Photographing makeup + a lesson learned

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited by MakeUp Artist Sabrina to photograph her at work and also to take some portraits of her friend Steph wearing the final results of the makeups.

I thought I would share the experience here because I learned a big lesson with it!

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Sabrina is starting out as a freelance MUA, she’s putting together her portfolio and building an online presence, which is not an easy ride and I can totally relate to it.

Collaborating with other local creatives and being able to grow together is just the best!

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While photographing Steph I really tried to focus on the makeup and take portraits that would highlight Sabrina’s work. The two close-up shots above are my favorites!

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A little tip regarding post production for this kind of work: don’t mess too much with color tones, contrast and textures while editing. Keep in mind the photos are supposed to showcase the makeup so you don’t want to alter all the MUA’s efforts – keep it natural!

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Then we also took some fun shots of course!

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I’m going to be very honest and share with you the lesson I’ve learned with this photo shoot:

As a photographer I like to have a plan for my shoots. I like to know in advance what I’m going to be photographing, who, where and how.  I like to think about the settings I will use and the mood for the photos. In other words, I like to control the situation as much as I can.

In this case I didn’t at all. Because the photo shoot wasn’t mine.
The vision and the mood were Sabrina’s, the shoot was about her makeup work.

So I just had to let go and do my best to capture her talent with my camera.

What’s the point then if it’s supposed to be a collaboration?
– you might ask (as I did at some point).

Here are a few reasons:
1. You’ll be photographing that day instead of doing something else (probably something boring).
2. Even if you don’t use the photos for your own portfolio they will be using them for theirs.
3. It’s the opportunity to work with a team and practice your craft.
4. They will give back the day you need people to work on one of your projects!

That’s what I learned with this photo shoot and I hope by sharing it I could help change your mind – whatever type of creative you are – in case you’ve been turning down projects for that reason! 😉

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