Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do I look for in an MUA portfolio?

Not just me... but a smart photographer who's looking to hire a freelance MUA or an actual employee these tips should apply to.

As a model photographer, I want to see in a MUA's portfolio that's targeted to me (model photographer):
  1. Before Makeup applied photo
  2. After Makeup applied photo
  3. and after makeup applied photo that is retouched (and finalized)
So, one photo that is split into 3 photos in itself showing those 3 parts... Why you may be asking?

For photo one because I need to see how much a model needs in makeup, and see the differences on what you added on from photo two. And photo three is for I can see if any type of post processing would help the photo or just didnt need post processing because I, as the photographer, am a retoucher as well -unfortunately-. When I see many MUA portfolios on Model Mayhem I tend to see one photo only and I ask myself how do I know its not the model's natural skin (of course unless its crazy colors, then its more obvious), and I also ask myself is it retouched and fixed the model's imperfections (if any), or/and MUA's lack of makeup? I can't know unless it's clearly compared and labeled onto the photo.

I as a photographer I would only want to hire the best possible MUA that can reduce my time as a photo retoucher in post production for many reasons but primarily time in post I need to reduce personally -as I'm the retoucher as well currently and I really do not enjoy being a retoucher-. And yes, I understand some things are not possible with makeup and still will require retouching but the purposes of hiring an MUA is to reduce that time in post and to give that more natural feel in colors added to the skin (if any), if it's just foundation and cleaning up the skin imperfections then I would expect very clean skin with makeup added (in most cases).

Currently as a photographer, I only would need foundation and cleaning up the skin's imperfections... but I do plan onto slowly exploring using makeup with more colors in areas of high fashion photography, and model portfolio style shots.

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