Tam Nguyen Photography

New York Beauty and Fashion Photographer

Kait Gardner for Jewelmak Beauty Shoot

Posted on December 15, 2012 in Photography

Kait Gardner for Jewelmak Beauty Shoot

Before I get into the details of this shoot, I’d like to give a shout out to my talent, Kait Gardner, who managed to show up for the shoot even though she wasn’t feeling well.

Special thanks to Jennifer Nam, a very talented makeup artist who can also do hair.

Last, but not least, my friend Julia Kuzmenko of Omaha Image Productions, who helped me proof the images and gave me some tips on retouching.

Now, about the shoot.

I was asked to put together a beauty photoshoot for a jewelry company called Jewelmak. Being that I’ve recently migrated to New York, I didn’t have any of my lighting equipment. I quickly placed an order through Paul C. Buff for an AlienBees B800 and a beauty dish. I also got an Impact reflector-and-light-stand kit from B&H. In case you were wondering, this is the C-stand I used to hold my monolight.

They say if you think you need two lights, try it with one; if you think you need three lights, try it with one. So, I tried it with one light, but I needed a clam-shell setup, hence the reflector.

We shot at a bar named Uncorked in the Upper East area, so my working space was somewhat confined, which meant seamless paper backdrop wasn’t an option. This wasn’t an issue though, since no one shoots beauty below waist level. A Westcott X-drop was more than enough.

I ran into a few small issues with the AB800 and the beauty dish. To recap, all my shots came out a bit darker on the top right corner, and the white balance was a bit off. No biggie, but I’d much rather get things right in camera.

I did try to schedule another talent for the second half of the shoot, but she was a no-call-no-show. Very unprofessional, let me tell you. If something comes up in the last minute, or you decide to back out from the shoot, all it takes is to send me a text or email.

Luckily, Kait was being such a good sport; she ended up staying for almost 4 hours for the shoot. Kait is professional and easy-going. I’d definitely recommend her as your talent if you need one in New York. Kait and I even watched a little bit of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion 2012 for some inspiration!

Below are the results of the shoot. I did try to turn a few of them into black-and-white to see how they look. Feel free to let me know which version you like better. These images were a pain in the butt to retouch using a dinky little laptop and a mouse. I seriously need my desktop computer and my Wacom.











  1. Chadmckinneyphotography February 15, 2013

    Beautiful pictures. Did you retouch her skin to even it out? I see some light blotches on her neck right under her ear/jaw line and on the back part of her shoulder. Very beautiful and elegant. White background with no light correct? Just a clam shell setup?

    • Tam Nguyen Photography February 24, 2013

      Yessuh, just a clam shell setup with a white background. I spent a good amount of time retouching her skin though, dodge and burn and cleanup of the blemishes.

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