Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dressing Appropriately For The Job

Last week I was hired for a corporate gig w/ a big international company for some internal videos involving some of the high up execs and CEO.  Corporate gigs tend to be some of the better paid and easiest gigs a makeup artist can get. Usually it just involves some male grooming and light makeup and hair touch ups for the females.  Not exactly creatively inspiring or interesting but we all have to balance the creative w/ the payday in the end.

With these sorts of jobs the best thing a makeup artist can do is be efficient, professional, quiet and right on hand for any quick touch ups.  You need to be around right when they need you but invisible the rest of the time.  These execs don't usually want to be doing these videos and truthfully they want to get them done as quickly as possible.

An important thing to remember is they value your quickness.  Don't feel the need to stretch out the time for male grooming b/c you want to be sure they know "you're worth it".

Anyway, the job went incredibly smooth and we even wrapped early which is always a pleasant surprise. While on set I chatted up the execs w/ polite small talk but worked quickly and kept quiet and out of the way once filming started.  At the end of the shoot I thanked everyone and let the person who hired me know to contact me anytime in the future if they might have these sorts of shoots.

He thanked me repeatedly for my professionalism and said he would definitely call me for future shoots (YEAH!).  He then actually explained to me that before he had hired a different artist for two other videos. He said that execs and CEOS can be a bit particular (which is true) and that they felt uncomfortable w/ the way she dressed as it was a bit too tight and revealing.  He had mentioned this to her after the first job and hired her back for a second but for that one she came dressed even more inappropriately!  He said her makeup work was good but he couldn't hire her back just b/c of the way she dressed!  Her loss, my gain!

I was actually shocked that someone would be stupid enough to lose a sweet corporate client just b/c they didn't dress appropriately and then I began to think about it and it's true a lot of artists don't always dress appropriately!  It is true that we are artists and therefore do have a little leeway in how express ourselves w/ regards to makeup and clothes but we also have to respect and understand the jobs we are accepting and the clients/environment we might be involved w/ that day.

Some rules to kind of live by for dressing appropriately.

1. For corporate gigs you don't have to come dressed for a business meeting or church but dress respectably.  That means nothing too tight, too trendy, too revealing.  You'll be shooting in an office a lot of times so keep it simple.  Usually a nice pair of jeans/pants, a nice sweater or top and decent shoes and you're pretty safe.  Also, don't go crazy w/ the makeup or hair.  Keep it clean and simple like the clothes. You don't want to make any of the execs uncomfortable.  They can sometimes be a bit older or more traditional in their values and appearance and therefore they don't usually care that your dress is by so-and-so designer and you're rocking the latest smudgy smokey eye and deep purple lip trend or something like that.  If you  have tattoos possibly try to wear clothes that don't have them on display.

2. Weddings are similar to corporate gigs in a lot of ways.  Even if the bride is "cool" you might be working w/ her mom or aunts or grandmother and  you don't want to freak them out.  Also, you might be showing up super early in the morning and working for several hours straight.  The last thing you want is to show up at 5 am looking like you just came from the club the night before lol.  Again, you can usually get a feel for the bride at the trial and what kind of girl she is or what her style is.  An example for myself personally - in "real life" I tend to wear a lot of red lipstick.  This isn't exactly something "crazy" or "out there" but if a bride through email correspondence expresses to me that she's "super natural" and "doesn't wear makeup" then I know at the trial to probably leave my red lipstick in the drawer that day b/c even though it's not all that offensive it might throw her off and she might think that I'm going to do that to her...even though it might seem a bit ridiculous you just never know sometimes trust me.

3.  When you're assisting another artist just ask what they feel is appropriate for a job.  Some artists want their assistants dressed a certain way or in certain colours aka black other just want you to be comfortable. So just one is going to be angry b/c you asked!

4. There is a certain idea that makeup artists only wear black.  While this is true for some it's not a hard rule. In truth I think it happens just b/c it doesn't look dirty if you get makeup all over it.  It's easy to match and look professional and sophisticated and it blends in behind the scenes and let's be real on most jobs you're not there to be the "star" or center of attention, you're there to do your job and be invisible when you're not needed.

5.  Runway is the one time a lot of artists are actually told to wear black. It's indiscreet and again blends well behind the scenes.  Plus it makes it easy to see who are the artists if they are all in the same colour and gives them all a sense of cohesiveness.  But it's not always a rule.  I've done runway where ppl just wore what they wanted...again just ask what's expected.

6. Fashion shoots are the times where as an artist you can express a bit more of your "personality" through dress and makeup.  Again, this doesn't mean go insane and in truth a lot of artists I know still keep it pretty simple and clean b/c let's be real it's not about you and you're there to watch the model and not be touching up your own makeup and hair the whole time.  Also, once you get use to a photographer or team or regular client you'll kind of get a feel for what's acceptable and what's crossing the line.

7. Wear clothes and shoes that you're comfortable working and standing in for hours.  Again, you're not there to be a fashion model.  You're there to work!  No one wants to hear you complaining about your shoes or see you constantly readjusting your outfit b/c it's not comfortable to move around in.

8. Don't feel b/c you're a "makeup artist" that you need to be "done up" all the time!  This may be true for retail where makeup artists probably wear more makeup there then most people ever wear in "real life" but this is also b/c they are there to sell and many take the approach to wear as many products from the line as physically possible lol!  Seriously, don't show up looking like you didn't even brush your hair or wash your face but also don't feel pressure on a job to look like a "glam queen" if that's not your style.  Stay true to your own personal style.  If you're a bit of concealer, gloss and mascara type of person for yourself don't feel like you need to make yourself club ready for every job.  Of course if you know you might be on camera or there might be some behind the scenes pics taken on set that day you might want to put in a little extra effort but don't feel you need to go to extremes if it's not your "style".

I'm sure there are some other "rules" for dressing but these are a few to get you started and hopefully clear up any confusion some of you might have about what's "appropriate".  Of course I'm totally cool w/ ppl dressing slutty and inappropriate if it means I can get their sweet corporate gigs b/c they're dressed unacceptably lol!

1 comment:

Gina Whitaker said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing this advice.

White House | Black Market
Branded Women’s Clothing and Accessories