The Right Makeup Time For a Boudoir Photoshoot

 In For Photographers

Makeup time for a boudoir photo shoot: do you know how much is right? We wrote already in the past about the importance of having a good makeup artist on board during a boudoir photo shoot. The right artist will help you relax you customer and applying the right amount of makeup for her to feel beautiful. We never discussed the timing, or at least, not in details. Makeup time is a very important element when shooting boudoir, and it can be the difference between a fantastic photo shoot and a mediocre one.
Do you already have your idea of how much makeup time you should take into account? Do you know why knowing it is vital for your sales? Come and discover it!

The Right Makeup Time, by Faby and Carlo

While planning the “ideal scenario” for a boudoir photography session, we plan 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. This ideal scenario takes into consideration a minimum of 45 minutes, even if the customer has the perfect skin, great hair and doesn’t need a complex makeup. These 45 minutes are the right time to give your customer the time to relax and have some nice chat with the artist. Getting to 1:15 is still fine by us, it is not too much and it doesn’t fall into the risks we will highlight later on. Of course, you need to be flexible on this, keeping in mind that your customer is the most important person. If she had a lot of thick hair if she needs a more complex makeup, then you should start planning things in advance, leaving some contingency time.

When the makeup time is “too long”

If the makeup time goes over the hour and a half, it is too much for us. Yes, there are cases in which makeup time can be flexible, but as a general rule if the makeup time exceeds the 90 minutes mark, you start hitting the issues. Believe me if I say that you should try to avoid them as much as possible.
Please remember that we are not a high-turnover studio, we spend as much time as needed with our customers. Nonetheless, an excessively long makeup time always works against you. Do you want to know why?

Long makeup time: the risks

For us, there are three major concern when the makeup time starts expanding and getting closer to the two hours (or going over it). Some of the concerns are seasonal, and they are very relevant in these months where the days are shorter.
Light: Living in London and being natural light boudoir photographers, we rely on the sun to be our main source of light. Being in London also means that starting before 9:30 is not an option as the city is big and the travel time to our studio can be longer than one hour already. In December, it also means that at 3pm, any shred of decent light is gone. What happen if we start the make up after a short meet and greet and the makeup take two hours? It means starting shooting at noon, which endangers the quality of the images taken towards the end of the session itself. If we cannot capture quality images, is the makeup important?
Tiredness: For how much relaxing can be having your makeup applied, if you spend more than one and a half hour in the makeup chair, you are going to be tired. We are not dealing with models who are used to this kind of timing; we are talking about normal women who are excited and scared about their Boudoir session. If the makeup time is longer than the shooting time, then you can bet that they will be tired, and a tired customer is harder to photograph.
Decrease of creativity: when we greet a customer, we go through her garments with her and we make sure to keep a positive attitude to make sure she is relaxed. The studio is already prepared, and we use the makeup time to both make sure our customers are happy and relaxed and to review all the information about her. If we have an hour to kill, we can make the most out of it, but the more we have to wait, the more we will our mood and our creativity.

Makeup Time and the importance a good communication with your artist

In the end, it is important that you, as a photographer, have a good communication with your makeup artist. She needs to understand that a good shoot is vital for your business, and, therefore, for her as well. Be honest and open with her and make sure she understands the issues you face if a makeup session goes over the 90 minutes.

What is your take about the makeup time? If you are a makeup artist, what is your personal take on this matter?

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