this week in pictures | january 27-february 2, 2014

February is here and I'm feeling glowy because I love this month. It's cozy, it's not January, and the sun is staying around for a little bit longer every day. 

Last week was a wonderful one. I spent some time shooting beauty tutorials for and I'm so excited to show you that work over the coming weeks. I did a total of 18 looks on two models over two days and it was very challenging and so much fun. Every time I do a beauty shoot, I find it pushes me to the limit of my abilities, both as a makeup artist and photographer. I find it difficult and I always learn something new. It's a wonderfully detail-oriented kind of photography, which is not something I naturally gravitate towards, but it pushes me to be better and try harder and that, to me, is cool.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how intertwined makeup and photography are for me, and how much I love keeping them both close to my heart and part of my practice. For so long, I felt it had to be one or the other because, quite frankly, there aren't many other photographers/makeup artists out there and I didn't have many mentors. There's also an immense amount of pressure to pick one thing if you want to be truly good at it. It's often implied that you're somehow less if you try to do more.

But what if one thing works hand-in-hand with another? What if the sum is greater than the parts? I've been doing people's makeup, dressing them up and taking photos of them since I was a little girl; just ask my very patient childhood friends and even my poor, long-suffering brothers (I learned how to use velcro rollers on my one brother's mid-90s undercut — sorry, Jon!) and the combination is something I feel very passionate about. 

Last year was about experimenting and seeing if makeup and photography could work together in a practical way in my business. Sure, there were lessons to be learned and changes to be made, but ultimately I believe it worked and that it has potential to really work. This year is about owning that I love both and do both, and then doing everything I possibly can to get better and feel really proud of what I can offer.

I believe thoughtful makeup and styling can elevate an otherwise nice photograph to a whole new level, a level that's a bit more lovely and cinematic and stylish and inspired. To be able to provide that service for my clients and create photos with them that have an extra helping of my heart and soul in them, well that's just magic.

On a related note, I'd like to thank every single person who commented, emailed me, or messaged me about my post last week where I faced my beauty nightmare and those of you who have sent me your beauty questions.  I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people, and so grateful to have you following my blog and my work. Thank you. I'm planning to share my next Beauty Q & A post on Wednesday, so please stop by.

Whew, this was a long post today! Here are some of my favourite moments from the past week:

On Saturday afternoon, we walked out on the ice to watch the sunset. Later, we returned for an ice party out on the lake, complete with roaring fires (raised above the ice, of course!) and floating lanterns. Then, we finished off the night with some Grog at The Weary Traveller.

Props to the people who do their runs on the lake. That's so hardcore!

And to the parents who tow their kids in sleds to the middle of the lake to see the cool Christmas tree installation, Loch Nest.

I was amazed by how much happens on the lakes in Madison. On top of runners and toboggans, there are cross country skiers, skaters, and of course, ice fishers. People definitely make the most of winter in this frostbitten city!

We spend some time downtown over the weekend and here are some random observations for you: I'm amazed by how many students own and drive vespas and mopeds here, even in the dead of winter, often wearing only a hoodie! Also, I just love how you'll see cheese-related paraphernalia anywhere you travel throughout the city. Go Packers!

And as always, I'm keeping track of everyday life and business over on Instagram. Come hang out! In the meantime, have a great week :)