I work with lots of talented make-up and hair artists for headshot shoots, like my buddies Megg, Sara Jean, Jay, Jenn, Lisa, Alex, and Rachael… But not for every shoot. Make-up and hair is an added service that is worth every penny in my opinion because it makes for the absolute best and most natural-looking photo possible.
During my headshot sessions I not only pose people and coach them into natural looking stances and smiles, but I also do my best to make sure their hair is where it should be and not sticking straight up, there aren’t any stray dog or cat hairs on their clothes, and that their face isn’t all red and shiny. I’ll move hair out of someone’s face, sculpt it to fall casually on their shoulders, and maybe even break out a quick can of hairspray if there’s a piece being extraneously unruly. But I do NOT apply make-up to my clients. I’m not a make-up artist, I’m a photographer, and I am absolutely no good at doing what make-up artists do.
However, I will brush some rice powder on my shiny clients (which is just about everybody). When I take a few test shots I’ll see if someone is photographing with a particular type of glare on their skin and break out my only pseudo-make-up-like tool to de-shine their face.
I don’t think it’s cheating on my make-up artists because it’s kind of technically not make-up. It matches just about any skin tone and is only made up of a few ingredients designed to absorb excess oil and make a shiny skin surface matte and picture-ready. People have asked me for the product name, so here it is: I use Palladio rice powder, and their handy to-go counterpart product, rice paper sheets with rice powder on them for carrying with you in your pocket or purse.
Below is an example of the difference it can make in reducing shine- with no retouching of the skin. On the left is one of the first shots of this headshot session, and on the right is a photo taken after applying some rice powder to decrease that shine.
So the next time you’re at a wedding, event, or somewhere that you know you’ll be photographed a lot and you don’t want to look shiny, sweep some rice powder over your face. Men especially love it because it’s technically not make-up and you won’t look like a drag queen for dabbing some rice paper on your forehead in the mens room.