So this time last year I was sat writing about the highlights of 2016 and feeling really proud at how much my business had grown… I never expected 2017 to be such a game changer. What an amazing year – so many highs, personal achievements, new clients, great weddings, new skills, published work and an award! So here are my highlights through the year…
January was a month of new beginnings. I kicked off the year by creating a home studio in Guisborough to work from as my base. This was an ideal solution for me… working from home meant I could fit in more clients through the week as it eliminated travel time between appointments which was both beneficial to me and to clients. Transforming my room was definitely a group effort. My mum helped me paint, my dad laid the floor, my husband did the furniture and helped me hang my portfolio images on the wall!
January was also a month of learning new skills. I added semi permanent eyebrows to my services and trained in microblading and must thank great friend Kendra Eastwood for volunteering her brows for my assessment. Its quite a brave step and she didn’t even bat an eyelid. I also learnt how to do Henna body art and found that I absolutely loved doing this – the perfect creative outlet for someone like me!
The start of the year saw the first of many lovely reviews from clients – when you work for yourself nothing makes you happier than to receive feedback and photos from clients telling you how much they appreciated and loved your work.
We had some snowy days in Guisborough and made the most of the opportunity to take some great photos with model Rachelle Rogue and photographer Big Foto. Rachelle modelled a fabulous black feather headpiece made by local supplier and friend Luna Lily. One of the images from this set also was awarded an FPI (Front Page Image) on Purple Port – an online portfolio site for photographers, models, creatives.
In February I teamed up with Luna Lily once again and friend Kendra Eastwood who is also a great professional photographer for a bit of creative fun. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to get creative so this photoshoot was just for fun.
I had several February wedding bookings including Joanna who got married in Las Vegas but had a party at home, Sophie who married at Gisborough Hall (always a winner venue for me as its literally 30 seconds from my house), Faye who got married at Hunley Hall and Kerry who married at The Arches Country House both in Saltburn.
At the end of February I enjoyed a shoot with photographer Simon Hogben which was based on the seasons of the year. A lot of effort went in to the styling of this shoot and my two favourite images were Autumn (modelled by Amy Coulson) and Winter (modelled by Clare Hale). For winter I had a specific look in mind which was based around the White Witch character from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I actually made the feather neck and shoulder ruff for this set – which then started a new hobby for creating accessories for shoots! Hairstyling on this shoot was done by Melissa Laverick who I have worked closely with all year.
Infact even silver fox and mega hunk Philip Schofield was a fan of my work. This was the start of our beautiful relationship 🙂
As if a message from the Schofe wasn’t enough for me I was also listed as one of the top 5 bridal makeup artists in the area according to http://www.weddingbridalmakeup.co.uk so this was amazing!
One of my favourite looks in March was done on beautiful client Grace. Smokey eyes, big lashes and nude lip for her sister’s hen do and a winning selfie!
I was also involved in another FPI on Purple Port for the image below of model Jennifer Ellis and photographer Simon Hogben. Jen was a finalist in this year’s Miss Tees Valley and was needing new portfolio shots.
I was involved in a commercial photoshoot for the new collection at Guisborough store Madame MeMe and this was the first time I worked with photographer Aaron Jeffels. The models on the shoot were Gracey Beattie Stringer (also owner of Vintageous Rags and Amy Coulson. Hair styling was done by Elisia Hart. Here are some of my behind the scenes shots. I worked with Madame MeMe again later in the year but more about that later. I always try to support local businesses and Guisborough suppliers are particular good at supporting eachother.
Here are a couple of Aaron’s professional images…
March 26th was a date I will not forget in a hurry. Having made the finals at the English Beauty Awards for Freelance Makeup Specialist of the Year I sat waiting for my category to be read out. There was a long list of names in my category – all great at what they do and some with celebrity clientele… when my name was read out as the winner I was in shock! As I made my way up to the stage to receive my award I was panicking thinking about how I hadn’t prepared a speech! I could not believe I won and spent the rest of the evening a bit overwhelmed and looking at the constant stream of messages from my friends and clients coming through on my phone. This award really opened up some doors of opportunity for me.
After winning the award (and also after a 45 minute interview and portfolio submission to a panel at the Mastered HQ in London) I was offered a place on the Makeup: Mastered programme starting in 2018. The Mastered programme is a 10 month course designed for individuals who have a flair in their field and there are limited places available. I was offered one of 250 global places for makeup artists and look forward to being personally mentored by world class industry experts and celebrity makeup artists and taking a big leap in to the world of fashion and editorial work with my first 3 day fashion shoot booked in London in April. Such a huge opportunity and I’ll be grabbing it with both hands.
April was the first time I worked with professional model Ayisha. With her infectious laugh and fun personality I knew we would get on great. Ayisha is a fabulous model and really enjoy working with her – she’s a ray of sunshine for sure! Here is a little behind the scenes snap from a shoot at Xtraordinary Photography Studio in Newcastle.
April was also the first time I worked with model Faii Harrison. Faii has a very striking look and had an amazing hairstyle which was perfect for the grunge street style we were trying to achieve on the photoshoot. Hairdresser Melissa Laverick joined myself and Simon Hogben for this shoot and she was such a professional.
I really enjoy working with Faii… to any photographers looking to work with her, you can pretty much guarantee all images are keepers. The challenge is always choosing a favourite! Here are a couple of mine taken on location at Middlehaven in Middlesbrough.
April is the month that always catapults me in to the wedding season. Weddings take place all through the year obviously but April to September is peak season and is always full to the brim. Wedding season was kicked off with beautiful bride Kirsty and her bridal party at Grinkle Park near Whitby.
Images below by Kirsty Maddren Photography.
Also in April I worked with some new photographers and models. I had followed both models (Bobbi Castle and Samirah Al-Rubai) on social media for a while and really wanted to work with them both. Both had very different looks. With Bobbi I worked with Ian Jamieson and Mike Ho at Ivy Studio in Newcastle creating a Bowie-esque kind of look.
With Samirah I worked with photographer Tony Robinson and we headed to Goathland, North Yorkshire scrambling up hill and down dale to get this perfect backdrop. This series of images were later published in a 4 page spread in Femme Modern Magazine.
Other weddings in April were Clare (and old secondary school survivor Peter) who were married at Preston Park, Guisborough bride Steph who lives in Cyprus but came home for wedding and Emma who married Ed at Barnard Castle…
At the end of April I headed over to Saltburn Spa to work on a milk bath photoshoot with Kendra Eastwood. Milk bath shoots are becoming very popular and Kendra was working with expectant and new mums on creating some beautiful images for the mums to treasure.
Finally the end of April I was working with Simon Hogben and Melissa Laverick again at this base Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough doing a styled fashion shoot with model Ella Bulmer. I loved the results from this shoot.
In May I enjoyed Ladies Day at Rushpool Hall in Saltburn getting lots of local ladies all made up to strut their stuff at Madame MeMe’s fashion show. It was great to see the ladies full of confidence as they made their way down the catwalk!
I had lots of wedding bookings in May at venues including The Crab and Lobster at Thirsk and The Treebridge Hotel. Some of my favourite images were taken by Michael Cartwright of bride Catherine.
May also saw another photoshoot with one of my favourite faces – Faii. For this shoot I knew exactly the end result I was after. Bold colours, a bit zany and a mix of peculiar accessories including big statement chokers, balloons, pom poms, sun glasses and of course some bright wigs! Looking back at this shoot there is so much I love but I would also make some changes but I guess that’s what having pride in your work is all about. Looking back, seeing what you would do differently and lessons learned. Still love it though. Here are some of my favourites. Photography by Simon Hogben.
June and July were about weddings and proms! Lots of them! I also arranged a styled bridal shoot at Acklam Hall with some local suppliers including Dandy Threads (men’s suits) in Guisborough, bridal gowns from Amore Bridal Boutique in Middlesbrough, bridal hair by Elisia Hart from Vo-La-Si in Guisborough and some wedding décor accessories from Careful Keepsakes. Models were Chloe Henderson Painter, Charlotte DiCicco, Alexandra Hart, Nicholas Harvey-James Langley and Paul Stetchley. Photography by Simon Hogben.
Here are some of my favourite prom snaps too! Little beauties…
In between the wedding and prom madness I worked with model Ayisha again – this time with photographer Les Higgins. We did the photoshoot at Philip Hunton’s studio in Newcastle and we had a fun shoot. I had prepared another feather collar for this shoot – bright yellow and purple which looks amazing with Ayisha’s black skin.
However my favourite image from the shoot came from “faffing around” with some mannequins that Philip keeps in the studio (we don’t need to ask any questions)… Ayisha looks amazing and the mannequins make the images really interesting.
In July I worked on a really interesting job. I was contacted by a magician from London who was coming through to Teesside with his wife for a photoshoot so I had the huge privilege of working with Dean and Claudine who are masters of their craft – a world class duo who have performed for many celebrity functions and big events. Dean bamboozled me with his close up magic… infact I confessed to him how I hate magic… I find it boring… well not anymore. I have no explanation for the tricks he showed me. It was a brilliant day and not your typical job! More of those in 2018 please! It was also great to work with IRB Photography for the first time. Always time for a quick “its a wrap” selfie too!
I did bride Steph’s bridal (and bridal party) makeup for her wedding at the Lordstones in North Yorkshire and her wedding photographs were some of the most stunning wedding photos I have yet to see. I have 3 personal favourite sets of photos I have seen from 3 local photographers and this set are one of them – taken by Diamond Photography
August was without doubt the busiest month this year… jam packed with weddings, bridal trials and occasion makeups for wedding guests. Here are some of my favourite looks and professional images…
Bottom 2 images are taken by Georgina Brewster ((black and white image – and by the way, this set is also one of my favourite 3 wedding photography sets) and the bottom image was taken by Julie B Photography. I worked at some amazing wedding venues through the summer including Danby, Acklam Hall, The Wainstones, Whinstone View, Gisborough Hall and Hardwick Hall.
By the time I had got to the end of August I was craving some creative work so teamed up with David Wilson for a dark carnival themed shoot and the images were later published in the Halloween edition of My Alternative Magazine. This is my favourite image from the photoshoot at Kis Studio in Murton. The model is Fleur Noire.
I also worked with model Chloe Henderson Painter again along with photographer Tony Robinson. I have worked with Chloe several times and she always looks amazing. We did a creative studio shoot and love the images from this shoot. This one is my favourite from the day…
September was still busy with weddings, occasion makeups and makeup lessons. I started offering makeup lessons at the beginning of the year and the popularity has grown immensely and I have had great feedback from clients afterwards. If you would like to know more about my lessons please visit here.
I also had a well earned break at the end of September and went to Florida – lucky me! While I was there I grabbed the opportunity to watch the Halloween Horror Makeup show at Universal Studios. I went last year too. Its always great fun and so interesting to see how SFX was done in the film industry through the years.
First day back from holiday and I was straight off to Judges Hotel near Yarm for glam bride Tina’s wedding.
The day after Tina I was working on an alternative wedding which was taking place at Crathorne Hall. Bride Jo was channelling the goth vibes with a stunning red velvet dress, black birdcage veil and red/black eye makeup with dark lips. She looked amazing and I was so glad she trusted me to do her style justice. Photography by Mel Butler.
There was also beautiful bride Nicola… such a stunning snap – managed to snatch a quick photo before leaving…
I had a few other weddings during October and November including a family wedding (my Uncle Mike married Gillian at The Wainstones so that wedding was extra special). Typically this time of year starts to quieten down with weddings but this year it didn’t!
This Halloween period was a very busy one. Everyone is definitely upping their game now in the costume/makeup department for parties. I had several special FX bookings as well as creative makeup. I took the opportunity for a Halloween photoshoot as I do every year and I worked with Kendra Eastwood and model Vikki Anderson. I had in my possession a fabulous headpiece made by Skittycat Designs… I loved this end result and Kendra gained a bronze award by the Guild of Photophers for this image. We were all over the moon!
Here is the image with the headpiece too!
I also created this fun face for Halloween… I adore Halloween for having fun with my special fx kit.
I finished off October with a wedding over near Richmond working at a Mexican Day of the Dead wedding for bride Hannah. Hannah created all of the décor herself both she and the venue looked amazing!
So more weddings in November as well as makep lessons and microblading and of course the annual Activate Theatre School’s Christmas show which took place at Consett Empire Theatre this year which was great experience for the kids to perform in a “proper theatre” as well as a nostalgic experience for me. I used to love doing shows at the theatre as a child. This year the show was Aladdin and the kids fantastic.
At the end of November I attended the English Wedding Awards in Manchester. I made it to the finals of the Hair and Makeup category. Unfortunately I didn’t win but I was competing against some large venues so I was just really pleased to be a finalist. It was great to be joined by my husband Neil, mum Christine and step-father Dave who are always supporting my work.
So here we are, December. Its been quite a year!
So this month has pretty so much fun – filled with prosecco, parties and sparkle!
Here are some of my favourite looks from this party season!
I’ve also had 2 Christmas brides. Andrea got married at Gisborough Hall (image by Aaron Jeffels) and Gemma got married yesterday – congratulations both of you. Such an exciting Christmas!
I was booked to work on a promotional video for Princess Prom based in Northallerton. It was really nice to meet the girls working on the video and I also got chance to work with Hair Stylist Becci Godfrey from Dream Hairstyling and Beauty. Becci was styling the hair on the photoshoot and I have worked with Becci many times over the last couple of years for weddings and photoshoots and she is fantastic at creating beautiful timeless styles. I am looking forward to seeing the end result for the Princess Prom video. The owners of Princess Prom also own Bridal Factory Outlet so check them out if you are looking for a perfect occasion dress or bridal gown.
Oh, lastly I have reached over 4000 followers on my facebook page. That’s unbelievable! Thanks so much.
So as well as everything else this year I have also been blogging lots… about things I have been up to, useful makeup tips, product reviews and I have received invitations to events and to sample treatments. I’ll be doing lots more of this next year so watch this space.
So what’s next?
So I am of course still taking wedding bookings and special occasion bookings up to 2 years in advance however next year I will also working on my Makeup: Mastered course. I have made a wish list of people to work with around the country and will be dedicating my free time to building my portfolio. This year has been a game changer… I’m already excited about what I’ll be writing about next December!
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you to every single person who has supported me, shared my work, booked me for work… I have had an amazing year and made some fabulous new friends.