Actress Portfolio Photography – Isabella

actress portfolio photography

by Heidi Denney

Isabella Needed an Actress Portfolio Update

Isabella is a 13-year-old girl with a lot of spunk! And she needed an actress portfolio update. We loved catching her attitude in Blue Back Square in West Hartford, CT after Elise of Top Level Salon glam’d her up while still keeping her young. So many favorite images. So many different expressions! With our handy dandy portable changing room, it’s so easy to get several outfit changes into a photo shoot even when we’re outdoors and on location. We started in the parking garage, one of our favorite places to photograph for its grit and perfect directional light. Then we headed down into the street, literally! And by the time we got to the alphabet stairs, Isabella was fully loosened up and showing her quirky, spunky self.

Little Girl Fashion Photography – Dorothy

little girl fashion photography

by Heidi Denney


We photographed Dorothy for years as a dancer at her mom and dad’s dance school, Connecticut Concert Ballet. Dorothy is a beautiful dancer, a sweet, tiny little thing and is absolutely obsessed with makeup art! She did her own hair and makeup for the first half of the photo shoot (all the way through the hippie/fairy images.) Dorothy was accepted to an out-of-state dance program for the Summer –  a big step for a little girl. So we started off at the train station in Windsor, CT, creating an editorial on her journey away from her parents to pursue ballet.

After a short break at a yummy roadside grill, we headed into West Hartford for hair and makeup by Elise O’Mara at Top Level Salon. Dorothy knew so much about makeup that she held her own in a conversation with Elise! It was absolutely adorable. For this final look, we were going for a surreal lengthening of her already-tall-and-super-lean figure. We found a great adult-sized dress at a thrift shop that hugged her body perfectly, helping make the appearance of a dress that was made just for her. Propping her up on a stool completed the look we were going for.

Dorothy knocked this photo shoot out of the park! She followed direction perfectly and, mixed with her own personality, made this set of  little girl fashion photography our new fav!

Model Portfolio at Harkness Park

Couture_Model_Portfolio_at Harkness Park_by Exclusive Image

by Heidi Denney

Rebecca heard about us from one of the models we shot this year and when she reached out to us, we were all excited to work together. Hair and makeup was done by the always excellent Top Level Salon, with shots done around West Hartford Center and at Harkness Park. As you can see, she was amazing, being able to pull off a range of looks from cute girl next door, to Parisian street fashion, to elegantly sexy. Check out the result.

model portfolio at harkness park

Fashion Senior Portraits – Taina

Vintage Fashion Senior Portraits

By Johnathon Denney

Fashion Senior Portraits

Taina has such an adorable and unique look that we thoroughly loved working with her at our favorite location, Hotel Duncan, for her fashion senior portraits. Taina was the perfect model. She was up for anything we asked! With such a variety of nooks and locations in and around the hotel, we were able to capture everything from vintage to high fashion. Taina was adorable, fun and edgy. We can’t wait to work with her on an editorial shoot!

Behind the Scenes

Urban Ballerina – Becky

Before & After Professional Hair & Makeup

Urban Ballerina

By Johnathon Denney

 Urban Ballerina At Her Best

We first met Becky years ago when we were photographing a ballet by Connecticut Concert Ballet. She stole our hearts. Her beauty, strength and control makes her a star on the stage. So when the opportunity came up for us to photograph her off stage, we jumped on it! Working with this sweet, urban ballerina made our day. So humble. So amazing.

Hair & makeup by Elise O’Mara of Top Level Salon. Locations: West Hartford Center, West Hartford, CT and The Riverfront in downtown Hartford, CT.

Modeling Portfolio Update – Kiley

modeling portfolio

by Heidi Denney

Modeling Portfolio Wow!

We love this transformation! Kiley soft pink glow made for a beautifully feminine photo shoot. This modeling portfolio update perfectly complimented the looks she already had in her portfolio. It was absolutely frigid out but Kiley soldiered on! The adorable West Hartford Center made a perfect location for this update with its quaint suburban feel. And having Top Level Salon close by made it an extra perfect fit.

Dark Snow Fashion Photography – Sara

Snow Fashion Photography

By Heidi Denney

A Great New Relationship

Sara’s a friend of a friend, a model twice-removed, if you will. We’d expressed some interest in working with her, but hadn’t really even met until we all showed up for hair and makeup, getting ready to create some amazing snow fashion photography! And the rest, as they say, is history. There are shoots and then there are shoots. This is definitely the latter. With professional modeling jobs and TV credits under her belt already, she knew what she was doing the second we raised the camera and flowed from pose to pose as the snow fell. True magic.


Style Wars 2014 Competition – Top Level Salon

Top Level Salon stylists Elise and Yolee and interpreter-by-day-model-by-night Jenn made up our first team for the 2014 Style Wars. When we walked in that night, everyone was so excited to start working. There were braids of blue hair and gold leaf laying out, and while the airbrush hummed, Jenn slowly transformed into an avant garde fashion model. We shot in the salon before moving out to the street in West Hartford Center, where Jenn became the center of attention for all the people walking by. This was one of the first shoots where I was able to use our new DS lens, and it worked out perfectly. See for yourself.

Style Wars 2014 Salon Contest- Studio 325

Before and After Professional Hair and Makeup

Style Wars Salon Contest

By Heidi Denney

 Salon Contest Entry

Studio 325 was one of the teams that entered our salon contest, Style Wars, and wow! Look at that hair! We arrived on set just as they were finishing up their look and we couldn’t believe the intricate detail of her beautiful hair. It twisted and coiled around her upper body like nobody’s business. With our popup backdrop, we started shooting right inside Studio 325. Then we ventured outside and down the street to a nearby park to create a more complex look in nature.

What is Style Wars and why did we create it?

We love crazy, conceptual looks but not all of our everyday clients are into that. So we created the Style Wars competition for hair & makeup artists so we could fulfill our creative desires and connect with the leading hair & makeup artists in our area. 2014 was the first year of this annual competition and it was a huge success! If you’re a hair or makeup artist and want to be involved in the Style Wars, watch our site for registration which opens September 1. If you’re a model (or aspiring model) and would like to model for a team in the Style Wars, contact us and we’ll put your name out there to the teams. If you’re a person who loves fashion and a night out on the town, watch for our reveal event where you can vote on your favorite look, enjoy food and drinks and night out with friends.

Behind The Scenes Gallery

Frozen Snow Queen – Sarah

Before and After Professional Hair and Makeup

Frozen Snow Queen

By Heidi Denney

Our Very Own Frozen Snow Queen

Sarah is one of our photographers and we often call on her to do some crazy shoots! When we mentioned shooting in a blizzard, she hopped right on it. And she proved to be a truly frozen snow queen! Despite the cold and wind and snow, she went bare skin in some cases to get these amazing images. Then tromped through knee-high snow to get down to the frozen river and canopy of trees where it snowed so heavily that we had to clear an inch of snow off our lights every 15-20 minutes. Craziness! And so worth it.

Hair & makeup by Elise O’Mara of Top Level Salon.

How did we get that?

We hitched our popup backdrop to a stand, then held it from blowing around while we photographed to get the black background and natural snow. The image with the hood and glowing snow was created by back-lighting the snow with our speedlites. And under the canopy of trees where you can see the light streaming down on her? Speedlites again.

Behind The Scenes Gallery