Because I specialize in natural portraits in San Francisco, a topic of discussion that comes up with my female clients quite frequently is make-up. I had been somewhat avoiding the subject because for me it feels rather sensitive and personal to each individual.
Sometimes I get in touch with just how much of a struggle it can be to be female. We are expected to look flawless and we are expected to do it “naturally”. Personally, I don’t wear much make-up at all. A little mascara and some lip gloss is usually about the extent of it except on very special occasions. But in recognizing that my intention with make-up is to look like I’m not wearing any, I realize how strange that really is.
For some women, leaving the house without a full face of make-up is totally unthinkable. And, since my photo shoots are about showing the real you, I don’t want to make any rigid rules about how my clients should present themselves. But I think it is important to create some basic guidelines so that everyone has an idea how to get their best photo from their shoot with me.
The most important thing about looking great in photos is light. If the light isn’t flattering, then it doesn’t really matter how much make-up you have on. But if the light is good, then a few enhancements with make-up can make sense. I usually recommend a little mascara, or light liner around the eyes and a little pigment on the cheeks and lips.
My overall advice as an online dating photographer had been to wear the amount of make-up you would wear on a first date. And as an executive headshot photographer, I suggest wearing the amount of makeup that you would wear to a job interview. The goal of any good headshot is to show who you are and what you actually look like to avoid surprises when people meet you in person.