Makeup artists reach out to my studio on a daily basis looking for opportunities to do tests or for jobs.
I won’t lie, I am very particular as to who I choose to work with. If I have the time, I always try to look through their portfolios and respond accordingly.
Here’s what I’ve noticed (as a beauty photographer) is often missing from makeup artists portfolios:
An updated website.
Everyone is posting their latest work on Instagram. When a makeup artist reaches out to me, I barely have time to look at their website— it is unlikely that I’ll click any extra links.
Your site has to be maintained and updated— it can’t come secondary to Instagram. If I can’t find what I’m looking for on your website, I will not go online to view your profile.
I will walk away with the misconception that you don’t know how to present your work on your website, and that you don’t know which key imagery should be in your portfolio.
Here are a few quick tips and changes you can make right now to give your book a facelift:
Make sure you have a beauty category.
This makes sense if you would like to work in the beauty industry and are reaching out to beauty photographers, however, I am often surprised and do not find one.
Quality over quantity.
A makeup artist friend of mine asked me to go through her portfolio—her incredible talent did not translate into the images she chose to include. The pictures were dated, damaging her portfolio’s strength. I recommended that she get rid of half the content—this of course worried her, as she was afraid she wouldn’t have enough left. She tried it—it was a breath of fresh air. The images left on her site exemplified what she could do— her book immediately became much stronger.
I would prefer to look at 7 amazing images over 20 mediocre ones.
Take a look at all your photos. Create 3 categories: “love”, “hate”, and “neutral.”
If you pause, hesitant about a shot, or you think: “I like this photo, but…”, toss it. You need to confidently love and be proud of the work you present.
Here are some key basic images I look for when viewing a beauty portfolio:
Cat eye. Can you do one?
Red lips—this is about patience, precision, and perfection.
Lastly, I need to see a clean skincare style beauty photo (this is the most important to me— I’m all about the skin).
These tips make a huge difference: make sure you have a beauty category, stock your website with images you absolutely love, and cover your basics!