This is the million dollar question everyone asks: “How do I get chosen for a job?” It always feels like you’re trying to crack the code or uncover the great secret to success, doesn’t it?

Truthfully we all know there’s no major secret, but for makeup artists, having the right answer to these 3 questions can make a huge difference:

Have beauty photographers already had a great experience working with you?

I know I’m stating the obvious with this one, but when a photographer is producing a photo shoot and is in charge of hiring the glam team, they first go through their list of key makeup artists they frequently work with. It all depends on the job and the style of makeup that is being requested. Is it a skin or glamour campaign? Is it a commercial straight forward or editorial and interpretive campaign?

If I’m shooting a beauty campaign that is all about the skin, I will select the makeup artist with the most amount of skill in this category. Someone who understands how to treat the skin, blend, even out tones and maintain the texture without the use of a lot of product.

If I already know someone who has the skills I need for a specific shoot and I’ve enjoyed working with them in the past, chances are high that they’re getting the job.

Does your portfolio demonstrate your capabilities?

If a photographer’s regular artists aren’t available they will look at portfolios at different agencies. Once again, it’s which artist suits the job the most through their skills and technique. Can the artist blend, recognize various skin textures and tones? Can they create different looks such as dewy, oily, matte, high sheen or only excel at one type of look? What does their advertising portfolio consist of? There’s a psychological comfort of, “you get to ‘pass, go and collect” if someone else has already trusted to hire you for a similar campaign.”

What’s your personality like on set?

If a photographer is really busy with production and doesn’t have the time to search for an artist they will request books from an agent. They still consider all of the above, but here’s something I personally ask about once I have my list narrowed down: “What’s their personality like?” This is something very important to me as a photographer and producer. Since I have not previously worked with you, who is coming on my set? Are they talkative, friendly, have a sense of humor? It’s always about the set of skills and their ability to get the job done, but are they also pleasant to be around? Is their presence a positive contribution to the overall energy of the set?

There’s been times where I have worked with a new makeup artist who was very talented and was also able to exchange a few laughs. Other times, I’ve worked with individuals who were completely quiet, kept to themselves, got the job done, but the day seemed a bit longer…

Lastly, a bit of miscellaneous info: Some photographers consider all of the above but also check the number of followers a makeup artist may have on Instagram. It really depends on the photographer and the direct client. But it’s always worth building your account with your latest and greatest work.

Questions? Comment below and I’ll respond to them as soon as I can!

Want more tips on how to succeed at your next beauty makeup job?

Download this free checklist of 65 quick-to-read and easy-to-apply career-changing tips for makeup Artists.

Download Now