I Let a Photographer Paint my Face and the Result Was Amazing

I've been doing photoshoots with a photographer in my hometown for a couple of months now. It all started when I discovered her account and noticed that she had posted an Instagram story with a poll asking who wanted to do shoots with her. Obviously, I replied yes (who doesn’t like getting professional content for the gram?), and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Three shoots and several months later, she has become such an inspiring force in my life! She is so talented and so kind, and I've already learned so much about modeling from her. 

The first two shoots we did were just out and about in El Paso, Texas and its trendiest spots. These photoshoots were just like the ones I did with my sisters or friends; they were very casual and a lot of fun! However, after knowing her for a couple of months and following all of the content she has put out, I knew that I wanted to do a more studio-based photoshoot with her. She has done some really cool ones in the past with VHS tapes, phones, Valentine’s Day decor and so much more. When she reached out to see if I wanted to shoot over Christmas break and what ideas I had, I decided that I wanted to focus on her ideas. After all, it is her content. 

She told me her ideas and was very open to collaboration and any concerns I had. She even had them all mapped out on a sketch on her iPad. I knew that she had a really good vision, so I just told her to go for it.

She painted my face using red, yellow, green, blue and black. Each design was random and included stars, an eye, squiggly lines, dots, etc. This step took about an hour. Having your face painted is such an oddly satisfying feeling (am I right?), so I didn’t even mind sitting there so long. Then we were ready to begin the shoot. 

Since it was a studio-style photoshoot, she had a white backdrop set up with a black stool in front of it for me to sit on and three big lights. Most photoshoots follow a similar format in which you stand or sit in the place you will be having your picture taken. The photographer takes test shots, adjusts camera settings as necessary and then starts taking real shots.

With this being my first shoot of this style, I was slightly nervous that I would ruin her concept. I don’t really have that much diversity when it comes to poses or faces. One way to combat this is with props. She had a plant for us to use, and I brought additional clothing that would spice up the pictures a little bit. Another great “prop” can be your hair. It's so much easier to get different looking pictures by changing your hairstyle during the shoot. I had my hair in a bun and down; when it’s down you can change your partings and play with your hair as well. We used the plant in a variety of ways: holding the plant, posing near the plant and hiding my face behind its leaves 

While we did the shoot, she also gave me direction. This is one of the best things a photographer can do; so if you ever feel unsure while having your picture taken, ask the photographer to tell you what to fix. This tip works even with family members. I ask my mom and sisters that so much that they always tell me if I have random pieces of hair spread out on my shoulders or if my clothing looks a little crazy. 

By the time we were done with the shoot, she had told me to tilt my head more, shift my body in the other direction, put my foot up on the stool, relax my arms and so much more. While it seems like a lot of corrections, they always come up naturally in her trying to convey her vision to me, and it makes for much better photos. 

Overall, I absolutely love how the pictures came out. So, if you’re thinking of trying something new for your Instagram feed, you should definitely consider a little face paint.

If you are interested in seeing more about this photoshoot, you can watch my vlog here after February 27, 2020.


All pictures provided by Erika Reyes (Instagram: @erikalreyes.photos)