We’ll let you in on a neat little secret: if you’re looking for ways to boost your makeup artist salary and bring in more clients for your business, you should consider taking part in stylized photoshoots!

In short, a stylized shoot is exactly as the name implies: a photoshoot that’s styled. Often, there are props involved, sets, outfits, models, and a team of fellow industry professionals working alongside you. In a lot of cases (though not always), the work is unpaid. Typically, all those involved will trade services and they all end up with portfolio-ready images!.

“But wait,” I bet you’re thinking, “how can an unpaid gig help my business make more money?”

That’s a fair question. Luckily, we’ve got the answer! You’ll have to keep reading to find out what it is…

Stylized Photoshoots Mean High-Quality Content for Your Portfolio

Of course, part of doing that also requires you to grow your makeup portfolio. You’ll find that most clients will want to see examples of your work before deciding to hire you. But if you need a portfolio to help book clients, but also need clients in order to build a portfolio – how exactly is that supposed to work?

When you’re first starting your professional MUA career, you’re likely not going to be booking a bevy of clients right away. After all, it takes time to get your name out there and build your reputation.

It may mean that you’ll need to offer complementary services, at least in the beginning. For instance, you can do makeup on a friend or family member, in exchange for them being your model. This is always a solid option!

An even better one, though, is to get involved in a stylized shoot. Why? For starters, you’ll have a professional photographer who can supply you with top-notch images for your portfolio! As part of a stylized photo shoot, it’s common practice for the makeup artist to exchange her free services for a copy of the photos that come from the shoot.

High-quality pictures are one of the most important aspects of any MUA’s professional portfolio. So, getting them at no charge? Score!

Stylized Photoshoots Can Add More Variety to Your Portfolio

Do you have a knack for SFX makeup, and wish to showcase it a bit in your portfolio? Organize a Special FX-themed stylized shoot!

Is your niche bridal makeup, and do you want your portfolio to have a model that actually looks like she’s attending her wedding day? Put together a stylized shoot with that vision in mind!

Because a stylized shoot is creating the final image from the ground up, you can tailor it to reflect any style, theme, or element that you want! If you’re not the one planning the shoot, you may not be able to dictate every little detail. But you’ll certainly be able to still share your ideas with everyone else involved, and work most of them in!

When your makeup portfolio demonstrates variety, it’s telling potential clients that you have a wide skill-set. It’ll say to them: Look at all these different makeup looks I can offer you! Not only does this make you look even more like a professional, it opens you up to more people who are likely to want to book with you.

These are all factors that are guaranteed to help boost your makeup artist salary!

Stylized Photoshoots Help Grow Your Network

A major benefit to stylized shoots is that you get introduced to all sorts of other professionals within the beauty industry. If that weren’t cool enough, then you get to work alongside them! In a job like this, who you know can sometimes be just as useful as what you know.

But how can your network help your MUA business earn more money?

Well, the longer you know someone and have developed a professional relationship with them, the more likely you’ll be to recommend them to clients. Likewise, they can do the same for you! Word of mouth is a very powerful asset, especially in the beauty industry.

If a client is pointed in your direction by someone they trust, odds are pretty good that they’ll check out your business – at the very least. This can lead to even more paying clients wanting to work with you!

And hey, even if they don’t always wind up booking with you, you’re still going to get more exposure, which is never a bad thing! Who knows, they mean still go on to recommend you to their own friends and family, if they know someone else who may be interested!

Stylized Photoshoots Help You Grow as an Artist

If you’re devoting your life to a career as an MUA, we’re willing to bet it’s because your passion for makeup is unparalleled. As part of your journey, you’ll be eager to learn as much as you can, continue your training, and further your education.

You’re an artist, and all artists know one very critical thing: there will always be room to keep getting better!

Stylized photoshoots give you real-world opportunities to refine your expertise in new and challenging ways. Since you’ll be working with all sorts of models, you’ll get to practice your application techniques on different:

These are circumstances you may not always be exposed to if you’re only practicing with people you know! Stylized photoshoots strengthen your ability to adapt.

Especially when first breaking into the industry, they also provide the best way to show you what it’s like to do makeup on strangers. By getting used to this and becoming surer of yourself, you’ll have a much easier time transitioning to providing your services for paying clients!

Obviously, the better you become as a makeup artist, the likelier you’ll be to attract customers. More bookings mean more money. So, it logically follows that using stylized shoots to continue developing your skills is one of the single most effective ways to increase your makeup artist salary in the long run!

Can YOU think of more ways that stylized photoshoots can help boost your income as an MUA? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Author Sloane Seguin

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