Photo courtesy of

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

Photo courtesy of

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

Photo courtesy of

Hair: Gerilyn Ghaisarzadeh & Trae Howard

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

Photo courtesy of

Hair: Shannon Romano & Casey Powell

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

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Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

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Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

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Hair: Gerilyn Ghaisarzadeh & Trae Howard

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

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Hair: Shannon Romano & Casey Powell

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Nails: Joanne Sorbello

At our recent Artist Session Influencer Series, MODERN invited 16 top-talent artists to collaborate on a professional photoshoot, which ultimately earned the August 2019 cover.

For our industry, on Instagram, of course, so much of the emphasis in an image has to be on the hair—fashion, makeup and nails are always minimized. For our magazine photoshoots, of course the hair is the hero but nothing can be out of place—makeup must be perfect, fashion must be on-trend and complementary and the nails have to be on point.

For this August photoshoot, nail artist Joanne Sorbello of Stone Ridge Salon in New York went all out to create flawless nail accents, enhancements, art and more.

“The best part of any photoshoot is getting to collaborate with the team of stylists (hair/makeup/wardrobe) and being able to enhance the overall vision that is about to be executed,” Sorbello says. “Nails aren't always the main focus of a shoot, but they are a very important accessory: Nothing looks finished without a well-manicured nail.”

Sorbello’s experience not only touches photoshoots, she also has worked at New York Fashion Week. Both require very unique skill sets and collaborative mindsets.

“Comparing the two events are like apples and oranges,” she says. “Photoshoots are a collaboration on a creative level. Many thoughts/opinions coming together for ‘that great shot.’ At NYFW, there has already been a meeting between the clothing designer and the head of the nail company. Colors and designs have already been decided on. The day of the show, I just hit the ground running and get as many models finished as I can. It's a different kind of rush.”

To get inspiration for the on-set experience, and to enhance the overall look of the model, Sorbello both collaborates with artists and designers, or can go rogue.

Her most memorable look?

“A photographer sent pictures of the clothing that was going to be used for the shoot, and there was one particular blouse that was very decade-specific—super late ‘60s/early ‘70s vibe,” she says.

“I knew instantly what I wanted to do with the nails. I ended up painting and decorating a single nail tip to show what I was thinking might look good with the outfit. It turned out to be a much longer day than expected, so everyone was just about ready to wrap up and we hadn't gotten to that blouse! I admit it, I put just the tiniest bit of pressure on the model to try to stay for 5 more minutes to see how it would look. Long story short, everyone in the room agreed, it was the favorite look of the day! And even though I didn't have time to do an entire set of nails to go with the shot, we used the one tip that I had made and just switched up the hand position of the shot to only showcase that nail.”

Morale of the story? It’s almost ALWAYS the last show of the day that’s the favorite! Here are other Sorbello takeaways from her success story:

TOP FIVE THINGS EVERY NAIL ARTIST NEEDS IN THEIR KIT:

  • nail files (for natural nails and artificial nails)
  • glue 
  • nail tips (different shapes/sizes)
  • small hairdryer 
  • small portable cordless light

BIGGEST TIP:

"I ALWAYS get to know each model,” she says. “It can sometimes be the most important part of the job. They are, after all, the canvas.”

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?

“I ran across an advertisement for MODERN SALON’s Artist Session that said they were looking for interested nail techs,” she says. “I knew it was about learning the ins and outs of photoshoots. It sounded exciting! I left my comfort zone and went for it! I'm also one of those people who has to learn something completely different from my day to day, every 10 years or so. I got my NYS Master Barber license about 10 years prior. I always tell people that my barber license was the best thing for my nail career. I ended up realizing that hair wasn't necessarily my true passion. Nails were. However, I met my future husband in that barber class! So the universe was working its mysterious ways! Maybe i should hang my marriage license next to my barber license.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE AN AGENT FOR OPPORTUNITIES?

“I do NOT currently have an agent. It's definitely a goal of mine!” she says. “My opportunities come from many places, but I can't stress enough how important it is to just network with everyone. Reach out to makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers: You never know who might want to collab on a passion project. From there, if you vibe with the people you've worked with you'll get new opportunities.”

HOW TO GET STARTED FREELANCING:

“Network. Network. Network!” she says. “Tell everyone you meet what you do. Talk about your specialties (gel, art, etc.). Be your own best cheerleader!”

 

Originally posted on Modern Salon