How to Enjoy A Photoshoot While Traveling: Part Two

WOW. That’s a  large  photo of my face. Excuse the graininess; it’s quite cropped from the original.  Photo credit: genius photographer Meiry at Flanerie Photos

WOW. That’s a large photo of my face. Excuse the graininess; it’s quite cropped from the original.

Photo credit: genius photographer Meiry at Flanerie Photos

In part two of How To Enjoy Your Photo Shoot, we’ll discuss the meat and potatoes of a photoshoot: clothes and makeup. Disclaimer: I’m patently not a stylist nor a make-up artist, merely a lady who spends a lot of time thinking about both of those things. (You can find part one - how to find your photographer - here.)

Dress Rehearsal

I probably spend waaaay more time than necessary thinking about what to wear at photoshoots.

I’ll spend hours at home trying on different clothing combinations, climbing on and off my toilet to see how the shoes look with the pants (What? We live in a smallish apartment and don’t have a full-length mirror.).

This method was proven to be completely unnecessary during my Paris trip, when I got fully dressed in my carefully selected outfit, only to drag the corner of an armoire door across the toe of my cool silver oxfords, leaving a giant gouge and rendering them unwearable (no worries…my genius cobbler was able to fix them - PHEW). I had about twenty minutes left before I had to leave, so switched gears and just threw on my favorite pieces from what I’d brought for the week, which turned out to be perfect.

LESSON LEARNED. Next time, I’m just going to pack my favorite (weather-appropriate) clothes and select what to wear for the shoot the night before. I feel more relaxed and comfortable in my favorite clothes. You might feel better in a fancy dress and heels or whatnot. I do not, and since I want the photos to reflect who I am, I want to feel as comfortable as possible and reflect myself as authentically as possible. If there are clients I don’t land because they’re prefer me to be wearing a suit, then those aren’t great clients for me.

Here’s what I ended up in:

  • Favorite stretchy jeans (thanks, AYR!)

  • Favorite black tank (this might be the single piece of clothing I spend the most time in - great for layering, on its own, and also appropriate for working out in)

  • Comfortable-for-walking-around-in boots (not exactly these, but these are close)

  • All-time favorite tan Isabel Marant scarf that doubles as a wrap (I know, it’s expensive, here are some options)

  • Cute fisherman’s hat picked up at Galeries Lafayette the day before

Takeaways from this list: not only are these my favorite clothes, so I feel super comfortable and myself in them, but they lend themselves well for photography. They’re solid colors, so they don’t distract the eye or clash with my surroundings. They’re primarily dark colors, which are both slimming visually and stand out from the background. [I am not a person who can wear a white shirt and not immediately drop something on it. If you are, white also makes a terrific option for photos.]

The accessories are striking without being overbearing - as the adage goes, I’m wearing them, they’re not wearing me. In general, you want one or two stand-out items that you can easily take on and off or adapt into new looks on the fly. A scarf that doubles as a wrap is perfect - I tied and re-tied that scarf about six different ways during the shoot (and it kept me warm as the sun went down). Not super confident in your scarf-tying abilities? YouTube has thousands of videos with tutorials on this.

Put Your Face On

I always practice my makeup at least once before shoot day, so I know how long it will take. Ideally, I’ll practice it at home so I know precisely what to pack in my makeup kit, and once on site in approximately the same lighting conditions.

For the Paris shoot, I knew I wanted luminous skin, defined eyes, and red lips. At home, I have 87 lipsticks that never get worn. But in photos, it really helps.

Before I left the US, I started my prep by watching makeup tutorial videos by one of my favorite makeup artists, Lisa Eldridge. Embedded below is the exact video I watched, which contained a crucial technique I hadn’t encountered before and that I think was critical to achieving the glowing look I was going for (more in detail below).

Here are the steps I followed, roughly:

  1. I did a moisture mask the night before - Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is my favorite, but you can also just buy single-use sheet masks at the drugstore. I also love the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask.

  2. The day of, I made sure to give myself plenty of time in case I messed up and needed to start over. My first step was to use a slightly heavier-than-normal moisturizer and really rub it in.

  3. Next, and this is where the above video came in handy, I used the back of my left hand as a palette and smooshed together 2-3 swipes of heavy concealer and a dime-sized blob of Laura Mercier Illuminated Tinted Moisturizer, using a flattish foundation brush to do the smooshing. Once everything was well-mixed together on the back of my hand, I literally painted the mixture onto my face, one section at a time, buffing it in with a fluffy foundation brush. Then I blended forever and a day. I think Lisa Eldridge might use a Beautyblender in the video above, but I don’t have the patience for that and a brush can achieve the same effect.

  4. Now, I knew I wanted my eyes to be defined, but they’re already on the smaller size and I knew that heavy eyeliner or a cateye would just emphasize that. Instead, I took the middle shade from this eyeshadow palette and applied it with an all-purpose eyeshadow brush to the crease of my eyelid. A makeup artist once told me to do that with my eyes open to ensure I’m putting the color in the right place. More blending ensued. I then picked up a tiny bit of the dark color in the same palette and worked it into the outer corner and outer edge of the crease, in a tiny sideways V shape. [Blend, blend, blend.] To finish up, I put the lighter shade all over my lower lid and polished everything off with mascara - a volumizing mascara from Chanel on the top lashes and Glossier’s Lash Slick on the bottom.

  5. Brows were simple - I went over them lightly with a pencil and then used Glossier’s Boy Brow to add a little volume and hold.

  6. Lips were also simple - I colored them in completely with lip liner and then went over that with lipstick (applied with lip brush).

  7. Final step was a swipe of Glossier (noticing a pattern here?) Haloscope highlighter on the top of my cheekbones and in the inside corner of my eyes.

Next week in Kate Demonstrates The Extent of Her Vanity :) we’ll talk about posing and what to do the day of the shoot.