Spring Break Photo Shoot

Over the past 10 days, I had the joy of having my 21 year old niece visit me here in California while she was on Spring Break from school in Virgina. Although we had been in touch for quite a while, this was our first time meeting face to face. I wanted to provide her with a unique experience, so I arranged for her to have a photo shoot while she was here.

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In the above picture, she is wearing just a hint of makeup (remember the “no makeup” makeup?). As you can see, she is a beautiful young woman, however for her shoot she wanted to glam things up a bit.

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We had an opportunity to do two different looks; a bridal shoot (which almost brought tears to my eyes, she looked so beautiful) and an evening formal look. Having never modeled or worn that much makeup before, she was phenomenal and the shoot went extremely well.

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As she was getting ready for bed that evening, I made it a point to congratulate her on the day’s success. I also wanted to be sure to impress upon her that, although the makeup she wore was a beautiful enhancement, she was beautiful before we started the makeup process. It was important to me that she realized that her beauty came from within and that anything on top of that was merely icing on the cake.

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I am very proud of this intelligent, beautiful young woman and eagerly look forward to her next visit!

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Model Spotlight: Natalya Stanton

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When photographer Alex Ibarra hired me to provide makeup services for a portfolio shoot he was doing, I had no idea I was about to encounter the force that is Natalya Stanton. After setting up my work station, I awaited the arrival of my model for the day. Shortly thereafter, in walks this adorable young woman, with an inviting warm & unassuming personality.

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As I worked on her makeup, I started chatting her up – like I do with all my models – and found her to be very fun and entertaining to be around. She was the ultimate professional, instinctively knowing the basics of sitting for makeup (when to close your eyes, look down, tilt her head, etc) with little to no direction. Towards the end of the first makeup look, my nosey nature took over and I rather boldly asked her age. I knew that with skin as fresh and dewey as hers, she had to be young – I figured about 18 or 19. However, imagine my shock and awe when she stated that she would be turning 16 shortly!! I was utterly speechless (a rare event) to find out that this mature, gregarious,  professional young woman was only 15 years old!!

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It was an extreme pleasure to meet and have the opportunity to work with such a bright and talented model. The images she and Alex Ibarra created together (with a little help from yours truly) turned out amazing. I know that no matter what type of work Natalya decides to pursue in the future, she will no doubt be very successful, for she is already off to a fantastic start in this game of life!

To see more of Alex’s work, follow his Instagram photo stream: @cirka_88

Noteworthy Encounters: Larry Taite

I am truly a blessed individual. Not only do I have a wonderful job as a free-lance makeup artist, but I also get to spend a few days a week at the local Museum of Natural History as a gallery attendant.  It is in this second part time job, that I have the opportunity to meet other locals & travelers from all over the state, country and world.  Some of these encounters leave a such a positive lasting impression on me, that I feel compelled to share them with others.

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One such encounter happened today, with a gentleman I met named Larry Taite visiting from Huntington Beach, Ca. He was visiting Santa Barbara by chance after hopping in the car the day before with no particular destination in mind. Although retired, this young man is certainly not slowing down.

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He showed me his incredible Sony NEX-7 camera that he takes with him on his random travels, capturing some of the most breathtaking images I have ever seen. With a very charismatic smile to match his equally charming personality (can you tell this girl was a bit smitten? Lol), we enjoyed a lively conversation about photography and the powerhouse that is his camera.

Alas, all good things eventually must come to an end and Mr. Taite had to move on with his photography and I actually had to do my job (I was, afterall, at work). He left with my card and a promise to send me a couple of the photos he took during his visit to the museum. This story is still a work in progress, as I eagerly await sharing this talented artists’ work with all of you.

So stay tuned my friends, for the best is yet to come…