Tag Archives: Sony a7r ii

Fall Photos At Art Factory Studios and Paterson Great Falls

It’s always a pleasure photographing families. Particularly families that have grown from knowing just one of the parents from waaaaaaay back when we were all kids nevermind having kids of our own. It was a lot of fun getting down to the Great Falls since they’ve done major improvements along the Passaic River. The view of the falls now has a nice fence allowing for an unobstructed view of Mother Nature in all her glory.

If you would like to book a session, family or otherwise, please contact me through http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Family photos at Art Factory Studios and Great Falls in Paterson, NJ

Goblin Market Wedding

Special thanks to Events by Merida’s very own Merida for crafting this treasure trove of words.

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is a dark fairytale, replete with small, tempting creatures, erotic phrasing, and a simple message:

Don’t eat strange fruit.

I’d been wanting to create this styled shoot for over a year, but I kept shelving it for various reasons. Finally, I sprung it on Chris of That Werks Photography– an incredibly talented photog out of the Art Factory in Paterson- with a, “this might seem weird…” His response?

“Count me in!”

I gathered some favorite vendors (and improv-ed a little) to bring my vision to life. A favorite MUA of Chris’s, Raen, came in to do the makeup, and she brought along two models from northern NJ, Rebecca and Natasha. A model I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the stars align on was able to come down for the shoot as well.

What never fails to astound me is the talent that these vendors bring to the table. Hair was by Jaimee of William Jean Salon, and she was also kind enough to loan us Maven, her darling mini-me, to be our “goblin”. She used the natural texture of Rebecca’s hair to create a gorgeous boho style, woven with greens. There was the same greenery in Natasha and Angeline’s hair. Fun coincidence: both Maven and Natasha have part of their heads shaved!

For makeup, I asked Raen for deep, rich colors on the lips. After that, I just let her go wild. Metallics came popping out on eyelids in addition to daring lip colors. The blue on Rebecca is probably my favorite, but I’ve always been a fan of dark lipsticks.

As for the “bouquets”, I wanted to do something slightly different. Lanterns have been in style for awhile as both centerpieces and to carry down the aisle (and pretty much everywhere in-between). I think they’re great for bouquets because they’re more natural to hold, and easier on the Person of Honor that has to hold two of them during the ceremony. I even managed to sneak some fruit in there with the candle!

Finally, the tablescape. Chris (the photographer) and I went out about a week before the shoot to take a look at locations in the park. The visitor center there does do receptions, FYI. However, we wanted it outdoors. What complicated things was that up until a few days before, it looked like it was going to rain! Luckily, we ended up having beautiful weather!

We came down a rather steep hill to an area by the Delaware that had a semi-circle of stone pavers. The backdrop was an island in the middle of the river. I initially planned a thick runner of eucalyptus or ferns, but I had so much moss that we covered the table in it. I dotted with the table with vintage (and vintage looking) pieces, and tons of fruit. We broke open a few pomegranates (and thankfully there were geeks abounding that got my Persephone jokes), and threw bundles of odd-looking grapes around to create a lush, but wild, feel.

When it came to create the dynamics of the group, I knew I wanted to have two women. It would have been disingenuous to the author to have it otherwise. Christina Rossetti’s work is complicated and influenced by many themes, but given the vivid imagery of her poetry, many people speculate that she was likely a closeted lesbian- which at the time, was the only way you could be a lesbian and not get into serious trouble. I knew we needed kids in the shoot to be the little folk, and I wanted a bridesmaid to bring together the colors of the shoot.

Dressing them was fun! BHLDN was kind enough to loan us two gorgeous dresses, and the bridesmaid’s dress was a burgundy convertible dress.

As for the cake- we shot this in the depth of wedding season, so all of the bakers are keeping up with their clients! This where some improv came in- and it’s a great DIY option. I found a pretty little buttercream cake at Wegman’s, and we surrounded it with greenery and fruit. I set the table up against a stone pillar overgrown with ivy- it seemed fitting for the theme, and I’m always a fan of using the elements around you. I used a scarlet tablecloth and hung copper twinkle lights behind the table to give it depth.

What was funny was as the girls were doing their cake cutting, a group of fishers came down to the river to join us! Apparently we interrupted their nightly routine. They were extremely kind as we finished up. It seemed like such a quaint ending to the shoot.

At the end of the day, all of the elements came together beautifully. I’m just glad we could do justice to Rossetti’s work.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed making them!

Merida Alexander
+1 215.527.5344
@eventsbymerida
As seen on: 
NBC Philadelphia, The Knot,
WeddingWire, Green Wedding Shoes,
Offbeat Bride, and Philly in Love
Styled Wedding by Events by Merida with photography by That Werks (Christopher John Sztybel)

McKenna for Cleri Models Photographed at Art Factory Studios

This shoot is from right around the time I started doing headshots in a new way. I typically stay away from flat lighting, but it works well for the modeling portfolio headshots because it shows off features without heavy shadowing and it minimizes skin irregularities. I particularly love the look with the red dress and red lipstick. Raen (hair/makeup) always does a great job of going over the wardrobe choices with me so that we’re on the same page.

McKenna did a great job, nailed all her looks and we made use of some spaces at the studio that hadn’t been used before.

Model: McKenna from Cleri Models
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Hair and Makeup Artist: Araena Sanchez
Assistant: Katie Aklian

McKenna for Cleri Models photographed at Art Factory Studios by That Werks Photography

Brianne for Cleri Models

Here’s a fun shoot I did with Brianne from Cleri Models in the studio. I’ve been digging the Savage backdrops lately. They really are perfect for giving me the pop needed for modeling work. I like a nice crisp directional light, drop shadow and a vibrant backdrop and their seamless paper fits the bill for that aesthetic. We also employed a little bit of haze for the environment.

Location: The Art Factory
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Model: Brianne M. for Cleri Models
Hair & Makeup: Araena Sanchez
Assistant: Katie Aklian

To view more of my work and to book me please visit my photography web site.

Brianne for Cleri Models photographed by That Werks Photography at Art Factory Studios

Isabella for Cleri Models

We got some amazing natural light for quite a few of the images captured of Isabella for Cleri Models. Pockets of super golden sunlight poured in quite a few of the windows and Isabella managed to keep her eyes open without fail even with such bright conditions. Every time I have a session with someone I am looking to deliver new to satisfy the client and further my own style. There is always a new spin on an old technique to be found.

Model: Isabella from Cleri Models
Photographer: Christopher John Sztybel
Hair and Makeup Artist: Araena Sanchez
Assistant: Katie Aklian

Isabella for Cleri Models photographed at Art Factory Studios

Dancer On A Mission

Grace and confidence. Two things everyone should either possess or strive for. This is why I enjoy photographing dancers. Capturing a person in their own little world is magic. Here are a few of my favorite shots from an afternoon with Julia. Thanks to Ciara for assisting on the shoot!

For this shoot I mixed it up with natural light and strobes. My go to strobe is the Paul C. Buff Einstein E640. The quality of light and flash duration blows me away for action shoots. Perfection every time and I am also a big fan of their modifier durability and portability.

For booking and to see my extensive portfolio visit thatwerksphotography.com

Julia Carrano dance session at The Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey

An Engagement Session Featuring a Latin Circus, Rolling Pin Violence and Matching Flannel Apparel

If you are looking for a “normal” engagement session, I officially don’t do them anymore. This engagement session is next level. The Latin Circus discovery happened on accident and my only regret is it seemed to be vacant that day or else we would have definitely tamed a lion. I’ve known these two characters for a while now and enjoy seeing two wacky people that genuinely care for one another. It’s a pleasure to shoot the reality of it all. When I asked Vin to lay down on a questionable furry rug and have Jenna rule over him like a Queen…they both did it. Top notch effort all around.

I haven’t really talked about my gear much lately. These days I shoot on the Sony A7RII which is definitely the most versatile camera body I’ve ever used. For both my photo and cinema work, there really hasn’t been anything engineered like this camera. The quality of the final images is slamming, the files are easy to work with and the dynamic range through the roof. Not to mention it has in-camera image stabilization. In the new year I will be transitioning over to Sony lenses. Far less weight, much sharper and less expense than the EOS mount lenses I currently use with a Metabones adapter. The Sony Carl Zeiss and G Master lenses are designed to take full advantage of all the bells and whistles the camera offers me.

Now let’s cut to the chase and behold the greatness of Vin and Jenna’s engagement session highlights!

To see my work, visit thatwerksphotography.com and remember 2017 WILL BE UNSTOPPABLY AWESOME.

Engagement Session at The Art Factory in Paterson, NJ