Everything you ever wanted to know about beach hair and make up form your photographer but were afraid to ask!
HAIRSPRAY! REPEAT AFTER ME! HAIRSPRAY, HAIRSPRAY, HAIRSPRAY! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! YOU NEED HAIRSPRAY! HAIRSPRAY IS YOUR FRIEND!
Seriously, if you only do one thing I ask you to do in preparation for your session, make it this one thing. Use hairspray and not just a little squirt or spray! I mean A LOT of hairspray it’s too late after you get on the beach to try and spray your hair! My happiest clients are the ones who followed this direction and did not eat their hair the entire session as the wind caressed their lovely tresses all in their eyes and mouth and the mouths of the unfortunate husband, kid or parent who happened to be posed beside them.
I get it! Hairspray is nasty, makes your hair stiff and you can’t run you fingers trough your lovely curls at will. I totally get it. I to hate the stuff. However, on the beach, where winds can gust from 10 to 20 miles per hour (anything over 20 and we are rescheduling your session!) you need wind resistant hair and that requires hairspray! Therefore, on the beach, hairspray is our friend! Even with hairspray, on those really windy days, we have to break out the bobby pins and hair clips and strategically place them on the back of your hair to prevent the FILPS! Seriously, don’t flip out on me, this doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen, so let’s just assume that it will and be prepared.
You may think I am being overly dramatic, I”M NOT! Trust me in this. It is always windy on the beach to some extent and we never know just how windy it will be until we hit that beach for your session. Weather Channel will tell you it’a a breezy 10MPH the evening of your session only for us to arrive at the beach and there are gusts up to 20MPH. So, please trust me in this. If you want that beautiful Gulf of Mexico behind you in your portraits and you want your hair to look nice in said portrait, wear hairspray! The wind always comes off of the water, your back will be to the water, your hair, if you didn’t do as I asked, will flip over your head and slap all of your family in the face! I kid you not! Hair gets crazy on the beach.
Oh and before you ask or say it……NO IT CAN’T BE FIXED IN PHOTOSHOP! Yes, photoshop is like a can of plastic surgery (gone wrong in some hands) and it can fix a lot of things. But even photoshop cannot remove a whole head of hair that is obliterating all life form from your face! So Please, hair spray, pins and clips and braids. Please, I promise you will thank me for it latter!!!
Oh yeah and little girls with beautiful long hair. I love them with those adorable thin braids that wrap around their little heads like crowns and hold all that beautiful hair down and I love that look with some hairspray to help with those wispy fly-aways. But seriously, those braids are so adorable and those little flower child headbands that have come back into style. Oh, I love those too and they work so well on the beach! So let us not forget about the little angel’s hair! We know that mom is the most important person in the photos, cause if mom doesn’t like them, no one will! But seriously, please remember that the little girls and boys with long floppy hair will need some style control too.
Oh and please don’t let me leave the men out. Now you men with the adorable, shinny, Mr. Clean style going on. Oh, you are my favorites and we will leave you alone until it comes time to talk about MAEKUP! Did she say makeup? Oh yes she did and if you want to, you can jump right on over to that section and read about what I have in store for you! Now let’s get back to men with hair! Especially you young men with the long hair that has became so popular. You know that look with all that long hair hanging in your face that you constantly have to flip your head to the point that it looks like you are having a seizure. Yes, those are the ones that I just have to talk to about all that hair.
I really love your cool looking hair and I know you have practiced the head flip and have it down perfect. Well, this is what I want you to do. Get all your flipping done before your session. Flip till your little heart is happy and then flip one more time and hold it! Spray that perfectly flipped hair with some HAIRSPRAY! YES, YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN THE GIRLS AND NO ONE WANTS TO BE EATING YOUR HAIR EITHER! Moms, make sure they read this! Seriously, I have more young men frustrated by their hair during sessions than the women. AND when people are frustrated because their hair is blowing all over the place, they don’t smile and they aren’t happy and sadly they will be disappointed in their final images. I don’t want you to be disappointed, I want you to be so happy you cry happy tears. So please, for the love of all the rainbows and butterflies and Hershey kisses, just use the hairspray!
So you get this right?
HAIRSPRAY IS THE NUMBER ONE THING TO REMEMBER TO DO FOR YOUR SESSION! BOYS AND GIRLS!
Apply your makeup as usual. But only if you don’t do the things that I’m about to tell you not to do if you usually do them. Is that a contradiction? I promise, You will understand if you just stay focused.
See, I don’t know what your usual style is and it may or may not work for the beach lighting and yes I want you to look like you but no I don’t want you to look like a version of your with raccoon eyes.
So, Please for the love of all pink lip gloss, pay attention to me. I know a thing or two about what will and will not photograph well on the beach and I want you to look as AMAZING AS YOU ALWAYS DO! So please indulge me and hear me out before you announce that I’m crazy and you refuse to listen to me. I promise you will thank me latter!
So, if you wear light colored eye shadows in pleasant neutral shades with just a touch of smoke in the outer corner and new, not clumpy mascara, with beautiful defined lashes and if you have oily skin, you already use oil controlling products and you don’t use glitter of any kind on your face and body, you may skip this section because I love your makeup already. And you will look amazing in the bright beach sunshine.
So if you can’t say yes to all the above, then read on my sisters (oh and men, don’t think you are off the hook, I will get to you in just a minute)
If you have oily skin, use an oil control foundation and powder to keep you from being shinny out in the sun. Please use NON-SPF products if possible. The SPF will cause your skin to shine in photographs even when you aren’t oily.
Onto your eyes. Eye makeup!!! Very important!!! Your eyes are the window to your soul. We want to see your beautiful peepers, so keep that eye makeup fresh and light. Avoid dark heavy eye shadows and liners that will darken the area around your eyes making you look like a raccoon in the contrasty light of the sun. Keep it natural, bright and beautiful. Dark eye products reflect the light away from your eyes instead of drawing it in for that beautiful sparkle that we all love. In a controlled lighting environment, I would recommend that you go all out with the dramatic eye makeup but NOT FOR THE BEACH. I’m telling you the beach is bright, shinny and airy and natural, your eye makeup should be too. You don’t have to listen to me. They are after all your images of YOU! I’m just telling you from my experience what works best and I want the BEST for all my clients. Ok ladies, I’m done with telling you how to wear your makeup! Do a test run, go out in the bright sun, take a picture with the sun to your back and see if your eyes are bright and shinny or if they a dark and dull. I promise, you will thank me latter!
For those of you who NEVER wear makeup, read on..
You don’t have to wear makeup if that is not you. I want you to be you! I wish I had that amazing completion to go natural all the time. You have been at the beach in the salty water, harsh sun and probably a chlorinated pool. Your skin is going to be dry! It will be starved for some nourishment! Dry flaky skin shows up very well in photographs and it is not flattering on anyone. You will be much happier with the look of your skin if you apply a tinted moisturizer. It will not make you look like you are wearing makeup. It will just give your skin back its natural peachy glow that the elements have taken away.
DO NOT PUT LOTION ON YOUR LEGS PRIOR TO YOUR SESSION!
For the love of smooth silky skin, we slather our luscious legs with creamy, moisturizing creams and lotions, which is normally a good thing. BUT, we are about to sit our bare lotion covered legs it the soft, powdery, white sands that make our Destin beaches the envy of all other beaches around the world. Guess what you just did?
You made yourself a pair of grainy, white beach pants! Yes, that sand is going to stick to you like glue! So if you can avoid lotion for an hour, please do so, you will be a much happier person. If you would not be caught dead out in public without lotion on those legs, I get it. So the next best thing you can do is apply your lotion several hours before your session so that it has time to absorb into your skin. Then, right before you head out to your session, dust those legs with some baby powder! It helps prevent the sand from sticking to you. It isn’t perfect, but it helps. Ummm, don’t apply lotion and then immediately apply the powder, then you will look like a pasty legged ghost.
Now you MEN! I know that the thought of wearing makeup, makes you feel like you should turn in your man card, but really, not a sole will know if you don’t tell them! Well your wife will know, because I’m sure she will have to apply it for you, and if you make her angry, well she might tell your best friend out of spite. But I will never tell a sole. There are lots of men in my portfolio wearing makeup and I have never told a sole and you can’t even tell they have it on.
But seriously, I only want you to wear some oil control moisturizer and a little powder on your face and those of you with the adorable bald heads that I love so much. Admit it, you men sweat a lot! Your noses and foreheads and that adorable globe of your head get all shinny and reflect light. That light will blind your photographer! Just kidding but a little moisturizer and powder will go a long way to making you look your best. I promise you will thank me latter. Especially at the next dinner party when your wife says, “remember that time…” Just kidding she would never do that! Oh and please bring a handkerchief for dabbing your sweat!