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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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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Phone Usage in Makeup Chair Set Etiquette

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Some productions have guidelines for phone usage and texting while on set. It’s hard to imagine working on a production now without cell phones, texting, ipads, email, laptops, glued to our hip, we did manage to survive without them years ago.  No one likes to be late, especially when there is a production crew waiting on talent to arrive to set makeup and hair ready.  On occasion the makeup artist gets blamed for the tardiness, sometimes the finger is pointed at the sound guy or the stylist, even though it’s out of our control.  Productions hit speed bumps, Atlanta traffic happens, weather isn’t always the most agreeable, and the schedule starts to wander off the tracks.  I do understand the necessity of phone usage, ipads, tablets, laptops in our tv film and photography production world, but I don’t always agree with the prevalence they are used while sitting in the makeup chair.  In some cases, I have a CEO from a large corporation sitting in my makeup chair moments before a big press release, he physically can’t put his phone down and I understand.  Urgent parenting issues that require immediate attention are another completely acceptable reason of why you need to be using your phone at that moment.  Unfortunately, I can tell you many people who have sat in my makeup chair exercised poor phone usage judgement as they’ve subjected me to  “Dude, we were so hammered, she was so hot” conversations,  or the “Omg, what’s his deal, I can’t believe she said that, insert drama stirring gossip comment here, like totally, omg what do you think I should do?”.  Well since you asked, I think you should put your phone down and pay attention.  Work with me while I have pointy objects close to your eye.  Cooperating with your makeup artist who is trying to make you look your best before you go on camera is a really good idea.  If the text or call isn’t really important, save it for personal time when we are not all on the clock.   Use your discretion to decide if that call, text, social media post can wait.  Remember people on set are waiting for you.

Here’s some key points to remember the next time you are about to spend some face time with your favorite makeup artist.

  •  The quality and speed of my work as a makeup artist is compromised while you are looking down at your electronic device.  This is my main frustration with this issue, especially when there is a time constraint I’m trying to respect and observe.  Can I get the job done anyways?  Yes!  Could it have been a lot easier, absolutely!
  • Taking an important call is ok, wrapping it up quickly is greatly appreciated, staying on the call the entire time I’m working, will NOT or will it ever be ok.
  • If you’re on set, keep the notifications quiet even if it is a photography shoot without sound.  The rings and notification sounds can be distracting when the crew is trying to work.  If you must have your notifications on turn your phone to vibrate.
  •  Texting is disruptive – Yes it’s slightly better than taking a call, but looking down and focusing your attention to your phone while I’m trying to make you look your best is counterproductive for a makeup artist to work.  I’m limited to less detailed makeup application work at this point with really bad light as you look down.  If you’re ok with not wanting to look your best, then text away.
  •  Emergencies are the exception.  If you’re using Twitter or Snapchat in the makeup & hair chair, I can assure you it’s definitely not an emergency.

Hopefully this makeup artist set etiquette advice on phone usage will help the next time you’re up to sit in the makeup chair.  I know each situation is different and there isn’t a standard rule that can apply to all scenarios.   Use your discretion on phone usage while the makeup artist is trying to make you look your best.

Atlanta Makeup Hair / www.kathleenmarsh.com


 

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