Warning: This blog might get confusing as I was working with 2 Alex and 2 Nancy. Reader discretion is advised.
Funny, 2 years ago hair and makeup were flying 10 feet over my head. I am a shaved head kind of guy so no time is wasted trying to put so order up there and makeup… well I probably wore some 25 or 30 years ago for Halloween. That was was so girl stuff. When I got into people photography, these topics grabbed a little bit more attention. I am not saying all my shoots have a hair stylist or makeup artist. Some shoots that are done with a more natural look don’t necessarily get that particular attention but there are certain shoots, the ones that are more complex and elaborated, where I will try to get a crew.
Alexandra Castronovo contacted me a while back. She needed new photos for her book. One of her friends, Nancy Deblois, also needed some for her hair styling portfolio. We discussed a few things, who would take care of what and when and a date was set. It was the 4th time I was working with Alex. I met her on Victoria’s bridal show banner shoot last year and she did an amazing job. She is the one who did the makeup for my Salvation shoot with Jessica and The Circus.
We had 2 models lined up for the shoot; Nancy Brunet (if you are following the blog a little, you should recognize her) and Alexandra Sierra. I rented a studio last week, hauled again all my gears to the 3rd floor, along with 40-50 pounds of newspapers. We had that idea of shooting against a newspaper made background rather than a plain white or black. While Makeup Alex and Hair Nancy were preparing Model Nancy, I got busy sticking newspapers on the paperback. I had been collecting papers for a while in hope I would not run out. I had maybe a hundred papers. All I needed was about 8. My back paid the price the next day. Anyway, once everything was set, I had about 30 minutes to work with Model Nancy before she had to leave. In the meantime, Model Alex was getting prepared. With the little time I had with Model Nancy, we stuck to the newspaper back. I would have loved to move around but I had no other set prepared for that. Once we were done, I made sure to put up the clothe background I had and started looking around the building from something interesting and discreet.
When Model Alex was ready, we hit the newspaper background, shot a bit there, then moved to the clothe set. The clothe background is really classic; it has been seen many times before but I really started to dig it. I was using mainly an Alien Bee AR800 (that I have to return to Victoria ..um um around Christmas I think um um…). At the end of the shoot, with some time to spare, Model Alex and I headed outside the studio and tried a few shots in the stairs, hallway and washrooms. It was Model Alex’s 2nd or 3rd photoshoot and when we got out of the studio, I felt a different vibe coming from her; she got into a different mindset, different attitude. I liked what was coming up on that LCD screen. Don’t get me wrong, she was doing great on the paperback but I think she can be an exceptional on-location model. Moments later, her boyfriend Jeff arrived and was game enough to take off the shirt and start posing with Model Alex.
One of the unsuspected surprises both Makeup Alex and Hair Nancy got was when I told them via email that with 2 models and both of them, I should have enough people in front of the camera for the evening.
“Really? Pictures of us?”.
Two girls with great looks, tattoos and personalities, it would be a shame not to give it a try. They both kicked rear-ends and I would do it again. I kept it simple as I was looking more for head and shoulders shots from them. As a matter of fact, the photos I did of Makeup Alex on the clothe background (between Model Nancy and Model Alex) were the turning point of the whole photoshoot. Working on a tight background forced me to look further into interesting angles. I kept that same mindset when we moved back to the newspaper background.
Considering we had 4 hair styles and 4 makeups to cover, I think we did great. Everyone got out of there with photos they will use. The hairs were superb and the makeups were amazing. You go through sessions like this and you realize how important that girly stuff can be.
Alexandra Sierra and Jeff Reginal
Alexandra Castronovo – Makeup Artist
Nancy Deblois – Hair Stylist