MTV’s Beauty Academy Gets Damn Ugly

When she’s not applying powder & lip gloss to my subjects, Kelly Stedman…my good friend and makeup artist of the past 15 years…has been producing reality shows, and for quite a while she’s been trying to include me in one of her little projects. I have always declined because I don’t really have a desire to get thrown into some televised ‘reality’ drama, but last month she asked if I could help her out on a new show she’s doing for MTV on a Beauty School in New Jersey and I finally caved in and agreed to give it a go. The show follows hair stylists Thomas McKiver and Oscar Bond and a group of students at The Bond Academy. Thomas and Oscar put the kids through the paces, and as incentives the top students get to assist them on photo shoots. That’s where I come in. For the first shoot, my crew and I trucked out to Bloomfield NJ on one of the hottest days of the year to set up a fantasy hair shoot in a third-floor walk-up, un-airconditioned Salsa Dance Studio. Here is some of the fun that ensued…..

My assistants Vivian Alban and Alex Minkin stand in for the models…

Kaz and I on set…

Hair stylist Thomas McKiver checks how things are looking…

The video and sound crew guys…

Don’t stare at the hair…don’t stare at the hair…..

Try not to mix up the model’s names…

Tall, skinny models on set, please…

Happy models…

…and happy students…

And here is some of how it all looked in the end…

Lauren B…

Roz…

Van Toffler for BusinessWeek

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In one week I went from photographing the President of the United States to photographing the President of MTV…..how damn cool is that?!!

Van Toffler is is president of MTV Networks Music/Films/Logo Group and is responsible for all of the MTV Networks music services including MTV, MTV2, VH1, CMT and all their affiliated digital services. I was shooting him for BusinessWeek because MTV is releasing The Beatles: Rock Band, a video game that allows players to use plastic instruments to jam as their favorite Beatle. The Beatles: Rock Band comes out September 9th.

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