Sunday, January 30, 2011

An Open Letter to Diana Deaver and the SC Style Workshop Experts

I was a privileged "front row" ticketholder to the inaugural SC Style Workshop, and I wanted to take a moment to tell each of you how much I appreciated your generosity in sharing your knowledge and expertise in your respective fields.

Diana Deaver.  Photographer.  Visionaire.  Difference-maker.  Your photography is finding its way throughout this lovely city of ours like the roots of some lovely flower.   Every time you click your camera, you manage to find beauty; more likely, you are simply reflecting the beauty you already see inside your subject.  The fact that you put together an event that celebrates beauty from the inside out, is a testament to your dedication to where true art lies: in the eye of the beholder.  You are a visionary, out to make a difference, and I'm so happy to know a heart like yours has found its way to Charleston.

Ayoka Lucas.  Style Editor of Charleston Magazine; founder of Charleston Fashion Week.  We've met only a couple of times, but you appear to me to be that "brutally honest" friend whom you referred to last night (a must on your "team" of style-helpers).  I've already labeled my five boxes (Keep, Donate, Dump, Fix, and Archive), and plan on cleaning out the closet today.  Thank you for your qualified definition of STYLE as that of an outward reflection of my inner attitude.  Thank you for referring me to Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Pieces.  And thank you for encouraging me to make my look book and style board.  I feel I'm well on my way.

Andrew Petersen.  International Makeup Artist; cosmetics guru; inquisitor into why I "can't" wear pink ;)  Thank you for your sage advice about not breaking the bank on my cosmetics purchases.  You told me to invest wisely in my foundation for the loveliest skin possible; and to low-brow it in the shimmer/shine products.  I will prime my eyelids for optimum shadow longevity; I will work on my day time look and use only one or two products to bump it up for a night time look.  I will now be on the lookout for what you say every woman needs: a pink-y bronzer.  And I will be sure to come see you at Cos Bar on King Street and a myriad of the world's finest cosmetic offerings right here in Charleston!

Kristen Bostic.  Financial Advisor.  Thank you for reminding me that my net-worth is not my self-worth.  I heard you loud and clear when you told me to Know My Numbers; figure out my comfort number (3 to 6 months of income, set aside for emergencies).  You told me to take control of my debt. . . that indeed I control it and not vice versa.  Most importantly, you reminded me to continually educate myself about money; to be an active participant in making it, an accountable spender of it, and a responsible saver.

Marcus Amaker.  Poet, musician.  Editor of Charleston Scene magazine.  Your honey-dipped words are still hanging, lingering, and lolling around in my ears.  I saw your lines as you spoke them. . . I hope your poetry is published.  I want more.

Jessica Anderson.  Creator of Mindful Yoga.  Empoweress.  Thanks to you, I have already begun my path of paying more attention to and being aware of my thoughts.  Especially the ones you called "diminishing."  Hmm. . . lots of power there.  You told me to slow down (which I need to hear on a daily basis).  You asked me not to be judgmental of my thoughts.  And you encouraged me to write. . . journal. . . record thoughts to see where I've been, where I am, and perhaps to be able to figure out where I'm going.  You reminded me that my center and my calm/stillness is within me always, and that to tap into it, I need only to slow down and summon it.

Angela McKee.  Skin care expert.  You are a radiant example for what you extoll: from good health comes beautiful skin.  Do you know how much you glowed?  You obviously love what you do.  Thanks to you, I'm looking more thoughtfully into the environmental factors that affect my skin on a daily basis.  I really want a water filter for my shower head now;)  You reminded me that proper diet and rest are vitally important in my quest for beautiful skin.  Thank you for wearing it all on your sleeve.

Elli Boland.  Nutrition and fitness expert.  I laughed out loud at your opening line. . . "What's up bitches???   I mean Beautiful Goddesses!!!"  If ever there were a walking, talking personification of someone who practices what she preaches, it's you.   Thinking about what my body needs is key in helping me obtain my nutritional best.  However, it was one of your final points, Elli, that struck home with me most: to reprogram ("train my brain") through positive affirmations such as I am Healthy, and I am Beautiful just the way I am, and Thank you, Body, for giving me life.  And forgiving myself for an occasional slip of a cookie or other treat.

Shauna Mackenzie Heathman.  Image consultant.  Did I ever consider "image consulting" before I heard you speak?  Honestly, no.  But wow, this is a very viable and appropriate field to study today, the Information Age.  Shauna you made so many amazing points, but once you teased us with "The Secret to a Great First Impression," I was hooked.  But the first great point was that despite the old adage "there's no second chance at making a great first impression," one should consider that someone who did not make that great of a first impression should be given the opportunity to redeem him/herself.  We'll never know the many possibilities that led to that encounter.  I'm a firm believer in second chances, so this struck home with me.  So without further adieu, the secret to a great first impression: Be aware of how I make another person feel.

In addition to these encyclopedic minds, the SCSW was sprinkled with the cutting edge fashion designs of Alena Fede, Chelsie Ravenell, Sherri Miller, Beth Pilger and Anna Lassiter.  So a big congrats to ALL involved and I'm looking forward to the next SC Style Workshop!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Essay on Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is something I'm seeing more of in this take-it-up-a-notch world of marital bliss.  It's a fantastic way to capture a bride or wife at a moment when she's feeling very good about herself.  The boudoir shoots I've been involved in have had a clandestine element about them mostly because the ladies being photographed want to keep an element of surprise in presenting these albums to their husbands.  I continually hear these ladies tell of the reactions of their spouses when they give them The Book.  Usually his jaw drops, and by the time they can collect themselves enough to speak, the first words out are "Who took these photos?"

So, meet Miss K and Miss L.  These two ladies are bff's from childhood.  They were both engaged during the same time and planning weddings in two different cities.  This photo shoot was part of a brainstorm of ideas to give as wedding gifts to their respective husbands.  This may have been one of the most luxurious shoots I've been involved in; these ladies did it up and planned it beautifully.  The backdrop is a beautiful old hotel in downtown Charleston with rich textures everywhere I looked.  From the moment I walked in, they were giddy with excitement over their costume changes.  Everything was planned out to the Nth degree. . . the venue, lingerie, sports momentos, SHOES like you wouldn't believe, and hair and makeup.

Now, a word about the hair: Tanesha Dupree.  For so many reasons, Tanesha is one of my favorite people, not to mention stylists.  She custom ordered and made these hair pieces.  Yes, they are extensions, and that was part of the fantasy of this photo shoot. . . stepping outside boundaries and trying to conjure a different look.  Then the makeup comes in and plays off that. . . lashes and eyeliner galore, great skin, shiny lips.  Put it all together and these ladies stepped into a world that was full of confidence, and sheer delight because they knew how much the hubsters were going to love this.

And then of course, it takes the utmost professional photographer to pull this all together.  Brooke Christl of Myrtle Beach has a sub-specialty in this type of photography.  She's a wedding and lifestyle photographer, who has a real knack for boudoir.  I knew as soon as I heard the interaction among Brooke and these ladies, that the resulting photos would be amazing.  She's a master of direction. . . and that's exactly what it takes when it comes to getting the best results with boudoir photos.  How to stand, where to put hands, feet, a tilt of the chin, placement of everything in general.  She was phenomenal in thinking up situational events that helped put her clients at ease.  That's what makes a great photographer. . . the knowing and anticipation of what their clients want.

I'll stop going on . . . but believe me, I could ramble.  This was a wonderful thing to be a part of and witness.  The great communication, the exuding confidence, and the FUN that comes from this.  Thank you, ladies, for allowing me to play a part.  And for those of you who have ever or never considered this:  please do so; it's a real treat, something you'll look back and be so proud of.  As a matter of fact, get in touch with me. . . I've got a great lead on an upcoming shoot you'll want to be part of!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pamela Lesch Makeup featured in Southern Weddings Magazine!

True to form, June, 2010 was a blissfully busy month.  Not only did I have my slew of real-life brides who were getting married around various Charlestonian landmarks, but I got the call from Melissa Schollaert Photography, asking me to do makeup for a photo shoot she was putting together.  My gut told me I had to make this work, and I'm so happy it did.  The assignment: Laurenesque (as in Ralph), natural makeup.  I think we achieved it!

Melissa was entering a cover shoot contest for Southern Weddings Magazine, and the theme she put together was a gentile Charleston, marine-based wedding.  Melissa, an Atlanta photographer, did her research and came up with some of Charleston's finest vendors, couture, cuisine offerings, and venues.  This shoot was chosen as a Cover Finalist, and I believe that only whet Melissa's appetite for her next cover shoot.  Congrats to Melissa on her SWM feature; and many thanks to the following for their hand in this:

Also from the ATL, coordinator extraordinaire, Lindsay Pitt of Toast Events

From Charleston:
Belle Couture Bridal (Maribel by Christos dress)
Affair Hair by Tanesha Dupree
Out of Hand (bouquet, tables, and benches)
The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation
St. Barts Yachts (sailboat and marina)
Beautiful jetty courtesy of Folly Beach
Models Jamie Simpson Mitchell and Noel Poff

Friday, January 7, 2011

Forget the bubbly, Dom, and Cuvee! Cham Pale is what's on my lips.

I'm so excited for 2011's wedding season. . . I'm armed and ready to "Cham Pale" my brides!

MAC's holiday release of the Cham Pale collection screamed "Bride!" to me.  There are several other products in this launch, but the products I'm planning on using most from this release, I've included above.  I'm MOST excited about the paint pots.  Just check out those colors. . . although you can't tell from these photos, they are extremely shimmery, and I normally don't do a lot of shimmer.  HOWEVER, after playing around with this collection, my plan is to lay down the paint pot over the eyelid first, then go back over it with a matte eyeshadow in the same color family.  So far, all of my experiments have been STUNNING.

Happy 2011 everyone!  I toast you all with MAC's CHAM PALE!