This week I got to do an amazing shoot with some of the best Fx makeup that I have been blessed to work with so far. How cool is this werewolf makeup by Nikoleta Tzani. And it got me thinking, how crucial makeup is not only on a shoot but to a photographer’s career. With my body of work, which a big part is fantasy and horror, I probably would not be at the point I am now without the help and support of all the makeup artists I have worked with. As I looked back through my portfolio pretty much most my images had some kind of makeup work in them. Do you regularly use a makeup artist, if so let them know that you appreciate them!
Us as photographers always moan about the bum deal we get. Oh, people try to barter us down. People ask for TFP too much, and the list of moans go on. But did you stop and think how bad it is for the MUA. I think they probably have it worse than we do. Once we have a camera and some kind of editing software, we are good to go. We don’t actually need anything else to work. Makeup artists have to buy all their equipment, but as they work they have to keep replenishing their items. And let me tell you makeup is not cheap. Next time your makeup artist is around, ask her how much everything costs…your jaw will hit the floor, seriously.
I spoke to a few of my MUA friends and they said the worst part is spending all this money on their tools and supplies, and then people constantly try to barter them down on price. not just photographers but the public as well. You cannot expect prosthetics on Halloween also applied, for £25, but this is the uphill struggle they face. How would you feel if someone asked you to shoot a wedding and then offered to pay only a quarter of what you expect to be paid? Many of theses artists are students, so literally, every penny counts.
Another issue which many MUA’s come across is the infamous non-trained or ‘self-trained’ make up artists undercutting the professionals, offering mediocre services for £20. These guys train for years at college, they study anatomy. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into learning styles, techniques and much much more.
If this is sounding familiar to any of you creatives, its because we all face similar struggles. I know the feeling of being undercut, or a client choosing someone who will do the shoot for free. So next time you are on a shoot just give some thought to your makeup artist. Make them feel appreciated. Make sure they are looked after. We are all in this together, but I feel sometimes we focus more on our own issues and forget about the MUA’s fighting the same battle.
I know I couldn’t have created the images in this article without the amazing skills, learned in college and hours of practice, and for that, I am truly grateful.