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Advice from a photographer – Professional Makeup

Every year I get a few brides who do their own makeup and/or hair for their wedding.  (Or who have a friend do it… which honestly is the same thing, unless your friend is a professional who does this all the time!)  As a photographer I will always strongly advise that you don’t do this, and hire a professional!  I know it is more money to spend, but in the grand scheme of a wedding budget professional hair and makeup probably cost the least and make the biggest different in how good you look all day (which makes a difference in how good your photos are!)  Beyond the obvious of making you look better a professional can make sure that you stay on schedule, and hair & makeup is the #1 reason that weddings start late!  So if you want plenty of time for your photos, and to not feel rushed on your wedding day, hire a pro!

Now… all that being said, I bet you can’t tell which brides on my blog didn’t have their makeup professionally done.  They all look beautiful.  So it made me wonder.  Does makeup done by a professional really make that big a difference in photos.  (I’m not talking about having it stay all day, which the pro’s makeup  does, or even covering up bad skin, or under eye bags, or sunburns, or all sorts of last minute things that can happen to your skin that a pro can make almost disappear!)  So I called Jacquelyn from Enlightened Styles and set up a test to see if there was a visible difference.  Turns out there is.

I wasn’t sure that I would notice that big of a difference.  Anna is a pretty girl, no blemishes to cover, nothing major to do.  However, there is just something about Jacquelyn’s makeup that makes all the difference!  Her skin looks smoother and more even and her eyes pop.  These photos were all taken in my studio so the light was the same, and I tried to use the same angles so you can see that the only different thing is the makeup.  It does make a difference and ALL brides should have their hair and makeup done by a professional so they look amazing on their wedding day.  (If you don’t know a great hair/makeup artist just ask me!  I know a bunch that are fabulous!)

In the two photos below the picture on the left is Anna doing her own makeup (the way she would for a fancy event like a wedding) and the photo on the right is Jacquelyn’s job.

Anna-DIY Makeup-2_WEB

Anna-DIY Makeup-4_WEB

And just to prove that Anna did have makeup on in the photos above, here is a photo of her without makeup (left) with her makeup (middle) and with pro makeup (right).  She is a beautiful girl without makeup, but for a wedding (or photo shoot) I know I’d want her to hire a professional!

Anna-No Makeup-2_WEB

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  • October 20, 2014 - 10:12 am

    Anna - LOL I love this! I look so plain without makeup!!! Hahaha. I love that you wrote this article because it is true. I did my own makeup when I got married and now I wish I had hired a pro. I did have my hair professionally done though because I was NOT about to mess with that. Having been a glamour portrait photographer, I really see the value of pro makeup – its not about making you look fake but its about highlighting your beauty in a natural way. It makes a HUGE difference!

  • October 20, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Lelia - Yes! You summed it up so well!

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