Featured in Vogue Italia

If you've been following my social media over the last month, you may have seen some hubbub about some editorial images I was involved in that got featured in Vogue Italia.  Well, it's true!  Since editorial isn't a huge part of my portfolio at the moment, I wanted to provide the backstory to this awesome experience!

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Sometime in the beginning of February, my friend Kristin Robbins of Tyger Alexis reached out to me in search of a makeup artist for a fun editorial shoot later that week.  I jumped at the chance to stretch my creative, artsy muscles (which is definitely my home as a super creative person!) and to work with people I love and admire so much.  Kristin, the stylist for the shoot, and I go way back as we both grew up in Raleigh in similar circles of friends, and I always remembered her as a girl with a golden personality - warm, inviting, and radiant!  Katie Manselle, the hair stylist, I know from church and have totally celeb-style admired for a while!  She owns her own salon and is a top creator for Oribe, frequenting NYC for fashion weeks and photo shoots.

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So of course I said a resounding YES, felt a little nervous, and then just went with it.  We shot at Katie's hair studio (Culture Hair Studio) in Durham and I brought my paints knowing that the makeup looks were going to be super editorial.  I met Jennifer Cole, who is the kind genius behind the photography and submitted the shots to Vogue Italia (which I didn't know!) and Cayce Tucker, the sweetest model represented by 3 BBM.  We giggled and chatted while doing crazy makeup and had the quickest changeovers imaginable.  It definitely put things into perspective about how much time I allot for bridal work!  It's so different, and so great because of that!

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We did three looks for the day: the pear with pink rectangle eyes, the blue jumpsuit with a 3-toned shadow on one eye, and the moot-inspired jumpsuit with the one white stripe.  Jennifer had the basic inspiration for makeup - I just had fun working within those visions with what I had and what I felt would be fun!

It was a quick shoot, but out of that came two features on Vogue Italia's Best Of Photovogue!  Here is the link to the images on their website.  

Katie and I (along with some of her girls in the studio, Ali and Meg) talked about the importance of just playing.  Especially as a creative earning money from creative work, it's so so valuable to take time to just create for fun, to go so outside the boundaries of what you normally do, and enjoy the freedom of it.  It totally benefits what you do for your day job, too!

Thank you Jennifer, Katie, Kristin, and Cayce for allowing me to play and enjoy the afternoon with you!

Here's to much more fun in what I love to do!

Sam

Three looks for the Everyday Girl

It is so important to play and create things for fun when you are in the visual arts.  I had been finding myself scouring through images on Pinterest and noticed a bit of a gap between what I was naturally consuming (lifestyle - beauty, food, sacred moments) and what I was producing (bridal).   I was itching to create looks for my own portfolio that were non-bridal, but still extremely soft, romantic, and still within the realm of being achievable.  I envisioned a very simplistic backdrop with great light to let the hair, makeup, and personality of each girl take center stage.  I knew I wanted props, but only just a few. 

I love working with brides.  It is definitely a niche that requires a lot of warmth, listening, understanding, skill, patience, and love of the occasion.  Many times I feel like instead of styling,  I am treading in a sea of wedding-day-timeline matrices,  switching around schedules like domino pieces, and making sure everything will get done well and on time.  

One of the best pieces of advice that I have received is to create the art you want to see (thanks to Austin Kleon in his booklet Steal Like an Artist).  Some of my favorite ways to relax on my days off are to go to the farmer's market, get a cup of really really good coffee, and snuggle up with a book.  So I had this idea to create looks I would want to wear, for activities I enjoy, with a hint of romanticism.

I am so thankful that Nancy of Nancy Ray Photography said yes to this.  Quick background:  Nancy and I met in 7th grade and were best friends by 9th grade.  Even then, she would tell me "Sam, I want to be a photographer and have a studio in my house some day," and she would read books on photography technique.  That's Nancy for you, you guys.  She would always invite me to get in front of the camera as a guinea pig and for that reason too many blackmail photos and also my favorite life images exist.  

Brooke and Priscilla of the Mim's House were gracious hosts, and I am so thankful!  The Mim's house has beautiful, historic walls and great light, with plenty of space indoors and outdoors for all of us to move around.

Katie, Hannah Grace, and Kristin were so amazing to hop on board and let me create looks on them.  We chose items of clothing from their own wardrobe to keep things authentic and simple.  No false lashes or smoky eyes for this one.  Just real life!

 

I am so proud of the way these images turned out.  Nancy had the suggestion to go ahead and submit them, and Style Me Pretty Living was so wonderful to publish the hairstyles in particular with some tutorial steps from myself.  I hope everyone has enjoyed them!  And seriously - if you try one of these looks, can you tag or message or let me know somehow?!  I'd love to see!

A very special thank you to Nikelle of Wylde Flowers for her lovely bouquet, Stephanie Drummond for assisting in creative direction & styling, Aislinn Cobb for helping look after Kristen's beautiful kiddos, and my husband John for being there and cheering me on!

With blush & bobby pins,

Sam