Makeup Artistry & Photography

Archive for July, 2010

Why more is better sometimes

This is a quick post to explain a perfect example of why sometimes a little more makeup than you’re used to is ok for photography.  A few weeks ago I was asked to pose for some practice shots for Crystal and a friend who were testing out some flash techniques.  I always love a chance to play with makeup, so I took advantage of the event to do up a fun, dramatic smokey eye.  I must say that I felt a little silly stopping into Tim Horton’s to grab a coffee on the way.  I am the first to admit that I notice people in all their glory where ever I am; a cool outfit, a bad hairdo, a loud voice, and most of all odd makeup choices.  It’s not as clear-cut as a ‘judgment’ of the stranger’s choice, more just a curiosity as to their choice; but, hey – choose your choice! So, in that vein, I wore my ‘evening’ makeup with pride while I purchased my coffee.  The point of this post really only came to me once I saw the photos from the practice session; the makeup came out completely opposite to what I was expecting!  I certainly understand and know the rules of photography;  I know the features you need to play up (i.e. cheeks, eyebrows) and products you want to avoid (i.e. shimmer, glitter, sparkly = wet face), but I don’t think I was quite aware of how a dark smokey eye can fade with flash photography.  I realize that you can’t get a full understanding of how dark the look was in person, but let’s just say that I broke out the black eye liner and even did my waterline (that line on the inside of your lashline that stays wet with moisture from your eye).    The lesson here is for all women who enjoy to play around with different looks – don’t be shy with the eyeliner or dark crease colour!  Layer that beautiful pigment on because it will be much less than you think once you see the pictures!

I’ve posted two version of this shot – one in B/W and a larger one in colour to see detail.  Let me know what you think!


Waiting for Baby Milligan!

A few weeks ago I shot maternity photos for Haydn and Kim in Springbank Park.  They are now proud parents to Baby Lexi, and soon will welcome another baby to their extended family!!

 This evening Haydn’s sister, Lauren, and her beautiful family met me at London’s Civic Garden complex to get some family photos just a few weeks before they welcome their new baby. 

My favourite moment is when we were all leaned in for a close-up shot and the whole family felt the baby kick.  I think the little one knew they were having thier photo taken. 😉 

Here are a few from the day…maternity photography london ontariolondon maternity photography

 london maternity shoot

family photography london ontario

london family photos

maternity photography london civic garden complex

maternity shoot london ontario

family portraits london ontario

De Jong Family Reunion

Every year my family gets together for the long weekend in August and almost every year the family grows. I really truly value the fact that we continue that tradition year after year. 

When Tony and Pam invited me to help capture some of the moments at their family’s reunion, I was so excited to be involved. Tony is one of ten siblings and considering many of his brothers and sisters have children and some have  grandchildren, I knew it was going to be a tonne of fun! 

Here are just a few of the photos I captured.  If my math is correct, there were four generations of De Jongs and almost 95 people in attendance!   Much like my family, this family is full of love and laughter.

 Thanks so much for inviting me to be involved!

gilded lily photography by crystal mackay family photos exeter

Krysta & Brian – Married

The thing that makes a wedding a wedding, isn’t just the flowers and the big white gown, it’s the emotion that seems to just radiate around the day.  It’s every spectrum of the rainbow of emotions too — from nervousness, to laughter, sometimes even sadness and always overwhelming joy. 

I was asked by a fabulous up-and-coming photographer, Nova Scripnick of Nova Markina Photography (,  to be the “second shooter” at Krysta and Brian’s wedding this weekend.  The cool thing about being the second shooter is that I have the chance to seek out the manifestations of all of that emotion playing out around me.  Some of my favourite moments were when Krysta’s sisters and her grandmother saw her in her gown for the first time.

Here are a few of my shots from the day.

gilded lily photography - bride

A little word about wedding gowns…

Blog numero deux…this one is for all those girls out there about to start the potentially endless search for the ‘perfect dress’.  I had the distinct pleasure of joining my “cottage sister”, along with a few others, on her first dress appointment since her recent engagement in late May.  Now… it needs to be said that this girl, who I will not name in order to preserve her refreshing modesty and penchant for privacy, is one of those true blue natural beauties with a body to die for and a soul to strive for; she is a tom-boy through and through, although she has discovered the world of flatirons and lipgloss over the past few years.  When I first heard that she was engaged,  I started with feelings of sheer excitement and happiness for her future, and then instantly became overwhelmed with ideas of what dresses I would put her athletic 5’10” frame into, and the fabulous things we could do with her classic hair style and clean decolletage.  To my extreme delight, my friend called me last week and asked if I would accompany her on her first dress appointment. I would like to add here that I am certain she indulged my desire to help her shop for big white dresses only because she wants to support this new alternate profession…she’s that kind of friend. Awesome!  Just to give y’all a slight idea of my obsession with the world of wedding gowns, I experienced several wedding gown dreams all last night as I awaited this appointment…and it WASN’T EVEN MY APPOINTMENT!  Sick, yes….happy, indeed!  We went to the appointment with her mom and godmother. I had tried to give my friend some small pieces of advice prior to the appointment, well attempting to not overstep my boundaries or to seem too sad and obsessed with this whole process.  My main point for her was to not dismiss any one style off the bat – “just try one of each…you never know…you’d be amazed what looks good on different body types”.  She agreed, as she does to all comments and suggestions, and so I did my best to subtly remind her of this plan once we arrived in the lovely shop.  She nodded…and then the sales assistant proceeded to pull out sheath after sheath, completely ignoring all other sections.  I didn’t want to dominate the appointment, but I could not deny my urge to take over the appointment and suggested that we look at a few different gowns.  To clarify, by ‘gown’ I mean a garment made of layers and layers of fabulous, glorious, luxurious fabrics that have been stitched and married together to make up an ivory confection fit for a diva.  My friend is the furthest thing from a diva…in fact, if there was an anit-diva, it would be this friend.  She has taught me how to make Birks cute, and how to turn a hoodie into bar-appropriate garb.  My friend appeared somewhat unsure of these large -and heavy- dresses; I gave her a supportive and encouraging smile, and then gave the sales associate a confident nod.  She took the beaded gown, along with a fist full of sheaths, into the dressing room and beckoned my friend in with her.  The morning continued to reveal my friend looking beautiful in about 5 different simple, column-style dresses; I was loving her in all the samples she was modeling for the crowd, but I couldn’t put away the desire to see her in the dress.  I am not an emotional person – I may tear up when that Irish version of Auld Lang Syne backs the scene with Carrie running through the snow to spend New Year’s with Miranda…I know you all know what I’m talking about – but I must admit I had an emotional reaction to my friend in this gown.  Even more so, her mother, who up to this point had been discretely explaining that she didn’t think her daughter suited ‘blingy’ dresses, was silent.  We all felt it…she was perfect in this dress.  The line it created with her svelte figure was stunning; the dipping v-line of the back of the dress made her muscular shoulders look like gold…it was just friggin’ beautiful.  The best part of the whole experience, which I had been predicting in my bridal gown imagination since last week, was when I noticed the look on my friend’s face; she was clearly as smitten with this gown as the rest of us.

That was a long-winded way to share my opinion of the week – don’t ever peg yourself  as a certain type of bride.  I have heard it countless times before – “I’m really not into big dresses or  bling”…”I know I don’t want my hips to show”…”I want a dress with straps because I don’t look good in strapless”.  Ladies listen up – don’t limit yourself!  This is your chance to try on the prettiest, fluffiest, most delicious gowns you will ever get close to (unless you start to frequent red carpets)…why wouldn’t you take it!?! Try them all on! Don’t approach your first appointment with the assumption that you know what you want…chances are you’ve never had hundreds of beautiful, beaded gowns at your disposal, nevermind a one-on-one sales assistant to dress and undress you!  It makes me so sad to see bride after bride in essentially the same dress; there are so many styles, designers, fabrics, cuts, necklines, and price ranges out there.  If all these brides are truly happy with the same dress, then they made the right choice.  Do I really believe that they tried on all styles?… no.  I think the world of tulle and lace can be overwhelming, and perhaps intimidating to a non-shopper, but it is also one of the most exciting fashion industries out there. Don’t let it get to you – try on the big white one, or the slinky champagne one, or the open-back lace number that you dog-eared in the magazine.  And don’t forget to try a veil!


Canada Day Family Photos

For me Canada Day has always been a day to be thankful.  Yes, it’s a day to celebrate our patriotism, but its also a day to be grateful that we live in this beautiful country where we can celebrate openly the things that bring us together, and also the things that make us different. 

I got to spend this Canada Day celebrating love and family with the Whites.  They are an amazing bunch who very clearly value family and eachother.  I loved it that they all coordinated the colours that they wore, so that they complimented eachother, but we could clearly see each individual family.

We had a great time  exploring the White’s beautiful property in Grand Bend searching for fun photo locations.

gilded lily photography - grand bend family portraits

gilded lily photography - kids portraits

gilded lily photography - black and white portraits