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  • Suzan Petersen Artistic photography

Professional Makeup and Why It's Important to a Photographer


Why do I recommend professional makeup applied before a portrait session?

1) When the makeup is done by a professional makeup artist, it gives my client a sense of confidence. When they have that confidence and feel better about themselves, they perform much better in front of a camera; thus the outcome is a spectacular experience all around.

2) Professional makeup helps to cut back my editing in so many ways. I’ve had clients do their own makeup, and it was just bad. The makeup either made their eyes look too small or their blush was so heavy and in the wrong place, or they even tried to do their highlights and contrast only so prominent that it changed the shape of their face; oh and the worst, is that trendy makeup highlighter that has a sheen to it that looks horrible in photographs. All of this means more time editing on my end. Why do extra editing when they made the mistake of doing their own makeup? I won’t deliver an image that is imperfect.

3) Lighting: When makeup is applied poorly, in various lighting conditions, could make it even more of a nightmare to edit.

4) I photograph a lot of High School Seniors and makeup on them is to be natural and bring out their natural beauty. When they do it themselves, there are girls fantastic at makeup application and some that aren’t so much. I don’t know who is better at it than others and I don’t have time to find out. I’ve had a few that didn’t wear makeup at all. Yeah, no…. You can be the most beautiful girl in the world and doesn‘t need a drop of makeup and still, I recommend a professional makeup application during one of our portrait sessions for reasons listed above.

Either way, it’s a special time for them to have their makeup done bringing them confidence and making them feel good about themselves. I remember having one senior who just had her glam-girl session done and kept taking selfies of herself because she loved the makeup so much. It‘s an overall experience that will be cherished and remembered for a lifetime.

Makeup Artist: As a photographer, you want to have full trust in your makeup artist. I have one young woman, Elise IG: @Makeupandkisses , I use as my go-to-glam girl. She does amazing makeup bringing out my client’s natural beauty. I‘ve seen some brutal makeup applications posted on social media by other artists and I can't fathom why a photographer would continue to use them. In fact, one time I saw one so bad I had to send a picture of it to Elise along with a text telling her how much I appreciated her work. So if you are a photographer out there, find yourself one go-to-glam team you will have full faith in their work and that they understand yours and your clients needs and KEEP them!!

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