If you're having a hard time finding the right person for the job... why not hire the wrong person for the job?
A recent assignment of mine was to produce an image using body paint on a person. The guidelines were wide open as far as how this was to be produced. This was somewhat of a new realm for me, and quite frankly, one that I've never really been interested in. Day after day I attempted to come up with some sort of concept for the shoot, but nothing that knocked me out of my chair seemed to come to mind. Not only did I have no idea what I was going to shoot, but I couldn't find the right model and everyone that I would trust to do body paint was booked! Well, I shot a model for a different assignment last week and just happened to mention to her my current dilemma. Coincidently she was very into the art of body painting. Funny thing is, she had never applied her craft to another person, but rather had spent hours and hours in front of a mirror painting herself. She was stoked on the idea of working on another canvas, so she showed me some of the things that she had done on herself and, quite honestly, they were pretty impressive. We made a tentative confirmation on the shoot while I searched desperately for a good model. I eventually found someone to model, but come to find out she is actually a body paint artist and had just recently started modeling "just for fun". So here we are with a great model who is relatively inexperienced at body painting, and a great body painter who is inexperienced as a model. I decided to just go with it in an effort to keep things fresh and try something new for everyone. The results were better than I even expected and I am very happy with the final shots!
So, I guess it goes to show that not only is the right person for the job not always the right person for the job, but also, if you let go of what might obviously be the best solution (letting the professional body paint artist apply makeup on the professional model), you might get something unexpected... and it might even lead to the greatest results.
*Here's an alternate image from the same shoot.
**In case you're interested, the first photograph was shot using one strobe with a 40º grid about 5' directly above the model's face. The model laid on her back, supported by her elbows and looked directly at the light. The image was then rotated 90º to the right because it had much more impact, feeling as thought the model is moving through the frame.
The second photo was shot with a beauty dish as key (camera left) and a 5' octabox as fill (0º camera axis, and about 7' in front of the model)... and yes, that's me in the middle of the catchlight.