8 years ago by

women at work garance dore street style photos

Of all the different aspects of my work, being a photographer is one of my favorites—but it’s also one of the most exhausting. I’ve had to find techniques to adapt to it, whether it’s my lifestyle, my personal style, or my beauty routine.

I think about this often, because here on the blog, we try to talk about real fashion. Heels, clothes that are extremely delicate or uncomfortable, high maintenance hair styles—all of that might be beautiful, but how many of us can wear those things in our everyday lives?

Today, I wanted to ask girls in very different professions how they’ve adapted their approach to style and beauty to fit their daily lives. Meet Sophie Haig, makeup artist, and Melia Marden, chef of a restaurant that I love, The Smile.
And since it was a real learning experience for me to figure out how to feel good during photoshoots, I’ve included myself in today’s post! Ok, I didn’t interview myself, but here are a few words on how I’ve learned to adapt to my job…



I started photography when I started my blog. I learned it on the job, pretty much right before your eyes, at the same time as I was discovering fashion weeks. It was right when fashion weeks got huge…and so did heels. I was so excited about all of these new things that nothing could scare me. I’d walk around with my super heavy camera on my shoulder, or in my bag wherever I went. And a lot of the time, I was wearing really high heels.

It was out of the question for me to change my style to fit my job.
Then I started shooting fashion series for magazines and ad campaigns, and a lot of them were shot in the sun, in the tropics. Like a lot of photographers, that’s my favorite light. The only problem? The long hours spent in the sunlight. Since I grew up in Corsica, I was already used to putting plenty of extra strength sunscreen on my skin, but I quickly realized that wasn’t enough. Tiny sunspots began to appear on my arms…

As for my bright red lipstick, which was one of my signatures, it couldn’t stand up to the job either. Wearing red when you have a camera against your face all day is a guarantee you’re gonna end up looking like a loser. You end up with red on your cheeks, on your hands, on your clothes, and even on other people…
I finally realized, mostly thanks to Tatyana, the makeup artist I work with a lot, that when it comes to makeup, for me, less is more. One layer of sunblock, a little bronzing powder, eye shadow and mascara, and that’s enough.

Little by little, I began to adapt my outfits to these shoots. Big hat, big sunglasses, and most of all, I started a collection of big white blouses, fresh and flowy, with long sleeves to protect my arms (don’t forget to wear sunblock, even under your clothes). One or two pockets for carrying around a few necessities, and of course, flat shoes so I would be able to shoot on any kind of terrain.

Little by little, my “photo pro” outfits started to influence my city clothes. I have to say, as the years went by, lugging my camera around everywhere got more and more unbearable and it was really making my back hurt. I said goodbye to shooting in heels, by the way. Super dangerous! And bags that are impossible to carry, and clutches and other things that you have to carry around in your hand.

My style started to adapt to my profession. And it’s really lovely, when you think about it. Instead of rejecting who you are and what you do, find ways to make your work clothes both pretty and suited to your lifestyle—after all, it just shows that you’re comfortable in your own skin.
Today, the way I work has changed. I shoot a lot less in the street, and very little at fashion weeks (for a lot of reasons that I’ve explained to you many times in my editor’s letters!)
Having my camera with me all the time has become almost impossible. A lot of photographers I know have messed up their backs, and I’m really afraid of that happening to me.
So when I’m in photo mode, I never forget the magic formula that works every time.
Flat shoes + big white blouse + hat + tiny bag (I recently acquired a fanny pack! It’s on the photo and it’s a Loeffler Randall – I have to say, it’s pretty great, even though my boyfriend did make a funny face for a second, he was the first to admit it was actually pretty cute) + sunblock and light makeup.

Ok, so it’s not Vogue Collections, but I’m doing my job, and nothing can stop me.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


sophie haig photo garance dore

Sophie Haig

Freelance Makeup Artist, New York

What led you to where you are now, working as a freelance makeup artist in NY?

My mum is a fine artist and a makeup artist, so I was really fortunate to have grown up in a creative house hold that was full of art, colour and lots of makeup. It led me to follow in my mom’s foot steps and ultimately to NYC – the mecca of the makeup world and a lot of other creative industries, too.

Your work revolves around beauty. Do you ever feel a real pressure to look a certain way for a job?

As a makeup artist there is a pressure to look a certain way as you are ultimately your own brand. You want to represent your self in the best way possible, so being clean and well polished is important. Wearing a lot of makeup can be intimidating to a client, so less is best (as my mom would say!).

What is your regular beauty routine when you’re getting ready to go to work?

I cleanse and moisturize with oils and/or oil balms. I love aromatic, hydrating face tonics for both myself and my clients. I spritz rose water or Caudalie beauty elixir before applying my makeup. I love clean, dewy skin. So I use a luminizer on my cheek bones and concealer under my eyes. Cream blush for my cheeks, lips and eyes to give a rosy healthy glow and I finish off with a coat of mascara.

Since  your work schedule is sporadic, how do you maintain a certain beauty and workout schedule?

My mother even in her late 50s has the most flawless skin, so I do my best to follow her advice of cleansing and moisturizing every night no matter how tired I am from a day of work! It’s hard to have a regular fitness routine with my work schedule so I focus more on my diet. I drink plenty of water, eat as organic as possible, and take my lunches to set.


Your work puts you on the front line of beauty trends. Do you feel compelled to try them all personally? 

It’s really exciting and I am lucky  that my job allows me to be at the forefront of trends, but I don’t test them all out on myself. I don’t change up my look too frequently, a trend that I tested out and have kept is to bleach out my eyebrows. My husband thinks it’s a little freaky, but I quite like it!

You have a few go-to products, the heroes in your makeup bag and bathroom closet. What are they?

My favorite go-to products for myself and my kit would be the living luminizer by RMS beauty and One Love Organic’s skin saviour. Rose-Marie Smith, an amazing makeup artist and dear friend has created the organic/raw makeup and skin care line RMS beauty. I love all of her products and use them for myself daily and in my kit.

You used to have long hair but you more recently cut it into a very distinctive, sharp bob. What inspired this decision, and do you feel like you’ve had to adapt at work?

Having had long hair for many years, the decision for lopping it all off came part from craving drastic change and part from laziness. I wanted a hair style that I could just spritz a little salt spray and be done with it. With long hair, I always had to scoop it back whilst working but with the cut I have now I just tuck it behind my ears, it’s very carefree.

What’s it like to be on your feet all day, do you feel like that effort has taken a toll on your body? Do you have certain tricks to lessen the strain?

Being on your feet all day at work can be quite exhausting. It can take a toll on your back and legs, specially if you don’t wear comfortable shoes. I do my best to wear sneakers or shoes with some support. I also stretch and put my feet up of an evening time.

Does your line of work ever affect the way you feel about yourself and the way you look?

It’s my job to help my client feel like a more beautiful version of him or her self.  Along with the artistry and skills, I think looking the part plays a role in helping the client feel like they are in the right hands.  I also need to be comfortable with how I feel about myself and how I look, as I don’t want anything to distract me.

And if you weren’t a makeup artist, how do you think your approach to beauty might be different? 

If I wasn’t a makeup artist, I think that my approach to beauty would still be of the philosophy that “less is best”.

Fortunately having a makeup artist as a mum,  I developed an understanding pretty early on of what would and wouldn’t work for someone of my colouring and face shape. Perhaps if I wasn’t a makeup artist I wouldn’t have had idea or courage to bleach my brows!!

Women At Work

 Melia Marden

Chef at The Smile, NYC

What was your road like to becoming a chef?

I studied Art History in college but when I graduated I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I wanted to do something hands-on and ended up going to cooking school. I was a private chef for a family, did freelance catering, and worked for a food writer before I opened the Smile.

It’s traditionally a male-dominated industry, how do you retain your femininity on the job?

I think I’m pretty neutral in the way that I dress at work. I still feel a bit strange when I run into one of my cooks on the street and I’m wearing a floral dress and mascara. I’m hoping that as more women have leadership positions in kitchens the dynamic will shift and it won’t be an issue.

What’s your beauty routine like before you go to work?

I have a very simple beauty routine – I wash my face and use Aveeno Baby moisturizer and Neutrogena 85 SPF sunblock. Then Laura Mercier foundation, concealer and a cheek stain. I don’t think anyone would guess that I’m wearing any makeup.

Do you feel like there’s less involved with your beauty routine since you became a chef?

Absolutely. I never wear any eye makeup or lipstick at work just because I’m sweaty in a hot kitchen and no one expects me to look done up. If anyone I work with sees me in even the simplest mascara and eye shadow they think I look over the top fancy.

And you had a baby boy last year! How has being a working mom affected your beauty approach?

It doesn’t take me very long to put on makeup and my husband watches the baby when I get ready in the morning, so that hasn’t changed much. If anything I think I would put on makeup more often when my son was first born to make myself feel pulled together.

melia marden photo garance dore

Do you feel the effect, physically, of long days lifting heavy pots and standing over heated stoves?

Absolutely – I definitely feel it more now that I’m older and don’t have the option of sleeping late in the morning. But I do think it can be a satisfying feeling to be exhausted from a day of work.

Chefs always have scars from the work they do — what are the most notable ones you have?

I have a scar on the top of my left foot from accidentally pouring a pot of boiling water on myself. The skin just melted off – it was the most painful experience I’ve ever had, much worse than giving birth.

Do you ever feel like you’ve had to compromise how much effort you put into getting ready for the sake of your job?

I do wish that I could dress up more on a daily basis. My work outfits are almost completely functional so that leaves very little time that I get to play around with style. I have a closet stuffed full of vintage dresses that I never get to wear.

The Smile is a downtown NY institution, and known for catering to a very cool clientele. Do you ever feel pressure to maintain a certain image for the sake of your company?

Not really I think – and hope – my off duty style is Smile-appropriate.

And, lastly, if you weren’t a chef, how do you think your approach to beauty might be different?

I actually care so much about clothing and personal style that it’s still a bit of a surprise to me that I ended up in a job where it’s a non-issue. If I weren’t a chef I would spend much more time thinking about how I look and how I present myself to the world.


Add yours
  • Thank you so much for this – this is one of my favorite posts. Fashion is – sad, but true – almost useless in most women’s daily lives. But STYLE — that magic of how we bring fashion and creativity and joy and beauty into our day-to-day lives and worlds — THAT is fantastic stuff. Adore!

  • in the cover photo, both girls are garance, right? :)


  • et d’ailleurs cette longue robe chemise blanche est très très chic!
    mais c’est quoi, la marque de ces jolies sandales et de la robe?

  • What a fantastic feature and brilliant interviews! And your work outfit is so stylish! x

  • shopgirl August, 10 2015, 10:07 / Reply

    on the photo looks like you take the picture of your double …

  • I too thought this must be a photo of Garance photographing herself. Makes for a lovely picture.

  • bavarian_blue August, 10 2015, 10:29 / Reply

    I love your post, photos and interviews included so much! It’s relevant for eight hours five days a week (minimum).

  • both interviews are fantastic. Such great women — I definitely wanna eat at smile!


  • Ana@Champagnegirlsabouttown August, 10 2015, 10:56 / Reply

    What a wonderful post, Garance. You always bring something new and fresh to the table and get your readers to look at issues from a different perspective. My style also adapted to my job. When I was a trainee lawyer I would run around in high heels and carry a tote with a legal pad if I went to court. Since I’ve qualified I actually acquired a suitcase (I’m on my forth one) where I stuff my Mac, change of heels (but more often than not when I’m in a courtroom I would chose flats anyway), files, jacket, a book for those long hours of waiting when someone else’s trial overun…I’ve also compromised on make up a lot (suitace, files, coffee, public transport- shiny :)

  • En voilà de jolies et inspirantes interviews.. Quant à ta tenue, c’est bien la preuve que moins il y en a, plus c’est chic. Pas mal cette banane, disons qu’elle est much more modern than in the 90’s!.


  • Garance, d’où vient cette robe que j’ai en noir mais que je n’ai jamais trouvée en blanc !
    et le spf 50 teinté est désormais mon quotidien de maquillage car, même ayant grandi dans le Sud, mon capital soleil s’est éteint, et pas sur les bras, mais sur le visage :((

  • I love Melia Marden’s dress in that picture – where does that beauty come from? :)

  • Patricia August, 10 2015, 11:33 / Reply

    …and you look prett cool with it!

    Love Patty from Bolivia

  • Woman is always attractive when having their independence, dedication and free-spirit…

  • The hardest part of being an amateur street photographer is not knowing where and how you approach your subject. Sometimes I feel very awkward and mess up my shoot. Not to mention I can;t find the right bag to put my camera in!
    P.S: Nice post as always Garance!


  • I love your interviews! This post just made my Monday half-day so much better!


  • That was a wonderful post. I used to be a model in my late teens and early twenties. Looking good, dressing well, that was just part of my job. But then I started film school. Of course, my heels were the first things to go out of my window then. And then, everything else followed. I’m no longer in film school. I’m no longer on set 24/7. But that habit of making the least effort just stuck. Now, I’m making a conscious effort to break out of that habit and actually adapt my style to my career, rather than just give up. So this post really struck a chord with me!

  • petite fleur August, 10 2015, 1:20 / Reply

    Le modèle ressemble beaucoup, mais alors beaucoup, à Garance !

  • I love when you bring up a topic that I’ve thought about that no one has written about! Yes, so true that your job dictates a lot of changes to your fashion and style choices! I’m on my feet all day (9+ hours) and there is no question that flats, wedges, or Converse will be my only shoe option!! I love a clean fresh face anyway, so minimal makeup is a no brainer and requires no touchup throughout the day! The perfect camera bag for me is a black nylon backpack–it kind of blends with whatever I’m wearing and doesn’t add a lot of weight to lug around.

    Love the post and interviews, Garance! xo

    adorn la femme

  • mademoiselle mauve August, 10 2015, 2:22 / Reply

    j’adore ce genre d’interviews (pouce levé !)

  • I love the career posts, including this one – but I must say that I would love to see more women who work in a corporate environment that is not fashion! A lot of women in business, including myself, care about fashion and style but don’t see many examples of women who find creative ways to be stylish and still appropriately dressed (wearing a suit every day gets very old very quickly).

  • Jennifer August, 10 2015, 2:46 / Reply

    This is such a smart post, makes so much sense to consider how our personal style changes with our jobs and lifestyles. How we think about fashion and then how it reflects in our lives.
    I remember after my job ended and I had my kids, no more suits and high heels…but now that they are older and I’m doing other things some heels, but mostly wedges have returned to my closet, but in a practical makes sense for my life sort of way. I’m learning as I go to rework my closet to fit life and what I want and still be in style.
    I loved reading about these experiences and I love your white shirt dress in this photo!

  • Great ladies all the 3 of you..i believe that we can be many different things in a life time we change we evolve..and we adapt ..as long as we look elegant and beautiful smile and happy..what else..
    with love
    Yael Guetta


  • As far as I’m concerned, there are many things I had to leave behind due to my job, and beauty routine is only one amongst them. I am a medical doctor, which means white practical clothes. Also long nails, nail polish, bracelets, rings, watches and loose hair are forbidden… which means I put stress on my make-up. I usually use pastel palette – I need to look professional. Also no tattoos for me… Still, no regrets for me – I love my job and wouldn’t have it any other way :)

  • I am a photographer and I get so hot when I shoot, inside or out. Cool is key and I love your white shirt dress in the photo! Where is that from or have you seen similar on the affordable end? xxoo

    ps I love your photography posts!

  • I know what you mean! I always loved high heels and I still do, but since I started working with kids, a lot, I had to face the reality it was killing me when I had to play with them, sit on the flor and so on in my 10cm heels. secondly, pencil skirts, the same story. At first I was angry, but then it became such a natural habit to adjust my wardrobe to what I do. It felt way better to feel comfy and relaxed at work. Now, I became the queen of being comfy, of course always try not to forget to look like someone who likes fashion and trends, lol :)



  • Priscille August, 10 2015, 5:44 / Reply

    Et d’ou viens cette petite banane parfaite ? Je l’adore !!!

  • That must be you x2? If not, she is your doppelgänger. Great post. How do we “keep it together” and still get our work done? I picture women working on my blog. It’s interesting, women in uniforms seem to do very well.


  • PLEASE tell me where that white shirtdress if from, Garance. Perfect summer dress. Thanks!

  • What a fantastic post, thank you so much!
    This is the perfect example of why I love this blog so much- living in style does not mean compromising oneself for trends. There’s a time and place for everything

  • Anastasia August, 11 2015, 2:40 / Reply

    Where is your dress and sandals are from on the photo? Merci xo

  • Francesca August, 11 2015, 4:10 / Reply

    Love the insights on your life as a photographer! Always admired your work and this post is beyond amazing!

  • Thanks so much for starting this dialogue Garance. I freelance as a journalist and fashion stylist. I have a few things that I always wear; my Masai watch and bracelets from my kids, and my wedding ring, they are like my gri-gris and I feel naked without them. Otherwise, I adapt my clothing for the job and the weather. Anything with Lycra in it gets my vote and a white shirt or black turtleneck always looks excellent. I’ve stopped wearing shoes/clothes I can’t climb, crawl or run in. As a journalist I sometimes have to follow my subjects to unexpected places and I must be able to do everything they do. As a stylist on set or location I find layers work well and I rarely wear makeup aside on set aside from a little liquid eyeliner, as I’m afraid of my makeup transferring on to the clothes.

  • Kristina August, 11 2015, 5:30 / Reply

    I’m always amazed how people can run around in heels. Great post! Also love the shirt dress Garance! Where’s it from? xo

  • j’adore, merci !! Du coup quand tu n’as plus ton appareil photo de rêve avec toi, que prends tu pour photographier ? Ton smartphone ou un super compact ? C’est mon problème depuis des années que je n’ai toujours pas résolu autrement qu’en prenant des photos avec mon téléphone, sans zoom, nul en gestion des contrastes, etc, bref j’ai perdu en qualité.

    Pour le travail, je travaille dans un univers masculin à un poste de direction donc je ne portais que des pantalons car j’avais peur de perdre en crédibilité si j’étais trop women power ou women flower. Mes touches originales étaient dans les couleurs vives en permanence, des coupes, les assemblages etc. J’ai fait un stage de développement personnel en juin qui s’appelle le grain de folie et paf je me suis lâchée. Aujourd’hui c’est jupe courte, robe courte, fleur dans les cheveux, en plus de la couleur et je me sens beaucoup plus joyeuse ! Je n’ai plus ce problème de crédibilité qui n’était que dans ma tête bien entendu, ça me rend plus légère :)

  • Merci pour tout ces conseils.
    Je regrette cependant que tu shootes moins les gens de la rue, d’ailleurs plus personne ne le fais il me semble. Je trouvais cela très inspirant ces filles, réelles avec leur corps réels, leur look fait de trucs chers, pas chers, les trouvailles ce certaines, la classe d’autres, le naturel ou la sophistication, il y avait de tout.
    Shooter les gens de la rue a été une mode géniale qui malheureusement n’a pas duré, vite le naturel à fait place au shooting organisé, aux filles apprêtées exprès guettant les photographes au abords des défilés.
    C’est vraiment dommage je trouve.

  • Merci Garance pour tes articles toujours teintés de belles ondes et de fraîcheur. Tu m’inspire. Bonne journée. :-)

  • Most awesome post!

    x Sophia

    Personal blog | Tao of Sophia
    Founder | Blog and The City

  • I adore you. :)

  • Dear Garance, tu es superbe sur cette photo et ta tenue est à ton image : chic, intelligente et épanouie. This is a special thank : je suis en train de travailler et m’atèle à la rédaction d’un document pour un atelier d’entrepreneurs et d’artistes et juste avant de me lancer, je regarde cette photo dont le mood m’inspire. Merci :-) belle journée.

  • Thanks so much for this! I just did a post on workwear myself albeit one that tries to move away from a traditional, mandated uniform. Take a look! http://wp.me/p5ev0F-1c


  • Garance, where is your bag from in your photo? I absolutely LOVE IT! I’m travelling to Europe later this month and would love to find a similar bag. It’s a much improved fanny pack! Thanks as always! You’re the best!!! xoxo

  • It’s Loeffler Randall!! xoxo

  • Super photos,belle robe.Merci

  • I really enjoy reading this post.
    I think there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way and with these 3 interviews I feel like it gives a break from all this nonsense.
    The fact is beauty and style should adapt to our life and personality not the contrary.


    Aurelie | http://www.surface85.com/

  • Laurence August, 12 2015, 8:15 / Reply

    Garance quelle est la marque de cette robe? je l’adoooooooooooooore!

  • Great approach to working-day fashion!
    And Garance, I must say you look super amazing! Definitely a cool off-the-job casual outfit too of course! The bag is wonderful!

    Have you ever considered going for the digital rangefinder, like a Leica? It’s not heavy, very discrete and small (sensibly small handbag size) too. (And when talking about street photography… Well the rangefinder is absolutely intertwined with it of course). I bought a Fuji X100S last year and really love it, so versatile and still high quality images.

  • Just reiterating what was aid above- it would be great if you could also interview some women in corporate environments who have to dress in uniform suits all the time. Just because there are a lot of conservative (ahem old fashioned) rules that they have to go by, but the most senior women tend to be bad ass and wear kick ass jewelry or brighter colors to kinda stand out while still fitting the rules and being taken seriously in a presentation-heavy industry where woman have to toe the line between looking great but being “classy”

  • Thanks for this, such great insight. I’d be interested in a post about the style of female field scientists, or other women who primarily work outside or in high-impact environments. I’m a coastal ecologist, and work primarily on beaches or out at sea (I’m very grateful). I tend to lean toward monochromatic, durable utilitarian pieces, logger boots, and lots of interesting jewelry, but am curious about what other women who work in the field do to keep things fun and creative?

  • Garance, if you don´t carry your big camera all the time, what do you use to get your great pictures?

  • Fantastic post; I hope this becomes a series!
    I am a doctor too, but as a paediatrician my work dressing is more casual. I fortunately don’t like jewellery and painted fingernails, because those are taboo. My natural style is minimalistic rock chick, and I tone it down for work. Mostly black, emphasis on excellent fabrics and great silhouettes, the occasional sneaky stud here and there— mostly on my shoes. My work day is very varied…we see kids from premature babies to 18 years old, so I race between Labour Ward, Children’s Ward, Emergency Room and Outpatients. If I have a very mobile day planned, or a 24 hour on call, I wear flat shoes (and I am always looking for interesting, edgy ones!). If I’m having a more sit-down outpatients day I’ll crack out my heels, but they will never be stilettoes. I have to cover whatever I wear with a white coat, but I’m used to that.
    I keep makeup simple though I am not averse to rocking a bold lip every now and then, especially in the autumn/winter.
    I find it very important to be able to express myself through my style at work and it’s a lovely challenge to keep doing that in a professional manner.

  • Good point with the photography. Normally I love my suits, good shoes, a nice shirt, pocket square etc. Now when I’m out working with the camera it’s usually a bit more casual, Ecco trainers or golf shoes(run, stand walk just about anywhere, so comfortable and don’t really look like sneakers), comfortable shirt, sweater or coat depending on the weather. Stretch trousers are a delight(yes I know, stretch denim…) not the super skinny ones though, just a bit of give, H&M are good; dark so when I kneel down dirt shows less. Lightweight Fuji cameras too, how Garance carries that 5D I don’t know I was glad to see the back of mine. Of course, a bum bag(fanny has a different meaning here in England) is great for batteries, snack, SPF, iPhone, Moleskine, tickets ad infinitum. Mine’s an ancient, sorry vintage, one from Black Diamond, not chic but it holds memories too.

  • Hello Garance article très intéressant, j’en profite pour mentionner autre chose … Ton site, mon dieu c’est trop compliqué, y’a des articles et des photos partout on ne sait plus ou donner de la tête… De plus simple et épuré ça serait pitetre cool :-)
    Quoi qu’il en soit, bonne continuation !

  • Cela fait quelques mois que je n’étais pas venue visiter Garance doré… Quel dommage! J’ai pris un réel plaisir à lire cet article. Répondre à la question de l’apparence selon le métier de chaque femme était super intéressant.
    J’ai beaucoup aimé !

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