Simona Janek: Photographer and Hair & Makeup Artist

Simona Janek: Photographer and Hair & Makeup Artist

If you’re unhappy with your profile photo for your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram account, you need to meet this woman. Simona Janek is the go-to gal for creating amazing business profile shots for everyone from magazine editors and fashion designers to real estate agents, bloggers, and small business owners.

She waves her magic wand and transforms so-so into wow, impressive images that mean business and get attention. In fact, the renowned photographer and hair and make-up artist is famous for her skill in making people look confident when they aren’t. You know what it’s like when you stand in front of a camera and freeze up? You cringe at your pose, your look, hair, makeup, outfit, chin … and end up deleting the photo and resorting to some old snap taken ten years earlier? I do.

“My business profiles are all about creating the best version the you,” explains Simona. “It’s putting your most professional self forward. Or, your most glamourous and beautiful you in wedding shots, while letting the personality shine through. For women who are self-conscious, I love making them look beautiful and confident in pictures.”

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So how does Simona do it? Well, it helps that she has more than 20 years’ experience working in the industry in a range of related professions, including modelling, as a hair and make-artist and as a photographer.

Simona started out (and still works) as a hair and makeup artist covering weddings (she has created the hair and makeup looks for hundreds of Brides), advertising campaigns and music video clips. She has modelled for Olay’s skincare campaigns, TV commercials, fashion shoots and has even been a magazine cover girl. Being a trained hair and makeup artist, and knowing what worked on camera thanks to her own modelling, gave her an edge. So Simona trained with a leading international photographer, Sue Bryce, and took her talents to a whole new level.

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Today, Simona is a one-stop shop. Simona creates beautiful hair and makeup looks, gives styling advice for her clients, then brings out their inner confidence to create amazing photos they’re proud of. Here, she shares her career highlights and journey.

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In the beginning…

“I trained as a hair and makeup artist, and one of my first jobs was for a magazine shoot for a sewing magazine called Stitches, and they asked me to come back and model for them! Being a freelancer meant work was sporadic, so I accepted. Then shortly after that, Shelly’s Model Management contacted me and asked me to join their modelling agency. So I juggled the two jobs – freelancing as a hair and makeup artist on media campaigns, as well modelling, for more than ten years.”

What modelling campaigns have you appeared in?

“I’ve modelled for both advertising and editorial. The Olay skincare campaign appeared in a whole range of print magazines from Woman’s Day to Marie Claire. I was one of the mums on the TV commercial for Betty Crocker cake mix, before I had my children! I was the face for Westfield shopping centre’s customer care, which was bizarre seeing myself in all the print campaigns and posters across Westfield shopping centres! And I’ve also appeared in Maggie T catalogues, and on magazine covers.”

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You created the makeup looks for some pretty cool campaigns too…

“I have worked with a really diverse range of clients and mediums as a freelance hair and makeup artist, from music videos, including Wendy Matthews music clip, to TV commercials and print advertising campaigns. I’ve done everything from McDonalds campaigns to AAMI insurance, KFC, the Fashion Week runway shows and more.”

How did you juggle modelling, hair and makeup work and weddings with children?

“When I had my children in 2005 my modelling completely stopped. I had twins and was too busy to go to model castings. I gave up freelancing because it was too sporadic and I needed a regular routine and I wanted to be with the girls. So I set up a hair and makeup studio at home and focused on the weddings. Weddings were a good way to fill the gaps and have work scheduled, as you know three months in advance and can plan around that. I really love working with real people and making brides free beautiful on their wedding. I also did a lot of hair and makeup for both women and men for business portraits, and special events like birthdays or black tie events, from home. I really love taking beautiful portraits for women to celebrate certain times in their life – milestones or just because!”

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How did you become a photographer?

“I was working with internationally renowned photographer, Sue Bryce, as her hair and makeup artist and she was incredible – she bought back glamour photography in new, and contemporary way. She really inspired me with her creativity and her amazing skill making women feel comfortable and capturing them in a very flattering way. Sue was an educator in the photography industry and a leader in shooting women in a glamourous way, but not the daggy 80s style. It was modern portraiture that revealed women’s inner confidence and produced stunning results. After working with her I thought, I really want to do this too. It felt like it was a continuation of what I did already – doing makeovers for women and making them feel confident and beautiful, and I wanted to learn how to capture that on camera.

“I trained with Sue then converted my home makeup and hair studio into a dual photography studio. Here I create the whole look, giving styling advice as well as doing hair and makeup, then shooting business profile shots, portraits, glamour photography and a unique For Your Eyes Only session, where brides are glamorously styled in lingerie, and the result is a beautiful leather bound book of their favourite photos from the shoot to give to their husband on their wedding day. It’s a magical experience, as most of my clients have never experienced this level of glamour or had beautiful shots taken of themselves. And the husband’s love it!”

Want more info? Check out Simona’s work here!

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2 Comments

  1. June 13, 2016 / 3:11 am

    My impression of Simona is, she mastered her crafts, went after her dreams and is living a work life of joy!

    Congratulations to a job well done!

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