How to Select a Makeup Artist for Your First Photoshoot

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Going on your first photoshoot is very exciting. Whether it is an unexpected job from a new client – one that will put your career in modelling on track – or a shoot to get some headshots and sample photos for your portfolio, you want everything about the shoot to be perfect.

One of the things to get right before going into your first photoshoot is selecting a makeup artist. There are plenty of makeup artists (MUAs) offering their services right now but finding the right one for both you and the specific photoshoot is a challenge you need to overcome.

Worry not because there are plenty of things you can do to choose the right makeup artist for your first photoshoot. To help you get started with your search, here are the top tips and tricks you want to keep in mind.

Start Early

It is never too early to begin your search for makeup artists that you can work with. As mentioned before, you have a wealth of options to choose from. This means you have a lot of artists whose portfolio you want to review; that takes a lot of time.

Starting early is how you make the entire process more manageable. When you have plenty of time, you can focus more on finding the best makeup artists to compare, looking at their portfolios, and getting to know them better before making your decision.

Starting early also means having more time for test shoots and additional steps. When you have enough time, you can work with the makeup artists of your choice on crafting the perfect look for your first photoshoot. Besides, the whole process is a lot of fun when you have no deadline to worry about.

Go Beyond Instagram

Instagram is a great place for showcasing your work, and a lot of makeup artists agree. The easiest way to find great MUAs to work with is by browsing through their Instagram profiles. Certain hashtags like #makeupartist will direct you to great MUAs to consider.

Some makeup artists are known as must-follow users on Instagram. Big names such as Mario Dedivanovic and Priscilla Ono are not only famous for their work, but also for their Instagram accounts. Even when working with these top MUAs is not an option, you can still learn a lot from their work.
That said, you must always go beyond Instagram. When you find a number of makeup artists that you like on the social media platform, for instance, you want to explore those MUAs’ professional portfolio and past projects before moving forward.

Looking into the makeup artists backgrounds is also a fantastic way to learn more about the MUAs. Some makeup artists offer lessons through Superprof, and the fact that they provide makeup tutoring to other artists is a great sign of experience and skill. Look for well-respected makeup artists on this website and you might even decide to book some lessons so you can do your own makeup!

Check the Reviews

Here’s another great thing about having the internet on your side: there are always reviews to read regardless of the products and services you are looking for. Reading reviews is just as important when you are looking for MUAs because reviews tell a more honest story about their work.

The goal isn’t to find a makeup artist with all-positive reviews; after all, even the best artists receive criticism sometimes. What you want to look for are artists whose reviews are more positive and genuine.

Get in Touch

After reviewing your options, it is time to narrow down your search to a handful of candidates. Once you have the list of makeup artists that you like the most, it is time to invest some time into meeting them or talking to them directly. Any good MUA will be more than happy to talk to you about your shoot.

This is when you can ask any question you might have about the artists’ work, how they will approach your photoshoot and other details. It is also a good time to talk estimates and get a good idea of how much the services of those MUAs will cost you, particularly if you are financing the shoot yourself or running on a predetermined budget.

Check the Products

You can also take the time to learn more about the beauty products and makeups used by the artists you are looking into. This can easily turn into a fun conversation about lipsticks and BB creams, and you can learn a lot along the way.

Once again, you can measure how comfortable it will be to work with the makeup artists based on how they respond to your questions about beauty products that will be used for the shoot. You can even go a step further and explore possible ideas and discuss sources of inspiration together.
If you already know about products that don’t work well with your skin, now is the right time to mention them. Some foundations and power don’t work in certain weather, so don’t forget to consider the condition of the shoot at this point.

Do a Test Run

Test runs are crucial, especially if you are working with a new makeup artist. Any MUA who doesn’t want to do a test run is best avoided; why take additional risks with your first photoshoot when you can work with a capable MUA and prepare for everything early?

While doing the trial run, show photos of the makeup that you like or ideas that will suit the theme of the shoot. You can print those photos to use as a reference as you work with the makeup artist in creating different looks and trying multiple makeups for the shoot.

Make corrections and convey your ideas (and concerns) as you go along. Again, the goal of a test run isn’t just so you can be sure about hiring the makeup artist, but also to prepare for the actual photoshoot better. A paid test run is not uncommon either.

Budget for the Shoot

At the end of the day, you need to find a great makeup artist that you are comfortable with the most in every aspect, including the cost of using the MUA’s services. Now that you have a handful of options to choose from, get quotes from them and compare their services.

With the makeup artists fully informed about the nature of your first photoshoot, the quotes you receive from them will be very accurate. Ask questions about any cost element and don’t hesitate to ask for a deal on the services you need.

You also need to be extra certain that all cost elements are listed; hidden charges are not common in the beauty industry, but it is not unheard-of either. It is always better to be extra certain than to be surprised by additional charges later.

That’s it! You have gone through the process of finding the right makeup artist for your first photoshoot. As I mentioned before, the process may seem daunting at first, but it is actually fun once you get the hang of it. You have these tips and tricks to follow too, so you know you will end up with the perfect makeup artist to work with on your photoshoot.