I have been doing beauty photography for 3 years now and as everyone else, I am always trying to improve my work. I have learned that a lot of the result has to do with a team effort and the best advice I could give to someone that just starts out is that you should find the right people for it.
I often get asked how do I retain the skin texture in my images. To be honest, when I started, I thought is mostly done in post-production or a certain type of lighting etc. Reading a lot about makeup and beauty makeup in general, seeing RAW images from other inspirational photographers made me realized that actually if the model's skin doesn't have texture then you clearly won't have any texture to start with.
Here are some of the things I have learned over the years:
1. Make sure your model doesn't have dry skin.
This can seem hard to achieve, but honestly is nothing worse than trying to spend hours cleaning the skin. It's important for the makeup artist to try to exfoliate the skin prior the shoot, or even better to ask the model to do it so you can all achieve a natural look.
Here you can see the difference between two different skin textures on two images- both unedited.
2. Use minimal foundation or at all.
Like you can see in the pictures above, the top has more foundation compared to the one below.
Personally, I dislike foundation for beauty, because it actually covers the pores also a lot of times it makes the skin looks cakey and very difficult to retouch.
I don't mind spots, that can easily be cleaned with the patch tool or the healing brush tool.
A bit of concealer can sometimes do miracles and makes the post-production/ end result better.
This can be really subjective, however so many times, I had to edit the corners of the eye or make sure it doesn't look that she has 2 pairs of eyelashes on.
If you are planning to use them, use individual ones as the effect will look more natural.
4.Using powder products for the brows
I absolutely love brows in beauty photography and I am aware that sometimes not everyone has full brows, which is perfectly fine. I do paint in the gaps a lot of times, but I find it very hard to clean the "powder" effect.
I think just using a soap based eyebrow filler or just a gel makes them look more natural.
This is something I get asked a lot.
"Should I tan before my shoot?"
It's a "no-no"!
There is nothing worse than having to retouched an orange skin and make it look more natural- color wise.
I like tanned skin(even fake), especially in real life, however for the pictures I find it a nightmare.
I know that a few might think why should we bother to do all this?
I think, the more you shoot and especially when it becomes your full-time job, you realise that in order to improve and achieve better results is all about the small details.
I was lucky enough to work with some amazing makeup artists and models and it is also about "connecting" to them and having fun, but I am sure everyone is happier if they also get good results.