#30daysgorgeous- 30 days of beauty, inspiration, creativity, collaboration. 30 photoshoots. 30 days.
As of this writing, I am on Day 3 after the project. The first two days after were spent doing nothing. And I mean nothing. Aside from basic personal hygiene, cuz you know, I’m married and that man has to sleep in the same bed as me. I believe the southern phrase is “Bless his heart.” (Should out to my Dixie brides for schooling me on that one! Hope I’m using it right.)
I had the best of intentions at the start of the project to do this grand blog post about it, this kind of decree about what the project was and how it was all going to go down. But, the thing is, when you start doing something something really big, there isn’t a lot of time left over to chat about it. So here it is, the beginning, at the end, of Project #30daysgorgeous.
Last November I was sitting in my office, mulling over what the game plan was for 2014. Though I’m a makeup artist, I’m a total geek and some would even call me a little neurotic. I like to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there. Flipping through our galleries, I noticed that it had been a long time since we had created something totally on our own accord and inspiring. It’s true, we do beautiful work every day, but times and trends and loves and looks and all of it changes. It’s so easy for an artist, weather your medium is oil on canvas or makeup on skin, to fall into a very cozy rut. The awe can be gone, the appreciation for how magnificent we can truly be starts to slip. You know that movie The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? Kind of like that.
Only, I don’t EVER want to get too comfortable. As long as I’m leading this team, as long as I am an artist by trade, as long as it is my God-given duty to bring beauty to this planet, I will need to do whatever it takes to remain inspired and inspiring. And I really don’t give a damn if it takes doing something that looks impossible.
Nearly every event professional will tell you that their best work, especially for photographers, comes when we hatch our own ideas. It’s not to say that other’s idea’s are bad, not at all. It’s just that, when we can control every part of the outcome, something really wonderful starts to happen. We get invested in it. We chat about it and interrupt each other with ideas. It’s a different kind of feeling. When we work with clients, our number one priority is to make sure that client is happy. When we do it for ourselves, our number one priority is to make ourselves happy. Planning a styled shoot is a LOT OF WORK. So much that most of us may do a couple a year for a random reason, but not much else. Now, I’ve got a pretty vivid imagination, but even I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull off thirty shoots in thirty days. The way I figure, if I shoot for the moon and miss, I’ll land among the stars. And that’s not a bad place to be.
In the coming weeks, this blog is going to start to burst with the final results of two and a half months of pouring my soul into something that was so much bigger than little me. And it is bigger, because without the faith of everyone who jumped on board, none of this would happen. The amazing team that is the Artists of Amelia C & Co blew my mind. (To quote Melissa, in response to my idea, she said “Um, that sounds kinda scary. But OK!”)
I can’t possibly begin this series without some shout outs to those who came together, got excited with me, had patience when I was all over the place, whose email boxes got filled up with emails, for all of it. Because they rode this crazy train too, it went somewhere. There were so very many people who made this happen that I can’t possibly list them all in one post (whoa, sound like I’m giving an acceptance speech!) but this is a very, very fine start. And in the coming posts, there’s many, many more extraordinary people I’m excited for you to meet.
Ron: Man, you are amazing. I can’t believe we’ve been on the parameters of each others world for years now and just so happened to connect at the very right time. You are a so damn talented, and the best friend a girl could ask for. Your cool head, your make-it-happen attitude, your authenticity- it’s safe to say that having that touchstone helped me avert many anxiety attacks over the past couple months. You rock, my friend.
Mindy: You are one tough cookie. Sticking it out with me, trying to find solutions and tripping over one thing after another. We’ve worked together for so long but I finally feel like I got to know you. Nothing like going into the trenches to find out what your friendship is made of! And my heart is so uplifted when I think of ours.
Stephen: Dude. Your creativity, your excitement, your passion for what you do is so inspiring. Not many non-coffee drinkers with two small children and a wife would have the patience to sit in a Starbucks chatting and collaborating on a styled shoot in the late afternoon. Being around you refreshed my own passion for what we do, and kept me going when I was counting down the minutes till I could reasonably call it a night.
McKenzi: Darling, the amount of bravery it must have taken you to do this with us is astounding. Though we’ve shared the same brides before, having never worked directly with each other was definitely a leap of faith. One I am so grateful you took, despite all the last-minute happenings when most people would have wrote it off. For that, I am so grateful.
Ella: If I was flexible enough, my foot would have gone in my mouth at least twice with you in the past month. And yet you stuck it out with me! I am humbled by your grace through this adventure, and working with you had the beautiful ease of synchronicity. I am so looking forward to getting to know you better, and toast to beautiful photographs!
Sue: How you managed to pull off not one, but two days shooting with us given your over-the-top crazy schedule amazes me. Ten years and counting now we’ve been in camera rooms and yet, you still find time for another project with me. You mean the world to me and I am forever grateful for the chance you gave this once-starting-out makeup artist. And PS- sorry I sucked so bad 10 years ago. I hope I make you proud now!
Dawn and Annette: Wow. I honestly don’t even know what to say to you ladies without looking like a corny, blubbering, cheesy fanboy. Because of you, our bridal shoots were exceptional. Because of you, our bridal shoots were designer. So much of the beauty from the last 30 days is because of you. There are just not good enough words to say how exquisite you are, and how deeply grateful I am for your friendship.
Christine: You, my friend, are a vault filled with a wealth of information. How you have not been squirreled away by some major corporation for some kind of job that involves lots of tailored skirt-suits and company retreats in Hawaii shocks me. And you’re so wide open, so willing to help, so ready to make it happen. Because of you, because I get to know you, epic things happen. You’re the tops.