Tag Archives: the art factory

Jordan for Cleri Models Photographed by Christopher Sztybel at Art Factory Studios

Wonderful light was on my side throughout the day for this shoot with Jordan. I don’t usually set up the fog machine for modeling shoots, but after the results I got for this shoot it will inspire me to do it more often. This was also the first shoot since receiving my brand spanking new Magbox by MagMod. If you are a fan of speedy setups and beautiful artificial light then the MagBox is a product you need in your life.

Makeup and hair for this shoot was handled by Nicole Sacco. Wonderful job, Nicole!

The location for our shoot together was the incomparable Art Factory Studios in Paterson, New Jersey.

Engagement Session with Sam and Steve at Paterson Great Falls and Art Factory Studios

I’ll be photographing Sam and Steve’s wedding at Art Factory Studios this October. Until then we just had to take some photos together. You know. Kick the tires and make sure we’re a well-oiled machine on the actual wedding day. Since they’re both big music fans I wanted to make sure we worked in that element for at least a couple shots. We hazed up the room where Alice In Chain’s filmed their “Voices” music video and I brought along my Stratocaster to use as a prop. If you’re looking for an industrial wedding venue then this is it, folks.

I used several MagMod products for the interior shots and, of course, that included gels. When I first started using gels years ago I got so much crap for it. But I will never stop using them. You hear me, world? GELS4LIFE.

Without further adieu I give you SAM AND STEVE’S UNCENSORED ENGAGEMENT SESSION!

Cleri Models – Ana G. Modeling at Art Factory Studios

Another successful shoot with Cleri Models at Art Factory Studios in Paterson, New Jersey. Ana has a dance background and although we wanted to focus our efforts elsewhere you can imagine that skillset came in handy. Particularly when we positioned her in a window with a 30 degree angle. She held the pose like Spider-Woman!

Shot on the Sony a7r II with a variety of lenses including the Sony 85mm f/1.8

Maddy Hooker Modeling Session @ Art Factory Studios

This was another terrific session with Maddy and this time we did it at my studio space in north NJ at Art Factory Studios. I got to play around with my 15mm lens which I normally never use for portrait work, but I wanted to accentuate leg length and have a bit more coming at the viewer. We played with colorful palettes and a strong sun that gave us nice contrast for each setup.

Madison Hooker at Art Factory Studios with That Werks Photography

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

Getting Downright Experimental with Professional Dancers

The night I photographed Andrea, Emily and Tara was a big ole experiment. There is no creative growth in my book without throwing everything out the window for something new. I shot everything using a lens I would normally never use being so close to the subject. I used off camera flash in a way I never did before. My favorite images taken that evening were shot against a dark background. If I had to describe the look it would be a fluid series of motions captured in one single exposure. This gives the performer something they probably don’t have in their portfolio of images. Something different that stands out and gets a “WOW!”

Style is always evolving. Never be completely content in the work you are creating because there’s always another way to push or pull the methods. Using this method of photographing dancers should encourage anyone that performs dance, or knows someone that dances, to look into booking a shoot with me. We will create amazing images together using this technique.

To book use the “Inquire” message box on this site or visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Professional Dancers and Athletes at Art Factory Studios in Paterson, NJ

Kelly and Mike’s Totally Tubular Engagement Session

Each time I do a wedding or engagement for people I like to think of something different. Something that will stand out and make people remember a particular shot. This time around we shot Kelly and Mike using a big ass tube that someone discarded. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. We did whatever the hell we wanted during this shoot and I’m always grateful for clients, family or not, that are up for some horseplay and antics.

Take a look at the shots below and then contact me through my new totally tubular photography site and schedule your very own shoot.

Kelly and Mike's engagement session at The Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey