A Recap of Two Thousand Sixteen
As we close the latest chapter of our lives, most of us are probably making plans for the year ahead to achieve our goals. While I have had the time to come up with new ideas and strategies for 2017, I have a huge amount of excitement, and a greater sense of determination. However, it would be impossible for me not to look back on this past year, and for me, the year that started it all. I was presented with numerous opportunities, while making some of my own. I also was blessed enough to work with some incredible business women who helped me along the way, and meet some clients who were beautiful inside and out. There were countless memorable moments this year, but here are the highlights.
March was the month that I decided to pursue my passion. I was surprised at the positive feedback I was getting from posting my work, and I got noticed by a photographer, Kerry Mulhern. I had met Kerry once before during a period of time I was modeling for a boutique downtown, and she was the photographer for this shoot, but this was about 6 months prior. That is why I was so thrilled when she contacted me to do a shoot to promote myself a little bit more. I was able to choose models to do makeup on, and also promote Kerry Renee Photography in the process. This was a jump-starting opportunity! (Oh, that brown hair. One-time thing, y’all)
After this, I continued to do makeup on friends, purely just for something to post! It was difficult starting all this while still in high school, but the power of the internet can take you so much farther than you could go on your own. I was gaining attention left and right, but don’t be fooled! At this stage in my business I was not yet profiting. It takes time, and a lot of things you will do solely for promotion, but that is a good thing!
May felt like a turning point for me. The sun was coming out, the slow winter passed, and new opportunities came. I was lead to yet another photographer through Facebook who needed a makeup artist for family and engagement shoot. Her name was Michelle Harris, owner of M Harris Studios. I remember the exact moment I read that status! I was parked at FedEx, with my heart jumping, and almost unable to stay still with the excitement. That was probably the fastest I had ever typed a message! She then offered to meet up with me to chat and do some headshots for me. Later this month, I also did my very first ENGAGEMENT session for a couple who was getting their photos done by Michelle. Since then, her and I have worked together in so many ways and on several different projects!
The summertime was by far my busiest and most excited period of time yet. Michelle and I decided to take on high school seniors together as a way to grow both of our businesses, so we created a senior model call, and shot photos of me and some friends to use as an ad on social media. Because my followers on my personal Instagram were largely rising seniors at the time, the response was huge, and we were shocked at the number of girls who applied, from multiple different schools! Together, we chose our models and got to work. I was coming into the office everyday at 5pm to meet one of the girls and get them ready, and I was absolutely LOVING it! Another highlight for June was that Michelle needed me last minute so assist her as a second shooter at a WEDDING! Even though that was out of my line of work, I could not have been more thrilled. I spent about 12 hours total out for the day, driving from Alexandria, to getting on a bus to DC, and back to the venue of the wedding. I forgot the eat or use the bathroom all day long (every wedding photographer ever!) but I couldn’t have been more in my element. And you better believe I cried seeing them tie the knot, even though I had never met them before (with me it doesn’t matter. If it’s a wedding, I will cry haha!)
Below are a few of the seniors I did makeup on for the model call!
Throughout the summer, I continued to do plenty of senior makeup as a result of the model call, as well as some who contacted me personally. On top of this, I also did an engagement session that stood out to me- for obvious reasons! This was the coolest couple I have ever met, and they weren’t afraid of a little dirt. Plus, Jessica had almost never worn makeup in her life, and I loved her transformation, and the fact that her fiancé repeatedly looked at her and said, “You’re so cute!”
Around the end of the summer, the last major wave of seniors were passing through, and Kerry decided to take on seniors in her photography as well. We made our own promotion together through a styled shoot on the beach that had a vintage feel to it, with the wardrobe provided by Peacaloo Boutique in Downtown Fredericksburg. I enjoyed working with good friends and giving the models an old fashioned, classic look.
I had ordered and received my logo at this point. I was so excited to be able to use it as a website header and to print our business cards.
As summer was winding down, I was able to put more time into my website, Instagram, and Facebook page. This month is also when most proms and homecomings happen, and I also had a girl going to a Navy Ball (so jealous!). I also had one particular senior who was having her senior session done by Hope Taylor Photography, which was exciting! I was very glad to be getting pictures of my work from someone as established as Hope. Here are a few of the photos!
October is always my very favorite time of year (not just because it’s my birth month either!). During October, Kerry had gotten a studio downtown, and we did some test pictures in there to break it in. She had a studio party, where I met an event planner and we talked about what we both do and exchanged information. A few days later, she called me and asked if I was available to do her makeup for her maternity shoot. Not only did great photos come out of it, but I got to meet and work with a new vendor, which is always a great opportunity. Take a look at the photos below- Darcie is glowing!
These months for me were the perfect time to plan out everything I wanted to do in the New Year, as my classes were coming to an end and the slower season was approaching. I spent tons of time completing the website enough to put it out there, as well as coming up with ideas of new strategies and people to collaborate with for the coming months. It was a great time to reflect on what I have done so far and to be thankful for it all! I also ended the year by meeting with another makeup artist to do a trial for her so we could work together on future bridal parties. It was such a thrill for me and a great thing to look forward to in 2017.
Whenever I feel like we aren’t doing enough or we are not yet where we want to be, I know I need to take a moment to look back at my accomplishments so far- it puts things into perspective! I hope your year was productive and that you were able to do some of what you really love, and I look forward to moving on to even bigger and better things in the year to come!