Makeup Artists – How to Set Up a Portfolio

A professional portfolio is a necessity for every makeup artist.  It will attract clients and potentially get you bookings.  Here are some important things to take in consideration when putting your portfolio together…

If possible, try to get the pictures done by a professional photographer.  The more professional looking your portfolio is, the more likely you are to get bookings.  A professional photographer doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes you can find a photographer who is willing to take the pictures for free, provided they also get to keep a copy of the picture for their portfolio.  It is also a good idea to check your local college for photography students that might be willing to take pictures just to gain experience.  

Your portfolio should only contain about 15 photos of your very best work.  Never, ever put pictures of yourself in your portfolio.  It comes across as very unprofessional… Check with your local modeling agency… sometimes you can find a model who is willing to be in your portfolio if she can have a copy of the photo for her portfolio.  Remember… your portfolio should only contain 15 pictures of your very best work.

Just starting out, your best bet is to specialize in either bridal makeup or dramatic makeup.  If you choose to go both ways, make sure to set up two different portfolio’s.  That way each portfolio will flow with continuity and you won’t have dramatic pictures and softer makeup looks intermingled with each other.

Some Makeup Artists use an online digital portfolio instead of a hard copy portfolio.  I would strongly suggest that you don’t go that route.  I have heard of instances of people stealing people’s makeup looks from online portfolio’s and an online portfolio never looks as professional as a hard copy portfolio.

Once you’ve set up your portfolio you are well on your way to career in makeup artistry.

Tracey Rosenblath


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