Okay, first off working totally free is rarely okay but there are times when you’ll do a job and there shall be no transaction of money between the parties involved but there shall be OTHER benefits for doing the shoot…so you are not ACTUALLY doing it free of charge. For beginning makeup artists this is sometimes a complicated thing to grasp and grasp.
All the time I hear newer Makeup Artists complaining about the prices of lashes or other products for TF* based shoots (For many who don’t know TFP or TFCD means Time For Prints/Time for CD). In case you are doing a shoot and using lashes and you’re not willing to absorb the price of lashes b/c you’re not sure the pictures shall be worth it then you are working free of charge. Never do a shoot if you do not think it’ll benefit your portfolio in some way without cost.
I do know when starting out you wish to do as many shoots as possible and work w/ as many ppl as possible but be picky. If you’re doing a shoot and also you think you will get good images for your portfolio out of it then you are not working for “FREE” you are getting something in return on your services…it might not be money but in some ways really good images or tears (magazine spreads) may be MORE beneficial then money on the day of the shoot and lead to MORE paid work in the future.
Before accepting a shoot ask yourself – Will this photographer’s work benefit my portfolio Is the model involved going to learn my portfolio If it’s a Fashion shoot is there a full team involved – aka a Stylist Are we shooting a theme or concept that I need in my portfolio What direction do I would like my portfolio to go in Remember to always attempt to test up…you wish to grow not plateau!
If the shoot doesn’t fit into the criteria that you simply need at that time then pass it up! If the model is blonde and you’ve got a book filled with blondes it won’t be beneficial for you at that time to do the shoot. If the photographer wants crazy avant garde makeup and also you need clean looks pass on the shoot. It doesn’t hurt you to NOT do a TF* shoot…it hurts you and wastes your time to do a shoot that has NO benefit for you.
If you’re like me and also you want to focus on Fashion & Beauty work or have hopes of representation from an agency do not do TF* Glamour Shoots or Alternative Fashion Shoots. I mention these two specifically b/c to start with of a Makeup Artist’s career these are shoots that are frequently offered to them. I’d only do Glamour or Alternative Fashion work if it was paid b/c guess what – I am unable to use it in my book so what benefit would it do me to do it free of charge.
I, personally never do shoots which are referred to as TF* shoots – I HATE the term…that is an internet term, it sounds amateurish and it’s not utilized in the true world. If I do a “Free” shoot it’s a Creative or it’s for Submission to magazines (side note loads of my Fav shoots in my book were done for “Free” for Submissions to mags). I work closely w/ the photographer and stylist to help develop the concept and theme of the shoot. This sometimes takes wks/mths of talking and planning…if I’m going to give my time away I need to ensure it’s WORTH it! I walk into the shoot w/ my whole Makeup & Hair concept planned for the day. I’ve seen the model before the shoot…there aren’t any surprises. I can’t accept last minute Creatives b/c the opposite Makeup Artist canceled. For me I need proper planning time and i want to be involved from the bottom up. I take Creatives VERY seriously and do them w/ the intention that this will be something so as to add to my book and benefit me ultimately. Lately, all of my Creatives have been much more Hair Heavy or Clean Beauty based…I knew I needed stronger Hair Stories in my book and a few Cleaner Beauty images so unless the concept fit that criteria I said no thanks.
A tip I wish I might have learned sooner when doing creatives is start to think when it comes to stories early on in your career. After i started I did shoots where the model wore different random outfits and i did different random makeup/hair looks and yes I got some nice pics out of it on the time but there was no cohesion to the shoot…it didn’t flow or tell a narrative or have a theme. Whenever you start working on stories and never just one off looks you realize you are working w/ a better team w/ a stronger concept of what is occurring.
Another thing that unfortunately is becoming common in the industry at the very least in my city is photographers trying to pass off model tests as creatives. Be wary of these items. I personally Do not do unpaid model tests. If the photographer sounds form of vague in regards to the concept and it seems like it may be really simple – white background, start w/ clean makeup and build from there – doing 3 looks watch out unless you actually want to work w/ this photographer and you are using this as an opportunity to fulfill them and talk about another idea you may have or something. I say this b/c I know for a incontrovertible fact that many agencies as of late will not pay photographers for tests anymore b/c there are such a lot of photographers begging for models (see how ppl gifting away their stuff at no cost degrades the entire industry). What the agencies will do is say do the test and we’ll be certain the model buys images off of you. Get a Makeup Artist tell them it is a creative. So basically, you are giving your talents away without spending a dime while the photographer will sell his/her prints and become profitable. In the event you think you may get some great images from it b/c the photographer is super good and also you wouldn’t normally get a chance to work w/ them then take the prospect if you need…it is just not something I’d do at this point in my career.
So I hope that clears up a number of the confusion about “FREE” work and FREE work for some of the newbies on the market.
Also, just one last bit of recommendation but clean, beautiful beauty work will ALWAYS get you Way more paid gigs and a spotlight from agencies over Crazy, Feather, Rhinestone, Glitter Beauty shots. I do know when starting out you wish to do Big, Crazy, Creative Makeup and a number of times New Photographers want Big, Crazy Makeup but it’s actually really hard to do this and never make it look tacky or gaudy and it takes the correct model and a very good photographer to make it work. Walk before you Run…Perfect that Clean Makeup look…it is not as easy as you think 😉 Ask any artist you admire or photographer you love and they’ll inform you nothing sells you better then a beautiful, Clean Beauty shot.
This shot is definitely certainly one of my hottest shots w/ Makeup Artists…all my friends outside the biz say “It would not even appear to be she’s wearing makeup why is this in your book ” lol…they only do not get it 😉 Photographer: Manolo Ceron Model: Jae (Sutherland)
EDIT: Oh another big thing I forgot to say – Say NO to Kit Fees! This is a Film Term that somehow got brought into Fashion by Amateurs. Numerous times photographers might offer a “kit fee” b/c they know the shoot might not be beneficial to a makeup artist’s portfolio. Guess what if it is not beneficial to your book when you’re doing it for free then making $25-50 for the day is not going to suddenly make it worth your time. If you happen to accept a Kit Fee of say $50/day and the pics are going to be useless to you then you might be saying my rate is $50/day…I do not think any Professional Makeup Artist wants to work for $50/day now do they
white colonial wig