In my travels as a magazine editor, I come across many subjects. I have interviewed everyone from authors, to housewives, to rap artists. I have seen people who love what they do, and do it well. I have been witness to the fact that there is a great deal of talent in Westchester County – people who showcase their innate gifts, and a passion for what they do on a daily basis.
Recently, I shared time with a pair of women who are both passionate about what they do – and compliment each other perfectly with their chosen professions. A pair of women who have become the greatest of friends by virtue of circumstance.
You have seen some of our fabulous photos of the week, here on WH. Our photos are submitted by Lisa Cappabianca, a professional photographer with a love of Westchester. Lee, as she is known, was introduced to me by her friend, Laura Melissa Scalere. Melissa (to all her friends) is a talented makeup artist. A few weeks back, I had the privilege of spending a Saturday with both ladies at Melissa’s home, for a day long prom makeover and photo shoot. I watched as they both wove magic of sorts…Melissa with her makeup palette and belt of brushes, and Lee with her Nikon and her lighting and drapes. Magic usually occurs by the unspoken, and these women are no exception.
Over the course of several hours, during which neither of them ever sat down for one second, several young women were subjects of makeup application and photography. Melissa opened her home to us, as though we were long lost friends. The house was full of family and warmth, and after spending a mere few minutes with her, it is evident that those are traits which she herself exemplifies. She knew, inherently, what each of her “canvasses” needed. Each girl was lovely in her own right, but they were all different in hair, skin tone, age, and dress. I watched her transform the plain into the extraordinary with a stroke of her kohl, sponge and brush. It was fascinating to see how her attention never veered from each girl. She spoke softly to each one, and to me, never taking her eyes away (except to peek occasionally at her two beautiful children).
Melissa, a very petite and energetic beauty, has been a makeup artist for several years. She spent over 8 years with makeup Giant Sephora, and learned a lot in their training programs. She is also self-taught, and has had much experience. After all, she has constant subject-matter being married to a famous Hip Hop/Rap artist, G Fella (gfella.com). Her husband is a fan favorite, and a very active artist, with a busy social and professional schedule. Melissa is the artist for his music videos, and has done many a celebrity shoot, including her latest coup. She recently did the make up for Edie Falco, who requested Melissa for a shoot after meeting her and seeing her expertise! She has done makeup for bridal, events, and television, video and film.
While Melissa was creating art with cosmetics, Lee was quietly and deftly capturing every second of it with her camera. Another thing of beauty in a small package, Lee moved about effortlessly and wordlessly…shooting from any and every angle to capture makeup application shots, and then moving the girls to a self-made “portrait studio” set up in the living room of Melissa’s home. I had to marvel at the way these two women worked so seamlessly with each other without ever talking. Lee, as it turns out, is no stranger to the camera in every sense of the phrase. Her husband is actor and personality, Johnny Thurzday, and Lee has done celebrity shoots, and also has done work for G-Fella. She has photographed many people, and also has a love of scenic photography.
After spending time with these women, it was clear to me that individually, they are passionate about their respective crafts, but as a team, they are dynamic…a Dream Team. In one afternoon, they made 10-12 teenage girls feel like a million dollars, and prom queen for a day.
Laura Melissa Scalere is available for makeup for all occasions. You can see more of her work, and catch her makeup tips on her website, HERE.
Lee Cappabianca (Photoz by Lee) is available for photography for all your lifetime events, and also has a state of the art studio for in-house portraits and headshots. You can find more information on Lee’s photography, HERE.