NYFW To BambiLand: Today’s Bride Magazine SF CoverShoot

Image Source: Stacy Murphy Photography

As with anyone who is involved with the fashion industry working as a fashion stylist and production manager I understand the importance of continuing to build my portfolio as a crucial factor involved in obtaining my dream job. The fast pace ever evolving industry demands movement. Whether it be the trends on the runway or the beauty looks for magazine covers one thing for sure is….The fashion industry runs on speed!
When it comes to creating editorials and fashion videos every detail counts starting from the lighting, the props, the backdrop, the model for the brand, the team and the list continues on.  It starts with an inspiration and then an idea forms into a concept. After the concept is created the next crucial step is pulling together the right team to bring the vision to life.

One of my pit stops for trend surfing during my quick two-day trip to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) last season was the Academy of Art University Show. Backstage I took a few moments interviewing senior North America M.A.C makeup artist, Victor Cembellin.


Backstage at the Academy Of Art University Show with Victor Cembellin and the Mac Pro Team.
Image Source: Stacy Murphy Photography

Victor’s career has him traveling each season to fashion week in New York, London, Milan and Paris, shooting with some of the industry’s top publications such as American Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire and Elle just to name a few.

Image source: Victor Cembellin
Image source: Victor Cembellin

On the art of makeup Victor simply states: “Makeup has the unique ability to straighten ones emotional posture”!

Only Two days after arriving at NYFW I was flying back to the West Coast so I could head over to Kinsley James Bridal in Walnut Creek, California to meet with world-renowned photographer Bambi Cantrell. We arrived at the couture bridal boutique to hand select the dresses and accessories to be worn during the January 2016 cover shoot for Todays Bride Magazine SF. The lovely wedding boutique is adorned with Crystal Chandeliers and has a mini runway in the middle. Kinsley James carries couture bridal gowns from the finest and most sought after Haute Couture wedding gown designers.  Today’s Bride San Francisco is the bay area’s longest publishing wedding magazine, founded by Cristine Traub Thomas in 1993.

The magazine publishes once a year–early January–and is wrapped with four different, seasonal covers for newsstand purposes. “The website conveniently mirrors the various features found in the magazine. So, whether flipping pages or clicking links, there’s a familiarity in look and terminology that makes it easy for brides and grooms to find and reference exactly what they’re looking for, regardless of the medium in their hands.” The magazine features fresh and lively editorials as well as trend forward and ultra-chic wedding design ideas.

At this point in my career I have worked on quite a few projects with Elite Nikon Ambassador and personal friend, Bambi Cantrell.  Bambi’s style is exceptional and in fact she is a recipient of the prestigious Double Master of Photography awarded by Wedding Portrait Photographers International.

Through her love of people and her passion for photography Bambi has captured some of the most awe-inspiring and exquisite wedding and portrait images from around the world. Bambi creates masterful pieces of art. She takes the ordinary and makes it into something magnificent. Her imagination is a rare gem. Bambi AKA “The Queen of Lighting” is known in the photographic industry as a prominent expert on lighting and posing. Bambi spends a great deal of her time educating photographers from around the world on her unique techniques and style. In 2007 she was named “One of the 10 BEST wedding photographers in the world” by American Photo Magazine and in 2008 she was the first woman to be honored with the prestigious “Golden Eye” award from the Russian Federation of Professional Photographers. Known for her talented vision behind the camera as well as her expressive and enchanting personality, Bambi expertly captures images that are filled with life and beauty.

Once you work with the same team repeatedly you begin to understand their specific taste level. Understanding Bambi’s taste for luxury I knew this had to be very exquisite…very Dior or Chanel.

To make sure the long filled day ahead would go smoothly Bambi decided to test run the lighting the night before the cover shoot. Cantrell Portrait design is at the Arsenal in Benicia, California. Bambi’s studio is a large and open corner studio which offers the perfect lighting throughout the day. unspecified (12)

Walking into the studio I quickly noticed one of the three-dimensional backdrops from the Backdrop Outlet and was quite blown away at how realistic it looked. I actually thought that Bambi had brought in a wall petition for the shoot. Bambi-Edit (3)

Model: Brittany Dawn

Bambi wanted to get an idea which dresses would work best against each of her new backdrops,  so she asked me to model in a few of them including the $11,000 Kinsley James dress that was also worn by model Brittany Dawn, Miss Arizona for the shoot.

In the perfectly lit studio our team of artists quickly worked their magic preparing each model. Each station backstage was arranged in a systematic way for efficient, speedy work for this large-scale production. To get every facial feature covered in the short time allotted, multiple artists worked on one model simultaneously. One makeup artist worked on makeup while a hair stylist perfected the model’s hair.

Around 10 am Cristine Thomas, the Editor-n-Chief of Todays Bride Magazine SF popped into the studio to see how things were coming along. As we walked and talked she asked me about our team wanting to know who was who and how I knew them. Our top-notch team included two of my favorite remarkable makeup artists (MUA), Chris Bustos and Tiffany Clay. Both MUA were trained by Victor Cembellin my go-to M.A.C beauty Guru during NYFW. The theme “Flower Power” was inspired by a particular Dior Ad.
While the models looks were created oversized yet elegant white/cream-colored handmade macramé flowers were being hung on the muted colored walls.

Summer Cover Model: Alethea Smith

The clean and polished beauty look was inspired by the flawless nude beauty looks which I spotted trending on the runway in NY during Fashion week.  Alethea Smith looks stunning gracing the summer cover shot.  To create this gorgeous look on Alethea, makeup artist Tiffany Clay from Makeup in Motion used the following products: Eyebrows-Taupe from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Eyeshadow/foundation/lips- Mac Cosmetics and lashes by Lilly Ghalichi.

Special thanks to the incredible team I had the honor of working with including Bambi Cantrell, Michael Van Auken, Tiffany Clay, Chris Bustos, Lori Lopez, Michelle Bower, Christopher Stewart and all four beautiful models including Alethea Smith, Brittany Dawn, Taylor Leigh and Kayla Coleman.

Here is a peek backstage at the January 2016 cover shoot for Todays Bride Magazine:

Please feel free to comment or ask me any styling and production questions. Thank You!





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