Modeling Set Etiquette Tips from Wardrobe Stylist & Makeup Artist

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Modeling Set Etiquette How to Preserve Makeup Hair & Wardrobe

 

Creating images for advertising that appear effortless actually takes a lot of work.   The behind the scenes includes: wardrobe prep, a team of makeup & hair, a strong concept, art direction, and great casting.  I work as the beauty expert in the behind the scenes crew.  Makeup artists and fashion stylists work very hard to create the best hair/makeup and display clothing and products in the best light for advertising.  Inadvertently there are things talent can do on set that impede the efforts of makeup artists and fashion stylists and wardrobe.  We understand, modeling isn’t an easy job that comes with tons of training before you book your first shoot.

Atlanta based Emily Sistrunk is a fashion & product stylist as well as a long time colleague and friend.  Emily and I have worked with a range of models and talent from seasoned pros to models on their very first booking. We wanted to share some advice from a stylist and makeup artist’s perspective on model setiquette.  These are attributes we love to see on set.   We really appreciate when these professional courtesies are observed as it keeps the shoot on schedule, and shows us you are a true pro.

 

Maintain your position when we step in – When makeup goes into fix hair that’s out of place or touch up makeup, it helps to see what the issue is.  If you turn out of the light or change your position, it is more difficult for makeup/hair and the stylists to fix the issue.  When you change your position you make it trickier for us to adjust wrinkles in fabric or see that flyaway hair.

Maintaining Makeup/hair

  • Changing/Touching Makeup We know you feel super beautiful with that extra coat of mascara that you think you can’t live without.  The makeup/hair look you are wearing is a look that was decided and agreed on by the client and communicated to the makeup artist.  Adding or changing your makeup and hair is inappropriate and unprofessional .   If you are modeling for a shoot, it’s not your job to change your makeup or restyle your hair.
  • Hair Tossing/Twirling Most people don’t realize they are doing this.  It can be a mannerism or a nervous habit, but when you’re working on set, hairstylists expect you to keep your hands out of your hair.
  • Looking down on set… once your hair is in place.  As a makeup artist and a hair stylist.  This is a huge personal pet peeve of mine.  Whether it’s just a bad habit, or you realize you are doing it intentionally it’s destructive to makeup hair and sometimes wardrobe as well.  What you don’t know is that simple habit of looking down repeatedly can make you appear insecure about your appearance.  If you are looking down because you are unsure of your body position try practice posing at home in front of a mirror.  Practice a mock photo shoot while someone snaps shots with a cell phone.  Your body positioning and expressions will improve with practice.  When you are on set and your hair is in place, remember to keep your head up and follow directions.  Makeup artists and fashion stylists have years of experience in creating the best image possible.  As soon as your hair is out of place, makeup/hair has to step in to fix it.  I can’t think of a good reason as talent to be looking down on set, unless you are unsure of your footing.  I don’t mind if you have to look down once or twice, but consistently looking down in-between shots, especially after you have been instructed not to do so is an unprofessional habit you should break immediately.   If you have makeup/hair & a stylist.  It is their job to make sure that you look great.

Chewing gum – It’s ok to freshen your breath, but remember to spit it out before you go on set.

 

Maintaining wardrobe – There’s a lot of prep work that goes into making sure the clothing looks perfect on camera.  Remember every time you are wearing something prepped for a shoot, its been steamed, ironed, altered, pinned and clamped.  It’s your job as the talent to keep it clean and wrinkle free.  A few simple rules to observe when you are wearing wardrobe.

  • Don’t Cross Your Arms It wrinkles your clothing which creates more steaming work for your stylist.
  • Perfume On shoot days, skip wearing perfumes and heavily scented products.
  • Clear Deodorant Deodorant is very very important, but you don’t want to leave a mark on clothing that belongs  to the client so stick to wearing clear deodorant when working.
  • Sitting Ask your stylist if it’s ok to sit down once you are dressed.
  • Eating You should also ask if it’s ok to eat in the clothing.
  • Smoking No it’s not ok to smoke once you’re dressed and it can be heavily frowned upon outside of the studio even when you’re not in wardrobe.
  • Leave the Styling to the Pro Although you might feel the need to adjust and style the look yourself.  When you are on set, this is the stylist’s job to make sure the clothing is sitting and photographing correctly.  You might feel you are fixing an issue, but it’s almost impossible unless you have a full length mirror and know exactly how the light is hitting you in each and every shot.  Leave this to the pros.

Clothing on the Floor – Never throw, pile, leave wardrobe on the ground.  Never! I can’t believe I have to go over this one.  Extenuating circumstances and tight shot lists make this rule difficult to observe at times, but not impossible.  If you are pressed for time, go back and clean up once you are done shooting.  I wish I could say it’s just teens and kids who forget to honor this rule.  It’s sad for me to admit how many adults violate this rule.  It’s very disrespectful to the stylist and sends a bad message to everyone on set including the client.  I’ve been on countless sets over the past decade and I have never heard even once for the stylist or client say “it’s ok” or instruct models to throw clothing on the floor in a pile inside out.  It’s common sense, and I know your mother taught you better.

On set I’ve seen models and talent forget or unknowingly disregard set etiquette while wearing wardrobe.   This can lead to a lot of extra pressing, steaming, stain lifting and frustration.   If you’re uncertain, it’s ok to ask your stylist before you do something questionable.  Honoring set rules is important because it’s a reflection of your professionalism and your agency.  If you observe these modeling set etiquette guidelines, it shows everyone that you are a true working pro and you want to come back to work on set again.

 

Atlanta based Emily Sistrunk is a Product and Wardrobe Fashion Stylist with an extensive advertising client list.  Sistrunk is the Style Director for Pixhouse Studio.  Her specialties include fashion styling, product styling, on figure styling, creative direction, soft goods and product laydown for advertising, fashion, sporting apparel, children’s apparel, catalog, and commercials.

  • Pixhouse Photography Studio  PixHouse is a boutique product photography studio in Atlanta, GA that specializes in Apparel, Tabletop, Packaging, E-commerce, and Direct Mail photography. Pixhouse has a team specializing in Location Shoots and On-Figure for Editorial and Catalog productions.
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FAQ to a Working Makeup Artist

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FAQ to a Working Makeup Artist

Frequently Asked Questions –
I thought I would share some of the most common questions that I get asked while working as a makeup artist.

 

What type of makeup do you use? This is probably the most asked question when anyone approaches the makeup station.  I don’t work for or represent any brand or cosmetic company.  I use what I feel are the best products for the job.  At any point in time you can find a range of products in my kit from luxury & department store brands to professional makeup for print and tv.  Yes, there’s even some drug store finds in my kit as well.  What type of makeup I bring to the job depends on the needs for that day.  Some of my favorite brands are Makeup Forever, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Hourglass Cosmetics, Chanel, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, OCC Cosmetics, and Viseart.

 

How did you make my eyebrows look like that? I’m obsessed with making brows flawless.  They’re so important in framing your eyes, and rounding out the lines that follow into your cheekbones.  They’re practically never identical in symmetry so I use brow powder to even them out versus over plucking them into oblivion.  I’m a huge fan of Anastasia Brow Powders and a flat edged brush.  Powders have a tendency to look more natural than a pencil or gel, especially when brushed through with a spoolie.

 

What do you use to clean your makeup brushes?    I’m huge on sanitation.  If you keep a clean kit, people really appreciate it.  I can’t tell you how many times someone in the makeup chair shares a recent story of working with another makeup artist who didn’t follow proper sanitation techniques and used dirty brushes on a client.  I use Parian Spirit while I’m set to clean my brushes.  Once a brush has been used on a person, it is cleaned and sanitized before it is used on someone else.  I fully shampoo my brushes at home.  Gentle shampoos, and baby shampoo are ok, I prefer to use something with an antibacterial property as well.

 

My (girlfriend, daughter, cousin) wants to be a makeup artist?  There are a lot of paths that lead to becoming a makeup artist.  How you prepare yourself as a professional and the training and experience you seek really depend on your career goals.  If at all possible I recommend a college degree to start.  There’s a business and communication side to being a makeup artist that has absolutely no relation to how skilled you are at doing makeup.  You can attend beauty schools, assist seasoned makeup artists, work for a makeup company, freelance, do makeup for weddings, or work for retail makeup counters etc.  I’ve met many talented artists who are very successful in the industry.  No one has the exact same career path, but I think the college degree is a good place to start and assist if you can.

 

Is this really your job, how fun!?  How did you become a makeup artist?  I have loved makeup, fashion, and beauty since I was a young girl.  I was a good kid, but the one thing I would get in trouble for is playing in my mother’s makeup drawer.  It was too much fun, I couldn’t stop playing with makeup.  In my teens, I poured over fashion magazines and started to experiment with how subtle makeup changes could transform my look.  I absolutely loved the transformation process.  Whether it’s a subtle or dramatic transformation.  I love enhancing beauty.  Eventually I found the Kevyn Aucoin and Bobbi Brown makeup books at the bookstore and I couldn’t help but be amazed by the power of makeup can have over someone’s appearance.  I went to college and received at my bachelor’s in Psychology.  My senior year of college I started testing and building a portfolio.  Eventually my portfolio was strong enough to book small jobs, and the rest is a very long drawn out slow and steady progression of building a career to becoming a key makeup artist for shows and tv commercials.

 

What’s your favorite thing about being a makeup artist?  There are several things that make me very happy when I think of my job….

–  One of the obvious things is I’m a makeup product expert and I get to play with makeup and try new things “for work”.

–  I also love working behind the scenes and being part of the creative process.  It’s pretty fantastic when a good creative team works collectively and creates images, video, or film that is amazing.  I love being on that team.

– I get to go to a ton of different locations and occasionally travel.  The range of people I have met on this journey is pretty incredible from actors and models, CEO’s of large corporations, members of the NFL, NBA, MBL, musicians, the occasional celebrity, public figures, military officials, teachers, doctors, activists, investment bankers and even a female astronaut.  Working with actors and models is fun, but I also truly enjoy working with real people.  I get such a kick out of the boost in confidence that people have after having their makeup and hair done.  I know I’m not changing the world, but I do like bringing out the beauty and confidence from within.

 

What’s your favorite shoot you have worked on?  I have many shoots that come to mind for a lot of reasons.  Sometimes the location is really fun, or we are shooting fun content for a production.  I find the shoots that I walk away and I am most happy, really comes down to the crew you’re working with.  When you are working with the right team, it’s meant to be.

 

When you curl my hair, the curl lasts all day, how? I love being told that “my hair will not hold a curl” and then making some one’s hair hold a curl.  Usually the reaction is amazement, and then next comes the “How did you do that” questions.  My answer to this is “It’s all about how you prep the hair, and the technique you use to curl”.  The type of iron you use can make a difference.  I carry titanium curling irons in my hair kit.  They can be a little overkill in the heat department if you don’t know where to set the heat setting.  A ceramic iron is great for consistent heat, which will help your hair curl.  It’s always important not to use more heat than you need because it will lead to hair damage.  How you prep your hair really helps your curl have staying power.  Some of my favorite thermal settings sprays are Kenra Platinum Hot Spray # 20, and Oribe Soft Lacquer.  You spray a thermal spray on the section of hair, prior to curling.  Not only do these protect your hair from heat styling, they also really help hold your curl all day.  After I curl the hair, and while it is still warm.  I use alligator clips to pin set the hair.  You can use bobby pins if you do not have alligator clips.  The reason I do this is to let the hair completely cool before releasing the curl.  If you let your hair drop after curling while it’s still warm, the weight can pull your curl down.  There’s no sense in ruining all of your hard work.

Can you come live at my house and do my makeup and hair everyday?  Ha,I get asked this question literally almost every shoot and my answer is “Yes, can you pay my day rate everyday?”.  Sadly no one has answered “yes” to this question as of yet.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading through some of the FAQ ‘s I have encountered recently.

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Makeup Time Lapse

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I recently had the opportunity to create a makeup time lapse video in studio in Atlanta with our model Bailey.   Before you get too excited about this being an amazing contouring/highlight transformation where the model looks like a completely different person, I’m afraid to tell you it’s not.  This is commercial advertising.  It’s really not about changing someone’s look as much as it is about making a believable daytime look that relates to the story.  Bailey is already gorgeous and lovely without makeup.  I was directed to keep her look fresh – where her eyes pop and she has a beautiful glow to her skin, but not too over the top.  Enjoy!


   Here is our model’s behind the scenes video that she created while on set.  You can see Keke Samberstein in there as well.  She was our stylist on this shoot.

Here is a shot of my workstation and how I styled the hair for the shoot.  I wanted to have a subtle wave to her hair for body and motion.  And in case you’re wondering – Yes, that is all of her own hair. She is genetically blessed.

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Bailey West – Actress & Model – Bailey was lovely to work with, even at the 10th hour of the day, which is saying a lot in our industry.

Keke Samberstein – Fashion Stylist wardrobe and prop stylist

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Behind the Scenes from a Print Advertising Campaign

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I wanted to share some behind the scenes from a print advertising campaign shot on location in Atlanta.  I have to say a special thank you to Ty Milford and his assistant Zac Hardy for taking the time to share these images with me.  This campaign was shot over the course of a week in Atlanta during the summer with some pretty intense humidity.  Even though it was hot, it was a great job to work on because I had the opportunity to be on set with some of my favorite people, and I met some new friends too.

Behind the scenes - Atlanta makeup and hair Kathleen Marsh working on a commercial advertising shoot

Taming hair on set

 


 

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 Wardrobe extraordinaire fashion stylist Emily Sistrunk having some fun on set.


 

behind the scenes - atlanta makeup artist kathleen marsh

Seems like a normal behind the scenes working shot….. until you notice the photo bomb.


 

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Our photographer having a care free moment on set….


 

makeup artist working shot

Beautiful house, morning light


 

 

commercial advertising makeup and hair final touches

85 degrees and 90% humidity, rooftop in Atlanta


 

 

advertising styling narrowing down blouse options

Deciding on shirt options for the setup


 

behindthescenes

That’s me, always running out of the shot


 

Fashion Stylist Crew

Behind the scenes – fashion styling crew taken on location

Emily and her styling crew, this shot was taken at the end of a long day.  I really love this picture.  These ladies worked so hard, and they’re awesome personalities to have on set.


Ty Milford – Commercial, lifestyle, editorial, advertising photographer with an astounding client list.  Ty’s images have a focus on a healthy, happy, active lifestyle. He capture life’s real moments and emotions in his images.


Emily Sistrunk  – Atlanta based fashion stylist, wardrobe with specialties including commercial advertising, catalog, laydowns, editorial, and celebrities.  Emily has an amazing ability as a stylist to bring a subtle modern edge to commercial advertising.

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Makeup Artist Reel

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I’ve added new commercial work to my makeup artist reel.  It features my key makeup and hair work for ultra-high definition tv commercials, national advertising campaigns, television shows, and music videos I have worked on recently as a makeup artist in Atlanta.   You can watch my makeup reel in 1080p at www.kathleenmarsh.com

 

 

 

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Behind the Scenes Adventurers Shoot

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I’d like to share some behind the scenes and final images from our Adventurers shoot.  This was an amazing collaborative project I recently worked on in Atlanta.  One of my favorite things about being a makeup artist is the transformation process that happens in the makeup chair.  It was fun for me because this project required light special effects makeup to create the look of characters.

I worked with a fantastic crew on this shoot.  Josh Meister was our photographer and mastermind for the concept of the series.  Josh incorporated 7 of his own images that he photographed during his travels.  We shot the characters in Atlanta Studio Gallery L1 and Josh digitally combined the images to create the finals.  Keke Samberstein worked Wardrobe & Prop Stylist on this series.  She was responsible for pulling all of the wardrobe as well as the props which was quite an undertaking.  Keke and I worked together to create the ice, dirt, and sweat effects for the clothing.  This series was shot in one day at Gallery L1 Studio.


 

Icy Makeup Icicles Beard


 

One of my favorite characters of the series was our Mountain Climber Explorer.  This was the most intensive special effects makeup of the series.  We wanted our model to look like he was exposed to the arctic elements of an icy mountain climate.


 

 

It was important that the makeup gave his skin a visually cold appearance and icicles forming on his beard.  It’s amazing how much this makeup really looks like ice particles up close.  I applied special effects makeup to his beard and eyebrows to create the icy look.


 

Baja Desert Light Effects Makeup

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       Our models for the desert baha shot needed to look like they had been out in the hot desert sun riding for hours.  We made sure they were extra dusty and sandy.  I created a subtle layer of dirt on our model’s face, but left his goggle/eye area clean.  Both models needed a hint of glow to look like they were sweating.  When I look at the final image it looks like they really are in the middle of the desert.  The reality is we shot this in a studio in January.  I grabbed a quick behind the scenes pic of the studio while this was being shot.


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Stephanie was our model for the jungle explorer shot.  When discussing her look, we joked that she needed to look like she was recently in a fight, but she won.  She is still exploring the jungle.  I added scrapes and cuts to her face and hands.  We worked together to add dirt and sweat to the wardrobe.  Once again, this was shot in a studio in January, but thanks to an amazing team the final result is amazing.

Josh Meister – Atlanta photographer specializing in advertising, editorial, and portraits.

Keke Samberstein – Atlanta based fashion stylist whose specialties include wardobe, props, laydowns, fashion, editorial, stills and video.

Gallery L1 – Atlanta Rental Studio – The gallery is available to rent as independent and commercial film/video/photography location or studio space. Gallery L1 serves as a host to artist workshops, screenings, art parties, critiques and exhibitions as well.

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Behind the Scenes in Atlanta GA

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There’s a lot of fun that comes along with working behind the scenes in tv production.  As a joke this sign was made by a crew member.  “This is NOT a Garage Sale”.  I totally see the humor in this sign, possibly because I’m part of the TV production crew that constantly sees people slamming on their brakes coupled with the blank stare trying to figure out what is going on.  Some onlookers are a little more brazen and have no problem asking some nosy questions. We don’t really have to answer but usually will if people are polite. This sign was made out of frustration on this particular reality TV set because people actually thought it was a garage sale and were walking onto the property.  Nothing to see here people, just an interior design reality tv show production.  When we set up to shoot a reality tv show production in someone’s home, there can be multiple production trucks, and a small fleet of crew vehicles that might cause people to stare.  Here’s a few of the behind the scenes shots from one of the shows I worked on a few years ago.


282439_10150245679666534_1529479_n          behind the scenes reality tv

On the left is a lighting set up in a living room.  The picture on the right is a picture I took of our sound guys taking a break in-between takes.  They just happened to be relaxing in the perfect photo opp scenario.  As they say there’s a whole lot of “hurry up and wait” in our industry.  This would be a prime example of the waiting…..


301034_10150299301732224_910275079_n    This was a fun location shoot in an Atlanta warehouse.  It wasn’t so fun that we shot this in July and there was no air conditioning.  A lot of big features films have been shot at this location.  Even this was from a few years ago, I clearly recall a bunch of personal portable fans, sunscreen and bug spray utilized in my makeup set bag this day.


Crew Shot

Crew Shot

And here’s the crew wrap photo from our final first season episode.

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Mens Grooming Yes! Men Wear Makeup

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Mens grooming makeup for tv

As soon as someone learns that I work as a makeup artist for photo shoots and sports television, one of the next questions they ask is “Do men wear makeup?”.  I know it seems ridiculous for the every day man to “wear makeup”.  Yes!  Men wear makeup and greatly benefit from having a makeup artist on set.  And yes, makeup artists help men look their best on camera for tv, film, and photo shoots.

My approach is much different for mens grooming and it differs from traditional beauty makeup.  It’s about evening out skin tone and blemishes, maintaining shine control, brightening the under eye area (when needed), hiding a recent sunburn, covering the occasional shaving mishaps, eyebrow grooming, & aiding with hair styling and the occasional haircut and trim.  The reality is without having a makeup artist on set, it can become painfully obvious under bright studio lights how much a

mens grooming makeup for tv

makeup artists assistance is required.  The progression of camera technology, high definition advances, and led lighting  has created the ability to produce an incredibly sharp more realistic image.  With that sharper image is where you start to notice things you might not have seen before, flyaway hairs, blemishes, uneven skin tone, perhaps you see that the talent appears to look like he didn’t get a full 8 hours of sleep, especially in the eye area.  The technique for makeup application for mens grooming has changed with the advances in technology.  It is a makeup artist’s goal for her men’s grooming work to appear natural and effortless.  A good makeup artist’s work is virtually undetectable. You shouldn’t “see” the makeup, that means it is too heavy.

Seasoned pros know the value of mens grooming and how the time spent in the makeup artist chair benefits their appearance on camera. I will tell you, men don’t willingly sit in the makeup chair at first.  A common concern I hear from men is that wearing makeup will make them appear feminine,  as if I’m punching their “guy card” as soon as they sit in the makeup chair.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Once they realize how quick and painless the ordeal is, and no eyeliner or lipstick is involved, they usually put up less of a fight, especially once they see how great they look.  Sometimes at the end of the shoot the talent refuses makeup remover wipes because they have an audition or on-camera engagement afterwards.  The pros know to keep wearing the makeup if they are going to be on camera again.

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Turner Field Atlanta – Office for the Day

Makeup Artist - Turner Field Shoot

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Turner Field Shoot

Turner Field

 

        It’s always exciting going to set up in different Atlanta locations for the day.  Recently I had the opportunity to work at Turner Field for the day.  The pictures I’m sharing with you in this post are actually from a few different shoot days.  It seems when I work at Turner Field, the weather is very cooperative. It couldn’t have been any more gorgeous the last time I was there.  These days on set require a lot of walking and location changes.


 

Filming at Turner Field

Atlanta Promo Shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Atlanta Makeup Artist - On location

I usually take a lot of pictures of set life and the locations where we shoot for the day.  After years of being a makeup artist I don’t have many pictures of me working.  I can admit to having several pictures of the back of my head, or of my arm sticking into a shot wielding a makeup brush or taming some flyaway hair.  Most makeup artists and fashion stylists are used to this.  When we step into a frame we are facing the talent which means our backs are to the camera.  When a test shot gets taken I cringe.  We were shooting in the Braves dugout.  On this day I was lucky that a member of the crew snapped a great shot of me working.


 

20140416_144237   Turner Field is an amazing location in Atlanta to film at.  Over the course of 12 years of being a makeup artist in Atlanta.  I’ve worked on many shoots at “The Ted”.   I was allowed to set foot on the grass during a shoot one time.  The grounds crew is always present.  They work very hard to keep the field beautiful.  If you’re shooting there, don’t step on the grass.  Don’t even think about walking on the grass.  Don’t look at the grass, I’m just kidding.  They crew is always there doing a great job.  Whether it’s January or August, the diamond always looks fantastic.


Vincent in the Booth

   I have to give a special thanks to Chip Caray and Joe Simpson.  They are the tv broadcast announcers for the Braves.  They were so kind to take a moment of their busy time to pose for this shot with my son.  This was a great day for him not only to visit the announcing booth, but as my son put it “He had the Braves Turner Field experience of a lifetime”.

Atlanta Makeup Artist/ kathleenmarsh.com


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Office for the Day – RV

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I called this RV “home base for the day” recently on a shoot.  As a freelance makeup artist, I never really have a permanent office to work from.  Whether we work from a studio, office building, or RV trailer, each job is different and different locations come with different challenges – electricity, adequate wattage, setup space, room temperature, mirrors, seating, and most important to makeup artists – available light.  Sometimes the production I’m working on provides a trailer to call “home” for the day.  RVs are great for the cast and crew, especially when we need to safely set up shop for the day, change looks, work, and keep our working area separate from the shooting location.  I’ve worked on a range of tour buses and RVs.  Although some aren’t the newest on the block I have found the best ones have been modified from their original “family travel” layout to a design best suited for production work.  On this production in Charlotte NC, I shared the space with a fashion stylist, and hair stylist.  It was a great shoot and I have to give credit to Cordell CPR RV Rental I was super impressed with the space, added lighting, cleanliness, built in table, air conditioning, and seating.

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www.kathleenmarsh.com / Atlanta Makeup/Hair

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