Mascha Dahan is a specialist in beauty photography. She got in touch with photography already at a very young age as her father is a photographer. Mascha assisted him during photoshoots and she felt attracted to this profession but lacked the self-confidence to actually do it. She finally decided to become a photographer after her children were born. After photographing her children nonstop she decided to actually make a living out of photographing babies and pregnant women. But after meeting a few people from the make-up industry she quickly understood, that this was the direction she needed to take. Mascha’s studio specialized in beauty portrait photography, and she also offers beauty photography courses.
What is most important at the moment you take a picture for a beauty photography session?
That all the elements come together. Lighting, Set, Makeup, Hair and the posing of the model. Every element must fit together and each team member needs to get his job right – otherwise, the shot will not be impacting. When I work with my team we always try and figure out how to make a shot perfect – whether it is to fix something from the makeup or I need to adjust in the lighting – great teamwork is key.
From where you get your inspiration
I get inspiration from many places – Whether it is other photographers or artists, or lightings out of movie scenes, sometimes are shapes I see in nature or colors which make me want to do a certain shot. When I am on Set and I wasn’t briefed or the look wasn´t defined ahead I am inspired by the model or her styling and try to make the shot work accordingly.
How do you look for the perfect spots?
I don´t really look for spots as I mostly work in the studio. In order to create a different shot each time I am trying to be creative with the lighting to get different shots each time.
Describe a typical shoot.
A typical shoot is hard to describe as no shooting is the same. Each shooting has new challenges for my team and me. But in general, If I shoot for a makeup client I first make them prepare a mood board so I can understand what kind of makeup we are talking about. Then we will together search for a model that fits the makeup look best. Then I will think of the lighting setup that will make the makeup pop. Generally, we do several different looks so I need to adjust my lighting setup for each look. After the shooting we pick the favorites together which will then be retouched.
Were you educated in photography, or are you self-taught?
As I already mentioned before I got in touch with photography because of my father. He is my mentor.
What camera do you use most of the time?
Most of the time I use a canon dx or ds mark ii but I started switching to Leica.
Which photo are you currently most proud of?
I am not most proud of one picture – I really need to stick to the cliche and say that I am most proud of the picture I will do on my next shooting. I am always proud after a session when it went well but at the end of the day, I can´t really choose a favorite as I always find a way to critique my work and tell myself that I need to take an even better shot next time.
Comparing where you are now with where you are when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner?
I guess I needed to get through all the steps and to make all the mistakes that I did to get to the point of where I am today. Every experience helped me learn and become better and better. I think nothing would have led me to the point of where I am today earlier.
Favorite photography book?
I don´t have a favorite photography book – I enjoy scrolling through Instagram and discovering new artists on a daily basis.
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