Sep 20, 2017

Why I created the Rochester Wedding Connection

Arian David Photography

I'm excited to see The Rochester Wedding Connection growing to 1000 + members!  I’ve never expressed why I started this group so gather round and I’ll share.  

Those who haven't been around long may not have a clue what I'm talking about and many will. To be blunt, I was getting burnt out on The Rochester Area Wedding Swap (a big un-monitored group), there I said it!  I saw it as a place where I had received a tremendous amount of business but something didn’t sit right with me.  At the time (and I hate saying this bc I’m not a bragger) I was one of the most recommended makeup artists in the group, so why would I be burnt out on tons of business and recommendations?

Well, it’s complicated and maybe something that vendors can understand more than brides & grooms due to the nature of the business.  Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they felt this way too?
I wanted brides and vendors to be respectful of each other but it wasn’t happening in a group where there’s no guidelines & no admin. A group where people are selling wedding dresses alongside a box of adult diapers. A group that says on the cover photo "The place for budget conscious brides" yet arguments flare up daily about this topic.  

CLIMATE: I wanted a group where the game didn’t feel “rigged”.  I felt that certain vendors controlled the room with their vendor list, constantly flocking to “recommendation posts” to + 1 each other and drowning out other vendors. I wondered weather or not I was the only one who noticed it. I even saw some offering financial incentives to book with their preferred vendors. I mean who doesn’t like a discount? I know brides may not understand why this is/felt wrong; but to me it felt like a kickback and went against everything I had learned about being professional in the industry. I don't dislike these vendors but on some level I couldn't get down with this tactic. 

Even though I was receiving a ton of business, I didn’t like the climate of the room. Something just felt disingenuous. Don’t get me wrong, being recommended by my brides is the ultimate compliment.  Being recommended by fellow vendors is flattering as well. especially when it's not driven by obligation or kickbacks. 

BUDGETS: In my group I respect vendors and couples of all price points. Undercutting will always exist and is a losing battle to fight. We are not the rates police. All I ask is to be honest about your budget and don't be offended by someone who might not fit your budget.  Vendors don't be offended if a bride is not able to raise their budget. Sometimes you get great quality for a great price and other times you don't. 

REPEAT POSTS: Who likes to answer the same question repeatedly, sometimes multiple times a day?  Nobody.  A simple search can usually give people the info their looking for; but with no guidelines people will not learn how use the group effectively and it will end up like a broken record. I've seen the same posts asking for the same information every day and vendors flocking to it over and over again.  I realized how unproductive these threads were esp. when they list no date, location or budget.

QUALITY VENDORS: I wanted a group with all kinds of quality vendors. I try my best to keep out vendors who no show or treat their clients poorly. 

In a nutshell that's what inspired me to create the Rochester Wedding Connection. It's not perfect and it takes a lot of work, I can't tell you how many people I've had to stop at the gate or crazy posts I've deleted. 

There is def a place for these groups but when they grow out of control with no "housekeeping" they can become unproductive. I'm thankful to the swap for a lot of things. These days I've become a lot less active in it but will continue to participate from time to time. I will be focusing most of my energy over at the Rochester Wedding Connection. I love being recommended but in a lot of ways  I've grown away from the mentality of being "the most recommended".

As a vendor with a lot of opinions I know I will simply not win everyone over and that’s OK. I know I run a risk of ruffling feathers by posting my opinions.  I’m not the biggest expert in the field nor do I claim to be. I run this group to have a quality group for brides and vendors. 

If you are curious about my group join here! Rochester Wedding Connection

~Peace, Love and Happy Planning

Sep 3, 2017


beautiful bride Esen, she did not get stood up on her wedding day
Photo by Olivella Photography

Ugh, you guys, I can’t even! I keep seeing posts about Makeup Artists NO SHOWING on the big day! It really breaks my heart. Just know we’re not all like this!

Personally, this has been one of my most CHALLENGING times in business due to my pregnancy and our recent move. We've had constant renovations in which I’ve had to stay at my parents and be away from my computer and routine which has been tough. I’ve had migraines that have put me out for days and I’ve been sleeping on the living room floor for weeks as the bedroom is under construction.

 I had to cancel my first client EVER a few weeks ago for the first time in five years.  I lost the client and I get it, it comes with the territory. Once you plant that seed people worry.  However, things do happen and I can't dwell. There are times when health and family come first.

A pro is open to criticism, a pro is open to change.  A faux will usually just call you a hater and then block you on facebook... 
Read more about Pros here:
However, I would have to be dead or hospitalized to pull a "no show" on someone’s wedding day and you better believe I would be finding a replacement.  Again, things do happen that validate a no show but the stories better be airtight.

Lastly, I want to offer some insight.  Generally speaking there are two types of makeup artists, pros and fauxs Here’s what you will find from a pro.  A website with a professional portfolio of REAL brides and what they look like on their wedding day.  They may not be the cheapest in town but they are experienced,  reliable and invested in their business.  A pro will have the knowledge and experience to get you to look flawless without using 10 Instagram filters. A pro realizes they work in the SERVICE industry and though it may seem glamorous it’s hard work and essentially a “client centered” business. A pro will respond to your emails via a professional email address and not a social media site. A pro will also be connected to other pros and is heavily invested in the wedding community. I can proudly say I have a relationship with 98% of the MUA’s in Rochester and will sing their praises all day long! 

Here’s what you will find from a faux, I phone pics that are edited to death to garner likes and follows, no website, no professional portfolio. The least investment for the greatest return.  While edited photos may be fun, just know it’s not a reflection of how you will ACTUALLY LOOK on your wedding day, it’s simply a filter and will not follow you around… They’re generally cheaper due to lack of knowledge on the costs of running a business, lack of experience, or lack of professional products.You will find that the business model is based around them and NOT the client. The “portfolio” will likely be littered with selfies. Selfies are fine for social media but don't belong in a professional portfolio... They’re in the business for the GLAMOUR,  they want to be the star of the show. Communication is usually spotty and not done through a professional email but social media such as facebook. When they realize how tough it is they literally disappear and leave you high and dry on your wedding day...Sometimes they even take your money in the process.  They tend to shy away from relationships with other artists and may even be downright nasty to them

It’s not the brides fault that these things happen, I recommend researching all your vendors! Social media has changed the game and MUA’s are popping up everywhere. It’s hard for clients to tell who's a pro and who's a faux. This is not directed at any specific individual as I’ve seen this happen every year in every city and not for nothing I can generally see it coming from a mile away.  Just my 2 cents.


Jan 24, 2017

Skin Smoothing Apps: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Photo by Arian David Photography

Today I want to talk about skin smoothing apps, primarily facetune and Perfect365. They're everywhere and if you're on social media you've undoubtedly seen them in action.  Ever see someone post a selfie and the face looks blurry and pore-less?  Don't be fooled, they don't have perfect skin and no,  it's not their new foundation. This my friend is the work of a skin smoothing app and I must admit I've used them too! It's easy to fall into the trap of using a skin smoothing app, just take a look around, you'll see them being used everywhere, hell I've even used them on my own face! Unfortunately this sets a bad standard for our industry and will eventually backfire on the very artists that use them. What do you think happens when clients with less than perfect skin are drawn to work that's heavily edited only to experience different results in reality? A whole lotta disappointment...

The Good: Use them on yourself all you want, the only person you have to answer to is you! Remove a pimple, sure, whiten the teeth, why not?  Apps like facetune are great for a quick fix not a complete overhaul. There is a fine line between what looks believable and what does not.  Same goes for clients. I've never upset a client because I removed a blemish but it never sat right with me to blur their face beyond recognition.  Did I do it? Yes. Did I regret it? Yes! Did I feel slightly stupid afterward? Double YES! I had to learn the art of restraint, when to post work and when not to. If it needs to be edited beyond recognition it is probably not worth posting.  In my humble opinion, a certain level of skin smoothing equals false adverting and is no longer representative of an artists skill level.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for professional retouching by professional photographers to enhance an image but again this is an art form and only looks good when it's  done in a believable way.

The Bad: It's not real, repeat after me IT'S NOT REAL! Furthermore it can actually drive business away. I've actually had clients bring this topic up... Never underestimate your clients intelligence, overly edited photos scream "I'm hiding something!". I also personally cannot recommend another artists for a job if I can't properly "see" any of their work.

The Ugly: It sets an impossible standard for women, especially women who have skin issues. Artists themselves are setting their clients up for disappointment by advertising a look that they can't deliver without the use of a skin smoother.  As a result of the wide spread use of these apps, other artists feel pressured to not have ANY "flaws" in their work and therefore jump on the bandwagon. I personally loooove the look of skin that still looks real with makeup on. I am a complete complexion junkie!

Below is an unedited iphone pic of a lovely bride. She has beautiful skin but lets pretend she didn't and I wanted to smooth away her imperfections

So I ran her through facetune...

Does this look familiar?  Every time I see it I cringe. They're usually paired as before & afters to have an even more jarring effect.  I personally do not do before and afters but to each their own. I've had to retrain my eye to what I consider beautiful and this is not it! I'm constantly learning, growing and making mistakes along the way! These days I try to keep my editing to adjusting the lighting in a photo. Remember, a skin smoother should never be the most powerful tool in your kit or the most dominant feature of your makeup application.  Not using one just makes you feel better at the end of the day, ya know?

Until next time,

-Your friendly neighborhood Makeup Artist keeping it real