Operation Headshot: 10 Tips to Make Your Shoot Rock (Part 2)

You’ve found a photographer and cannot wait until your headshot session. But something is missing. I’ll be honest. My last headshot session was by far my most successful. Much of that comes from giving myself a chance to just…be…ME. Having confidence in my photographer was a big part of it, but leaving hair and makeup to another pro was invaluable. Consider the extra expense. It’s worth it.

Being 100% focused on your shoot is vital. We worry enough about the process. You wouldn’t use a selfie as a headshot, would you? So why take on the responsibility of doing your own hair and makeup? Yes, guys – this goes for you, too. Dealing with hair and makeup will only be a distraction. And this day is about you – being relaxed, being yourself, and being ready to bring the real talent out for all to see.

In Part One of my “Operation Headshot” post, photographer Emily Lambert shared her insight on preparing for your shoot. Now, Makeup Artist Kelli J. Bartlett gets to the heart of the matter, to make sure you shine like the true star you are (just not shining on your forehead).

A successful headshot shoot with my two favorite red heads, Kelli & Emily

A successful headshot shoot with my two favorite red heads, Kelli & Emily

1. What is your best piece of advice you can give an actor/talent for their shoot?
Know who you are and relax into it!

2. Are there tips for the night before? The week before?
Honestly, everyone says to get a ton of sleep, juice, etc. I think you should do your best to keep your routine the same. You won’t drive yourself crazy the night before, staring at the ceiling at 9pm

3. You and Emily tend to reach out to your clients before the shoot. Can you expand on what it is you discuss?
I like to address concerns that are specific to the client. Calm any anxieties, make sure they have an accurate idea of the day, talk about a “plan” for the looks.

4. A lot of people stress about the shoot and fear the photos won’t be good. From the weather will be bad to the makeup isn’t right, etc. Do you offer any advice to break that barrier?
Be specific! Ask lots of questions! Do your research. If you know you need a lot of assistance, ask for it! If you are naturally nervous, speak up!

5. How do you think your dynamic working together with Emily makes you two different? What do you offer that others may not? What makes you unique?
I have a total and utter respect for what Emily creates. She has an eye that is unique and creative– our process is collaborative. Emily understands my job and respects it- so she pushes me towards excellence! I just love the results when we work together. She is both technical and an actor’s director. LOVE HER.

6. When it comes to changing looks both location and even physical/wardrobe/hair/makeup, are there suggestions you give when you know a client wants to change it up a bit?
A small change can do a LOT of good. A slight lip, a little more liner, they all help tell a story and can be done quickly!

"A small change can do a LOT of good. A slight lip, a little more liner, they all help tell a story and can be done quickly!" - Kelli

“A small change can do a LOT of good. A slight lip, a little more liner, they all help tell a story and can be done quickly!” – Kelli

7. What do you look for when you shoot a subject? You whittle down the best of the best pics. How do you decide to help your client? I like to look for the person who walked in my front door– the same energy, their natural radiance.

8. When it comes to retouching? What’s your best advice? Is it necessary?
I do my best to make Emily’s job as easy as possible. Hopefully, my makeups inform the actor on the inside (removing insecurities, covering imperfections) and it translates to the camera.

9. Do you find that more men are using MUA and hairstylists on set now? If so, why? Isn’t it about being more natural? How do you help maintain that natural look?
It is… but NATURAL doesn’t mean NO MAKEUP. When casting directors and agents say no makeup– they don’t mean BARE faced. We live in a selfie filtered world… and the makeup artists are being challenged to do looks that look NATURAL and LIKE THE CLIENT—It is so important to work within the clients skills and to take direction from the agent.

10. What’s the biggest mistake actors and talent make or you have seen? Things to avoid.
Not bringing their actor to the shoot. They forget their training. They leave their craft behind and try to take pretty pictures.

Makeup Artist Kelli J. Bartlett

Makeup Artist Kelli J. Bartlett

Kelli J. Bartlett joined GLAMSQUAD as the Director of Makeup Artistry, bringing a decade of experience on red carpets, runways and editorial fashion pages. Bartlett cultivated an elite clientele while artist and manager at an industry-leading cosmetics company, where she fine-tuned her work, which has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, US Weekly and Vanity Fair, among others. At GLAMSQUAD, Bartlett is responsible for the rigorous vetting and training of all GLAMSQUAD makeup artists as well as keeping the GLAMSQUAD Makeup Menu outfitted with wearable, on-trend beauty looks. Making women look and feel beautiful, combined with superior customer service, are hallmarks of Bartlett’s work www.glamsquad.com @kellijbartlett
Missed out on Part 1 of this story? Read it here!

About Hilary Russo

Host, Journalist, Spokesperson, Lifestyle & Design Expert: QVC Home/Garden Guest Host, Professor, Adventure Seeker & of course... Renaissance Woman - I'm a city girl with my pedal on the metal.
This entry was posted in Camera Ready and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.