Friday, January 16, 2009

Makeup and the Art of the Test

I don't do test photoshoots as much as I'd like because I am very particular about the people I choose to work with. At this point in my career as a makeup artist, I don't need to test, but like to as it's a way of networking, growing and sharing my skills. I can always use more editorial style looks, but therein lies the problem; not everyone knows what editorial means. Some people think it's Glam (Kim Kardashian), Scenester (Cory Kennedy) or Costume (The more ridiculous the better. McQueen would do this, right? Um, no.) Ergo, testing is both a blessing and a curse!

I had a test shoot last week and had high hopes. The photographer was excited, so that's always good! The model had a really interesting look, but to my horror had very bad skin. I mean very. I don't normally use full coverage makeup as it's obvious on film and outdated, but I had to, saving the photographer a little photoshop time. The assistant was a little more specific with what they wanted than originally planned, but I rolled with it and did my best.

The model, who was an African American girl, seemed a little concerned with the color of foundation I chose for her and tells me that it's not what she normally wears. She has yellow undertones and was using red undertones. I told her that color was her correct color (I have eyes). The assistant then proceeds to tell the model that she 'should have asked her to bring her own makeup'. I was a tad offended because after 10 plus years doing makeup, I know how to match up foundation, especially women of color. They had seen my work before hand, where was the trust? Also, I am glad she didn't remind her because it would have been the wrong color! The solution? Have the photographer shoot her to double check. The result? It looked perfect.

The hair was nondescript as was the choice of dress, but in a bind, I only need beauty shots, so I wasn't too concerned. The model also needed quite a bit of direction with posing and finding her key light, and when left to her own devices wasn't much better. For everyone's credit, there were some good shots. The last style was a throwaway for me as the makeup that was called for plus the experimental hair style (fantasy?) and clothing (goth?) is not something I can use. But this is what a test shoot is for, to experiment and get something for everyone's book.

I have not yet seen the proofs, but if I can get at least one good beauty shot, then it was worth my time. I have another test next week, but have worked with the photographer before and I get to do whatever I want makeup wise, so I am looking forward to it! So if you are on the fence about testing, just go for it! Create, evolve and have fun!