I’m Emily, and I’m a brand photographer for passionate small business owners who are ready to scale and want to stand out online as local industry leaders.

I, my (dog) daughter, and my fiancé are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here at Emily Kim Photography, I provide creative, strategic marketing imagery that are in line with your business goals.

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Brand Photoshoot Makeup Guide

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If you’ve ever thought, “how the HECK do I do my makeup for a photoshoot?!” — Don’t fret! You are most certainly not alone.

This is one of the very first questions I get asked when I am onboarding new brand photoshoot clients. I mean…where do we begin? Do you book a makeup artist? Do you go somewhere? Do you do it yourself?!

The answer is…yes. What I mean is, there are a lot of options available to you regarding prepping your makeup. Don’t worry, we’ll go over each one in this post!

But first, let’s talk about what your makeup should look like for the day of your photoshoot.

What should your makeup look like?

To put it simply, your brand photoshoot makeup should be natural glam. We want to highlight and elevate your natural features!

Now, I want to make it very clear that you are absolutely beautiful just the way you are. The reason we want to elevateand enhance your natural features is so that they come across just as they are, on camera. Sometimes, the camera can dull our natural features. By taking your normal self, and turning the dial up by about 10 degrees, we will ensure that YOU shine through on camera!

So, what is natural glam? A few things come to mind:

  • No smokey eye. Save that for date night, ladies!
  • False lashes, if they work for your eyes.
  • Tightlined eyeliner. If you wear liquid liner regularly, a bold winged eyeliner can work, too.
  • Accentuate your cheekbones with blush and highlight.

Remember, we want to enhance, not recreate your natural features. Less is more!

So, now that we know what your makeup should look like, let’s talk about how you can get it done. Here are 5 different ways to do your brand photoshoot makeup, all at different price points.

1. Do it yourself

The first option is, of course, to do it yourself.

I always recommend to hire a professional in some capacity for a few reasons:

  1. Pros know how to apply camera-ready makeup.
  2. Pros know how to make sure your makeup will last all day.
  3. Pros can relieve day-of stress by taking one more thing off your plate.

If you are a self-proclaimed beauty expert, then by all means – do your own makeup! I am a huge advocate of you doing what is most comfortable for you. I do recommend that you consult with your photographer first if you decide to do your own makeup.

2. Book a virtual makeup lesson

Alright, I hear you there, all the way in the back… “Emily, what on EARTH is a virtual makeup lesson?”

Ummm, it’s basically like watching a YouTube makeup tutorial, but 10000x better. And with live feedback. Because I don’t like to recommend things that I haven’t done myself, I booked a virtual makeup lesson with my friend and colleague Sofia from Beauty by Sofia Bee.

It’s basically a two-for-one: you learn how to do your own photoshoot-ready makeup, AND you take these newly learned skills with you in the future!

Many of my clients have booked a virtual lesson before their own photoshoot, and everyone has loved it. You can book a lesson with SOfia on her website. This is totally not sponsored – I just truly love Sofia’s work!

If you have a go-to makeup artist, you can also ask them if they teach lessons.

3. Go to a makeup boutique or hair salon

If you do a quick Google search for “makeup boutique near me” or “makeup salon near me,” you’ll probably find a few results. This can be a great, budget-friendly option. If your budget allows, I highly recommend doing a trial with the same artist before the day of your photoshoot so that you can see what it will look like. Don’t forget to send a photo to your photographer, too!

You can also ask your hairstylist if they do makeup, or if they know someone that does. Remember to mention that you are looking for a natural glam look!

4. Book a hair & makeup artist before your photoshoot

Oooooh, now we’re getting into my favorite two options. The first is to book a hair and makeup artist (HMUA) to get you ready before your photoshoot!

Depending on your photoshoot locations, your HMUA might meet you at your home, at the first photoshoot location, or you might meet them at their salon or studio.

You should book hair & makeup 3 hours before your photoshoot, which will allow buffer time in case it runs late. Ask your HMUA for tips on how to change up your look throughout the day since they won’t be joining during the photoshoot.

5. Hire a hair & makeup artist for the day

If your budget allows, this is the absolute BEST option for your brand photoshoot. If you are looking for an absolute stress-free experience, then booking a hair & makeup artist for your entire shoot is the way to go!

This is especially important if you are looking to set up multiple different scenes throughout the day. When you book an HMUA for the day, they can change up your look depending on your outfit and the location. They’ll also be there to keep an eye out for flyaways, makeup touchups, and more!

Of course, your photographer will be paying attention to these things, but they are also looking at the (literal) big picture. By hiring a professional HMUA, you are guaranteed to look flawless in every single shot.

Bay Area Recommendations

And finally, here are some of my favorite Bay Area HMUAs:

Want to be even more prepared for your brand photoshoot? Download my free Brand Photoshoot Essentials guide! It has everything you’ll ever need on the day of your photoshoot.

  1. Jen says:

    Kim baker and Monina from Monderne beauty are my favorites also. Wonderful blog!!

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I’m Emily, and I’m a brand photographer for passionate small business owners who are ready to scale and want to stand out online as local industry leaders.

I, my (dog) daughter, and my fiancé are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here at Emily Kim Photography, I provide creative, strategic marketing imagery that are in line with your business goals.

tell me more...

crowd faves

on the blog

Color Psychology for Photoshoots

5 Dream Bay Area Studio Rentals for Your Next Shoot

5 Tips for Optimizing Images on Your Website

How to Plan Outfits for Your Brand Photoshoot

goodies you'll love

Access My Free Resource Library

Branded Stock Photography at the EK Stock Shop

Free Preset for
Lightroom Mobile

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