Camera Ready Makeup for Your Wedding Day

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As a makeup artist of twenty years, my brushes and I have come across a tale or two, a few insider secrets, and many do's and don't when it comes to products, applications, and texture, specifically when you are being photographed. I know what I like personally as artist, but I have also heard insight from my peers that made me rethink certain things. As sure as I would never tell a woman that she could never wear a red lip color, I am sure that there are many ways, not just the right way. The only fear that I ever have as artist, besides the usual self doubts, is the fear that callous words that might fall from my lips will either traumatize or box a client in, when at the end of the day makeup should be a way to experiment, let loose, and have a little fun.

I originally was going to base this article on my years of trial and error, and then out of nowhere it occurred to me that I should step out of the box and ask a really talented photographer her point of view. Although we work toward the same goal with our brides, we do our own things, and they enhance each other, but how wonderful would it be if we communicated more and made our jobs easier, made the bride look her absolute best, and learned more appreciation of one another.

 
There was one photographer that popped into my mind. I respect her work, her ethic, and have been intrigued for years by the local legend of photographer Marni Rothschild Durlach. I remember years ago that I had the honor of being the man in a skirt for Skirt magazine. What I really recall even more than the recognition was that I was over the moon that Marni was going to be taking the photo! I would finally got to see this genius in action and I was going to be the subject (blush)! Unfortunately, Marni was 9 months pregnant and could not do the shoot. I personally think unless her water had busted she should have been there clicking away at my pale legs adorned in a camouflage skirt and biker boots. Now in hind site, as we work together in a professional setting on the same gigs at times, it was probably better that she did not see me that way.

We are waist deep in wedding season here in Charleston, the number two wedding destination in the country, with over 70 weddings taking place each week I am beyond thrilled that I had a sit down with Marni and got some really great advice to pass along to brides and clients in general when it comes to the eye of the photographer. Here is a little of Marni's background and then I will let her speak in her own words, she is the featured guest after all.

Marni Rothschild Durlach
A nationally known wedding and portrait photographer, Marni's work is distinguished by her perceptive eye and ease at making people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Originally from the Washington, DC area, she earned her MFA in photography from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been working and living in Charleston, SC since 2001. Her pictures appear regularly in numerous publications, including Charleston Weddings, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty. She was named a 2014 Top Knot Wedding Photographer by PDN Magazine, and has been a pick in The Knot Magazine Best of Weddings issue twice. On her weekends off, you can find her out on the water with her husband and two young boys.

MRD When I Met Andrew, it was September 15, 2001! It was a beautiful wedding on Sullivan's Island, but there was an obvious shadow cast by the tragic events that occurred earlier that week. It was a small wedding at a private home, of course the bride was radiant and the day was so special for everyone involved. It was one of my first Charleston weddings, I had a major case of the nerves and Mayor Joe Riley officiated. Quite the introduction to southern weddings! It turned out beautifully.

ACP: What was your favorite wedding moment?

MRD: I've been photographing weddings for 13 years, so my perspective has changed over the years. My favorite moment used to be the few minutes before the ceremony began. There are so many emotions swirling around before the bride walks down the aisle; anxiety, happiness, anticipation, joy, and I love the way it manifests in people's faces. Now, as a parent, I love watching the bride with her father as they walk down the aisle. It's everybody's proudest moment. My favorite thing to photograph has always been the portraits with the bride and groom. Stealing some time away from family and friends to capture the excitement and love between two people beginning their lives together is magical.

ACP: Why Charleston?

MRD: The talent here has grown exponentially in the past decade. I used to be one of a handful of documentary wedding photographers and now the list is too long for me to keep up with. Because Charleston is a wedding destination for couples from all across the country, the incredible competition here keeps things really fresh and creative, and, the SPANISH MOSS. It still takes my breath away to see dappled afternoon sunlight filtering through thick, lush moss hanging from grand southern oaks. 

Let me know if you need anything else??? Marni, say's shyly, I respond! I sure do!
 

Now let's get to the nitty gritty!
 
ACP: Fact or fiction....is it bad to use a moisturizer or foundation with SPF when you are being photographed?

MRD: I would definitely try to find a foundation that does not have sunscreen. I would always try to keep everything on the matte side with highlighter intricately placed to capture light.

ACP: When you are shooting the bride, you see her from all angles. How important is makeup when it comes to bringing the entire look together?

MRD: It's kind of a big deal. It would look strange if you were having a relaxed garden wedding and you were wearing 1940's Hollywood makeup, but that would totally make sense in in another situation. Like if you had a birdcage veil and you were having a glamorous evening affair in a historic home.

ACP: As an artist, I am constantly convincing my clients to add a little more blush and bronzer. More than you would wear every day enough to pop in the photo's.

MRD: Yes! A little extra pop of color on the cheeks goes always looks good.

ACP: Marni, what do you think of contouring on the day of the wedding, such as defining the cheek, slimming the nose, etc?

MRD: Are you telling me you can make my nose look SLIM? Yes, please!


 
ACP: I would absolutely love to know what you think of the bride jumping into the tanning bed, getting sun, or a spray tan before the ceremony.

MRD: No, no, NO. Bleach your teeth (a little) but do not do anything to your skin. Add a little color with bronzer but do not hop in a tanning bed. I shot a winter wedding one time and the bride was so artificially bronzed that when she stood next to her guests they looked blue. Natural is always better.
 
ACP: A lot of us have tattoo's that we regret. What has been your experience, should the artist try and cover them, which does not alway work, or leave them for you to photo shop?

MRD: So at this point I should go ahead and thank my mom for not letting me get any tattoos when I was a crazy, impulsive teenager. But if I had, I would show them off today. If you're regretting them, buy a dress with sleeves.

I was going to ask Marni one more question, then I thought, there is only one answer to to this burning question. "Should you always hire a makeup artist to do your makeup and a hair stylist on this most important day? Abso-freaking-lutely. Relax and get pampered. Let the experts take care of you. You want to look back on these photo's for a life time and smile. SO yes, yes, yes, unless you are Kate Middleton, who did her own makeup for her quaint and subtle affair, If she did if fact do her own makeup, I say "God Bless the Queen!", but honey you should not have take that black pencil all the way into the corners of your eyes. We live, we learn!

 
Thank you Marni, and congratulations to all of the wonderful Charleston brides!