing beauty images. Skin texture is extremely important.


4. To shoot tethered. It is important to take test photos. This is the time review the makeup and the lighting and make changes. And make changes, get it right.


5. Beauty, editing retouching. Have a structured non-destructive editing process is key to being consistent in achieving results.


6. Ask and listen to feedback. Makeup artist Renee Jeff’s who worked with me on this shoot certainly has the skills and knowledge in regards to make up for beauty portraits. And it showed when I recently posted the unedited version in a beauty retouching group for feedback. When you get comments that the raw image is a good image to start with it re affirms that the formula I continue to develop is working.

I’m sure this list will continue to grow and develop.
Model: Makayla A

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