#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.
Which came first, the Lady Gaga zombie or Walking Dead? I confess, I’ve never seen a single episode of the super popular zombie show, but Chief Dude (Rob, the charming guy you talk to when you book) is a huge fan. And so are lot’s of people! The requests for zombie makeup have been coming in thick and fast for the past few years. Two Halloweens ago, we partnered with Pin-Up Bride Planners to sponsor a wedding-industry Halloween party here in Vegas. The order of the day was one dead bride, one dead groom, and transform all the servers and wait staff into zombies. Thankfully for me (Amelia here!), Alana knows her way around a jar of fake coagulated blood and was able to create these gruesome looks. Hayley worked on massive, undead hair and I was allowed to assist with airbrushing the color out of faces and getting sticky with stage blood.
That was just the start- since then, more and more zombie makeup requests have come in. We’ve also had Bianca and Melissa join the team, with their own versions of zombie makeup experience Some of the more recent request have been inspired by the black-and-white skeletal look made infamous by Lady Gaga, and somehow women have even found a way to make the un-dead look sexy- sans blood and gore.
Bianca’s half-dead, half alive steam-punk influenced zombie makeup. It’s delicate and feminine all at once- is it possible for a zombie look to be lady like? We think so.
Alana’s Lady Gaga inspired zombie makeup for a couple- not a detail left behind, right down to the hands. Pretty much the perfect couples costume without all the other cheesy options.
Melissa’s “gentleman’s” skeletal zombie makeup. Paired with some finer black clothing, it’s perfect for the guy who doesn’t do costumes but wants to look the part.
Las Vegas does Halloween right… the Fetish and Fantasy Ball, the costume contests, all the events that bring out the dark, the weird, the curious. And we are no exception- Halloween makeup is our time to break out of the soft pinks and sweet browns into full-on costume makeup. Bianca loves working with latex to create gruesome looks- like the eerie cut smile of the Black Dahlia. Alana imagined what it would be like if the black-and-white flappers captured in the torn images of the 1920′s photographs suddenly came to life and began walking about. Amelia was equally sinister with her take on the Black Widow- a woman who mourns the loss of her (latest) husband as she fingers the jewels he so conveniently left behind. Of course, we enlisted the help of our buddy Ron Miller to capture our creations, and he nailed it.
We had a blast creating these Halloween makeup Las Vegas looks at one of the most eccentric venues in town- the Artisan. From the ceilinged hung mirrors to the gargoyle fountain, high-backed red velvet chairs and dimly lit chandeliers, the Artisan provided the perfect place for three Las Vegas makeup artists and two hair stylists to flex some creative muscle designing sexy costumes for our three belles, Kitty, Angela, and Erin. The theme we designed the shoot around was “Little Black Dress: Halloween Costume” Taking inspiration from a clothing item nearly every woman owns and feels oh-so-sexy in, and taking the fear out of Halloween- the cheesy, over priced costumes that bow the temporary shelves of pop up shops through the city. With some witty accessories and the perfect hair and makeup, a costume inspiringly unregretful was created.
The Black Dahlia “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween Makeup by Bianca S. With the right makeup, all that’s needed is a sweet dress, a pearl necklace, and the signature flower.
The Flapper “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween Makeup by Alana G. With gray skin and shadowy makeup, all that is needed to complete this look is the flappers token bob wig and a set of sassy garters.
The Black Widow “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween makeup by Amelia C. With a low-cut dress and dazzling gothic jewels, the perfect makeup and a mourning veil is all that’s needed for this beautiful widow.
We are so excited for our Third Annual Patriotic Pin-Up’s fundraiser benefiting the US Vets of Las Vegas! US Vets organization exists to “serve those who have served”, providing job training, housing, food assistance, and so many more programs for many of our homeless or disabled vets. For three years now, Altenburg Studio, Portraits by Catherine, and Amelia C & Co have partnered up for two days of pin up fun with all proceeds going to help our Veterans. Amelia C & Co provides pin up hair and makeup, Bettie Page clothing provides just the most darling dresses. Sue designs the best sets, including one unique set every year! Catherine prints all the posters, a generous 11×14, of you as a pin up! Two industry friends and pin up models, Tiffany Rose and Kitty Kobain, offer dressing help as well as modeling coaching for your session. Last year was our best year ever, raising more than $8500! This two-day event always sells out FAST, so if you’re ready to be a pin-up make your appointment before they are all gone!
What a fantastic weekend!
Ok, maybe it was two weekends ago. But what can we say? We are still crooning over here about the wonderful show.
All the cool kids have a booth the Bridal Spectacular, but our debut year in 2012 was anything but cool. And when I say not cool, I mean safety-scissors-double-sided-sticky-tape-Velcro not cool. It blows my mind how sexy these designers can make 10 cubic feet look like, and we had anything but swagger with our sad little booth our first year. The only good thing about our pathetic set up last year was that designer Deborah James of The Pin Up Bride took pity on us and designed our booth with the help of Dr. Teresa Meli, florist at Floral Couture.
(Why’s a doctor doing flowers you say? Oh that’s because she’s got a doctorate in conducting. She’s a bad-ass. We aren’t worthy.)
sloppy wet kisses go out to our girl Alicia at Orange Soda Photo for the images – we are surprised the first one didn’t crack her lens
Of course, it takes a whole lotta people to clean up the HOT MESS that we were from last year! That uber swanky fuschia uplighting in the background? Yea, the courtesy of our most epic dude Kevin Cordova of LED UNplugged. That man lights up our world! Literally! Between Deborah, Teresa, Julie (also at Floral Couture, and super sassy) and Kevin, we won the Dazzler Award for having a posh booth! Yes, there was wine and chocolate involved in the celebration.
The icing on the proverbial cake was…wait for it… making the cover of the latest edition of Bridal Spectacular! For the third year in a row!! Can I get a wwhaatt whhhaatt?!?! For the past three years, Bridal Spectacular has organized photoshoots for their upcoming spreads in the publication. Photographers, florists, stationary, gowns…and hair and makeup are all involved. Once all the submissions come back, they go into the issue, but one image is always chosen for the cover. Hayley’s trendy fishtail braids and Bianca’s dreamy makeup must’ve made some hearts flutter, and we are just ticked pink to have our work featured on the cover! Props to sweet Lorenz over at Lorenz Photo for capturing the cover-shot!!
Yea, we’ve been riding the high for as long as we could milk it. Oh, and if you didn’t make it, no worries! You can get in on some of the pretty action by booking us before Feb 13th for your upcoming wedding- 10% off your package, to be exact! So get to clickin’ that contact button on top in the right corner, and we’ll see you soon!
Amelia C & Co
Halloween makeup Las Vegas is the BEST. Between all the parties, especially the Fetish and Fantasy Ball, we get some of the coolest requests!
It seemed appropriate to save these images for today, Dios De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. What’s that you say? Halloween was yesterday? Well, pull yourself out of that candy-and-cider coma because your about to get schooled, Wikipedia explains:
“Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.”
History is totally rad, right? I mean, here we were thinking that All Hallow’s Eve ended on October 31 but wait! There’s more! Celebrate the super awesome DoftD and you get two more days of sugar and celebration! Score!
When my girl Alicia over at Orange Soda Photo called me a few months back and wanted to stage her own DoftD shoot, I was all over it. I hadn’t done a makeup application like this before, and I was beyond stoked to bust out my SFX kit in the spring. Alicia was nice enough to help this makeup artist out by sending along some images to get those creative juices flowing, and what you see here is the end-result of my first stab at a Day of the Dead makeup application. Not bad, eh? Oh, and when there’s a sexy beast like Kate modeling for you, your just know whatever you come up with she’s gonna rock.