Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > ever feel like your hands are tied ?????
guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3759

Los Angeles, California, US

Recently I worked with a photographer on a creative beauty, and this photographer made the parameters so large as to what i couldnt do or what she didnt want or things she didnt want me to use , i felt totally stiffled as an artist .
Very frustrating as her inspirations were all over the map , i feel completly confused and now she is asking for sketches of what im going to do lol
VERY  Frustrating as an artist becouse it kills any of the organic quality and "magic that happens in a shoot
The weird thing is we have worked on several shoots and they have all been a smashing sucess   
without all the parameters and lol skecthes

just feeling frustraded and like my hands are tied and not sure how to deal with this

and this isnt like a runway show where im creating 1 makeup across the board
this is a 6 to 8 page beauty story     

you guys ever feel like this ........ i also get as an artist itsmy job to work within certain goal looks but with no clear references and all these dont use this and dont use that , im frustraded and feeling totally stiffled

Sep 16 12 08:52 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4825

Houston, Texas, US

It sounds odd, since you've worked with this person, very successful before. 

I'd suggest you sit down with them and discuss your concerns. Make sure you're both on the same page. This sounds like a communication issue.

It may be you might need to do a test run so you both see and agree on the approach.

I'd suggest that if you feel you can't provide the type of work with the requirements the photographer has given you that you walk away.   

It sounds like a great project but if you're not understanding the photographer or feel they are stifling your work, then there's a better than even chance you'll not have a successful shoot.

I find that situations like this can go south quickly from misunderstandings on both parts.

Sep 16 12 09:23 am Link

Photographer

Forbes Photo

Posts: 22

Phoenix, Arizona, US

I personally never feel like that because I will take suggestions from My makeup artist, Models, lighting tech, assistant, passer by that just happens to be perving on my shoot.  I don't care where the idea comes from as long as i think it will help the shoot, I will use it.

I would give your photographer a call or sit down over coffee, tea, milk, beverage of your choice and discuss it.  I don't know anyone out there who is going to get pissed because you tell them how you are feeling.

Sep 16 12 09:37 am Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

Treat it like a real world job.  Sometimes you have to follow the layout or Art Director's ideas.  Sounds like this might be a test to see, if you have what it takes to work on a paying gig.  If you can't deliver, perhaps you don't?

Sep 16 12 09:49 am Link

Makeup Artist

Jaime Criel Makeup

Posts: 149

New York, New York, US

I have definitely felt this way. When a photographer gives me TOO MANY directions as to what they want, I feel paranoid about pleasing them and fitting the exact mold that they have in their head. And this definitely takes away such a huge part of our job which is bringing the creativity and ideas for makeup to the project. Of course, there are always certain things that the creative director or photographer is looking for, it's just when it gets to be too many edits that the creation is gone.
If it's a paid gig, obviously suck it up and get that money smile If it's a test, it might be worth moving on, depending on the relationship you feel you're building with the photographer.

Sep 16 12 10:39 am Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

KJB

Posts: 1184

New York, New York, US

Innovative Imagery wrote:
Treat it like a real world job.  Sometimes you have to follow the layout or Art Director's ideas.  Sounds like this might be a test to see, if you have what it takes to work on a paying gig.  If you can't deliver, perhaps you don't?

Seriously? - "a test to see, if you have what it takes to work on a paying gig."
Really???

Did you bother looking at Anthony's port or checking his creds before hitting the reply button? Obviously not.

Aside from that...
Let's be honest, every gig is a crapshoot. I've worked with producers and art directors who were an ally one day and an enemy the next.
If this photographer's behavior is that unexpected (considering your history), I'd have a sit down and try to make sense of it instead of getting frustrated. Worst case scenario, bow out gracefully.

Sep 16 12 12:18 pm Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

For serious beauty series a sketch is a very welcome item before shooting. It is better than application then refusal.

Some do some don't. I appreciated those who sketched out the colour plans before we start.

I can't say if it is limited but it is reassuring.

Just like pictures, it's only a map, sometimes the best destinations are found after leaving the direct path.

Sep 16 12 12:34 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3759

Los Angeles, California, US

Innovative Imagery wrote:
Treat it like a real world job.  Sometimes you have to follow the layout or Art Director's ideas.  Sounds like this might be a test to see, if you have what it takes to work on a paying gig.  If you can't deliver, perhaps you don't?

I treat all jobs like a paying job wether or not it is

This is a paying gig the magazine hired us both on with a theme , we have done several stories for this mag which loves us and our combative works

This behavior for her is new

I'm sure it has a lot to do with time and lighting schemes so she can plan it out but working on a 6 to 8 page beauty editorial with crazy themes takes time

Honestly I'm feeling she is willing to sacrifice the work in order to have more  time  with simpler makeup stratagys
My fear is the artistic quality of the work will suffer becouse she wants to shoot 8 pages in one day on a bold theme which requires quite a bit of makeup and strategy.   

I'm starting to feel these types of concepts Ned to be shot over 2 days than racing to fill pages
With work I don't feel is representing my ability skill and goals

Sep 16 12 12:46 pm Link

Photographer

Star

Posts: 17958

Los Angeles, California, US

It happens both way Anthony,

I just spent over 10 hours retouching images where we had very specific layouts as to what was required for the looks for the llamas. I have gathered tear sheets that showed the skin, the lips, the eyes, even the eyebrows in a separate tearsheet to show the exact look we are trying to put together.

The make up artist decided that she was going to ignore all that and do what she wanted. The last time I saw the llamas I said you'll be blending that contouring in yes because it's too heavy, she said yes. I leave the room for 20 to 30 minutes to continue setting up for the lights and props and when I get back she is covered the entire llamas face with pink pigment. This is something that is not easily removable, nor did we have the time to start over since she had taken almost 3 hours to complete this look.

Because of this I know longer cared what was done with the second llama. In the end the art director cut the second llama from the photo spread completely stating that the make up was so different than the tear sheets he had approved that he was not going to publish the images. We ended up we shooting that llama on a different day at considerable expense to myself since I had to take final responsibility and pay for the reshoot.

The images on the main llama were not able to be re shot because of the cost involved, so I had to spend several hours per image removing the make up and then reapplying makeup digitally to create what the art director had requested.

I'm only mentioning this to show that it can go both ways, where a make up artist can be frustrated what the photographer is communicating or not communicating, and by photographers having make up artist completely ignore the direction given and doing whatever they feel like because that's what they want to do that day.

After the shoot the art director pretty much yelled at me for over an hour about the fact that I had no control over the make up artist. If that's something that is happened to the photographer that you're dealing with recently, though obviously not with the production that she worked with you on, that may be why she is being overly cautious on this shoot


Please forgive the numerous typos I'm sure are here I'm on my iPhone and using Siri to dictate had to

Sep 16 12 12:48 pm Link

Photographer

PDF IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY

Posts: 4603

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Did the photographer pay you/ hired you for a specific look-style ?? if so the photographer would pay you for what he/ she wants, not what you want to try ? seems like if you and this photographer has worked together successfully on shoots before ? maybe you need to ask them what has changed ? good luck always best to keep a working relation with clients if possible.

Sep 16 12 12:57 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3759

Los Angeles, California, US

PDF IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY wrote:
Did the photographer pay you/ hired you for a specific look-style ?? if so the photographer would pay you for what he/ she wants, not what you want to try ? seems like if you and this photographer has worked together successfully on shoots before ? maybe you need to ask them what has changed ? good luck always best to keep a working relation with clients if possible.

No the magazine hired us and is paying ,  they have been so happy with our collaborations they keep hiring us.
It's more something has changed with her.  I'll say it again I think a lot of this could be about time management but maybe these should be 2 day  shoots to put out the volume and quality of work we Need to produce.  I mean 8 comletly different makeup in a theme takes time to create

Sep 16 12 01:11 pm Link

Body Painter

Lisa Berczel

Posts: 4000

Corona, California, US

Hate it when that happens.... specifically vague direction is the worst.

I stared at a music director, just blinking as he rattled off all the opposing adjectives that were my *direction*. So, I did playback and repeated his direction in order to be certain I had heard him correctly.

It was his turn to blink as he realized the context of his own instructions.

Then, just said that I'd do fine and he trusted me... and let it go at that.

Unfortunately, I have seen this tactic be used to abdicate responsibility for the design to someone else further down the food chain. THAT is the most un-cool part.

Sep 16 12 01:26 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup Hair by Dani B

Posts: 746

Los Angeles, California, US

It happens, and I find it so frustrating.

I always take the onus of the situation on myself in clarifying with the AD. As in, "I want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly...What I heard you say...I would like to maximize my planning for this project so we get the best result, so will x,y,z be appropriate?" Make it about my lack of understanding and wanting to do the best job for them instead of the AD being confusing.

Ultimately it's their call, but if they ask for something I am sure will not work, I suggest, explaining why, an alternative that will bring about the vision in a satisfying way.

Sorry this project is stifling in some way, it sounds like...hate when the creative juices are impeded, but it's the nature of the biz that it happens at times.

Sep 16 12 01:54 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3759

Los Angeles, California, US

Lisa Berczel wrote:
Hate it when that happens.... specifically vague direction is the worst.

I stared at a music director, just blinking as he rattled off all the opposing adjectives that were my *direction*. So, I did playback and repeated his direction in order to be certain I had heard him correctly.

It was his turn to blink as he realized the context of his own instructions.

Then, just said that I'd do fine and he trusted me... and let it go at that.

Unfortunately, I have seen this tactic be used to abdicate responsibility for the design to someone else further down the food chain. THAT is the most un-cool part.

Lol Riggggghhht !  Frustrating

Sep 16 12 03:12 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Davis W

Posts: 1272

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Yeh i hear ya.

I was brought in for a theatre version of The Aristocrats. He said he wanted bruising effects and a pasty look. And the iving dead, when the father passes away and rises or something I recall.

Pasty look. So I bought some terrible whipped foundation to turn a summer glow into an Irish winter dull and of course, the actor didnt like it. She wanted to be Beeyootifull. Not the role, which was an anemic, burned out woman, but glam Or US!


Go figure. I left the gig after teaching the leads how to do their own death, bruise and pasty look. I took an artistic directors payoff and split.

Not as difficult but as pleasant as a mosquito buzzing your left ear in a tent, was the model who showed up recently in her own foundation applied poorly, who said it was the only one she could wear thank you very much. So I put foundation over foundation and found myself explaining to the AD how she was....not a stellar moment.

Sep 16 12 04:15 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

Mary

Posts: 7168

Coronado, California, US

Innovative Imagery wrote:
Treat it like a real world job.  Sometimes you have to follow the layout or Art Director's ideas.  Sounds like this might be a test to see, if you have what it takes to work on a paying gig.  If you can't deliver, perhaps you don't?

yea.... I'm sure this is it.... The photographer just isn't sure Anthony is ready for a real gig... take away his portfolio, years of  experience in the industry, his great reputation and her prior personal experience of working with him and what else does she have to go on?  it's risky.... hmm   

Anthony.... I have no idea what to tell you..... I don't see this much at all really.....I can only assume she's feeling vulnerable on this particular job for some reason that she hasn't shared with you.

Sep 16 12 10:13 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

KJB

Posts: 1184

New York, New York, US

TheMakeupMan wrote:
It's more something has changed with her.  I'll say it again I think a lot of this could be about time management but maybe these should be 2 day  shoots to put out the volume and quality of work we Need to produce.  I mean 8 comletly different makeup in a theme takes time to create

I could be wrong, but it sounds like the client is pressuring the photographer to get this done in one day.

I've been in this situation a number of times in the past few years. Jobs that normally took twice the amount of time being forced into a highly compressed schedule. The clients want the same quality at half the time and price. It's extremely frustrating, but becoming a common occurrence.
People are afraid to say "NO" these days because they realize the client will find someone will say they can do it - even though it's a bad idea and will probably fail. This scenario typically results in a totally chaotic and highly stressful shoot day.

You have a choice:
A) Do the job to the best of your ability, in the time frame available, and collect your check.
B) Bow out of the project if you're worried that the quality of the work will affect your career/reputation.

Sep 17 12 05:16 am Link

Photographer

Rebecca Christine

Posts: 7068

Chester, England, United Kingdom

I've felt it as a photographer when working with a clothing designer and they wanted everything exactly 'this way'. But I just figure it's their shoot.
This has always been my main reasoning for not going full-time though, I hate always having to work to an exact brief. I hated it when I was doing my course, having to show exactly what I was going to be doing and why and when and where etc. I just don't work that way. Other people, however, love working that way.

If it's my shoot.. I do it my way. If it's a shoot for someone else, I'll do it their way.

Sep 17 12 05:21 pm Link

Makeup Artist

kat makeup artist

Posts: 182

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

i think its been covered plenty of times above but yes this happens quite a lot and is becoming more and more common when you have commercial gigs. You have everyone wanting more for less and cramming more into one day. This has happened to me and i just make it known t the AD before the shoot that

a) there is a real possibility that we will all run over with time due to the complexity and sheer number of "looks" and prepping we need to do to keep our quality the same. and as a result a real possibility that overtime needs to be accounted for and paid. ( i have found in the past when they try to cram two days work into one we all end up running out of time and spend 16 hours plus doing what is needed to get the job done so in the end you have pretty much done two days in one and needs to be planned for)

b) photographer is probably feeling the pressure from up above and is trying to micromanage everyone in the hope of everything going to plan and delivering. Just reassure her that we can do i and we can all make it happen. Make those drawings or a mood board and get her to sign off on them. If thats what she needs then so be it.

c) on the day if everything is running manic or if the looks she wants are not working just say so, i always tactifully tell them this look isnt working but what i CAN do is this and it will work great. usually they just say yes go for it and i end up being creative and getting the job done.

it is stressful no matter how old you are or how long you been doing it. we all hate it when people dont communicate things properly. Just try to get things done as best as you can and the rest will be up to chance.

Anthony you have always been amazing and you are an inspiration for me and i know you will be fine. lol You have always offered great advice when anyone else asks and i am truly privileged to have you as company on mm.

Sep 17 12 09:10 pm Link

Makeup Artist

JamesCMakeup

Posts: 579

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

I have been in situations like this and agree that a talk is required to clarify the situation.  Having seen this happen on both sides, I have talked to photographers who have given a brief that is broad enough to give leeway or specific enough that the artist just needed to work its a tricky one.

Talk and lay out some plans broach the subject carefully and see what can be achieved.

Good luck.

Sep 18 12 01:56 am Link

Makeup Artist

StacyMakes-up

Posts: 158

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, California, US

TheMakeupMan wrote:
This behavior for her is new

Maybe the magazine asked for it. 

I get asked for a sketch beforehand a lot...  It's usually someone in a suit that want to see it/change it.  Not the person that hired me.

Sep 19 12 11:38 pm Link