Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MUAH - Makeup and Hair for models, and why it's important.

MUAH (Makeup And Hair) - If you want great portrait photos, you got to have a great hair and makeup artist. Sure a photographer can get good shots of a model who is sporting the "every-day" hair with minimal or no makeup, but if you really want to make an impression on potential employers/agencies who are viewing your portfolio, you need to make the investment to have a professional hair and makeup artist make you look great!

I had an interesting experience lately, when a young model approached me to do a shoot. I viewed her portfolio online, and I noticed that she wasn't wearing any makeup in her photos. She is no doubt a beautiful young woman without makeup, but I had to ask her why she was modeling without. She informed me that she didn't wear makeup and that she had maybe worn it twice in her life. I informed her that if I was going to do a shoot with her she needed to apply some color to her face. On the day of the shoot, I sent her to a solid hair and makeup artist, and she turned out absolutely stunning. And most importantly... She knew it. The shoot went well, she was confident from the first click of the shutter, and she was overwhelmed by the quality of work. I recently found out that she wants to use the same MUAH artist for a future shoot.

Of course the example above is a drastic scenario, but the same results can be obtained by even those models who wear makeup on a regular basis, who go to a trained professional for improvement.

What models can expect when dealing with photographers

Many photographers provide this service for models within the scope of their shoots. Some photogs insist models take care of it on their own before they get to the shoot. Regardless of the situation, the model should take it upon him/herself to see that they are looking the best they can possibly look for a photo shoot. As a model, you can always ask a photographer if he/she will be providing it for the shoot. If not, and you don't have have a regular MUAH artist of choice, you can ask the photographer. Experienced photographers tend to work with hair and make up artists who provide solid results time and again. So if you like a particular photographer's style of work, taking his/her guidance would be best to guarantee optimal results.

There can also be a lot of confusion when it comes to the type of shoot the model is engaging in as well. If the Photographer you are shooting with has a particular genre in mind for the shoot (i.e. pinup retro style, alternative, dark art, or high fashion), and you are on your own to find a quality hair and makeup artist, you should be looking for a MUAH artist who specializes, or has significant experience, in that particular style. More often than not, the photographer can point the model in the right direction.

Need MUAH on a budget?

If you are on a tight budget, and you are willing to sacrifice a little quality talent, there are many young talented make up artist portfolios on the web that need improvement. Those makeup artists will often work for straight trade, or trade with a minimal kit fee (usually around $30, their cost) to build their own portfolio. Basically the model would provide copies of the media received, by the photographer, to the MUAH artist for services rendered. The model should always be clear on what the makeup artist will be getting in trade.

Makeup Artists "AND" Hair Stylists

It is not uncommon to find a makeup artist who doesn't do hair, or a hair stylist who doesn't do makeup in model photographer circles. So if a model books a hair stylist for a shoot expecting to get makeup, he/she should clarify those details up front. The same applies, of course, when booking a makeup artist and expecting to get hair done.


I can't stress the importance of networking with your connections enough. It's easy in this industry for toes to get stepped on (sorry for the cheesy cliche), so always continue to communicate with those you meet who can benefit your efforts. If you appreciate the work someone does for you, show your appreciation by whatever means you can afford such as money, referrals, advertising, photos, testimonials, etc. Just Communicate!

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, please link to it.


Sacramento Photography

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