Five Make-up Tips For Outdoor Photography

As a make-up artist, you will work in all sorts of environments. You will come to notice that different locations and scenarios require different methods and product application. An outdoor photoshoot, for example, has its own set of issues to address.

If you’re shooting at an outdoor location, here are five things to always consider.


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What time of day you are shooting.

Outdoor light differs throughout the day. Morning light, for example, is a softer light. As you move towards the middle of the day, the sun moves higher until it’s directly above. This can create a harsher light which generates shadows on the face. Later in the day, the lighting transitions to a warmer, softer feel which calls for more depth and richer colours in your make-up.


How much you have applied.

As we know, lighting is everything when it comes to a successful photo. Make-up might look strong or dramatic when you first apply, yet once you see it outside and through the lens of a camera, it loses a lot of its intensity.

When the shoot is starting, ask the photographer whether they could snap a quick headshot of the model so you can see how the make-up looks. You might find that your dark smoky eye isn’t very obvious anymore, or you model looks incredibly washed out and needs their blush touched up.

Keep an eye on the shots being taken to stay on top of what your make-up look requires.


Where you set up to apply your make-up.

Natural light is less forgiving than artificial light. With this in mind, if you were to apply the make-up inside, it’s likely to look very different once your model steps out in the sunlight. More often than not, the pureness of outdoor light washes out the strength of the make-up.

If you are applying the make-up inside, try to set up near a window to get a similar light that you will be shooting in.

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It’s not just the face.

It’s not always about the face alone. As a make-up artist, you might be responsible for the overall look that is applied to the model. If you are working on a swimwear shoot, for example, your model will have quite a bit of skin showing. You should consider applying moisturiser to add a sheen to the skin. Better yet, grab that highlighter you used for those cheekbones and dust it over the collarbone, tips of the shoulders and down the centre of the shins. This adds an amazing glow to the skin and the body will glow all over.


What you keep your make-up in.

This is especially relevant if you are shooting away from where you initially set up and apply the make-up. If you are working outside, make sure you have a neat and orderly set bag that you can keep nearby. Not only does this keep your essentials all in one place, it also keeps dirt and grime out.

Rachel x


Main Image Credit: Jen Hawkins

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