We See Beauty

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For the past year, we have had the honor of working with an amazing new cosmetics company that just launched called MAKE. MAKE has saturation in its product like NARS, the range of color like MAC and the professional tools like MakeupProfessional, but is different from a humanitarian perspective. Every time you buy a MAKE product, you help fund the We See Beauty Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting and strengthening communities and local economy, especially for women-led small businesses.

MAKE finds beauty in encouraging self-expression through color by fostering contemporary collaborations between makeup artists and creatives worldwide. MAKE is the first for-benefit beauty brand on We See Beauty and is made in New York. When you go to their website, it feels more like an art gallery experience than a commerce site. Having worked closely with their founder to help fulfill her vision, I can tell you MAKE is about the celebration of women and however they choose to define themselves.

Here are some behind the scenes snapshots on set at Jack Studios with MAKE and our team, showing palettes of colors, stylist’s wardrobe, props, makeup artist’s sketches and major gear!

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Behind the Scenes

Jamie Beck

Jamie Beck

There are so many aspects of a photo shoot that take place to get those effortless images that tell a story or inspire a dream. Before the months of post-production begin, a crew of talented people, each bringing their own specialty to the table, all comes together to bring an idea to life.

The idea began last December…starting with an introductory meeting with Rachel Roy, a peek at the spring collection for inspiration and a clear understanding of the scope of the project. Kevin, Kelly and I went to work concepting what the Rachel Roy woman was to us, and what story we wanted to tell. With inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe, the colors of the spring collection, and the words from the designer “Effortless, Elegant, Exotic” bouncing in our head, we came up with the idea of American Exotic: our desert wanderer finding herself in the arid landscape out west. We wanted to put the clothes in an environment that would make them sing.

Once approved by Rachel we got to work with our producer. Where can we shoot in January that matches our vision but isn’t covered in snow? Locations had to be scoured with everything we needed for our shot list and then approved. Budget estimates had to be tweaked. Local crew had to be booked. Our model and muse had to be chosen. This is how we spent our Christmas holiday: taking work phone calls at family gatherings, working out equipment lists, renting equipment, buying film, writing video direction, confirming the crew and finalizing everyone’s scheduling with the producer.

One of the most important parts of being a photographer is directing everyone. Communication is everything. Only I can see what is in my head; I have to set the path, make the decisions and comunicate with everyone what we are going to do when and how, what time is call time because of the logistics of the locations and the light, when we are going to scrap one idea and head to another because I have a gut feeling.

And then, finally, we shoot.

Here is a small glimpse of what it looked like and how it worked ~

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The “stand-in”

Deciding where to shoot, what angle is best, how the light is and where the model should go is all tested out before our  model gets on set with stand-in shots. The art director, an assistant, the stylist will all stand-in and help me visualize what I want by letting me test shots until we have worked it out and can then get our equipment ready.

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Making moments with can-do assistants

Having high energy, can-do-anything assistants is such a critical part to any photoshoot and making magic happen! Here is Jeff getting filthy so our muse can be kissed by the desert smoke in the final shot emerging from the cave.

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Rachel Roy Travel Diary

New York to Palm Springs

If you remember from our #RRExotic Instagrams, this past January our team headed out west to sunny Palm Springs to shoot Rachel Roy‘s Spring / Summer 2013 Campaign. We spent the first couple of days location scouting with our amazing producer in areas all around southern California. We danced on boulders in Cougar Buttes, walked the sands of Joshua Tree, found a desert oasis at the Salton Sea and felt the colors of the earth at Painted Canyon.

When we are location scouting for a story, we look for the scenes that have been playing out in our imagination to come to life. We look at the light, we imagine the scene and we take test shots. When we get back to our hotel, we go through the images and match them up with the looks our stylist has sent stills of from the fitting the previous day back in NYC, plan out routes and timing and make lists for the next day of what we are still looking for. I love location scouting; all the possibilities are ahead of you, you just have to see it.

Here are some snapshots of our journey to and around California taken with an old point and shoot Olympus camera, a Polaroid Spectra with ImpossibleUSA filmFuji Instax and a Canon 1DX.

Also, this place in Palm Springs was AWESOME.


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On Making Work

I’m always happiest when I’m on set. Collaborating with creative people, spending weeks prepping, sharing the vision with the models and watching the hairstylist and makeup artist transform them all while the stylist creates magical looks for that quiet moment on set is where the dream becomes realized in front of the camera. For me, capturing that moment is the greatest high in life.

By now you know Kevin, Kelly & I collaborate on many creative projects with the Lincoln heritage Cinemagraphs being the most recent. Weeks before a shoot we start the brainstorming sessions where we flesh out the vision and we all get on the same page. What is the story we want to tell? How do we want people to feel when looking at it? What do we want it to look like in the end? We build our team and get to work model casting, renting props, equipment, location scouting, testing, and fittings.

I’ve always shied away from having behind the scenes photos taken of our process but now I want these candid moments to remember this time in our career. They’re a visual diary of our life’s work. Our studio assistant snapped some stills throughout the day of the cars, the props, prepping for shots and watching for that one moment to live forever.

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Behind the Scenes

I was very honored when DKNY Fragrances offered me a unique look into their world of scents and opened the pathway for me to be inspired to create imagery around the essence and emotion of the DKNY Fragrance collections.

You’ll see our work pop up on their Facebook page in the coming months and as a kickstart to the collaboration we made a little film together with the talented team at Indelible about our life in New York, our passion for work and my love for perfume

Below are images behind the scenes from our shoot, aaaaand a very first look into our creative studio!

Above: Hair by Tashina Tantalos, makeup by Bradford Knight. The inspiration was “Rita Hayworth”… big surprise eh?

Three quarter sleeve dress with open back and washed leather drape front jacket by DKNY 

Shooting at Ann Street Studio, our creative work space downtown

Hashtag diva! I didn’t even have to buckle my own shoes. 

Above: Of course we talked a lot about these, it goes with the territory.

Above: Leather Peplum Blouse and Skinny Black Pant with Leather Riding Patch by DKNY / Rachel Roy Black Delia Boots

Loved watching them film with the Glidecam HD4000, so smooth in the final video but you would never know he was running after me on the bike. 

Below, ending the filming day with a nightcap at the Odeon, one of our personal favorite post-studio work day haunts. 

See how the video came out here!

Nine West & Runway Relief

Join Nine West and Runway Relief at Fashion’s Night Out on September 6 at the Rockefeller Plaza store and take a photo with Nigel Barker and models Chrissie Teigen, Catrinel Menghia and more… Step for a cause and raise funds for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and you can Shop the Runway Relief collection HERE.

This is a special behind the scenes peek of Nine West’s campaign shoot with photographer Nigel Barker in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District.

@ninewest / #runwayrelief

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Behind the Doors of Banana Republic~

A team of talented people, an army of beautiful models, the most charming designer whose illustrations I’m obsessed with…

Banana Republic opened their studio doors to capture the process from model fittings, styling, hair and makeup tests and all the vision it takes to bring together what will be our Banana Republic in Spring 2012

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