All Things Beautiful: The Team Behind The Beautiful Image

October 9th, 2021 4:34 pm| by Barbara Mensah 
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As a makeup artist of over 11 years, it’s always a huge satisfaction to change a person’s look and often even their outlook. 

To me, everyone is beautiful and everyone can also be transformed to look even more glamorous.

I guess that’s why we are often referred to as the ‘glam squad’ – we literally transform people for a living. 

Makeup artists are a very important part of any shoot and without us the shoot and final image simply feels as though a part of the jigsaw is missing. I love being able to show people just how beautiful they are.

Magic behind the scenes
Have you ever wondered what or who goes into creating the beautiful images you see on the front pages of some of your favourite magazines: the teamwork that goes into creating a beautiful bride’s images on a bride’s wedding day, or the efforts behind the scenes to create those glossy, glamorous, picture-perfect images on social media?

Producing such images requires a merger of a team of extremely talented and professional people. Often these team members are overlooked, undervalued and forgotten about once the images are released.

In this edition of All Things Beautiful, I’m going to break down the team of professionals ‘behind the scenes’ who are responsible for getting those wow images we all love to look at.


THE CLIENT 

The client in many ways is the person who sets the tone for how the whole photoshoot proceeds. It’s super important that the client is understood and that their needs and wants in terms of their vision are met. 

Therefore as a client, it’s important to have an idea of what you want to achieve from the shoot.

On the flip-side, it is an underlying principle that the team understands what the client is trying to achieve.

THE FASHION STYLIST

The role of the  fashion stylist is to stay on top of all the latest trends within fashion so they are able to dress clients according to their needs. A good fashion stylist is in tune with the client’s style and current image, and it’s often where they draw some direction and inspiration. 

On a set of a shoot the stylist communicates the fashion vision to the client in a way that is easily understood – and also to the makeup artist, photographer, hairstylist and a creative director if there is one.

The fashion stylist is responsible for ‘pulling’ the best clothes and accessories that are eye-catching on the shoot. The best-known stylists are very well connected to some of the biggest fashion brands, designers and boutiques,  from where they are able to borrow or rent out the items needed for a successful session.

THE MAKEUP ARTIST

(photo: Maja de Silva)

Makeup applied by a professional mua (makeup artist) is so important on a photoshoot. The mua is responsible for the visual transformation of the model or client. 

The mua understands evening out skin tone, how to hide blemishes, and how to perform colour correcting, contouring and highlighting. 

If clients are left to do their own makeup, photographers are often left with ghostly appearances and more editing work afterwards.

THE HAIRDRESSER/HAIRSTYLIST

The hairdresser/hairstylist is an integral part of the team. This stylist will consult with and advise clients on what is the best direction to take their creation. All the great stylists are up-to-date on what the latest trends are.

Photoshoots tend to bring out the best of their talents, as they unleash a wave of creativity in their designs – both the cut and the vision.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

(photo: Catalina Dumitrascu)

The photographer on set is the key player and often also the person who does the editing and retouching to create those fabulous final images, as well directing models and the crew.

The photographer is responsible for taking clear, artistic and striking photos, which should align  with what the client wants.

Photographers on set have to make sure there’s correct settings in the backdrops and lighting. 

If a hair is out of place, or a lipstick has smudged, or if a dress has moved out of place and needs to be adjusted, you can depend on the photographer to take swift action.

Barbara Mensah 


London-born Barbara Mensah (www.barbaramensah.dk), a professional international makeup artist for 12 years (and lash extension specialist for four), relocated to Copenhagen in 2017, where she is the owner of the Barbara Mensah Beauty Studio. The cosy, chic studio provides a welcoming, comfortable space for clients to spend their time getting glammed and pampered for all special occasions.

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