FrmHeadToToe and Marc Jacobs Beauty

Jen FrmHeadToToe by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Earlier this year I got to photograph Jen Chae of the From Head To Toe YouTube beauty channel for a social media collaboration with Marc Jacobs Beauty. Jen’s a sweet girl from Kansas who teaches people how to do their makeup, empowers them to feel comfortable in the their own skin, starred in a Wong Fu web series with AT&T, and just hit a million subscribers. K, the girl is a powerhouse.

Direction wise the shoot was pretty straightforward. Jen’s lipstick on a vanity. Jen putting on lipstick. Then –you guessed it! Jen wearing lipstick! I wanted to add a subtle glam pop to these simple images adding cinematic/film elements. I attached my old Helios 58/2 to a Sony A7s to achieve this effect. I mean just look at how this stunning red shade of lipstick looks against the Helios’s old school grainy, bokeh.

Jen FrmHeadToToe by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

One note about photographing with older lens, I’d say about 99.9% of the time they don’t have an af motor in them. Thus you’ll have to take your time and manual focus all your shots. I like that aspect though. It reinforces the idea of creating the shot beforehand rather than spraying and praying you have the shot.

Jen FrmHeadToToe by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

When Jen and I ventured out to look for ambient city lights for as a background… we discovered that Los Angeles likes to turn off its lights after the winter holidays. Around Christmas the streets are often decorated from head to toe (har har see what I did there?) with colorful lights and tinsel. Unfortunately everything was taken down when we were there. Luckily I still had my prism from my last shoot still on me.

I ended up using a prism to reflect lights for nearby buildings directly into my lens to vignette the already lovely Jen with a cascade of rainbow-y foreground bokeh. For the prism effect all you have to do is hold up a glass prism in front of your camera’s lens and then rotate it to get the desired effect.

Equipment Used:

Sony A7s
Metabones EF to E Mount adaptor
Helios 58/2
Prism

On Social Media:

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