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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.
- 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.