It is not unusual for people to ask if I think they really need to spend the extra money to hire a makeup artist for both their head shot as well as for their commercial print photo session. One of the very important things that all talent must understand is just how important your photos are to your success.
A great head shot can not only get you called in for an audition, but it can also get you booked directly for a job. The same thing is even truer in the commercial modeling industry. Outside of the major markets, many commercial models are booked directly from their photos, without having to attend a go-see (the model’s audition). This is why your photos are so important.
Having a great head shot and or composite sheet can be extremely helpful if you are searching for an agent and or a manager.
It is true, that having a makeup artist will mean your photo shoot will be more expensive. You could pay anywhere from $75-$125 for a good makeup artist. My thought is that it is well worth the additional fee. Your head shot is your business card. Sometimes that is the only thing someone will see before deciding if you will be brought in for an audition or to meet with an agent for representation. A great makeup artist will always make you look better.
Not only will the makeup artist help you look better for the camera, but he or she can also watch you during the photo session. He or she can see if clothing needs to be shifted, straighten out any hairs that might have moved during the shoot, and in general, be a second pair of eyes to watch you during the shoot.
As a suggestion, I always want the photographer to hire the makeup artist. It is better for the photographer to work with someone he or she is familiar with already. The photographer wants a makeup artist who knows the lighting, style and the atmosphere the photographer needs to create on the set. Even if you know someone who might be a little less expensive, I would go with the photographer’s choice.
So, if you are trying to decide if you really need a makeup artist, without a doubt, it will be worth it to you to have a great one on the set.