Tips for working on photoshoots by Grace McGrath

Tips for working on photoshoots by Grace McGrath

Tips for working on photoshoots by Grace McGrath

Here at AMB Beauty we are joined by Grace McGrath who is a professional Makeup Artist across Kent and London. Grace has built up her experience in the industry by working on many fashion, beauty and e-commerce photoshoots as well as film productions and fashion shows such as London Fashion Week which was featured in Vogue. Here Grace gives an insight into the industry and shares her top 10 tips for working on photoshoots...

1. Always aim to arrive early. Sometimes studios can be tricky to find and it can take much longer than you anticipated – plus no one likes being late and flustered. Also if you’re nice and early it gives you time to set up your station and get prepared so that once the model(s)/talent arrives, you’re ready to start straight away. This sets you up for a smooth shoot.

2. If it hasn’t been sent over already, see if you can see a picture of your model(s)/talent beforehand so you can best prepare your kit products to cater towards them. This is not always possible but when it is it’s a big help to fully prepare yourself and ensure you know exactly what you’re working with. This will also help with planning looks and mood boards if you are given the freedom to.

3. Double check your kit the night before to ensure you have everything and give you peace of mind. If you have the room to, I would always recommend bringing slightly more than you think is necessary, as shoots can be unpredictable and its always best to be prepared and have a little bit of everything in case of a sudden change of plans. I can’t tell you how common it is to be on a shoot where the look was intended to be ‘natural’, only to then be asked halfway through to switch it up to a red lip!

4. When on a creative/editorial shoot there will perhaps be a number of different looks required. I would recommend taking the time to properly plan out each look by doing face charts along with a mood board. This helps to get all of your ideas down on paper so that when it comes to the day it’s a lot easier to follow a plan and you don’t have to worry about forgetting any of your great ideas. Usually your photographer and fellow creatives love to see this as it helps them to capture your vision better too. 

5. Once you have completed your makeup application and the model(s)/talent is on set, your job is not over. You must still be present to keep an eye on the makeup and see how it’s looking under the set lights, most likely touch-ups will be needed at some point or hair will need fixing etc.

6. Another tip is to be mindful of how close you are standing to the photographer, it is important to show respect and give them enough space to do their thing and not feel claustrophobic.

7. It is frowned upon to tread on the backdrop flooring with shoes on as we don’t want any marks/stains from the bottom of your shoes to ruin the studio’s expensive materials and ultimately the photos. If you don’t fancy walking around in your socks or barefoot, some makeup artists carry slippers with them to walk on with.

8. Take behind the scenes pictures/videos (IF ALLOWED). This is mainly because there is usually a long waiting time for photos to be finalised, edited and sent out to you. So this gives you content to post on socials if you’re keen to keep your Instagram busy in the meantime. Also behind the scenes footage are often the best memories to look back on.

9. Bring snacks!!! As a makeup artist you might not even get a chance to sit down let alone pop out to grab something to eat. So always bring your own as not all shoots will cater food. (When they do it is AMAZING though). If you have some small snacks with you, you can discreetly and quickly gain some energy back in between takes.

10. Don’t forget to network with every team you work with and get everyone’s contact details / social media handles as its nice to stay in touch and you never know when someone might need you in the future! 



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Grace McGrath

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