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Welcome guest blogger and photographer, Cameron Van Ausdal

3 Apr

If you’re like most people you panic just before a scheduled photo shoot. You think to yourself “Oh, I’m going to look like a fool!” or “I’m too overweight to look good in photos.” As a glamour and boudoir photographer I’ve seen people panic at their shoot and I’ve heard all the reasons why they don’t look good when they get their picture taken.

I say poppycock! Everybody can look amazing in front of the camera. Everybody! No matter your size or body type you can look amazing in a photograph, you just need a few posing tips to boost your confidence.

Tip #1 – Don’t stand straight up and down.

Standing stick straight, rarely works in a glamour or boudoir portrait, or any portrait for that matter. As a general rule of thumb, if it bends – bend it. Your body will have beautiful curves and be more appealing to the eye.


This straight up and down pose doesn’t do much for her figure and it makes for a boring shot.


This is much better and more exciting. By shifting her weight on her hip she has emphasized her curves and created a more pleasing pose. You may also notice that she’s bent both elbows and her wrist creating more feminine angles that are more pleasing and create energy that leads the eye.

Tip #2 – Raise your chin.

Women have a tendency to lower their chin in an effort to hide even the slightest hint of a double chin. Unfortunately lowering your chin does the opposite, it accentuates a double chin. If your photographer shoots you from slightly above eye level, this can be easily avoided.

Tip #3 – Arch your back.

Arching your back will do a number of things to your pose – it pulls your shoulders back, forces your chest out, flattens your stomach and makes your booty pop.


Don’t underestimate the power an arched back has on your posture and on sexy curves.

Tip #4 — Don’t always worry about making eye contact.

It’s true — the eyes are the window to the soul. But don’t get caught in the trap of looking directly into the camera for every photo.


Sometimes looking away from camera can convey more meaning, be more sensual and help accentuate your naturally beautiful lines.

Tip #5 – Move, let it all go, have fun and be you.

I know it doesn’t sound like a posing tip, but it is. Some of the best photographs are the shots that were not planned. They are pure serendipity. Every time you hear the shutter click – unless told otherwise by your photographer – move! Get a broad range of shots for each outfit in your wardrobe.


Even if you feel silly, or you trip, or you get tangled in your dress — it doesn’t matter, move. If you feel like laughing, laugh. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like dancing, dance! Just move.

Your photo session is about capturing the most beautiful you that you can be. The most beautiful you doesn’t happen when you have a rigid pose, or when you are worried about looking your best. It happens when you let it all go, relax and just be you. Move around and have fun during your photo session and you’ll get the best photographs you’ve had in your life.

Even if you haven’t scheduled your photo session with me, I hope that these tips will help you feel more comfortable next time you step in front of a camera. Remember, you’re beautiful and you’re worth every picture!

-Cameron VanAusdal


This is happening…

5 Mar

While I learn how to better manage my time, I wanted to give a quick update on some things I have been working on and some major shout outs.  I have been networking away for the past few months and what seemed impossible has become possible.  All it took was a little faith, confidence in my work and honestly, some super cool people.  Trying to break into a new industry in a new place can be daunting but I have come into my own circle of friends who are quickly becoming family.

In January, we finished shooting the Z-Strain.  A zombie movie that I was able to try out my special effects skills on.  I worked with a great crew and got some more experience with the special effects side of the business.  This is something I am definitely going to pursue.  Please visit and like Z Strain on Facebook.

In late January, I had the amazing opportunity to do makeup for Becky Swanson of Late Night Alumni.  They were performing at Ruby Skye in San Fransisco and while my honey was running the lights, I was getting Becky stage ready!  Very very special thanks to not only Becky  but to John Hancock as well as Tracey and Finn Bjarnson.  They have been a great supporters of my endeavor and I am very grateful for them.  Check out some of the smooth sounds of LNA.

In early February, I was lucky enough to attend a makeup school in New York.  I was working under Mitch Ely, who is an excellent teacher and one I learned extensively with.  He is the MUA for CNN currently but some of his background is in film which is where I am leaning towards.  Our curriculum involved makeup, application of makeup and trends of the century.  This was followed by an awesome day of photo shoots in a gorgeous NYC building.  We just happened to be right next to Studio 54 so the inspiration was already there for me.  Mitch does p/t teaching for Last Looks Academy which hosts all kinds of makeup classes nationwide.  Our working set up was amazing as was the models we worked on.  Mitch patiently taught us how to apply makeup starting with the 1920’s all the way through to current day.  The tips and tricks he offered came from many years of tried and true.  Many that I have begun to apply in my world.  Our last day was our opportunity to shoot with 5 different models using 5 different looks.  Basically anything I wanted to showcase.  We had a photographer who took amazing photos of our models and we all walked away with fabulous photos to add to our portfolios.  I should get the final shots soon and I will most definitely share.  Here is a link to my photos during the photo shoot.

Next step was meeting a great photographer with a great message.  Cameron VanAusdal owner of CNV Studios is a portrait photographer that has slowly gotten into the “boudoir” photo sessions.  I will be guest blogging monthly on his website.  The main focus of this blog is to empower us as women to fully understand our potential.  Beauty is so subjective and once we learn to look within ourselves (instead of in the mirror) we can truly shine.  Please visit his new site at and keep an eye out for my articles as well as other guest bloggers.

Did some makeup with my friends at Cornerstone Show Foundation.  Thanks as always..

I also had the opportunity to work with the lovely Samantha Mitchell.  She is producer, art director and photographer for ESEM productions.  She is not only awesome at what she does, she is a Brooklyn girl so it was a nice surprise to talk some NY with her.  I was feeling a bit homesick after being in the city for a week so needless to say, the shoot went well.  That couldn’t have happened without the help of a fellow MUA, Megan Reilley.  She keeps me posted on new opportunities and I finally had the chance to work with her on my next project, Proper Manors.  Megan is another inspiration in my life.  I am grateful to know her.

So Proper Manors is a local web drama that just started shooting season two but more on that later.  None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for my wonderful friend and guardian angel, Cate Allen.  I met her at a Utah Film Commission luncheon and she took me under her wing.  I worked with her on Z-Strain (which she choose me to work on) and that’s when the magic happened.  She has sent me countless job opportunities and even helped me with my resume.  She has been instrumental in keeping my confidence up even when work is dry.  She is an amazing actress and producer as well as a savvy business woman.  She hosts a radio talk show each week on Ktalk Utah.  Please tune in Mondays at 9am MST to hear what she is up too.  Her show “Celebrating Women” discusses businesses and topics that involve and celebrate the uniqueness of being a woman, while giving practical insight to everyone. Celebrating Women highlights local and national women-friendly businesses, interests, and products. Celebrating Women is the “go to” outlet for women to access viable information, discounts, and solutions.

Whew. OK.  Proper Manors.  Co-creator, agent, actor and all around great guy (I am sure he is more)..  Pietro D’Allessio asked me to join his team of MUA’s for his series Proper Manors.  As it turns out, our Head of Makeup Dept from last year took another position and I am now the onsite lead (Key MUA).  I am so grateful to Johnnett Bailey Robinson for trusting me to make it happen.  She was onsite for all of (long) season one and got the flow down to a science.  I feel great about our first weekend of shooting and I am confident I am maintaining the same momentum from last year in her absence.  The cast and crew of Proper has been probably the nicest part about this project.  Even after three, 14 hour days, (an hour and a half away from my home)…..I am extremely excited to be on set working with everyone.  It doesn’t even feel like I worked one hour.  That’s when you know your doing something right.  A side note on Pietro and his wonderful wife Tina..  They have welcomed me with open arms and they surround themselves with such great people that it truly is a pleasure going to work each day.  As I have started to meet more of the crew, I see why they are a family.  The atmosphere is one of love and laughs and I am certain Proper Manors will become the original vision it was intended to be.

Thank you to my friend and neighbor, Lora Garlitz of La Belle Luminere Photography who encourgaed me to take some pro head shots and my son Joseph and his girlfriend Melissa, who tweeted my website to thier many followers.  I am at 3100 likes!!  Woo hoo!!

This is just a few of the people that have given me the strength to continue on.  Thank you to my family and  I am eternally grateful to my hunnee as well.  I couldn’t do any of this without his endless support and encouragement.  I hope I can do the same for him.


One more honorable mention…

This goes out to all the haters of the world that tried to make my life a living hell.   Without the haters, I would not have BROKEN down, reevaluated or moved on. So yeah, thanks haters.

Enjoy your week 🙂

Special F/X fix

5 Jan

depressing jan

I will be honest and say that I never really enjoyed January.   Or even February for that matter. If it’s January that means that the holidays are over, the tree  is down and the holiday spirit is quickly displaced.  I always struggled to switch gears.

Good news!  My 2013 was all the sudden not so depressing.  My January is full of things that are cool and awesome.   I have been working with a great group of filmmakers and actors/actresses for the past week and I have noticed an evolution of sorts within myself which I did not expect.  I was asked to be the MUA for this particular film and after reading the script I realized that the beauty end of things was extremely minimal.  This folks, is a film about sick, infected people who eventually perish and turn to zombies.  What? ??  This was going to be a challenge!  I have not really done film quality special f/x so what does one do?   I did tons of research and off I went with my blood, puke and festering wounds in hand.  Needless to say…I FELL IN LOVE.  I wasn’t so sure if I could pull this off but honestly, if you do your research and you have tons of love invested, it all turns out ok.  I may not be Oscar caliber  (yet) but so far, it looks really good on camera and I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish.  Plus, I am realizing that this is definitely something I want to pursue for the long haul.  I love beauty makeup and I always will but there is something so cool about special f/x.

Anyway, I really just want to say that I am so grateful for the path I have been shown.  I am especially grateful that my mind opened up to allow me to see the endless possibilities that exist.  My experiences are what I choose to make them but it truly helps when you are in the company of wonderful people.

My wish for you for 2013 ……Open up and allow yourself to evolve and to see  all this great universe has to offer.

Now check out a pic of my homemade puke and blood!  Enjoy!


The start of something beautiful

26 Sep

Hi folks! Well it’s official.  Woo hoo!!! As of October 9th, I will be working for ESTÉE LAUDER as a beauty adviser.

This move ties in beautifully with my Supernatural Makeup Design business that is growing every day.  Now I know what your thinking but I promise, I am not crazy. At this stage in my life, I am fully aware of the challenges I will face working in the retail environment (especially during the holidays). But challenges like sales quotas and long hours on my feet are no match to establishing the trust of women everywhere and allowing me to help them make choices that will affect their physical appearance and ultimately, their self-esteem.  And that challenge is precisely what I am looking for in my life.

I have spent 20 years in the wrong place….Ugh.

Well to be honest, I can’t knock it all.  I met some truly wonderful people, traveled to some beautiful places and made a good living ….but working for large corporations  and not really having my heart in it exasperated the growing feeling that I didn’t belong.  The industry I worked in had no place for the faint of heart.  It left me cold and tiresome of the cliques and drama that always surfaced.  Especially the egomaniacs it produced.  I had some awful managers and colleagues that always seemed to sense my frustration and sadness and hung me out to dry.   My biggest mistake then was not realizing that I had choices like ….find something you LOVE.   Point being??  I figured it out now.   The best part is that there is no room for egomaniacs here because the focus is not on me, it is on YOU.  Making YOU feel beautiful is the whole point.  I am in the background cheering you on.

I urge you to look at what you’re doing now.  Make sure you enjoy what you do everyday.  Life is way too short to waste it on someone else’s agenda.

Come visit me at ESTÉE LAUDER.  You will walk away a new person.  I am 🙂

The History of Makeup and classic overthinking….

9 Sep

The past few weeks have been very exciting (and rewarding) for me.  In one crazed instant, I came to a realization.  (That is really how it happens.  For some reason my brain clears out the dust and allows me to see clearly for like 5 seconds).  Well that 5 seconds of clarity propelled me into starting my own business and as much as it is difficult, it is THRILLING!  I have been up ’round the clock researching my business plan and building websites, email and well…’s all too much for words.   BUT… in all that I am doing, there has not been one instant where I was dreading it or felt pressured or wanted to stop.  Every step I have taken so far has truly been a labor of love.  That is until about 4 days ago.  4 days ago I was put into a holding pattern because of an incredible opportunity I had applied for before my breakthrough.  I hadn’t even thought of it once since I locked my arms around Supernatural Makeup Design and now the phone is ringing, and I am interviewing for this opportunity.   If it happens, it would no doubt be AMAZING but very much off course to what I have worked so hard to accomplish up to this point.  Because of this holding pattern, I have been kind of wishy-washy with my blog and the future of my new business for 2012.  If this opportunity does come to fruition then I would be out-of-pocket until Feb 1st.

That being said, ……..I need to find my self control!

I am definitely counting my chickens before they hatch so for this beautiful Sunday morning I am focusing on what makes me happy and peaceful.  Besame Cosmetics has put out a beautiful, inspiring book called Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup.  It details makeup artistry throughout the years with gorgeous, vivid pictures and old-fashioned makeup palates and designs.  I wish I could have been present in the 20’s and 30’s and saw first hand these lovely ladies transform from extraordinary to red lipped vixens!!  As for me, I find out this week if my life takes yet another (exciting) path.

Realize the positive in each and every situation.  For reasons we cannot yet understand, we are placed in situations that can be obviously overwhelming, happy, sad, confusing etc.  My wonderful husband has tried countless times to help me see that there is  positive in even the most dire situation.  As I look around and see where I am at now …..I finally realize he is right. Knowing that there is a reason for every move we make allows for me relax a bit.  I am in good hands.  Mine.

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup by Gabriela Hernandez



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