Makeupartist, Kenneth Adelhardt, shares his thoughts on working with children on photoshoots as a hair- and makeupartist.

What are your most important tasks as a makeupartist?

In general, it is to live up to my role and that a stage has been set for how you would like this model to look and then I have to complete that task. Quite simply, I have to do what the customer asks and make that dream appear as sincere as possible. 

“One of my most important tasks is making the child feel safe”

Kenneth Adelhardt

What is the difference between working with kids and adult models?

With the adults it is more about the expression I have to make. With children you are also much more aware that they must feel good. Because if they feel good, then the pictures will be good. And then I think that there is a very big difference between whether you like working with children generally or not, and luckily I like working with children.

What are som challenges when working with children?

The challenge of working with children can be that they cannot take in information in the same way as an adult can. That is, you cannot tell them to be quiet or tell them we will be done in half an hour. They are tired when they are tired. Their immediate needs are present and what you must know when working with children, is that you must have patience.

How do you ensure that the child gets the best possible experience when getting ready for a shoot?

You do that by looking at the child. Is the child happy? Sad? I see the child and acknowledge the child. I see its movements and the way it behaves and then make the child feel safe. Because if you are safe and happy, you also get some good pictures. After all, children are very authentic in their expression. This means that as an adult you can have a bad day and then go in front of the camera and pull yourself together. A child cannot pull itself together in the same way. So if I experience a child who is insecure, one of my most important tasks is to make the child feel safe. The more times you are with children on set in this way, and it helps that I am a parent myself, the more trained you become in seeing these things that happen to the child. Their body language, what they say, whether they are quiet or shy. I think all of us on set know when a kid just needs a 5 minute break or when I have to ask where they do gymnastics. So the child gets the attention or the calm that it needs to feel safe.

What is the funniest job you have prepared children for?

It is actuallya job for Name It. It is a video film in which there were an incredible number of children. It was also one of the hardest, because there were many models who had to be ready. But it was fun because when you work with children, that is what it is. It is now and here and it is now or never. And when you have 10-15 children, at least a lot, ready at the same time. They had to go in a long parade and they had to be in a house together, so it was the job that was the most challenging and the most fun.