They say home is where the heart is and that is very true with the Starving Artists Project (SAP), which was founded by celebrity photographer Michael Bezjian of Gettyimages/Wireimage, who graciously opens his spacious home to any struggling actor who is in need of headshots. Usually headshots can cost hundreds even upwards of a thousand dollars and need to be updated pretty regularly, so Michael and his team provide a priceless service as a shoot like this is impossible unless one is an A list actor and has his or her bank account!
Upon entry to my scheduled appointment for my photoshoot, I was greeted by Mario, a chipper assistant with a mega watt smile. He kindly guided me through hair, done by Daniel Gravel, makeup done by the lovely Schanel Pollard, who is a part of the makeup team Jade Martinez of Moonstar Beauty has created. A big shoutout to the super sweet and patient stylist Jaimi, who helped me with my wardrobe choices. There’s even a style closet chock full of great outfits that actors can borrow for their shoot! I was like a kid in a candy store! So I was styled and ready by the time I got to shoot with Michael, who looks like a younger, less edgier version of Henry Rollins. Even though there were a lot of actors to shoot that day, Michael was on point and amazing!! I had three looks and they all turned out great. I even had a behind the scenes photo shoot by the wonderful photographer Tasia Wells. And there was a great craft services to boot with sponsors like http://www.MiracleWaterOfLife.com. I met an assistant of Michael’s that day, a great gal by the name of Rodin, whose great uncle, a former Iranian prime minister, had studied abroad in France with my dad in the early 1900’s! Crazy cool huh?
Countless celebs have shot for SAP to bring attention to this wonderful organization like Jimmy Jean-Louis, Ken Davitian, Maitland Ward, Bai Ling, Lauren Potter, Caroline D’Amore, Daniel Benzali, Vincent Spano and countless others.
Most importantly I felt a great sense of community which can be so hard to find in a city as isolating and vast as Los Angeles. I cherish the time I spent there and the graciousness and hospitality of Michael, Jade and their wonderful staff. One can donate whatever they can afford for ALL these services, which really, really touched my heart. It was a cold and rainy day when I shot my pics, but all I felt was the warmth of this generous group!
The Starving Artists Project produces press portrait sessions and then donate the rest of their day to providing up-and-coming artists with low budget photography. They leverage the power of brands and celebrities to help the careers of Starving Artists. I was very flattered to be the featured photo of the shoot! More info at http://thestarvingartistsproject.com/