Lydia-Pageant queen

One of the things I love about being a photographer who specializes in photographing women, is the fact that I am given so many opportunities to meet young women who are inspiring to me.  Lydia is one of those girls.  Since joining Pure International Pageants Lydia, has won numerous crowns.  Currently, she is the reigning Miss Belleville in the Junior Pre-teen category.  She contributes her time to more than 10 community service programs. She models for the Crawford agency, runs track and enjoys acting in school plays.  That’s a lot to be involved in, for an 8th grader!  (Of course, she gets a lot of loving support from her amazing parents!) I could not believe the level of maturity that she possessed, but at the same time, Lydia was fun, genuine and had a very engaging personality.  Her smile lit up the room!  The Pure International Pageant program is a family-owned business.  Their programs focus on public-speaking and interview skills with a mission to build self-confidence and self-esteem.  They strive to teach strong professional skills so each contestant can be more effective in the professional world.  They encourage their contestants to inspire, lead and achieve!  They also promote camaraderie and teamwork among the girls.

One of the wonderful aspects about Pure International is that they focus on natural beauty!  The Tot and Little Miss divisions may not wear makeup at all.  The Pre-teen division may wear light, age-appropriate makeup only and it is closely monitored.  The Young miss and older divisions may also wear age-appropriate make-up only, and it is also closely monitored.  Contestants must always look their age.  In a world where “plastic” photoshop looks are inundating our magazines and media every day, and giving our young women a false sense of what beauty really is, I applaud this organization for helping young girls to see, and be recognized for their true beauty!

Lydia will soon be headed to the International competition, in June.  Good luck, Lydia!





Lauren, Beauty Portraits

Do you ever get so excited about something, as an adult, that you get that same feeling you did when you were a kid?  Like when your mom told you she had a surprise for you?  Or when your parents told you they were taking you to Disneyland?  Well, that’s how excited I got when I found out I was going to have Lauren back in my studio to shoot some beauty portraits!  It may sound crazy, but this beautiful girl has some of the most striking features of anyone I have photographed yet.  In fact, the first time I photographed Lauren was in my kitchen, while my studio was being built four years ago!  Yes, that is correct; in my kitchen! Since then, my business has grown exponentially and, in the past year in particular, I have been honing in on my beauty portraiture and hoping for the opportunity to shoot her again.  Well, I got that opportunity and although I’m not completely done with the post processing on this session, I just couldn’t wait to share some of the first few stunners!

*Makeup by:  Katie Marie Mallie




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*Coupons may not be applied to special offer. One offer per client. Print products and portrait art sold separately.  See studio for complete details of promotion.

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Brittany | Beauty photography, 101

I have yet to complete the post-processing on Brittany’s photo shoot.  However, when I completed this image I was simply moved.  I sat in my chair, staring at my monitor, like a star-struck kid trying to get up the nerve to ask a celebrity for their autograph!  I just cannot believe how truly beautiful this girl is.  All I could muster up was a quiet “wow”…. To me, the image is stunning, as is she.  I just felt compelled to share this one now….although if you follow us, you’ve seen it already-as both my Pinterest and Facebook icon photo!  Enjoy… the remaining story of Brittany will follow shortly!

**Makeup and styling by Melissa Rollins


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