Category Archives: Trash The Dress

orlando model senior photographer grassandclass

One of my New Year resolutions was to try new things this year. Not just new things around Orlando, but in my business, as well. I got a few new photo toys to play with in an effort to hone my skills and infuse some fun and unexpected elements into my photography style. My amazing and wonderful hair stylist extraordinaire Chris Testerman agreed to go on a professional adventure together. Chris is a hair and makeup artist in Orlando, he works out of Winter Garden actually. He’s been doing my hair for the past year and it’s a fabulous hairstyle every single time.

GrassAndClassBTSFlipagram-130_smIt started out as a goal to style and photograph 25 beautiful people with great hair – giving Chris practice in trying out fun new modern hair and makeup styles, and for me, coming up with creative ways to photograph the model afterwards.  We had so much fun at our first collaboration! We even made a fun little timelapse video of all the pre-session pampering HERE. It was a great session and the hours flew by.
After we did our first project, however, we both realized that it wasn’t just about honing our skills, but that, in giving women makeovers, photographing them in the best light, and showing them just how beautiful they really are (to two complete strangers, no less), feels extremely empowering and strong somehow. So with that in mind, a new, better idea has started to form. Photographing confidence is easy. We would both really enjoy capturing the spark in someone who maybe doesn’t quite like the way she looks, or isn’t confident in her style, or has always been shy in front of the camera. We would like to offer a complimentary makeover and a portrait session (about 5-6 hours of teamwork and ~$300 worth of services) to 5 deserving women who respond to this blog. (use the contact form above, or email me directly I would like to invite you to submit your story, and become one of our strong, glamorous, empowered models.

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1 out of 25 sessions is complete. We put in over 5 hours of hard work, styling, dressing, makeover-ing, and photographing this beautiful lady named Chrystal. My idea was to use the flowering grass in a nearby field as a backdrop, along with a handmade white/gold/pink corset gown (a la Trash The Dress) in order to highlight and compliment the stunning red hair and freckles.  Redhead models are hard to find, believe it or not! Anyway, we set up in a small field right next to a busy intersection, which goes to show you how thinking (a few feet) out of the box can get you amayyyzing results! A while later, I used a prism for the first time, and let me tell you, that’s a really fun toy! Thanks to photographer Sam Hurd for the inspiration and recommendation.

Grass and Class Shoot
Model: Chrystal L.
HMUA: Chris Testerman, Cosmetologist
Photographer: Kristina Stockton, PhotoKisses

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grassandclass behind the scenes at a photoshootThanks everyone for your hard work!orlando model senior photographer grassandclass

Holy cow! One of my labs is having a HUGE sale on 16×20 prints this week – how awesome is that?! I love passing on the savings to my customers.
To take advantage of this amazing offer, find your gallery by clicking the EVENTS tab above, and order the “SPECIAL 16×20” print (heck, why not – order two or three!) It’s a limited time offer until April 30th. Unlike my regular prints, this one will not be mounted – but you can’t beat the price at a huge $60 discount! I’m ordering a few for myself 😛

Welcome to the MEGA post which is all about hair and beauty and skin care for your wedding day! My special guest today is the super talented Sara Lovell, Rochester MUA/Hair Stylist for fabulous brides – thank you Sara for such informative answers to all our questions. Hopefully this will help our brides get some good ideas and better prepare to look fabulous on the big day!

First, meet Sara:
rochester wedding mua hair stylist.rochester wedding mua hair stylist


rochester wedding hairBraided updo (photo by Photo Impressions)

How should I take care of my hair in preparation for my wedding? It’s a good idea to have your color touched up about a week before the big day. Early on the day before the wedding, wash and style your hair as you normally would.  Day-old hair holds a style much better than fresh, clean hair does. The morning of the wedding, shower but DO NOT wash or even wet your hair.  Even if you are on the oily side, I have special products that will soak up any greasiness.
What are some updo styles that are popular and how do you make each request unique? Bridal styles are usually very timeless and classic, but I’d say that the last few seasons I have had more brides wearing their hair half-up with loose, romantic waves or curls. Other than that, soft updos with lots of texture are still popular.  I like to take a few things into consideraton, like the neckline of the dress, type of jewlery, and personal preferences while working with the bride to achieve the look she is dreaming of.

rochester wedding hairflower hair piece and curls (photo by PhotoKisses)

What are some of your favorite accessories for bridal hair? Last season, fascinators were very popular, along with birdcage style veils.  I personally love the vintage inspiration with those, but it’s not a look for everyone. There are classic accessories like fresh flowers that will always look appropriate and tasteful for a bride.
Any specific brands or types of hair products you like? I use a lot of Kenra, Rusk, and Surface styling products for my bridal parties and studio work.  I have tried many, many products that don’t deliver what the bottle says it will, and I need reliable products that are priced well… Kenra seems to have cornered the market for that.
Any no nos?  Two major tips: 1.   Look like yourself.   I am all for changing up your look and doing something different, but your wedding day is not the day to do it.  You should look like a really awesome version of yourself for the day, and you want your new husband to recognize you as your walking down the aisle.  2.  Stay away from glitter!  Glitter will get all over everything and everyone. When lit up by flash lighting, it looks like dandruff in photos.  Soft,suble shimmer is great, but glitter is best left for little girls.
Priscilla asks – My hair is very fine and brittle, what kind of products should I get and are there any tips you can give me to avoid flyaways in an updo?
For fine and brittle hair I highly recommend a strengthening regimen to bring back some integrity to the hair so that it can hold up to styling better.  Surface Trinity Shampoo, conditoner and leave in tonic will protect color treated hair, strengthen your strands, and has built in styling protection so that you don’t have to worry about as many hair products that may weigh your hair down.  I like to finish dry, styled hair with Surface Push powder which adds texture and makes your hair feel thicker, followed my a good finishing spray like Kenra Volume Spray.  Spray it on your hair brush before teasing to help build volume and mist over your finished style and smooth any flyways down with your hands before it dries.



What kind of preparation can a bride do a week or two before the wedding to get ready for make up? A facial is great to have done, usually you’d want to have of series of these done over the course of a few months, with the last one being no sooner than a week before the wedding.  The night before, I recommend using your normal skin care routine, with a rich and hydrating eye cream.
How about the morning of?  Use your normal skin care routine, including a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. Use a light eye cream to reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines.  Make sure you eat something for breakfast, no matter how nervous or excited you may be! Any specific brands or types of makeup you like? Among my favorites in my kit, I like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Makeup Forever Professional, Mehron, and Smashbox.  I use a little bit of everything; many lines have great products for different needs and I haven’t yet found one single line that meets all of my needs as an artist.
Most unusual request? I had a bride that had a tattoo on the back of her neck that her mom didn’t like!  I have a special tattoo concealer that did the trick, it was gone for the day until she washed the makeup off.
I heard about airbrush make up, is that something I should consider? It is the lightest, most natural-lookng coverage you can get possible that offers a feather-light feel with full coverage and lasts ALL DAY, making it my favorite for brides.  The water-based formula and fine spray-dot pattern it lays blends with your skin’s tone and texture seamlessly which is why it is my favorite choice. I  really love the airbrush makeup system by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.  There is no brush, sponge or any other tool that can duplicate the “spray dot” pattern that the airbrush creates, which is why it’s the preferred modality for artists like me, working with photographers shooting hi-def digital images and videos.  It makes a huge difference and offer durability unlike anything else.

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Brooke asks – I am not sure how I should do my makeup for the big day. I do a pretty good job with my day-to-day makeup… would you recommend a more natural look? It’s always a good idea to take your everyday look into consideration when planning your bridal look.  If glam is your usual look, you don’t want to stray too far away from that, same as if you are more of a fan of the natural look.  With that said, I do find that the most timeless makeup look is a natural, “glowing” one… just make it yours!
What brand of lipstick do you recommend? How do I find the perfect shade that works for me? I HATE buying lipstick only to find it looks HORRIBLE and I can’t return it! Whether you prefer lipstick, gloss, stain or pencil, I highly recommend shopping for your lip color at a shop like Sephora or Ulta, where there are hygenic ways to sample the products before you buy them.  My favorites for brides are stains or long-wearing liquid colors that won’t “kiss off” like NYX semi-permanent lip color or ColorStay Overtime by Revlon.

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How do I know my makeup will last through tears, oil, and sweat? Prepping the skin with appropriate skin care products and primers is crucial before any makeup goes on.  High quality & highly pigmented makeup expertly applied to suit your skin type followed by appropriate setting powders and/or fixers.  It may seem like a lot, but it makes a difference in the durability of your makeup!



Christine asks – hi Sara! i have almond shaped eyes… how do i make them appear bigger and still pop? Almond-shaped eyes are beautiful and exotic and you can easily make them pop by lining the inner lower lid and tear duct area with white or very light shimmer, then smudging darker brown or black eyeliner into the outer corners of the lower and upper lash line. smudge out the liner from the middle of each eye out towards the corner and blend well.  Curling your lashes and adding lots of black mascara will also make your eyes pop.

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airbrush make up and strip eye lashes (photo by Photo Impressions)

My natural lashes suck!  Is there a natural-looking lash option? Yes!  False eyelash inserts are very natural-looking and comfortable.  The extra strong adhesive holds up to water and tears very well, when latex-based adhesives may fail when exposed to moisture.

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Should I do a hair and makeup trial?  There are many schools of thought on this one, this just happens to be mine. it’s not always practical for every bride to have done before she chooses to book with me if they live out of town, but they have seen my portfolio and reviews and that makes them feel comfortable in my ability.  I think many brides-to-be think that this is their deciding factor when booking a beauty artist, when I think trials are most appropriate when used as a planning tool closer to the day of your wedding.  Its a great way to plan your look for the day, and even better when done before an engagement session, (to see how your look reads on camera) or before a dress fitting, (to see if your entire look is cohesive and what you want it to be) Ultimately, you should do what makes the most sense for you.    What I consider more important is the consultation, which is always free, whether its done in person , over the phone or using video chat.

And most importantly… get as much rest as possible, avoid drinking too much alcohol so you will feel great and look well rested in the morning!

Thanks so much Sara!

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I am still wayyyy behind in blogging weddings (I just got through August’s) but I couldn’t resist showing you a few images from Sarah’s Trash The Dress session we did not too long ago. I had a few crazy ideas (where crazy = awesome, obviously 😛 ) and Sarah stepped right up and volunteered to help me carry them out. I wanted crazy hair and crazy makeup, and being the amazing make up artist she is (hey Sarah, will you do my makeup for my wedding?!) we got some stunning photos. These were all shot in the final hour before sunset, I loved how saturated the colors became when the light reflected off her big white wedding dress.

Sarah would make a stunning silent movie star, don’tcha think? (left image processed with a B&W film filter)

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Sarah’s hubby provided shade, courtesy of my winter jacket (so high tech!) and then I filled in the shadows with a tiny bit of flash.

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Yay for cowboy boots!

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Will I find similarly fabulous leafy locations in Orlando next year? Methinks not.  Sigh.


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