The Pure Beauty Project
Today, I’m launching the Pure Beauty Project worldwide [read about it here], sharing my program with photographers to implement it in their own studios. I’m providing details about running this project below. To participate and for extra support, please join the Pure Beauty Project Facebook group.
Who to photograph
Invite past clients to participate, or at least give them first dibs on your sessions. They deserve a special thank you for their previous business with you. You also have the added bonus of establishing your business as an exclusive club and enticing others to be your client to get in on the action. Not only did people book regular boudoir shoots to participate in the Pure Beauty Project, I also had past clients book new boudoir sessions afterward. If you’re still building your client base or past clients aren’t biting, by all means open it up to the general public. But I believe that to run a sustainable business it makes sense to try your own client base first.
Before the event, shoot yourself
Shoot your own photos of you and your entire team without makeup. You will be using these as your promo images. You will get to see firsthand just how empowering it is to be photographed au natural and will be able to draw more participants by showing your vulnerability.
Select a day or weekend in October to dedicate to this. We can make it a yearly event! October is a perfect month for this though since it ties into other important women’s issues like Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness.
A simple donation to go towards Breast Cancer &/or Domestic Violence charities. Mine were free but I wish I would have required a donation that could go towards a women’s charity. When you create a donation based service, it automatically gets the participants more invested in the success of the whole event, not to mention makes the whole thing more meaningful for you. Plus it garners more media attention. Win-win!
Your studio is a perfect location. However, for those of you without a studio, find a business that would be interested in donating their space to you for a good cause. We found many business to help with ours from the catering to a truck show of lingerie. So, don’t be afraid to ask around! Other businesses are on the look out for good causes to cosponsor too!
Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Again, find sponsors to help with this.
You will also need to have makeup remover on hand for those who forgot to remove theirs ahead of time. I found makeup wipes to be the easiest with the least amount of mess.
Get your team involved in making sure everything is running smoothly while you are shooting. You need to run a tight ship here since you will be busy photographing your subjects. Shoot each participant for about 5 minutes, give or take (depending on how quickly they are able to get comfortable in front of your camera). Just make sure you aren’t wasting time here.
Let the participate know they will receive a watermarked, web version of their final photo within one week of the event. Also, let them know that they can order a print of it, if they so desire.
Releases and Questionnaires
Make sure that everyone is aware before going into the shoot that they will be expected to fill out a modeling release form as well as a questionnaire in which they will discuss their relationship with makeup. This will give you material to blog about after the event.
- What were your first thoughts when asked to be a part of this project?
- What age did you first begin wearing makeup?
- What was your opinion of makeup back then?
- Describe what you normally wear makeup for.
- Do you wear makeup to the gym?
- How do you feel about being seen in public without makeup?
- Do you ever feel enslaved to makeup?
- How long does it typically take you to apply cosmetics?
- How did you feel about doing this No Makeup event before you got in front of the camera?
- How did you feel during and immediately after being photographed?
- Did you sneak any makeup on for the shoot? Or were you tempted to?
Make sure to follow up with each participant after you deliver their photograph to see how they felt about how they looked sans makeup too!
Pure Beauty Program photographs must be taken on a solid black or white background. After shooting my no makeup project in different spaces from hotels to simple V-Flats, I realized that I favored a simple backdrop because the woman becomes the focus, rather than the surroundings. Your background can be a wall, a V-Flat or a seamless backdrop. Use whatever you have just make sure it is solid white or black.
I favored natural light for these. But if that’s not an option, try to use a soft light source or modifier to try to mimic the effects of natural light. You don’t want harsh lighting taking the focus away from her natural beauty.
Include a charity component
Every event should include a donation to a charity of your choice. Set a goal to raise and be sure to alert the charity (reach out to the fundraising director). Tell them what you’re doing, and find out how they’d like to get involved to make it a success. Some charities require that you fill out a form, and many will allow you to use their logo in your materials. Announce your fundraising goal and let your participants know their donations will be going to meet it.
Getting media coverage
Look at your local media and find reporters from TV, newspapers and magazines who cover women’s issues, beauty, small business and lifestyle trends. Entertainment reporters may also be a good choice. Don’t forget to look at reporters who only do online stories and local bloggers with strong followings who cover these topics–these can add a viral component to your coverage. As you’re identifying those right people, begin crafting your message in a simple format. You will email each reporter/blogger directly with your pitch. Their direct contact information is found easily on the publication websites. Here are some tips:
1. Use the person’s first name in the salutation
2. Introduce yourself briefly
3. Give a very brief synopsis of the project
4. Tie it to a hot topic in the news.
5. Tell them why they should care. Writing a strong answer to WHO CARES will get a writer’s attention
6. Give the who/what/where/when details of the event
7. Sign with your full name, phone number, email address and studio link
Please use the official logo in all of your materials. Click the logo to bring up the full size
So, are you all ready to make an impact together with this? With all of us combining our efforts, we are sure to make a very powerful statement! I’m excited, are you?
Please feel free to post any questions that you may have in the Pure Beauty Project Facebook group or comment section for this post and I will do my best to answer them in a timely fashion.