Steven Brokaw Photography

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Makup Artist and Stylist, Jacks Von Liria
I had the chance to help makeup artist Jacks Von Liria with a project by creating a series of photographs he wanted to use on his website.  He reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in helping him out by doing a few headshots, portraits & profile images for his various online uses.  Since he wanted Black & White photos I volunteered.  I was in the middle of a B&W theme so timing was perfect.  We agreed to a trade.  I would shoot his images, and he would do the MUA job for one of my shoots.

Jacks is a local makeup artist and hair stylist so he wanted photos with more of a fashion vibe.  He would bring 2 models and his website designer.   The plan was straight forward.  Since the shoot was B&W would work on a fashion grey sweep using a single Elinchrom D-Lite 4 studio strobe equipped with an Elinchrom 27” beauty dish reflector.  The idea was to get a balanced, offset light with moderate to strong shadows.  Everything was to be photographed using my Nikon D600 with the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 ED-G lens.  Camera metered in at ISO 160, f/11 & speed at either 1/100 or 1/125.
Everyone arrived on time and Jacks immediately started making up the models, Caroline Nauth (if you’ve read my blog you know I’ve worked with Caroline several times) and Crystal Kay Velez.  While Jacks was getting the models ready to go I played around with Caroline photographing her against a grey wall and showing Jacks website designer, Shonn Piersol, how the control light with a camera.  Fun stuff…ok, fun stuff for a photographer.  I also photographed both on the grey seamless and got some good photos, although they were not part of the series.

Shonn Getting Into The Action
The models were finished and away we go.  We did a number of settings for Jacks.  He did a good deal of directing since he had a vision in mind what he wanted and I took it from there.  We did multiple arrangements with Jacks alone, Jacks with Shonn, Jacks holding his MU brushes, the models, and the models with Jacks, etc. etc.  I photographed standing up, sitting down and moving around.  I constantly moved the light around as well to get different shadowing.  I arranged the group multiple ways to get the desired effects.  This was working great.  I was a bit concern that the sweep wouldn’t be wide enough, but it ultimately wasn’t a problem.  Jacks was wearing high end attire on so things were looking good.

Jacks & Shonn
Caroline, Jacks, Crystal & Shonn
Finally, Jacks changed into very high end casual styled clothes and I did a series of head shots.  These also turned out really well.  He has a very expressive face with works very well in B&W.   As with the group shots I took a good deal of guidance from Jacks since he had a look in mind and then I posed him from there.  And after about 3 hours, it was a wrap.  It was a fun time with the entire group, I got to meet a model I’ve wanted to meet, met a new friend in Jacks, and got to meet another local Indy business man who also did well in front of the camera.  It was a wrap.
After action tips:
  • Remember Steve, makeup takes a long time, especially if you throw in hair.  I've got to find something constructive to do while I have this time to kill.  The new studio will help with this,
  • Talk to your client.  Jacks had a very distinct look in mind for the photographs and if I just took over it wouldn't have worked out,
  • Take advantage of barter deals such as this.  The following weekend Jacks returned the favor and did an amazing MU job on Caroline (again) for another one of my shoots,
  • Try something new.  I've not shot a group fo 4 in studio, so I thought this would be a bit of a miss, but with simple posing, positioning and shooting angles it came out great.

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