Photography by Xiaoguang Tse
Beauty. It’s so much more than just a pretty face, especially when it comes to the world of beauty photography! Part portrait, part fashion editorial- it’s an extremely difficult niche to master as a photographer. Not only do you have to have superior retouching skills and a keen eye for detail and editing, but you also need to have a killer makeup artist and a powerful connection with the model. A great beauty shot is something truly striking.
Jenn Collins and her arsenal of insanely talented MUAs have got all of the elements of a perfect beauty image down to a science. Time after time, Jenn and her team have demonstrated that they are some of the best artists in their field. Here are some of the highlights of their best work with Nous Models:
Photography by Jenn Collins
You’re known pretty exclusively as Melis+Dainon; so you guys are some kind of a duo? What does that mean and how does that work?
Yes! We are partners in life and in business, and are often referred to as a “photography duo.” We share similar talents, and the other skills we have developed really complement each other, so we are a good team. We conceptualize shoots, work with clients, and select models and creative teams together. I (Melis) am the lead on photography, while Dainon is the lighting master. In post, Dainon is the primary retoucher, and I come in for the finishing touches. It’s a great balance!
What makes you different from your peers and competition?
Our photographic style is all about the search for authenticity. We take photos that are true to life and capture the best and most unique attributes of the model, design, and environment. Rather than adding stylistic signatures to the photos that identify them as ours, we preserve the integrity of the content through straightforward execution that is unfiltered and impactful.
We also took a very different path to photography than most. I earned my Master’s in Business Administration and worked as a Marketing Director, and Dainon earned his law degree and worked as an Executive Director prior to opening Melis+Dainon. Our non-traditional journey provides us with a unique understanding of the challenges that business owners face in developing their brands, as well as the ability to resolve these challenges through an integrated brand marketing and photography approach.
Do you have a specialty or area of focus?
We specialize in photography and branding for the fashion, beauty, and entertainment industries. Business owners and individuals in these industries are especially affected by image-based branding and depend on quality, impactful photography as a vehicle to communicate with their target customers. It’s a natural fit!
What drove you to expand the scope of your services?
The simple answer is that we realized there was a significant need for an integrated approach to branding, and we were uniquely positioned to provide a solution.
After we launched our photography business, we met a lot of designers, entrepreneurs, and individuals (e.g. models, actors, personalities) who would inevitably discuss their experiences – good and bad – with trying to build their brands. We could see how passionate they were and most had a really clear vision for their value, position, and business. However, in many cases, the brand that their target customers experienced did not fit at all with their vision. The customer-facing materials – like website images, POS displays, catalogs, ads, etc. – either were not very engaging, or worse, engaged the wrong audience entirely. It was frustrating to see brands that we really believe in suffer from miscommunication or lack of clarification between business teams and creatives. So, we decided to do something about it.
What kinds of things have you added?
We now offer services that span the entire marketing process – from concept to campaign. We help businesses, owners, and individuals (personal brands) to grow and develop at all stages – from start-ups to established companies who want to launch new product lines or refine existing plans.
An example of our full-service process may look like:
Introductory brand consulting and strategic planning
Website content creation and structure, on-page SEO, and web images
Social media content creation, strategy, and promotional images
Advertising strategy, planning, implementation, creative direction, and campaign images
Brand direction & consulting – oversee the work of brand contributors to make sure the brand integrity is maintained
What’s the advantage to that?
When we are able to support owners and teams through the various stages of the marketing process, they can feel confident that their needs are heard, understood, and translated into quality and effective strategies. There is no gap in communication because we are with them from start to finish and handle both their marketing and photography needs.
#Goals; everybody’s got ’em. What are yours?
We love traveling and experiencing different cultures, so we aim to develop our business into a vehicle that we can use to explore the world. We already have clients in different countries and would like to continue to grow our network so we can work and live without roots. Shooting campaigns in beautiful, exotic locations with amazing talent, and helping to develop global brands would be the ultimate achievement.
In a world where everything seems overdone to the max, sometimes subtler beauty is the way to go. A clean, natural face is timeless, and we love Monica Baddar’s ability to shoot a model in her most delicate, feminine element. Aside from being less time consuming than a full face of makeup, an understated face is the perfect balance to a bolder clothing choice, like Alexis Ren’s patterned crop jacket and skirt combo. See how Monica captured Alexis, Allison, Diane, Monica, Sydney and Zeda in these gorgeous and natural shots!
Most, if not all, photographers we love have a signature style. Dana Pennington is no exception – his shots stand out for their uniqueness in terms of light and contrast. From serene gardens to edgy alleyways to even a simple room, his backdrops always seem to make for captivating canvases on which our girls stand out. We love the way he illuminates each model in his shots, immediately drawing the audience’s eye on them. Check out some of our favorites below. Thank you, Dana for your awe-inspiring work!
Photographer – Dana Pennington
In the dead of winter- is there a better way to pass the time than to dream of summer? In your day dreaming endeavors… we’ve got the best of the best inspiration for you: a batch of some of our all-time favorite swim looks!