Some of my favourite shoots are my ‘Mud to Make-Up’ shoots, where I get to take my good friend and fabulous hair and make-up artist, Sherrie Warwick along with me, to help beautify my models and make them feel like a legit VIP.

The great thing about working with Sherrie is that she knows how to make someone over specifically for the camera. She has worked for a multitude magazines and TV shows and knows what looks good on camera and what won’t show up.

I also really love the juxtaposition of the mucky, earthy lifestyle that comes with horses, and the glamour and decadence of having your hair and make-up professionally done.

Sherrie very often works her magic, on my clients, in the most basic of tack rooms, feed rooms, out on the yard, in portacabins, horseboxes or livery yard offices… wherever is available to us. It’s quite a sight to behold!

So, getting to the reason for this post… I’d highly advise, to both clients and other photographers, to get a make-up artist for your shoots.

Not only does it make for beautiful images, but by the time my client has been pampered and preened, they feel super confident and so much more relaxed about stepping in front of the camera.

What prompted me to write this blog was when another photographer asked me how I went about finding the right make-up artist to work with…

I’m afraid I don’t have a great answer for you, as all I did was put out a post on Facebook, asking if anybody knew of a make-up artist that might be interested in teaming up with me.

 

I’m very lucky that Sherrie has a horse of her own and totally gets (and enjoys) what I do. So not only is she a dab hand with a blusher brush, she’s a fabulous assistant, too. Haha! Once she’s done with hair and makeup, she helps get ears forward, holds horses, cuddles puppies, all in between taming flyaway hairs, reapplying lippie and mopping glistening brows… I guess she’s what us horsey folk would call her a real all-rounder. 😉

I did trial another makeup artist, before I found Sherrie, and as lovely and talented as she was, she wasn’t at all horsey. She even had to take an allergy tablet before the shoot.

I’m sure she would have been great to work with, if I hadn’t had the option of a horse-loving make-up artist, but it’s so nice that Sherrie can join in the horsey chat, help throughout the shoot and also completely understands the health and safety issues involved in photographing horses. To me, that’s invaluable!

 

The other thing I’d advise is making sure you really get along with your make-up artist. You’re going to spend a lot of time together.

Sherrie and I regularly travel together, to shoots that are sometimes two or three hours away. Since working together we’ve become great friends and we put the world to rights on our roadtrips. But I remember Sherrie telling me how nervous she was for our first long distance journey, because so much time spent together in the confines of a car (and depending on the quality of the playlist, lol) can really make or break a working relationship.

 

So, my advice, if you’re a photographer thinking about finding a make-up artist to collaborate with, is to put out some feelers onto social media, to see if you can find somebody via word of mouth. Set up some test shoots, with a couple of different artists and see how they fit into your workflow, how you get along, how they are with the client and obviously, whether you like their work or not and take things from there.

And my advice to a client, wondering whether to add the hair and make-up option to their shoot is… do it! I get no extra money from Sherrie’s involvement, so I’m not just saying that to make extra profit… I genuinely feel that it enhances the experience and makes my clients feel a million dollars!

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.