Whether you shoot men, women, or children, as a photographer it is an advantage if you know how to apply makeup for the subjects in your photo shoots. Even if you work with a makeup artist, you as the photographer, has a responsibility for the overall look in your images.
So you need to be aware that make up for photography is very different from normal makeup and how this contributes to the look of your images. This will allow you to achieve the look you envisioned for your images, make your subjects or clients happy, boost the effect of good lighting, and minimize the work needed later in editing.
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Just like women, men also need makeup – corrective makeup, that is. Most photographers only limit their makeup application to concealing and managing shine.
On managing shine, use rice powder as this works perfectly to matte shine on a man’s face, particularly on high foreheads as well as bald spots. Rice powder will manage the shine even if you are not able to completely matte shine in those areas. Same application on women, use a large face brush when applying rice powder to men, then blend well, and make sure that there are no pasty-white areas. Some men, especially those who spend a lot of time outdoors, have dry or flaky lips. Have your client apply a clear lip balm on his lips. Ask him to rub it well and no too much since you do not want shiny traces on a man’s lips.
Most women will have put on at least a minimum amount of makeup before being photographed. To make sure that they did, suggest that they apply face cream and foundation before going to the photo shoot. Also, remind them to bring lipstick with them.
Applying concealer is the most important step in applying makeup for photographs. Blotting and concealing will mask any skin irregularities, if done well. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending too much time on retouching.
Start by pressing the blotting paper on the oily areas of your client’s face. Do not rub. Repeat if necessary. Remember to always use a clean section of blotting paper each time. Then, use a concealer brush and dab on blemishes, dark circles under the eye, and other areas that need correction. Once you remove excess oil and any blemishes, check your client’s foundation.
Some women put on foundation too much or fail to blend foundation along the jawline. If this is the case, dampen one of your sponges and even out the foundation with light gentle strokes. Pay attention to her jawline and hairline and ensure any makeup lines are smoothly blended.
Also, some women may not have applied foundation enough to their faces. In this case, use a face brush on a lightly tinted setting powder. Powder will not give you a deep coverage, but it will supplement a thin application of foundation.
Ask your client to smile broadly when you apply blush and contour. With your powder brush, apply from the apex of the apple of her cheeks in a slight curve down and then up, almost to her ears. Use light strokes when brushing the blush, brush on more layers until you’ve achieved a look that is a little more dramatic than natural.
Next, ask your client to suck in her cheeks. With your bronzer, use your blush or powder brush to lightly apply a bit of contour in the sunken area of her cheeks. Then apply it down the middle of a woman’s nose, at her temples, and on the tip of her chin. This will make your client’s face look thinner. Blend some more for a perfect makeup application.
With your large face brush, lightly sweep in circles to blend in the edges of the blush and contour you’ve applied. Finish this step by brushing on some light flesh colored translucent powder. You can use rice powder to add some highlights to your client’s face and to tone down shiny areas.
When adding highlights, use a clean blush and dip the tip in some rice powder. Gently touch the rice powder onto the areas you wish to highlight. Then blend using your face brush. Adding highlights to both sides of the bridge of your client’s nose will brighten up her eyes. If your client has some shiny areas, lightly apply rice powder using your face brush. Ensure that your client’s lips are smooth and glossy. If your client wishes to use her own lipstick, have her use that. If she did not, apply lip gloss or balm from the stick with a clean concealer or lip brush. Don’t use your fingers or else more gloss or balm will remain on your fingers than on your client’s lips.
Photographing kids is one of the challenging tasks of a photographer. Most kids don’t need makeup especially if you are shooting outdoors. When you achieve the perfect lighting, then you’re good. Some photographers prefer spontaneous activities, like you let kids play and you just take pictures.
If you are shooting indoors, you also need perfect lighting to achieve the images you envisioned. Whereas, if you need to put on makeup to kids, especially girls, go for the hypo-allergenic cosmetics or safe play makeup.
For the eye shadow, limit only to pink, peach, and brown. Apply a small amount of pale eye shadow to the eyelids, blending it lightly across the entire lid. Remember kids have small features so do not use too much product. You can also use glitter eye shadows to add a little sparkle to the makeup.
When applying blush, have your little girl suck in her cheeks as this will define her cheekbones. Apply tinted lip balm or lip gloss using a lip brush and have her blot her lips between pieces of tissue. This will make her feel like a grown up. Apply a second coat.
Remember that a true portrait will reflect a child’s personality, energy, and uniqueness that every one of the bundle of joys have and no makeup can ever defy that.