I've agreed to do some reciprocal/time for print work with an aspiring model and she's asked about getting in an MUA. I'm happy to do it but I've not brought in an MUA before so I don't really know what I'm looking for and I don't know anyone suitable locally. I'm going to put the word out among my contacts and trawl some online resources but to a great extent I'll be dealing with an unknown quantity whoever I bring in.

I'm fine with aspiring MUA's as it's time for print and we're willing to look at less experienced people even if they're not as efficient and I will of course want to see some examples of their work up front. I'd like guidance on:-

  • Where I might find MUA's (is ModelMayhem any good for example?)
  • Good questions to ask a potential MUA
  • Preparations I should to make for them at the shoot

I'm based near East London, UK so if any of you know of local/British resources that would be great too. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Since you and the model are engaging in the reciprocal agreement, perhaps you might consider an aspiring MUA in a reciprocal agreement as well. Let them use the shots for their portfolio as a MUA as well.
    – Michael C
    Jun 19 '13 at 0:10
  • @MichaelClark - We're quite happy to bring in the MUA on a reciprocal basis (certainly the price will be right!) The main thing I'm hoping to get from answers are some best practice on finding, vetting and working with an MUA whom I've no previous relationship with so we don't wind up having to reshoot. Jun 19 '13 at 11:09

Where I might find MUA's (is ModelMayhem any good for example?)

I never used Model Mayhem much, so can't comment on that, but a couple of other good resources are:

Both of which are good resources (from the point of view of a UK photographer).

Good questions to ask a potential MUA

  • What experience do you have?
  • Can I see some examples of your work?
  • Do you have any photographers that you have previously worked with that would be willing give you a reference?
  • How long will you need with the model before starting shooting?

It would be worth discussing with the MUA the look you are going for. It might even be worth arranging a coffee with the model and MUA prior to the shoot to work out some ideas, so that you aren't wasting studio time working things out on the day.

Preparations I should to make for them at the shoot

Ask... different MUAs will have different requirements, though they'll all want somewhere that they can work that will be out of your way while you're setting up lighting, preparing to shoot, etc.


Apart from what has been previously mentioned, preferably there has to be some form of magic going on. No matter how skilled, if we don´t like the person in question it gets very difficult to work together. Make sure you speak the same language when it comes to the artform, yet at the same time don´t be afraid to venture into a new realm.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.