Inner Spirit Photography Makeup Artist Jan Howells-Laurie

If we have photographed you, then you have experienced the magic of Jan.  She creates this wonderful transition from the real world with all its issues, into my world where it vanishes. She slips you into a comfy robe, gets you perched into a Hollywood star chair, then begins to get you focused on you.

She is disarming and full of such warmth, you feel enveloped by it.  Can you imagine a better way to start an adventure?

Most studios get all confused about the purpose of having a makeup artist sculpt a client’s face for a session. It’s approached as the first stage of a transformation into a beauty. For the makeup artist, your face is her canvas and she will have her way with the vision of it.

But for Jan, it’s more about polishing the diamond that is your face already. So really, she is transforming your emotional state. Under her delicate touch, worries about the session slip away as her conversation flows innocently this way and that. You don’t even notice her magic working.

I recall her working with a client that had almost cancelled. The session was a Sunday but on Saturday its purpose was wholly different. Her husband had announced he was leaving for his secretary, packed and left. In understandable emotional turmoil, she called her friend who, among other things, insisted that she still come for her session but to now do it for herself. So she did.

The makeup and hair took a little longer with diminishing emotional jags, but by the time she stepped in front of my camera, a new perspective had emerged. It was like Jan had transferred her own clarity of the world and her confidence into our client. It only took 90 minutes, so it was remarkable to watch.

The funny thing is, Jan does it so naturally, I don’t even think she is aware she is doing it.

Kids don’t need makeup. Their fresh little faces just glow naturally. Yet when we are doing a mother and daughter session, you can see them watching their mom so carefully. One little girl who came with her mother was so shy and, I suspect, a little overwhelmed by the studio and the importance of the event. It was a gift to her dad. Jan knelt to her level after she finished with Sherry’s makeup, nudged a few stray hairs aside and asked if she thought she should have some blush. Little Tracy just beamed, a sly glance at her mom got her a nod, and she nodded vigorously. In moments, to her moms’ amazement, she turned into the chattiest girl. Jan fussed over her face, really barely doing anything. Suddenly little Tracy was telling her what kind of pictures she wanted to do, asking questions to no end. She decided at the end of it that her mom and her should come here every morning to get their makeup done.

I have been lucky, I have been wrapped in Jan’s magic for decades now. I would love it if you could share your Jan experience story with us.

Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.