Inspired by the wonderful points brought forward by F-Stoppers in their excellent post found here, I’ve decided to build this quick list for Make-Up Artists around the world!
Because, let’s face it, what’s the point of being a Make-Up artist if you don’t capture it, right? The whole point of the career path you’ve chosen is to have it immortalised, in film or on instagram or in celluloid or on television — the memories of the models, or the brides, simply isn’t enough. You need to be able to prove your work — but more than that, adding Photography to your kit can expand your creative skillset, and pretty soon you’ll be able to run whole shoots without even needing to over Trade-For-Prints work to even a single Photographer!
Click through the break to learn how to get started!
TOOL NUMBER ONE:
A COMPACT MIRRORLESS INTERCHANGABLE LENS SYSTEM CAMERA WITH A 35MM OR 50MM EQUIVALENT LENS
Wow! What a mouthful!
The best way to start is at the lower peak of the professional level, because why even consider doing this in half-measures? A good 800-1000AUD camera body with a decent 300-600AUD lens will deliver close-to professional results (damn near indiscernible from actual professional work unless you’re printing enlargements!) and the gear will simply pay for itself after a few shoots because you’ll have saved all that money paying for an actual Photographer to help you capture that wedding, or get that perfect shot for that portfolio, or take whatever other photo you’re wont to take.
I’m keen to suggest an Olympus or a Fuji body, with the best prime lens your budget can afford. Just don’t forget the SD Cards!
TOOL NUMBER TWO:
A PORTABLE FLASH KIT AND BACKDROP SYSTEM
Look, I know this one sounds heavy but hear me out.
Okay, so, you’re chatting away with your client, about the wedding she’s about to attend and about how much she hates her bride, and you’ve just accidentally done the best God damned make-up of your life. Do you really want to capture that sublime piece of work with your P.O.S camera phone?
I didn’t think so.
So, run out to your car, pull the flash system and background out of the boot, set it right the fuck up and take some God damn beautiful photos for your portfolio.
Maybe even upsell your client — if she’s so inclined she might need a glamour shot for her StarNow! profile!
TOOL NUMBER THREE:
A CANON SELPHY PRINTER
That wonderful picture you’ve just taken?
Well, your client has followed you out to your car and she just will not shut up about how nice it was (because you, by the good graces of Olympus, showed her the image on the reversible LCD screen after you took it). So, while you’re putting that flash kit and background away, why not casually mention you can print a copy on the spot for her?
It’s just a cheap dye sublimation job, but hey, it’s on-the-spot and what’s two dollars to the lady you just charge $100 for a face plus whatever-you-so-liked for that StarNow! glamour profile?
I’ll tell you what two dollars is: 500% profit.
TOOL NUMBER FOUR:
WHY NOT SHOOT VIDEO WHILE YOU’RE AT IT?
I have some awesome news for you: your fancy mirrorless camera shoots God damn fucking video.
And you just casually mentioned it to your client.
And her friend didn’t hire anyone to video the Wedding.
And you bought this amazing Wondlan DSLR Stabilization Rig for real cheap from your local camera shop. andyoujusttoldyourclientallofthisand she’s making the phone call.
Does this sound too good to be true? Normally it is, but, just remember, the reason the BrideGroom didn’t hire a cinematographer in the first place is because a real one is so expensive. As long as you slash your prices to undercut the industry, you’re a shoe-in!
TOOL NUMBER FIVE:
AN 18% GRAY CARD
Because you’re a professional now, and a professional wouldn’t be caught dead with the incorrect White Balance.
Just in case this was too subtle: don’t do any of this. Don’t buy make-up bullshit for your camera kit. Don’t buy a follow focus for your 1DX because you want to shoot some video while you’re on the job shooting some chump’s Wedding Photos. Photographer’s do the absolute most complaining about clients not respecting their trade, or their art, or their business, and how terrible it is that budget SLRS and iPhones and the digital Gosh darned revolution has diminished the profits of their industry, but in their very next breath they do absolutely everything they fucking can to undercut the industries of people who should be their peers.
Instead of looking at Make-Up Artists as invaluable peers, they look at them as free labor that can be exploited and, ultimately, made redundant by their own uninformed and ignorant spattering of make-up skills (you’ll see the FStoppers blog that inspired this one only mentions hygiene as a fucking afterthought, where an actual Make-Up Artists treats hygiene as the first fucking commandment).
Instead of looking at Cinematographers as colleagues and collaborators, they look at them as competition from which work can be stolen.
So, here’s the motion I’m putting forward: instead of looking at Photographer’s as artists deserving respect, we should look at them all as blood-sucking parasitic hipsters who should be actively shunned from their own industries because fuck them.