Vanity Oh So Fair

October 12, 2010

By Barbara Goldman

Dorit Thies

Los Angeles, CA-based beauty and wellness photographer Dorit Thies is a specialist in vanity. Not her own, of course, but in the specialized beauty, health, and wellness photography she brings to her work. She has established herself as a makeup artist, working for almost two decades in Europe and the U.S. The techniques and sensibilities she developed during this time have allowed her to create strikingly detailed and conceptual compositions, particularly with such well-known beauty clients as Wet n’ Wild, LORAC cosmetics, Urban Decay and NAILPROmagazine.

She worked with her new client NAILPRO Magazine the first time in April of 2010 for a cover shoot that was published for June 2010. The client found Thies from PDN’s when they googled a search for beauty photographers in Los Angeles “They called, we had a meeting, I brought a real hard copy portfolio and I got booked,” says Thies of her first-time luck with the client. They loved her big, bold and beautiful imagery and had to work with her.

NAILPRO magazine is a part of Creative Age Publications. They are the number one magazine for professional nail technicians and salon owners. They are in print and online and present trends, styles, the newest products, celebrity nail artists and galleries with all the latest looks. “Because Dorit has worked in the beauty industry with makeup before launching her photography career, she really has an eye for capturing the best in the makeup and model for striking results” explains Stephanie Yaggy, NAILPRO Executive Editor.

For her latest assignment with NAILPRO, Thies had to present the fall line of nail polish colors, all very rich jewel tones with metallic effects. Since the nails were going metallic the client also wanted to use metallic eye shadows with some iridescent glitters for and around the eyes and on the nails. “They wanted me to work around these elements with my lighting and my set. I like to be very involved in all of these details as I understand the textures of the products and color combinations,” adds Thies.

Thies had all the glitter she needed but had no props to use, since there was so much going on with the makeup, nails and hair. She felt the campaign needed no other element but a mirror to spice it up even more and to create a story of vanity she conceived for this particular project. She had her assistant buy a large mirror at a nearby drugstore.

Then she posed the model to look at her reflection. To shake things up a bit, the makeup artist applied oil directly on to the mirror, which created a soft and blurry reflection. Thies wanted to shoot this horizontal and adjusted the light minimally to make the shot into a spread. With the reflection blurred, the shimmering nails were now twice as visible, creating a much bigger and bolder impact.

The images were used for the cover and as part of an editorial spread in the September issue of NAILPRO. Additionally, they will be featured in another Creative Age Publication, Beauty Etc., a quarterly digital magazine about makeup for professionals and beauty aficionados for their fall 2010 issue (released in October).

See more spectacular vanities from Dorit Thies at