Our Top Tips to Create a High-Quality Makeup Portfolio
Once you finish your professional makeup training, the next step is to build your client base. You need a way to show your work to the rest of the world. Your portfolio is one of the most important tools you will ever need to pull in clients and build your business. You wouldn’t use dollar store makeup on your clients; you shouldn’t skimp on your portfolio either. You want your portfolio to be the absolute best representation of your work. It is going to leave a lasting impression on potential clients and in many cases make or break your chances of landing jobs.
Choose a Medium
One of the first questions people ask when putting together their portfolio is “Should I have a hard-copy portfolio or digital?” We recommend having both, and here’s why. The hard-copy portfolio is great for older clients who maybe aren’t as tech savvy and actually prefer to page through a book and look at your work. Also, there may be times when you meet someone and start talking about potentially working with them, but internet access or a computer aren’t available. Maybe you just feel a bound portfolio would be a better fit for a particular client. It’s just nice to keep your options open. On the flip side, a digital portfolio is an absolute must, especially if you want to work globally. There may be times when you can’t meet a potential client in person; that’s when your digital portfolio will be your best asset. Digital portfolios also help your work get out to hundreds of thousands of potential clients through social media and website access.
Need info on how to use your cell phone for incredible portfolio photos? Read up on the basics in our article Tips to Use Your Phone’s Camera to Showcase Your Work.
If you’re going to have a portfolio, you obviously need images of your work. We’ve found that one of the best ways to go about this is by using the old-fashioned bartering system, more commonly known as “trade for photos”.
This is how it works; photographers are always looking for ways to showcase their work, so your job is to find a photographer that will allow you to do the makeup while they take the photos. It’s a win-win. You both get to showcase your work and neither of you have to pay for the other’s services. Many times designers or photographers will arrange large photo shoots where numerous makeup artists are needed. They will take on artists and let them work for free and then allow them to use the images of their work in their portfolios. The best way to find these events is through social media groups and online networking. You can also contact modeling services or photographers directly.
Calling All Friends
Another option for building your portfolio is to gather friends and family who wouldn’t mind “modeling” for you. Find one friend who loves doing hair and another who takes great photos and you’re set. A more professional portfolio is the best option, but if you’re just starting out and don’t have many connections or much money, this option will work for the time being.
Where to Build Your Online Portfolio
The important thing to keep in mind is that you are a make up artist, not a computer guru. Keep your portfolio simple. It’s more important that your images be spot on than that your digital presentation is high-tech. We’ve found that there are many platforms already created that are super easy to use for your digital portfolio, so it’s wise to make use of them rather than trying to invent the wheel. The most popular one is Instagram. Instagram won’t be considered a “professional” portfolio, but it will get the word out about your work rather quickly. It’s a popular platform with millions of users, so you are sure to get the exposure you are looking for to boost your business. Another more professional option is a site called Behance. Behance is a site that allows artists of all mediums to display their work for all to see. People turn to Behance when they are looking for artists to commission for jobs, including makeup artists. They simply browse through the galleries of the artists they are interested in and can immediately be exposed to their work. Behance has a social media share option as well as an option for viewers to leave comments. This is helpful because you can not only spread your work through social media but you can also get valuable feedback from other professionals in the business.
Our fabulous Makeup.School Alumnae, Reslie Mundwiler has some incredible insight into the importance of creating a powerful portfolio. Check out her story in our Alumni Feature Series.
This article gives you some great pointers and a solid foundation to help you build your hard-copy and digital portfolios after you have received your makeup artist certification. Feel free to leave a message in the comments below and let us know which tip you liked the best!
If this article has gotten you super-excited about becoming a makeup artist, we invite you to learn about our professional makeup training program and get your free eBrochure and 1st free training video! We would love to add you to our family of successful Makeup.School graduates!
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