Casting is a major part of a beauty project.
Finding the right mix of: The look, the skin, the relationship of the eyes to each other, the size of the eyes (both of them, as frequently one is larger than the other), the nose, the mouth, the ears, the hairline, the jawline all need to have some level of symmetry. There are only so many models that can stand up to this kind of scrutiny. We always look for perfect, but do not always find it. So we then choose the closest to perfect.
The goal of a beauty image is to shoot an amazing image of the models face, normally it can be all about the face, or her eyes, or her lips. Frequently this can be with a lot of makeup and hair styling. But there is a range where a beauty look can "Live". From heavy makeup all the way to a "no makeup look", or no make up at all. The goal does not change, we still need an amazing image.
For most beauty photography, or motion, it means make up, hair styling, wardrobe styling and possibly a manicurist*, and the styling crew will do all of this. Makeup & Hair styling can range from: Just lipstick, mascara and brush the hair to: Totally no makeup at all, rare and usually young models, to: Heavy makeup and serious hair styling.
*Side note: The manicurist needs to be chosen carefully. Likely the girl in the mall will not be who you want. When I have a model put her hand in the frame, the nails and the polish need to be perfect. No runs, streaks, part of the nail missing polish, in other words, not just sloppy applied but with precision so the polish is only on the nail. This is NOT easy and takes a lot of experience!
The Photographer and/or The Director:
If the director or the photographer is shooting something for a personal project, they get to direct what they want for The Light, The Location and the Time of Day, which means to me it is all about the light.
If we are shooting for a client, then the layout or direction from the client will help shape the imagery and the time of day. Generally speaking the director or the photographer will have a lot of sway, but the number of images that need to be created will dictate a lot of what can be done in the time allowed.
Then the photography or video crew will then start setting the lights, reflectors in place, cameras with lenses ready for the photographer to ask for them, or the photographer may pickup a camera and just say to the model/talent, "Stand there and look at the camera" and not need anything. The light is still important.
Beauty photography or a beauty video, whether it is for branding, advertising or editorial use, brings different challenges to the photographer and/or director. Normally the biggest challenge, if the model has not shot this type of photography, is getting the model to relax and be herself. Most professional models/actors are used to this type of photography and/or video.
All of the models I used for these images have been through a casting process to help insure the face and body is what the client or we're looking for: A great beauty photograph or beauty video. Normally this means, at the least, very attractive women, usually that are young looking, fit, having no or very few stretch marks, piercings or tattoos and the body is slim. Depending on the type of clothing, and how revealing it is, we may want their body to have close to perfect skin and not be so slender that the bones are prominent.
The other qualities we look for are models that are comfortable with themselves, that move but not too much or exaggerated to the point it looks forced. Another quality I look for is the ability to change her face, subtly.
We are based in Atlanta, Georgia USA & Milan, Italy, and serve the Southeast, the nation and travel worldwide for beauty projects, both video and stills. On average we travel 175 days a year from all over the USA, 48 out of 50 states, to Singapore to Japan and to Europe. We are normally in Milan, Italy 2 or 3 times a year shooting for clients there.
If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!
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