Talking About the Professional Portrait
written by Storey on March 10, 2015
Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Photo Taken, with Makeup Artist Maureen Greenstein:
I met makeup artist Maureen Greenstein, or Mau, through the wedding industry. We have worked together on many events and portraits over the years, and Maureen has a lovely energy. I have photographed so many people who Maureen has done make-up for, and they will look stunning the entire day - right to the very end! Now that is talent! I knew that talking to Mau about beauty tips for professional portraits was a must, and along the way, I have learned a lot more about Mau than I knew before.
Although originally from Montreal, Mau says things just flow differently in Toronto. "It's a mecca for charitable events and artistry," she says, adding that Toronto is more open to the idea of make-up, both in general and as an art form. "I started out assuming that I was going to be an 'artist-artist'. It never occurred to me that this was something I could pursue." Mau says that she never realized that something she enjoyed so much could lead to such a fulfilling career.
Beyond the application of makeup, Maureen makes people feel comfortable before a photoshoot "I like to go for a calm beauty for when you and David (Williams, my business partner) get there. I want the client to say 'this is what I envisioned'. That way, when you start taking pictures, things are already off on a good foot." Mau told me. "We like to keep things soft and beautiful," David and I agree. We get to share in people's joy, and making sure that the client enjoys the process as much as we do leads to a better finished product.
What resonates for me is Mau's passion for giving women the tools they need to feel great before a big event or in the workplace every day. Empowering women with a beauty routine or look as they pursue their goals and experience their big moments clearly means a lot to her. It is my job as a photographer to reflect how that person is feeling in that moment - but the more relaxed they feel, the more we are able to showcase their true self.
That was one of the things that drew me to Mau. She is always researching new products, reading magazines and testing everything out on herself first. "Beauty is very different today." Mau explained, "there are new techniques - like airbrushing, better products, dermatologists and specialists who can help with skin care. There are tools to help women look the way they want to. It's not as daunting as you might think." Mau says, above all, make-up should be fun. "It truly is art."
With such extensive experience preparing for photoshoots, I asked to feature some of Mau's tips to provide you with some tools for getting your photo taken. As preparing for a photoshoot can be a daunting task for some people, there are several ways to make getting your photo taken easier and less stressful:
Tip 1: For any portrait, having confidence is vital. No need to be nervous! If it's for a professional photoshoot, understand that taking care of yourself equates to taking care of your customers. Thinking about the concept or look you want beforehand will help you prepare for the session.
Tip 2: For wedding photos, don't neglect the beauty budget. Mau recommends you start a skin care routine six to twelve months before the wedding, and to test make-up looks before any photoshoot.
Tip 3: Pick a photographer that you like, both in their work and in their communication with you. People may forget the food and the flowers at a wedding, and children grow and change quickly, but your pictures will last forever.
Tip 4: Shaping the eyebrows helps pull together any look. Over-plucking often happens, so filling in and brushing brows can help to make the look more natural.
Tip 5: Communication with the photographer and the make-up artist is key. Explain the look or idea you were going for, and ask them for help on accomplishing it. They are there to help and to ensure that what you have envisioned will come to life!
The biggest thing that I feel people need to remember about getting their photo taken is that they need to feel at ease. Mau says she has felt this way about her career every day since that Aha! moment. "I saw what I was doing as art, painting someone's face, making them feel amazing for whatever they needed to do or be."
Both Mau and I work with clients in a variety of different settings. Weddings, special events, corporate sessions, and charity events have shown us a thing or two over the years. Mau says she has only one thing that she wishes people would know. "Everybody wants to look their best, whether that's for their wedding or making a speech at a corporate event. The number one tip I wish I could tell all women is to highlight one feature. That's the golden rule."
What do you do before a Photoshoot to feel great? What's your beauty secret for being on film? I'd love to hear from you! email me and let me know your secret!
Maureen Greenstein started her career working in a different area. "Finally," she says, "with Makeup Artistry, I had my Aha! moment. Everything I had done to that point was working towards this." Mau started attending classes at George Brown College in Kensington Market. When she saw her name in film credits after working with the Canadian Film Centre, her life changed. "All my skills came together when I figured out that teaching and doing make-up was what I was supposed to be doing." Find more make-up tips, tutorials, and reviews from Maureen Greenstein on her YouTube channel or at her website. Here is a great new video showing Mau in action: