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Makeup Artist
MUA Janine
Posts: 196
Oakland, California, US


I'm semi-new to the freelancing world. I've done a handful of gigs in the past and have worked for a lot of different brands at counters/stores.

I figured I'll do about 15-20 TF shoots varying from editorial to avant garde for my portfolio before I start charging. It already seems like there is quite the demand for MUAs. I posted a casting a few days ago and immediately had 9-12 messages from models.

Ultimately I would love to work primarily with 2-3 photographers that have steady work to offer packages.

Any words of wisdom or advice? There seems to be a lot of MUAs out there with little to no experience what so ever so I think that certainly gives me an advantage. Plus I only use high quality products, which also seems to be scarce amongst the bay area MUAs that I've worked with (I model too).

How should I go about offering rates to models/photographers that I don't necessarily feel would benefit me TF wise? Would it be terribly rude sending them a breakdown of my rates?

Any help would be awesome. I'm ultimately hoping to make this a part-time/full-time position in addition to my "day job".
Sep 10 13 04:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
boy does makeup
Posts: 227
Atlanta, Georgia, US


I'm not terribly familiar with the bay area demographic, however it seems like you have the right ideas. You def want to have a strong portfolio before you begin charging standard rates. Also, once you are confident in your portfolio, don't be afraid to quote your rates when offered TF* shoots that you do not think will benefit your portfolio. Keep in mind though, its not always the pics that you want... often the networking/contacts you get from trade shoots are invaluable. If you can land a photoshoot for publication, 'tear sheets' are GOLD. Personally, I rely heavily on aggressive marketing/branding.

You already have a good plan, I hope this helps some.

-Boy Does Makeup
Sep 10 13 05:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
MUA Janine
Posts: 196
Oakland, California, US


Thanks so much for your advice! It means a lot especially coming from you big_smile.
Sep 17 13 08:38 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
The Ministry of Glamour
Posts: 129
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Sep 17 13 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
The Ministry of Glamour
Posts: 129
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


MUA Janine wrote:
How should I go about offering rates to models/photographers that I don't necessarily feel would benefit me TF wise? Would it be terribly rude sending them a breakdown of my rates?

Not rude at all, inho. Think of the explanation of your rates as a positive thing. If the photographer or model doesn't want to pay, no love lost, you've just officially weeded out someone you don't necessarily need to work with. But you never know, they may agree to pay!

Just be upfront about it from the very start. Something like, "I'm not doing TF (or limited TF) right now, but my rates are $___."

Or, if you are uncomfortable giving your rate (or you're not exactly sure what your rate should be yet) you could say, "I'm not doing TF (or limited TF) right now, but I would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Please let me know your budget. I use high quality products and my rates are reasonable."

We all want to make money at some point and I think most photographers and models respect that.


^^^Derrr, sorry for that blank post. Not really sure what MM did there. tongue

Sep 17 13 01:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Aishah El-Akkari
Posts: 3
Houston, Texas, US


This is a very helpful post. I'm a freelance makeup artist also. I was doing wardrobe styling as well, but it got to be too much work all by myself to do both wardrobe and makeup, so lately I've mainly focused on makeup artistry which is stronger in my background. I'm doing the same thing right now in building my portfolio. I've also been doing bridal and personal makeup applications on the side for extra $, until my portfolio is where I feel comfortable enough to start charging a rate. I've also been updating my kit lately and expierementing with different products and airbrushing. I love editorial makeup applications which is my ultimate goal in the industry, do you think I should add my bridal and personal clients outside of fashion on my portfolio or only recent editorial work?
Sep 18 13 11:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
boy does makeup
Posts: 227
Atlanta, Georgia, US


^^ show work in your portfolio that you want to get booked to do. If you want more bridal bookings, show bridal work. It's always a good idea to have targeted portfolios showing not just what you are strong at, but also what you are interested in doing. If people don't know you do a certain style of makeup, they won't know to book you for it.

I personally put 'whatever' in my portfolio, because I get booked more from word of mouth, and my branding efforts, than showing someone my portfolio.

-Boy Does Makeup
Sep 19 13 11:51 am  Link  Quote 
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