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Making Beauty Beautiful - Branding Photos of The Plan in Holyoke, Massachusetts

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The Plan just opened its doors to the public last week after a busy year of renovating an old paper mill in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts. With the help of architect Noah Modie from Oxbow Design Build in Easthampton, MA and many local investors organized through MainVest, salon owners Chelsea Falcetti and Tiffany Duchesne transformed a musty section of an old mill into a trendy and sustainable paradise. The Plan, much like traditional salons, offers professional hair, skin and beauty services but with an eco-friendly mission.

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The plan is located in The Wauregan Building, which is one of several mill buildings along the canal in Holyoke that has recently had a facelift and is seeing life again. When I arrived at the building, the parking lot was surprisingly busy with activity.

I parked my truck and took a walk around to get an idea of the space. Tucked away in the various the corners of the building is a thriving community of artists and makers working side by side. I will be honest, it took some control to not poke my head into every workspace and yell “hey, watcha workin on?”

The inside of The Plan, a sustainable salon in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The inside of The Plan, a sustainable salon in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Founders and stylists Chelsea Falcetti and Tiffany Duchesne wanted to use their new business venture to breath life into a beautiful and forgotten part of the city. “We will be using our business as a force for positive change, starting with helping to revitalize downtown Holyoke,” they said.

Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right), owners of The Plan, a sustainable salon Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right), owners of The Plan, a sustainable salon Holyoke, Massachusetts.

When I spoke with the two before our session, I wanted to get a feel for the location, the customer experience, and the general “vibe” of The Plan. I wanted the photos to capture the salon’s eco-friendly mission, the reduce, reuse, recycle aesthetic of their space and practice, and their belief that beauty is for everyone.

Owners of The Plan, Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right) recently opened a sustainable salon in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which is on track to be one of the greenest cities in the country.

Owners of The Plan, Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right) recently opened a sustainable salon in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which is on track to be one of the greenest cities in the country.

It’s clear that The Plan is in the business of creating beauty and sustainability everywhere. As one of only two Green Circle salons in the Pioneer Valley, The Plan has partnered with the Green Circle program to be an active participant in, “the world’s first, and North America’s only, sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste.”

Working with Green Circle will allow the salon to minimize its ecological footprint in the local community. The Plan will “re-purpose and recover up to 95% of the resources that were once considered waste; materials such as hair, leftover hair color, foils, color tubes, aerosol cans, paper and plastics,” said Duchesne and Falcetti.

In addition to their partnership with Green Circle, The Plan will also exclusively use eco-friendly hair and beauty products from Davines and Beauty Counter in their salon.

I decided to photograph the team in some of the more overgrown and falling apart sections of the mill to really capture the spirit of seeing new life in a neglected place. There was no shortage of location options and thankfully the team was willing to explore some of the more jungly corners of the mill with me.

As we walked through dark hallways and crumbly courtyards between the buildings, Tiffany envisioned a busy market full of Sunday brunchers and shoppers. She and Chelsea scrambled through a vine-filled pass for a photo opp. “Imagine sitting here at a cafe table, drinking a mimosa with your friends,” Tiffany said.

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Behind a quick trim, balayage, or facial, The Plan’s mission is simple, to make beauty beautiful. This team isn’t afraid to turn a dark and dusty space into an eco-friendly wonderland because they know that beauty does not discriminate. Even an abandoned mill building can be beautiful.

“We want to make our clients not just look good, but also feel good,” they said. “We believe in compassion, self-care, positive thinking, and kindness, and will spread this in our salon every day.“

The Plan is now open for business and taking appointments so give this fun crew a call!

If you are interested in booking a branding session with me, please reach out! If you’d like to view more of my work with local businesses, click here.

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Branding Sessions

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Branding Session for Millside Studio in Ludlow, MA

springfield mass microblading

Ana has been working toward building her own microblading practice for many years and finally all of her hard work is coming together. Recently, she decided opened Millside Studio, a brand new microblading studio in Ludlow. She needed photographs to help launch her website and social media accounts and she reached out to me to book a session in the spring.

I visited her space beforehand and worked with her to create a diverse set of photos that spoke to her brand and showcased her new space and talent. We decided to take her photos inside her studio and at the Ludlow Mills, which was the inspiration for naming her business. She also wanted to have some images showing her process, so she had a client come in to model.

springfield mass microblading
springfield mass microblading
springfield mass microblading

Ana is licensed, certified, insured and incredibly good at what she does!  She already has a big client base and I can see it only getting bigger when her studio officially opens. She is conveniently located right in the center of town in a building that she and her husband have been renovating since last year. They’ve done an amazing job and it’s really turning into a beautiful space!

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Keep an eye out for this business as she makes all of the finishing touches to the outside! Congrats Ana on all of your hard work and thank you for working with me! I can’t wait for your doors to open!

springfield mass microblading

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Product Photography for Bindertek

Bindertek recently overhauled their website and wanted fresh product photography to brighten their pages. I recently finished up a stop motion video series with them. In April, they sent me home with boxes full of binders to photograph.

I am having fun with this project. It’s a nice change of pace from weddings and family sessions. I definitely get into a rhythm when a mountain of product like this shows up. Here is a sample of some of the work I’ve done for them.

massachusetts product photography
freelance product photography
freelance product photography

If you are a product based business that needs updated photography, send me a message! I’d love to help clean up your site!

massachusetts product photography
massachusetts product photography
massachusetts product photography
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Do you need product photography?

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Stop Motion Video Series for Office Solution Company Bindertek

Bindertek offers sleek organizational solutions to businesses and business professionals. Their product line includes really great binders (of course), binder accessories and quality office products imported from Europe. I worked with the marketing team at Bindertek to create a package of short videos that they could use in email campaigns, on their blog, and on social channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some of my favorites from the 20 part how-to video series largely driven by stop-motion. Each video presented a common office problem that was quickly resolved by a Bindertek product.

If you or your business would like to expand your online presence with a blast of fun new content like this, I’d be happy to offer a free consult! Click below to contact me!

Photography for Iron Pioneer Metalsmiths - Westfield, MA Blacksmith

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Dave Procopio spent years in the construction business on the eastern side of the state before moving out to western Massachusetts to raise his family in the country. With a background in aviation maintenance, welding, business and construction, Procopio said that blacksmithing draws on all of his skills in a really unique way.

His studio is warm and cozy and filled with all of the old school charm you’d expect from a blacksmith.

A new website is in the works for Iron Pioneer Metalsmiths and Dave was looking for some fresh content so he had me over to the workshop for the day to capture what he does best.

It was hard to narrow down my favorites from this one. I photographed fire and smoke and metal and power hammers and all of these crazy things that are just so dramatic to watch in real life. It felt great to draw on some of my background in photojournalism and to use some of the new lights I bought! Thanks for sharing your craft with me Dave!

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do you need photos?

Now booking content sessions for small business owners.

Product photography for Fire Cider

Fire cider is a take on an old folk remedy that owner Dana St. Pierre saw his German grandmother making as a child.

As it reads on their website, “he took one of her recipes—a mash-up of onions, garlic, and honey that she steeped in mason jars on a sunny windowsill—and gave it a modern makeover with spicy-sweet flavors. A country doctor suggested Dana add apple cider vinegar for its wealth of health-enhancing properties, and, over the course of a decade, he refined his recipe into our original Fire Cider tonic.”

Fire Cider hired me to freelance for a short contract that included product photography in a studio and three on-location branding sessions focused on building content for social channels and B2C/B2B e-mail campaigns.

The goal was to re-haul their product imagery for the launch their new website and build up a photo library for upcoming holiday marketing campaigns.

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I photographed the products in various real life settings including grocery stores, coffee shops, and bakeries all over western Massachusetts. Showcasing a product in real situations is great content for social media and email campaigns. Showing a product in situ builds a story around it and can evoke feelings.

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I also photographed their products on a white backdrop for more consistency on their website. I had a lot of with this one and found it to be a nice change of pace!

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Do you need content?

Read more about my freelance services.

Wrap it up! VIDEO for MY Z WRAPS

In 2017, in her home kitchen, Michelle Zimora took one of her favorite printed fabrics and coated it in a blend of beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.  After continual testing, she got the recipe just right.  The result was a reusable, washable Z Wrap, where pretty meets practical, for your lunchbox, leftovers, hostess gifts and more.

Michelle reached out to me looking for video services for her new business venture. Things seemed to be taking off pretty quickly for her and she wanted to have enough content to keep up with the momentum. We met and discussed a number of ideas, ultimately settling on a short series showing food items magically being wrapped in zwraps without hands.

I thought this was a great way to show off how easy these are to use and also how cool the prints are! The videos are short and sweet, perfect for the wide array of social channels Michelle uses.

Do you own a business? Are you interested in expanding your content to meet the needs of various social channels? Check out the rest of my video work and shoot me a message!

Photoshoot for YARN.com

Back in November I shot a collection of beautiful hand knit garments at UMASS Amherst for YARN.com. We normally shoot on location here in Western, Mass, which means our settings are pretty rural. This time I was instructed to find a spot that "wasn't in nature", so I chose to use the massive concrete structures at UMASS Amherst as a backdrop. 

I was a student at UMASS for 2 years and, I will admit, I hated all of the concrete on campus. I felt like I was living in a weird post apocalyptic future town. This photoshoot totally turned my opinion around on that. I loved shooting there. I had so much fun framing up my shots and finding patterns in the concrete. This felt more graphic than what I normally do.

The model is Shannon Hughes, hair and make-up by Shannon Hughes, photo and styling help Emma Welford. Designs by Amy Herzog for Valley Yarns.