Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Are models relying upon photogs to make them look

Photographer

Atelier Hereau

Posts: 69

Stoughton, Massachusetts, US

I wish to start this thread about the state of model's makeup these days.  I used to shoot only chromes back in the 60s and 70s and into the early 80s.  I never did any post or retouching.  I couldn't and didn't need to.  I couldn't because with chromes, what you get is what you see.  I didn't need to because the models didn't require it, as long as I lit and exposed my them correctly.  They didn't have tan marks and knew how to apply makeup in a way that photographed such that it looked like it had been retouched.  Also, their hair was freshly washed and didn't need to be retouched.  They photographed like a Breck girl.  Are today's models relying upon post work to get the result that models contributed to?

Oct 03 13 09:54 am Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16409

Sacramento, California, US

Rich Images wrote:
I couldn't and didn't need to.  I couldn't because with chromes, what you get is what you see.  I didn't need to because the models didn't require it, as long as I lit and exposed my them correctly.  They didn't have tan marks and knew how to apply makeup in a way that photographed such that it looked like it had been retouched.  Also, their hair was freshly washed and didn't need to be retouched.

Not true. Typically there was imperfect skin, but MF etch & dye or retouch pencils was not within reach except with high-end portrait studios and advertising work. A great MUA was always a must.

The trend toward over processed and colored hair with daiy use of high heat drying, curling/straightening is a major problem. Most great stylists like Horst Rechelbacher, Yosh and Diego Messina place importance on hair health and proper care. Good hair coloring is very expensive.

Oct 03 13 10:35 am Link

Photographer

Kent Art Photography

Posts: 2911

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

In a way, I sort of agree with the OP, except that there was retouching, although it was expensive (and probably done better than today), and most models came from agencies, because there was nowhere else, and the agencies tended to make sure their models were well presented.

But then I have to say that I don't think models today are as badly presented as the OP suggests.

So, yes and no, but veering towards no.  Maybe.

Oct 03 13 10:49 am Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10313

Santa Ana, California, US

I shot chrome too throughout the 90s.
There are two things that for the most part accomplish what you're after and they haven't changed since film.

1) Use girls with great/perfect skin (ie. agency).
2) Use a competent MUA - and/or see #1

Oct 03 13 10:50 am Link

Photographer

Digital Czar

Posts: 935

Oak Park, Illinois, US

Rich Images wrote:
I wish to start this thread about the state of model's makeup these days.  I used to shoot only chromes back in the 60s and 70s and into the early 80s.  I never did any post or retouching.  I couldn't and didn't need to.  I couldn't because with chromes, what you get is what you see.  I didn't need to because the models didn't require it, as long as I lit and exposed my them correctly.  They didn't have tan marks and knew how to apply makeup in a way that photographed such that it looked like it had been retouched.  Also, their hair was freshly washed and didn't need to be retouched.  They photographed like a Breck girl.  Are today's models relying upon post work to get the result that models contributed to?

You might be describing the difference between true, pro models with modeling agencies vs the "internet models" of today who are often the model equivalent of the GWC. No mentors and these things creep into the culture and for the most part, anything goes it seems. 5' 2" women with DD's and they want to do "High Fashion".

Oct 03 13 10:59 am Link

Photographer

Julian W I L D E

Posts: 1829

Portland, Oregon, US

Welcome to The New World.  ;-)

Oct 03 13 11:08 am Link

Model

Angie Borras

Posts: 1918

Kissimmee, Florida, US

Definitely not me

But maybe some models are lazy and don't take care of their skin or even learn how to apply makeup that is complementary to them. I exfoliate, moisturize and get a facial every 3 weeks to keep my skin looking fresh. But some models might be too cheap to even attempt to take care of their looks. I have also encounter models  who have yellowed teeth, nasty greasy hair  etc. What I have to say to that is work with models who have good skin, teeth  and who are at least a bit proficient at applying makeup if you won't be using a makeup artist.

Here's a polaroid with no retouching  and I don't think it really need it.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/131002/00/524bcb8b9f067.jpg

Oct 03 13 11:40 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Rich Images wrote:
I wish to start this thread about the state of model's makeup these days.  I used to shoot only chromes back in the 60s and 70s and into the early 80s.  I never did any post or retouching.  I couldn't and didn't need to.  I couldn't because with chromes, what you get is what you see.  I didn't need to because the models didn't require it, as long as I lit and exposed my them correctly.  They didn't have tan marks and knew how to apply makeup in a way that photographed such that it looked like it had been retouched.  Also, their hair was freshly washed and didn't need to be retouched.  They photographed like a Breck girl.  Are today's models relying upon post work to get the result that models contributed to?

Perhaps 1% of MM might know what a Breck girl is. Does that answer your question? smile

Seriously though, I don't think Retouching has taken the place of a model's responsibility to groom/upkeep, etc. At least not with a true professional model. Since you're comparing the times in the 60's-now you were dealing with true pros, most likely from an Agency. Those same models prepare like pros.

The fly in the ointment is that there are a lot of hobbyist models now, who have much less business and modeling acumen and were raised in the digital age, where nothing is at it seems...and everything can be altered.

The pros are still pros, and they're out there. It's just that there is a much newer segment, made possible by the ease of accessibility of the internet, that you're having to also deal with.

A pro is rarely going to say, "Well, you can just FIX that in PS right?"

Oct 03 13 11:52 am Link

Model

Rachel-Elise

Posts: 1650

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Quite a few of my photos have been used without any post-work at all. It all goes back to the model taking care of herself, and/or the makeup artist being proficient.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I'm not currently with an agency (of my own choosing), so it's not like you can't get perfect-looking photos with a freelancer. It all depends on PROFESSIONALISM, not who you're talking to to organize the shoot.

Oct 03 13 12:31 pm Link

Model

Vasara

Posts: 526

Alexandria, Virginia, US

M Pandolfo Photography wrote:
A pro is rarely going to say, "Well, you can just FIX that in PS right?"

I actually cringe when I hear someone say that. I think it is almost insulting in a small way to everyone involved- model, makeup artist, and photographer. It's like saying we don't really care to put the effort in, you can fudge it later, right?

Oct 03 13 02:45 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MUA Janine

Posts: 237

Oakland, California, US

Recently I have had the pleasure of working with a few brilliant photographers both as a model and MUA who don't rely too much on photoshop. Not because they don't know how to use it but because they know how to get those perfect angles and work with models/MUAs who take the game seriously.

As a model I do everything I can to take care of my skin and body. As an MUA I make sure to only use high quality products that enhance the skin rather than just adding a thick layer. I contour almost all of the models I work with for some extra depth too. I always aim to work as if there was no photoshop. So if that means moving a certain angle to hide a little thigh scar or seeing how things photograph and stepping in with gloss or another layer of shadow...so be it.

Oct 03 13 02:46 pm Link

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Makeup Artist

TheMakeupMan

Posts: 3758

Los Angeles, California, US

i think part of the point of what REALLY is happening is this and just this


Agencys now are picking up every girl , weather they have bad skin or "issues" becouse EVERYONE really has come to a places where editing an image , I.E. Photoshop is expected and the standard , so if a girl has bad skin, thin lips , a bad nose ....whatever they still get hired becouse who knows when their look will be the it look , it dosent cost them a dime to take on a girl and throw her in the sea to see if any fish bite , I had the most amazing model show up that was covered in bumps and acne ,,,,, gorgeous bones , horrible skin    we hired her for her look knowing everything would be ok once she had loving in ps , another girl had to get a complete nose job in ps , we had no idea based on her pics in her book till she showed up     
also blame every publication you read today , they created a standard which is practically unreachable without some loving in PS , look at unretouched Kate moss lol     Now add a makeup artist who knows there going to be some loving in PS and is over worked with over ambitious photographers that want a bunch of looks in an 8 hour day so then the makeup suffers and hair , becouse to acheive the standard of what we see in mags today takes time  , so we pick and choose our battles wisley to get the whole job done on time    .....and add the lower budgets and time constraints to create a whole story with hair and makeup changes and theres your problem , I too long for the days when I could enjoy the process to create a flawless makeup and hairstyle and have the time to make it perfect and the budget to shoot a story in a couple of days and not in 8 hours

I remember when I started I was making around 3,000 just to do 1 model and had all the time i needed to make her "perfect"  , those days are long gone
or how about when a photographer would spend a few days building and lighting a set perfectly well before the actual shoot was going to happen

thats how I see it anyhow , its not one persons fault , its the new standard and lower budgets , and less time, and the agencies , thats also why they have models that make 10,000 20,000 a day and they have 200 dollar a day girls

hope that helps a little explain whats happening now
Thats how I see it anyhow

Oct 03 13 05:48 pm Link

Photographer

curiosa des yeux

Posts: 1458

Seattle, Washington, US

^^^^^
This is what I see as well. Agencies do not have the same standards they had even 5 years ago. And 5 years ago they were already relaxing their standards from the previous 5 years. The problem is when you are shooting a project with lots of shots (catalog) and want a clean look. I shouldn't really say some of the things I've seen or heard of specifically, but I can say that there are agency girls flown in by a major client here in the PNW that come from NYC and Toronto with cold sores, acne, etc. that would make you cringe to put your brush on, yet it doesn't seem to phase the ADs at all and the MUAs are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The MUAs are tasked with the impossible and I'm sure there is a lot of stress about whether or not they will be asked to return the next day, despite the fact that they have no control over these things.

I find this very confusing since there has got to be local talent available with better complexions and similar looks for less money. It used to be that you brought talent in from NYC or other big markets in order to have a more predictable level of quality, but if that's what you're getting than I'm not seeing the advantage of the more prestigious agency model anymore. For whatever reason, while all the other aspects of the shoot have adjusted to the new digital age, ADs seem to be stubborn about sticking with talent from large markets come hell or high water, even though it's no longer proving to be more reliable. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they adjust that aspect as well.

Oct 03 13 06:29 pm Link

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Makeup Artist

Mary

Posts: 7168

Coronado, California, US

what themakeupman said...  It's a new world now.   I also recall when we had to wait for the proof sheet and a loop to see if we made errors in makeup.... Artists that learned over 20 years ago are normally technically the best because we could NEVER rely on photoshop.  We never got a "do over"  every shot cost money (it was film and expensive...you had to get it right the first time) 

I do recall when models, artists and photographers were all very good or didnt work.. before everyone started showing up with these titles on the net.   It's now a blurred world of amateurs and pros that collide on the web.  The bar has been lowered for sure because of photo editing capabilities.  You can now make some average young lady look like a model, you can make some photographers look much better and you can make a makeup artist look good....AFTER the shoot is over.

All of this has brought the rates down in these fields...Makeup artists used to make a lot of money... and they earned every penny, perfection had to be met on every single shot.   Models had good skin or went home, cellulite could not be fixed so if you had it you lost the job... and Photographers had to rely on their skills 100% of the time.  Times have sure changed

Oct 03 13 07:50 pm Link

Model

GQ The Couture Model

Posts: 316

Seattle, Washington, US

Going from air brushing to photoshopping forever changed the rules of the game.

Oct 03 13 08:03 pm Link

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Makeup Artist

Mary

Posts: 7168

Coronado, California, US

GQ The Couture Model wrote:
Going from air brushing to photoshopping forever changed the rules of the game.

I actually welcome the change even though it hurt me financially on one front...on another it helped me.   My rates took a hit, my skills were no longer appreciated as they were years ago...but now I make money on all the new "makeup enthusiasts" with my store.   The key to success in any career is to be adaptable... Make lemonade out of lemons.  I try not to cry about "how things used to be"   and embrace how the changes can make my life better and these changes will always make your life better if you embrace them...thats the key.  I love how my work looks now...I love that I can change the lip stick color after I see the shots!

I know photographers are going to hate this... but I even like the idea of stock photos now (my boyfriend is  a photographer and he hates when I mention this)  ...I fought back against stock like everyone at first..... but as a business owner there is no way I could pay for a photo shoot that would produce images I can buy now for next to nothing... Does it suck for our industry and me as an artist?  yes it does, but that's the free market and I'm all for the free market above anything else.  You have to allow the free flow of ideas and allow free enterprise to decide whats best... and let the chips fall where they may...there are just so many opportunities out there when you look at the positives of change

Oct 03 13 08:31 pm Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

One thing that has changed from the 1980's is that back then, I'd get cancellations from a model if a pimple popped up the night before. Now, even with professional models, I'll get a call telling me about the pimple and asking me if I can take care of it in post.
I recently photographed an excellent model, but she had very dry knees. It was no problem taking care of that in post. I even occasionally am able to straighten a tooth or so.

Oct 03 13 08:50 pm Link

Photographer

Atelier Hereau

Posts: 69

Stoughton, Massachusetts, US

I'm glad I posted this.  The responses were  very interesting and informative.  I was very pleased that someone picked up on my Breck reference.  Thanks to all who replied.

Oct 04 13 04:53 am Link

Model

Abby Hawkins

Posts: 2004

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I've actually been in situations where the pictures came out amazing in the camera, and then the photographer had to muck it up with way too much post-processing.

Maybe it's my own photographer side coming out, but I prefer "get it right in camera".  Nothing irks me more than people who shrug their shoulders and say, "We can just photoshop that out."  Some right lighting, good makeup (which I can only provide the "natural makeup" look.  Great for my fitness/lifestyle gigs, but no bueno for anything else), and - tada! - photos that look like they could immediately go public.

Most professional models (including internet freelancers) have that exact same attitude.  I feel like the only time you'll find models who genuinely expect photoshop to make everything right are the GWPs (Girl With Profile).

Oct 04 13 05:17 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4822

Houston, Texas, US

Julian  W I L D E wrote:
Welcome to The New World.  ;-)

Pretty much.. The times they are a changing!

It's not just models that expect a bit of touch up.

Oct 04 13 05:20 am Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Homme

Posts: 3207

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

I wonder if it's also that the nature of photography has changed? I look at a lot of older photos, and I see a lot of things what would be considered flaws today. They're not so pristinely edited and glossed over. I don't know if it's so much the medium that's changed things (or even if there's been such a big change at all), but that the overall aesthetic may be different.

Oct 06 13 03:34 pm Link

Hair Stylist

rick lesser

Posts: 726

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

A long time a go a photographer I regularly worked with told me every image you shoot should be able to be placed on a magazine cover.  You should always do your best no matter what the model looks like.  And boy we shot a lot of people that we knew would never be models.  Money was tight and we needed to work.  We gave them 100%.  We never delivered less.  And they were happy.  And sent their friends.  My first shoot with Playboy I was told don't worry about the makeup being too heavy, they can correct it in post if they have to.  Excuse me?  You hired me to do a job.  I would never want anyone correcting my work because I gave them less then I was capable of.  And I have the magazine covers to prove it!  R-

Oct 07 13 04:30 pm Link