• Lab Work: The Art of Jessica Saint

    Jessica Saint

    Posted on November 16, 2012 by Elisa Gabor

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    ……….I met the four girls in front of the Penn bookstore per TW’s instructions.  Two models were booked from Main Line Models, Karly Brownstein and Dyana Baurley.  They appeared drastically different than their photographs from the agency indicated; a hint at what we would learn later in class.  They were impressively effervescent for being students themselves at the end of a long day of classes.  The other two girls, who were lugging around what looked like a folded-up director’s chair and several large, rectangular cases made their way over.  One of them pushed the wooden legs from the chair along the pavement with her foot as it slipped from her overly ambitious hand.  These were the make-up artists: Jessica Saint and her assistant Toni Burke .  

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    Photo: Anjani Vedula

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    Photo: Dan Murphy

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    Inside the lab, students of Tony Ward’s Fashion Photography course bustle around, checking out equipment, scouting locations around UPenn’s campus, waiting to see what’s in store for the day.  Although I was dying to know how exactly Jessica managed to apply her cat eye liquid eyeliner with such surgical precision, that was not the imperative topic for the day.  The girls were there to demonstrate how they professionally apply make-up to models working with fashion photographers.

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    Photo: J. Antonio

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    Jessica’s impressive resume and background in make-up includes everything from time with my favorite broadway show, The Lion King, to high profile, high fashion shoots, to owning her own make-up artistry business.  She gave the students tips for working with make-up artists, forming relationships in the business, and how to handle shoots when the make-up becomes an obstacle on set.  The models bravely sat facing the class in their chairs as the artists busily painted their faces.

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    Photo: Evan Robinson

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    Photo: Anjani Vedula

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    After twenty minutes or so of what looked like brushes and powders colliding in a frenzy with the models’ skin, the shimmering dust settled, and the students took over.  They took turns shooting the models against various back drops.  Some allowed the dramatic eye shadow to create a context for the photograph; others used interesting architecture and even projections to create a narrative within the frame.  I could tell they were enjoying themselves – looking through the lens and seeing the models’ faces transformed before them.  I admit to feeling a little jealous of the fun they were having.  Like all of the other skills they have learned in the class thus far, I am certain the students will run with this and bring amazing images to the next session.

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    Photo: Brian Chaffinich

     

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    Photo: Evan Robinson

       

    Editor’s Note: Models courtesy Main Line Models: www.MainLineModelAgency.com.  

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    About The Author: Elisa Gabor is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program, University of Pennsylvania.