This week: getting personal with Ashleigh Carpenter, Melbourne makeup artist and hairdresser.
Predominantly working on commercial and editorial shoots, Ashleigh always wanted to be a makeup artist.
Using a mood board, she curates looks she’s obsessed with, keen to master and to influence her style. She also lets her creative side flair working Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Festivals and Sydney’s Fashion Weeks.
TEST, TEST, TEST > SHOOT
Have you ever gone to a modelling agency with a photographer and asked their clientele, ‘Hey do you want to do a shoot?’... Seems crazy, right? Well, that’s exactly what Ashleigh did, only she calls these test shoot memories, ‘Little fun things!’.
All artists, models, photographers, etc. need images for their portfolio. So, what better way to increase your network and build your portfolio all at once than through connecting these worlds?
Slowly over the years, Ashleigh found photographers through Instagram or her networks and joined forces to create test shoots based on looks she wanted to build, and showcase. Her biggest tip? Choose photographers that complement your vibe, get creative and curate the shoots in the direction best suited for you.
PUTTING THE [ASS] IN ASSISTING
It’s important to know your style and what value you bring. For Ashleigh, her style reflects being in flower fields with flowy dresses (cue Australian Ballet, Channel, this season’s clothes) and the value she brings - over 14 years in the industry, with 97% of her jobs encompassing hair & makeup.
Same goes when you’re assisting. While you may have a distinct style, you’re there to assist a lead mua, lead hair stylist or the director of the shoot. We often hear, ‘it’s better to be seen than heard’ and as harsh as that is, it’s the way of our industry. You need to learn how to assist correctly and what value you bring.
“I would go and do assisting jobs before I started work. They were massive days, but I knew I needed the experience and to build my portfolio... Each job I was sent on had a different vibe, and a very different style to the commercial jobs I had experience in, so I’m glad I put all the hard work in along the way.”
TRUST YOUR GUT
If Ashleigh had to pass on any information, she swears it would be to really trust your gut. She took a big leap and had to trust her gut and know that what she was doing was the right thing… and thankfully, it paid off. While we recognise this isn’t always the case, trusting and validating yourself is always important.
Ashleigh also encourages listeners to try and find an agent that’s like a mentor. You shouldn’t have to sell yourself to have them represent you - because if you have a solid portfolio and online presence, they should be able to accurately see your work and know whether they want to represent you before they meet you.
“I’m a big believer in goal setting. At the start of the year, I write my goals for the year ahead and for the next 5 years. I always check-in throughout the year to see where I’m at, or what I could be doing differently to meet my goals.”
Join TMI Email List
Follow TMI on IG
Follow Vanessa on IG
Podcast Cheat Sheets
Assisting Sign Up