Young People Doing Stuff | How to be a Freelance Photographer in LA

You see her all the time. Scrolling through Tumblr, or your favorite brand’s Instagram feed. Photos of hairy, bare chested men racking cocaine lines. Those photos where you ask yourself, “Damn, do I look that good lying on my bathroom floor?” Photos waiting to get reblogged because the composition rejects the usual ephemera.

Brooke Barone is the person taking those photos. And even sometimes behind the people taking those photos. Whether she’s shooting look books for small brands, snapping behind the scene photos for Vanity Fair, or making connections from her loft in Downtown LA, Brooke is on the move. Brooke shared with The Daily Twenties her grind as a freelance photographer, her style, and what she has planned next.

IMG_7111-EditAfter high school what did you end up doing?

After I graduated high school I had no freaking idea of what I was going to do but my parents were putting pressure on me to figure it out quick. So I started looking at schools with art and photography programs because it’s always something I’ve been interested in. I ended up at FIDM as a digital media major and two years later, ended up getting my AA there. Initially I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do but I learned about video editing, photography, other visual arts. The classes were pretty generic during that time, like how to use the various editing softwares and stuff, so I didn’t really know how to incorporate my inspiration with the things that I wanted to do. Once I started getting into my Bachelor of Science in Business Management, which is what I’m currently in at FIDM, I started getting more into photography and implementing the ideas that I’ve been inspired by and consistently creating my own work.

Yeah I don’t think FIDM teaches you how to create your own style of photography

Yeah that is something that definitely comes from within. A lot of the stuff that they teach in school has nothing to do with finding your own style and pace. It’s something that you have to pursue on your own and they make that clear that it’s part of your own discovery.

Where does your photo style come from and how would you describe it?

I like to go against the normal comforts and push the viewers boundaries in what they’re willing to accept. My style is a feeling that I get when I’m creating that’s wrapped up in this confrontation between my camera and the subject… Making the model feel as though they have the comfort to push their own boundaries, it creates a space for them to explore what they desire that meets an equivalence to what matches my vision. There’s rarely a time where this doesn’t work out for both of us.


And it shows. These women are not looking vulnerable at all. They are dominant subjects and actually the men look like the objects. A reversal of what one would usually see.

It’s not that I want to degrade anyone, I’m focused on the woman as the primary subject and so the men become an asset to the creation. There’s a space where masculine and feminine energy combine, and I’m exploring the grey area of that space.


So where does that idea come from within you?

Sexuality is just as important as eating food. Wouldn’t it feel terrible if our families made us feel shameful for having desires to eat certain foods? From my own experiences growing up I have learned that it is not in my nature to allow a lack of knowledge toward sexuality under any circumstances.

You have a bunch of different shoots and looks on here. Walk me through the process of coming up with a shoot.

I hit up most of the girls on Instagram, some will hit up me, and then I’ll just have them come over and we’ll shoot. Initially I used to send out concepts to models, but now I just freeform and it comes out pretty fucking well.


So it sounds like its just a natural flow of ideas and movements between the model and the camera?

Yeah and I think that’s where it’s always been at and what I had to realize. Like I wanted to have that sense of inspiration and have the models feel comfortable but I started to become comfortable within myself and my work and so I didn’t really need the conceptual stuff to rely on anymore and it was more spontaneous.

So I think I remember you telling me you worked with some brands. Tell me a little about that.

Well there wasn’t really a defining point where I was suddenly a brand photographer. It just kind of evolved. So initially I started to shoot for brands without their knowledge of who I was. It started with some girls that I knew who had a high following and I would shoot clothing that they had on that was more brand oriented.

At first the brand stuff I do has at one point been completely for free because it matches my vision. Now I am pretty firm in charging to shoot brands on models.

Other brands that I like shooting for is @omweekend, @y.r.u, @badwoodx, @mandalynnswim, @petalspeacocks, @memoricapparel and many others.

What’s on your gear list?

Sony A7, 25 film cameras and awesome lenses to go with them.


What advice do you have for small brands when hiring a photographer?

Trade is always a nice option if you can’t afford to pay someone.

So what do you want to eventually do?

As of now I’ve already made some great accomplishments that are outside of what I do. Most of the people that I’ve met in my professional career have been through Instagram, I’ve met some amazing people that have referred me to kickass jobs. I’ve worked for Milk Studios a couple times, I’m starting a job with YouTube tomorrow, like BTS stuff for them. And to just keep making awesome connections and collaborations where I get to continue to be creative.


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What are some of the drawbacks and pitfalls of what you’re doing?

There’s always hard moments, but the positive experiences outweigh the negatives and so as a whole, I see all as worth while.

If you had some advice for someone looking to get into this field, what would you say.

Stay humble – keep working.


You can follow Brooke on Instagram or Tumblr

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Affordable Fall Runway Makeup Trends

So it’s fashion week time, which means NEW TRENDS! This means shopping, right? Maybe if you’re ballin’ like that, however, most of us are still in school or have just graduated and don’t have the dough to buy a whole new wardrobe. Luckily you have me to tell you there’s a smaller change you can make to stay up to date with the latest trends. That change is your makeup!

Goth Lips

I know…it looks intimidating. You might not think you can pull off a dark lip, but it’s makeup, it wipes off, just try it. You might surprise yourself. I think the surefire way to pull off a dark/vampy/90s lip is to keep it the focus of the look. Like the model below, pair it with a little blush, mascara, and air-dried hair and you’re out the door. Some fall lip colors that always work are deep reds, burgundies, plums and berries.

My Picks

NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6) in Prague, Copenhagen and Transylvania. MAC Lipstick ($17) in Cyber and Diva.hbz-fw2015-trends-beauty-goth-lips-ungaro-bks-m-rf15-6415


Simple Smokey Eyes

Ahh…the smokey eye. One of the most feared eyeshadow looks of all time due to its raccoon/punched in the eye reputation. The easiest way to avoid that is to keep the dark shadows close to the lash lines (top and bottom) like Kendall has going on below. Also blend until you think you’ve blended enough, then pick up your brush…and blend again. The runways were filled with simplified smokey eyes using just two colors: mainly black and brown. I’d keep the black shadows near your top and bottom lashes and use any brown shadow to blend out the black into a seamlessly blended smokey eye.

My Picks

Physician’s Formula Matte Collection Quad Eyeshadow ($8) in Canyon Classics. Ulta Demi Eyeshadows ($6) in Black Out and Milk Chocolate.  hbz-fw2015-trends-beauty-smoky-von-furstenberg-bks-a-rf15-8750


Flushed Cheeks

The key with this trend is to make it look like you’ve just run to class in 55° weather. It works on all skin tones, too. If you’re on the fairer side, baby pink blushes look great. Medium skin tones look amazing with peachy/apricot or mauve cheek colors. Deeper tones look gorgeous with plum and terra-cotta blushes. To make it look even more natural, after applying the majority of the blush on your cheeks, lightly apply any leftover blush to the very tip of your nose to add an all over flush of color.

My Picks

L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Blush ($11) in Baby Blossom, Apricot Kiss and Spiced Plum.













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Graphic Liner

A lot of designers put a twist on the already popular winged-out liner. You can easily do the same by either straightening out the wing, or if you’re a seasoned veteran when it comes to rocking the cat eye, you can try a double wing. This look would work best using either cream or liquid eyeliner which both ensure a smooth and crisp line.

My Pick

N.Y.C. Liquid Eyeliner ($3) in Black


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Bronzed Eyes

If the black smokey eye still freaks you out, you’re in luck! Bronze eyeshadow is also in for Fall. Feel free to experiment with copper and gold too, all three of these colors are very Fall appropriate and warm up anyone’s skin tone.

My Picks

Smashbox Double Exposure Travel Palette ($24). NYX Cosmetics Love in Paris Eyeshadow Palette ($10) in Mercibeaucoup.