Planning your photography with a makeup artist

The Thought Behind the Makeup

When putting together a themed shoot, as we did with ours, it’s important to collaborate with the makeup artist on the concept.   I had the privilege of working with Lisa Robb who not only grasped the concept, but added her own spin to it.   Lisa is a qualified Makeup Artist who’s work ranges from weddings, special occasions and events to fashion shows, film/TV and special effects!  Here are some tips from us, and Lisa’s rationale behind the hair and make-up which really made the shoot a success!  Thanks to Lisa for contributing to this blog post.

Tips for photographers collaborating with hair / makeup artists (HMUA)

1. Open Communication – Exchange samples for what you are visualising.  We exchanged a number of images we got from Google and discussed how to complement each model’s look with hair and makeup.  We did this over a few weeks and Lisa even sent me sketches.

2. Agree on the theme – Use a few keywords to describe the mood, lighting and post-processing effects.  For our shoot, the keywords were – “dark”, “angel”, “fantasy”, “mystery”, “fallen” and “elegant”.

3. Get to know them – We created a Facebook group for models, videographers, photographers and HMUA to get to know each other.  It formed an open forum for discussions and agreeing on the schedule of the day, the storyboard, and who was bringing what props / clothes.

Rationale (by Lisa)

For this Dark Angel shoot I took inspiration from movies like Hunger Games and Underworld. I wanted to create something that was both dark and mystical but also angelic to portray both good and evil.

Makeup Sketch by Lisa Robb
Makeup Sketch by Lisa Robb

When developing my ideas for Alisha I wanted her eyes to be the main focal point. I achieved this by making them black and using white eyeliner to enhance their size. I went for black and white contrast to show rebellion and confusion. I chose to make her skin tone pale to show a lack of belonging in this world “Angel fallen from Heaven.”

Model: Alisha Fitzpatrick Makeup: Lisa Robb
Model: Alisha Fitzpatrick
Makeup: Lisa Robb

With Katrina I wanted to show her as a majestic creature, with fairy tale characteristics of innocence and mystery.

Makeup Sketch by Lisa Rob
Makeup Sketch by Lisa Robb

I wanted her intentions in this world to be questionable “is she good? or is she evil?”I used pearl and black rhinestones to add to the fantasy and bright pink blush around her temples and down her cheek bones to soften her appearance. To create a halo I used a soft fountain braid in her hair and then added random curls and waves to fit with the forest theme.

This is the face chart used for Katrina on the day of the shoot.  After being shown examples of what the client is after I will draw up a face chart or two with my interpretation to show we are both on the same track. I will often mix and match aspects of each face chart as well as add or remove features to suit the model, theme and time allocations. I will also list down what colours and products I intend to use. This makes application on the day faster and straightforward.

 

Makeup face chart by Lisa Robb
Makeup face chart by Lisa Robb

“A makeup face chart is used by makeup artists to test out or plan a look. They are also used to record a look that has been tried on someone else, like for a photo shoot or bridal trial. Makeup face charts are useful to have because they help you keep track of all the different products and color combinations that were used, in the event that you wish to recreate the look again in the future.”  Excerpt from Totalbeauty.com

Model: Katrina McCloy Makeup: Lisa Robb
Model: Katrina McCloy
Makeup: Lisa Robb

Final Results

Model: Katrina McCloy Makeup and Hair: Lisa Robb Photographer: Zhi Lee
Model: Katrina McCloy
Makeup and Hair: Lisa Robb
Photographer: Zhi Lee
Model: Alisha Fitzpatrick Makeup and Hair: Lisa Robb Photographer: Zhi Lee
Model: Alisha Fitzpatrick
Makeup and Hair: Lisa Robb
Photographer: Zhi Lee

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Zhi Lee

Award winning NZ wedding, travel and portrait photographer. Creating images for the enjoyment of others really gets me going. It is through photography that I get to connect with people and express a little bit of creativity.