My Shooting Beauty Experience

brown hair and ginger hair models photoshoot

For Hair Stylists, Makeup Artists, Photographers and Stylists you will all know that building a portfolio is vitally important to show and display your talent and to get yourself noticed to achieving a successful career in this very competitive industry. The majority of us starting out will do this by testing and collaborating with other creatives and we’ll continue this way throughout our career.

Testing, Time for Print (TFP), Print for time (PFT) & Time for CD (TFCD) are all terminology used when another creative may contact you to see if you would like to be involved in a project.

Since starting in this industry I have been involved in numerous test shoots and gained much experience on how certain makeup can look on camera, the kit you need, photographers lighting and mainly help building my confidence in the industry. It’s also been a great way to network and definitely something you should do.

The downside is I don’t always get what I need from a test shoot and the right images for my portfolio. Most tests you have very little say in the style of the shoot and the brief unless it’s yourself who has arranged it.

As most people involved in the shoot are doing it for free you can also find that it may be cancelled last minute due to someone receiving paid work and can’t attend.

Even more frustrating there have been times where I haven’t received the images for the work I’ve put in!

Because of this I have even collaborated with a photographer and organized the location, clothing and models myself.



This was easier in a way that I could be more vocal and have more control in what I wanted but it was still a lot of work involved from preparing the mood board, to finding a location, model, hair styling, clothing and accessories.

As my personal work keeps me quite busy now and I’m continually assisting some great Hair and Makeup artists in the industry, I find I don’t always have time to agree to a test shoot unless it really benefits my portfolio. I’m always wary still on how it will turn out.

So for other creative’s who feel they are in the same position as me I recently came across a company called Shooting Beauty who are offering some great services to new and established freelancers.



Established in 2011 and based in London, Shooting Beauty is the brainchild of Matt Dowling an international fashion photographer and businessman, & Nina Malone a hugely successful model and producer of over 10 years.

Shooting Beauty believe in delivering relevant education for today’s fashion freelancer combined with practical hands on experience in the form of regular professional photo shoots and providing functional, high-end products to help aspiring creatives realise their potential.

Perfect for what I’ve been looking for, they organize regular themed shoots in some fantastic locations in London and starting September they will be now Shooting Abroad!

With Shooting Beauty workshop days makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers or fashion stylists will get to work on 2 professional agency models choosing looks from either bridal, fashion or beauty. They will work in a professional shoot/production environment with Shooting Beautys on hand industry experts and then after the shoot they will have a one to one consultation to view the images from the day and to discuss their current freelancing career.

This was exactly what I was looking for to update my portfolio with the kind of images that I wanted to see in it, so I booked myself on the following themed workshop…




On arrival at the location I was greeted by the lovely coordinator Sarah who organized the day amazingly. She asked what looks I was going for and my preference to models. I wanted to do a beauty look and the Noir fashion look.

I spotted the models I wanted pretty much as soon as I arrived and Sarah agreed that I could wait for them until they were free. Because of timing you’re not always guaranteed this but all the models are of agency standard and I later found out that my fashion model Anastasija Bogatirjova came third on Britain and Irelands Next Top Model!

While I was waiting I was asked if I had any ideas of how I wanted the hair and to discuss the styling for the Noir look. I showed the team a mood board that I had prepared. The hair for the beauty look I wanted was very natural and for the fashion I wanted it to be pulled away from the face and sides and was allowed to give a lot of direction for both looks.

Then there were the clothes…

The stylist Danielle had an extensive rail of clothing & shoes and a table full of accessories to choose from. For my fashion look I asked Danielle if she had any leather pieces and we picked out a perfect leather crop top with black dungarees and silver toe capped high heel boots. For the accessories we chose to add just a simple statement studded cuff.

Once my models were finished with the other freelancers and ready I was able to start my makeup looks and then follow them to the studio to be photographed and was at the side ready for any needed touch ups.

I have already worked on a professional shoot environment and can honestly say there was no comparison between them.

Once the shoot was finished I packed my stuff up and had a great one to one consultation with Nina discussing my career and to view my images. Nina then helped me choose which ones were the strongest for my portfolio.

Here are my chosen Beauty and Noir theme images…

Shooting beauty offer some great packages that are very reasonable and cover everything to help set you up and get you going. I’m now allowed access to their Freelancer Jobs board where they have new job listings daily that I can apply for. I’m also attending my first FREE freelancer session this Thursday evening to discuss help with social media content for Blogs, Website, Facebook etc. Non members can also attend for just £10!

I totally recommend any freelancer to try their services especially for someone who wants to help prepare themselves for a professional shoot environment and receive stunning images for their portfolio. A fantastic team to work with, who make you feel very welcome and comfortable to be around.

I’m now tempted to join the team in September near Marbella for shooting abroad and staying at their luxury villa! Check out their fab itinerary here.

For more information on what they can offer you please visit their website or contact Nina herself at [email protected]. Also get following on their Twitter  and Facebook to keep up to date with what they’re up to.

I’ll also be posting a blog in the next couple of days for those who are interested on how I achieved the makeup looks in the pics and what products I used.

Love Jo x

Jo Coletta
Jo Coletta is a London based freelance Hair & Makeup Artist whose recent credits include regular on line and print editorials and advertising campaignsWorking with the Ultimate Lifestylist Naomi Isted for the past few years as her Hair & Makeup Artist Jo has attended numerous celebrity events and worked very closely with Naomi for her hit international TV series Harley Street Beauty.She can be seen regularly assisting back stage at London Fashion Week and Mens Collections and most recently was the key Makeup Artist for Ravensbourne College catwalk show for Graduate Fashion Week.With a keen eye for the latest trends in Fashion, Beauty, Hair & Makeup Jo loves to share her beauty and makeup tips and experiences via her online social media.Jo is extremely proud to be a contributor at The Ultimate Lifestylist and encourages and looks forward to all the readers feedback and comments.

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