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6-image makeup guide judgement call

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:43 PM
oneredpanther's Avatar
oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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6-image makeup guide judgement call

Hi guys,

I'm doing a six image makeup guide.
There are six almost identical headshots of a girl going from nude skin to fully made-up. It's designed to showcase the makeup artist and also serve as a brochure for her services.

I don't know where to draw the line on retouching.

Initially I thought the first image should be totally unretouched, the last one fully retouched, progressing inbetween.

I'm finding it hard to make the call where to stop. As a retoucher we want every image to look its best, but in this case we kinda want the first one to look its worst for comparison. Probably.

Has anyone done a similar job? Where do you draw the line for what's supposed to be a "before makeup" shot vs. an "after makeup" shot?!

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Old 10-18-2012, 03:30 PM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

It's odd advising without seeing (obviously in this case I respect why you can't).

My first thought is that if you show a completely untouched image at the start, the contrast between the stages may be too harsh. I have seen your retouching and without blowing wind up your skirt, you are genuinely top notch, this is why I take your question so seriously, but I would think that you could pull of a *cough* no retouch, retouch */cough*. Leave the lines as it were but make the image more attractive than it came to you.

I do a few make-up jobs and a lot of them from make-up artists, but never a progression piece. I suppose with all permissions intact - please your client at the end of the day.

I wavered though, because of the brochure aspect. Perhaps a frank tête a tête would aid the doubts, difficult though that can be.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:30 PM
Crystal Nguyen Crystal Nguyen is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

I'm not a professional in retouching but my career is in the design industry and I particularly work with display advertising, which pushes for high conversion of new or existing customers for particular brands.

So the first real question is, what the hell are you trying to sell/do?

My understanding is that this is a brochure for a makeup-artist? I'm going to assume she is trying to sell her SKILL of applying makeup. If that is the case, the focus is on the makeup and it's flawless application on the model.

I would figuring out what the actual focus/purpose is for your retouching. I would suggest for the nude skin photo, cleaning up blemishes, pimples, etc. Very basic clean ups, you want the consumer focusing on her application of MAKEUP, not the models pimples oily skin, etc.

Then for the other photos, focus the attention to the makeup progressively.

As stated, I focus on brand promotion and actual conversion of existing clients or new clients when purchasing a new product from that brand. You'll figure out your question of how far to take things when you understand the actual purpose of the retouching.

I hope this helps!
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:02 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

As Mike said, "It's hard to advise without seeing." It's equally hard to retouch without guidance from the person you need to please.

My first questions of a client are, "What do you need? How do you want this to look?" Usually, even though they might know what they want, they do a lousy job of articulating the specs, so we proceed through a process of eliminating what they don't want and eventually we're left with what they do.

It just sounds like the questions you're asking should be directed to the client.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:44 AM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

I would gather that six makeup images represent six stages of applying the makeup. If I would do it, I would limit my retouch to each stage and build on to the next.
Say, There is the before image, it would be left alone,

stage 1, say, foundation, I would limit my retouch to foundation area only, half way retouch though since the MUA will build on it.

Stage 2, say, lipstick, I would repeat what I did in stage one and retouch the lips,

Stage 3, say blush, I will repeat 1 & 2 then, retouch the blush

keep doing this till you reach the final stage
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:32 AM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

I'm with Crystal (in a perfect world where everything is fair and equal and no one cheats or exaggerates). In fact for a makeup application shoot I think it would be cool to tag the photos with "unretouched". Don't call me that, moving right along...
I think I would suggest to the client that the shots be done in as close to identical position as possible in the exact same lighting and that you create an action based on the final (finished shot) that corrects lighting, shadows, etc. The action is then applied to all the images and you're done. Then maybe you could have the artist proof them and point out any oddities in each photo that would need to be addressed individually.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:38 PM
PhotoWhoa PhotoWhoa is offline
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Re: 6-image makeup guide judgement call

Like others in this thread, I think if the goal is to showcase the makeup, you should do as little retouching as possible on all 6 shots.
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