Look Smart: Trial and Awesome

One bride, two ways—first for a photo shoot, and then for the real deal

Wedding-day look
Photograph by Carly Bish

Life is not a dress rehearsal, but modeling for an inspiration shoot could be considered one. When photographer Carly Bish tapped Pacific Brides hair and makeup artist Shyn Midili and florist Geneva Sipes of Geneva Diane Designs to collaborate on a styled photo shoot that they’d later submit to wedding blogs, Sipes brought in her friend Stephanie Miksa to play the part of the bride. What no one knew then was that the foursome would team up again for Miksa’s December 18, 2011, wedding. Her eventual husband, Jonathan Crabtree, was just a friend at the time, but when that changed unexpectedly a few months later, her wheels were already turning. “I’m a math and science person,” the bride told us. “I’m not artistic, but because of Carly and Shyn’s vision on that first shoot I got a lot of ideas.” The Redmond native wanted to take advantage of the rich, authentic décor elements that come with the winter holidays, and Columbia Winery provided the perfect setting—complete with fireplaces, Christmas trees, and deep, cabernet-colored accents. To go with the elegant, dimly lit evening: a form-fitting lace dress that was very different from the voluminous ones she had worn for Bish and Sipes’s project.


0113-inpsirational-shootLong & Short of It

HAIR The Jason Alexander halter dress that Stephanie Crabtree chose for her wedding called for an up-do, so her hair was parted to the side and swept back in a series of pinned and tucked curls. She had sported a spirited pouf in some of the inspiration shots, but she chose a low-key tiered veil and wore it on the back of her head on the big day. The modern, daring style had been fun, but it just didn’t suit her softly coiled coif.

MAKEUP Ditto dark lipstick; for her big day, bold lips weren’t right. Pacific Brides’ Midili did make an airbrushed foundation fan out of her, though. “I highly recommend it; my makeup stayed the same all day long,” Crabtree says. And those eyes? Cream-colored pencil on the waterline of the bottom lashes brightens the glow that comes from within.

0113-inspirational-short-dressPRACTICE A trial run with your hair and makeup specialist is essential. It may even take two rounds and some in-depth experimentation. For example: brides who want to try the down-and-loosely-curled look should plan on having curls set for a long, long time (Midili says the longer they set—ideally an hour or more—the longer they’ll last) and then going about their day to see how things hold up eight hours later. And be realistic. Says photographer Bish: “I’ve seen stylists tell brides, ‘Sure! We can do that!’ when in fact, the bride’s hair was too long, too thin, too thick, too short—whatever the case—and the results ended up being a huge disappointment because the stylist was unwilling to say at the beginning, ‘I don’t think your hair will successfully do what you see in this Pinterest picture, but let’s adapt it.” Couples who really want to prep book engagement sessions with their photographer so they can practice being in front of the camera and working with their shooter’s style. •