Each week, Freelancer Club members use the collaboration tool to post their own collaborations and to apply to work on other members' test shoots. 

This corner of our platform is a hive of creativity and we love catching up with our members after they’ve completed their projects.

We recently caught up with a couple of freelance members, Makeup Artist Sara Zarghani and photographer Kamila Kmiecik, about a test shoot that they worked on together. We talk about the preparation that went into the shoot and the dynamic between the team. Both creatives also shared some valuable tips for any creative who may be new to test shooting.

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Credit: Sarah Zarghani, MUA, LFW AW19

A Bit of Background

Sara is a London and Kent based freelance make-up artist, who has experience assisting top celebrity makeup artists (including Lan Nguyen). She works on film sets, photoshoots, and major events including London Fashion Week. 

Kamila is a well-established freelance photographer who specialises in events (both private or corporate) as well as model shoots. 

male modelling.
Credit: Kamila Kmiecik

Sara and Kamila had not worked together prior to this particular project, which was organised by Kamila. 

The shoot concept (test shoot idea)?  “An urban themed photoshoot that we did near Kamila's studio”, explained Sara.


Preparation is Key

Like any well organised test shoot, Kamila and her team had to ensure that various elements were well prepared before any photographs could be captured. To help develop the test shoot idea, a moodboard had to be created and approved, lighting had to be sorted, the model’s outfit chosen - the list goes on.

“I made a decision on a look, creative direction, moodboard, and chose a location”, explained Kamila.

While Kamila designed the moodboard, she made sure that Sara was happy with it’s contents ahead of the shoot. As a makeup artist, there were also other factors that Sara had to take into consideration before applying makeup to the model.female modelling. mua portfolio, photography portfolio, test shoot ideas, how to make a photography portfolio

“When Kamila sent a moodboard a few days before the day of the shoot, I agreed to use it as a guide. I also reviewed the model's look, and a few proposed outfits of which we chose one. On the day I got a feel of the model's skin type and tone, and began my makeup artistry.”

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Test shoots give freelancers the opportunity to try out new skills, ideas and techniques. While plenty of prep goes into test shoots, they are also places of learning where mistakes are sometimes made, albeit learned from.

In the case of Kamila’s shoot, the creative team pulled off a very smooth shoot proving that the more you prepare, the easier it is to get the results you want. 

“I guess first time collaborations by nature carry a higher risk due to an increased number of unknown factors,” explained Sara.

“On this occasion, however, we were fortunate to have a good bunch collaborating and everything went fairly smoothly as far as I recall.”

“We were all happy about the quality of the shoot and the photos. This was one of my earlier collaborations using Freelancer Club.”

In Kamila’s case, part and parcel of working as a photographer involves trying to get a number of elements in check to help align your final shots with your overall creative vision.

“Well, as a photographer, finding good lighting and directing a model is always a challenge for me. Sara came on the project as a makeup artist but helped a lot in staging the model,” Kamila explained. 

Overall, Kamila was happy with how the test shoot went and how the images produced turned out. 

“I was very happy with the collaboration. Sara arrived on time, did a great job with makeup - giving me a few options to choose from and even helped me direct the model on the day. She was really friendly and keen to chat about any new makeup suggestions.”


Creative collaboration

Top Tips for Freelancers 

Interested in getting involved in a test shoot but a little nervous about putting yourself out there? Sara and Kamila have some great advice that you might consider taking on board. 

For Sara, practice, plus plenty of positivity and patience, makes perfect.

Trial and practice are the route to perfection. The more we do something, the more comfortable we will feel doing it. I have found the best recipe for collaboration, both in family/social life and work, is the aforementioned rule: be diplomatic, remain pragmatic and positive, and remain focused on the objective.”

Kamila’s advice is to the point but really solid. 

“If you are just starting out - Go for it!”

As we said - brief but bang on!

Another important tip to note: Not sure how to make a photography portfolio?  A MUA portfolio? Or how to improve your current one? If you want to add to any type of portfolio, it’s important to highlight the fact that test shooting is a great way for freelancers to create new, unique work that will help set them apart from other freelancers when they’re going for new jobs!


Setting up or joining some else' test shoot gives freelancers the opportunity to team up with other creatives in order to bring their creative visions to life. 

Even though Kamila and Sara hadn’t known each other prior to working together, their test shoots were executed without any issue.

As long as each team member is willing to be respectful of their fellow teammates ideas and time, there’s no reason why a test shoot can’t be a great learning and creative experience for everyone involved!

Check out Kamila Kmiecik's profile here and Sarah Zarghani's here. 

Credit: Kamila Kmiecik, Photographer & Sara Zarghani, MUA

Want to set up or join a test shoot to add to your MUA portfolio. Want to figure out how to make a photography portfolio or simply improve the one you currently have? Check out our Collab Tool. Looking for more test shoot ideas? Check out 5 TIMELESS FASHION SHOOT CONCEPTS WITH MOODBOARDS.