Valerie's Fashion Shoot by Carmen & Jamie from Tales of a Dream

After re-organizing our business over the winter months and working on our websites, Jamie and I were itching to do something fun and maybe collaborate with Madeline, a hair stylist we had just met and Ami, a make-up artist that was recommended by Madeline. Carmen knew she wanted to do another shoot with one of her favorite high school seniors, Valerie.  It was a spontaneous decision and as it often does everything aligned and we found a day that worked for all of us.

We had specific things in mind for the shoot so Carmen made a Pinterest board for inspiration to get everyone on the same page. We wanted to keep it very sophisticated and timeless with just enough edge.  Sunday afternoon we got together at Madeline's house and met Ami, our MUA, for the first time.  We were all on the same page and it didn't take much to agree on the look we wanted.

Madeline is a magician with hair, super fast, creative and neat at the same time.  We all liked the idea of a side braid and some glam Hollywood waves on the opposite side. Turns out Madeline had actually done Valerie's hair for prom last year (and again this year) and both knew each other.

Valerie came prepared with a little suitcase and a bunch of cool clothes.  The black denim skirt, bodysuit from Akira, white criss cross shirt and the Nike shoes were hers.  My tuxedo pants from H&M, white blouse, nude blouse with black ribbon ties perfected the look.

The pear trees were in full bloom and thank goodness Madeline had a few ladders handy so that Valerie could sit pretty high up by all the blooming branches.  We also went to another favorite location in Crown Point, that we knew would be perfect.  Main criteria - plain backdrop & good light! As we were almost ready to leave, we noticed some pine looking shrubs closer to the road.  We love using our surroundings and letting the creativity flow organically.  Those images with Valerie's hair up in the shrubs are some of our favorites.  The sun was right behind and gave us glowing light.

We went back to Madeline's house and thought we could maybe fit in one more look even though the sun was already setting.  In 15 minutes Ami changed the make-up a little, adding the dots above her eyebrows and Madeline changed the hair into a cool fashion mohawk look.

Down the street I spotted some trash her neighbor had put on the street...and what do you know...a desk and a chair?!! (Actually there were 3 each).  Serendipity!  I just thought it was fitting with Valerie almost being done with school and it made our last look more edgy.  At this point the sun had set and we had a few minutes before it was pitch black. Cranked up the ISO and we kept shooting...

It was so fun and inspiring to collaborate with other creative people. I love seeing it all come together. It was also very refreshing to meet and work with such a grounded, sweet girl like Valerie. I loved how she had such a tough yet feminine edge.
— Jamie/T.O.A.D.

We all thought that Valerie was giving us a little Jennifer Lawrence vibe.  We posted some behind the scenes teasers with #JenniferLawrence and actually got a few "congrats!"  We thought it was so funny.  Nothing against JLaw, but Valerie is a STAR all on her own.

We asked Madeline to introduce herself, so here it is:

Hi, my name’s Maddie and I love my job! How many people can say that? I feel like I’m one of the lucky few to wake up excited for work.

I’ve had a passion for hair ever since I learned how to put my hair in a pony tail by myself. I always took pride in my appearance, so it just clicked my junior year of high school that I wanted to go to cosmetology school. I told my mom that’s what I wanted to do, no questions asked and the next day we went and took a tour of Excel Academy and signed up.

Fast forward 5 years later and I have a salon in my mom’s house and I work at small salon called Hair Shaper Salon and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ever since cosmetology school I’ve loved doing up dos! I started off small and only did up dos for high school dances, then I started shadowing mentors at weddings and prep the hair.

I was finally confident enough to take on a bride myself, and it was so rewarding seeing how beautiful they felt for the most important day of their life!

A lot of my inspiration is drawn from Pinterest and Instagram, but I don’t like to completely copy a picture so I always try to put my own little twist on it to make it my own.

I really enjoy doing dances and weddings, but I love doing stylized shoots and working closely with the photographer to come up with a fitting look for the model. That’s when my creativeness flows and I don’t have to worry about pleasing a client.

The best feeling for me is seeing someone just look and feel more confident simply by styling their hair for them. That’s why I love what I do!
— Madeline

Please contact Madeline through fb for bookings HERE or give her a call to set something up 219-794-4460!

And here is a bit of info about Ami:

T.O.A.D. - How Did you get started?

Ami:   Makeup for me has always been a hobby.  I officially started playing around with makeup in 2011. I would always ask to do my friend’s and family’s makeup, just to practice for the fun of it.  With time, I became better. In the beginning of 2015, I decided to start an Instagram dedicated to makeup. I started posting Before & Afters of my friends for the first time.  People who knew of me didn’t know that I’ve been practicing makeup on my own.  So when I posted pictures, I would say it was a bit of a surprise.  Since I decided to put my work out there, I had a good amount of people contacting me to do their makeup.  When this happened, it was validation to me that this was what I was meant to do.

T.O.A.D. - What inspires you?

Ami:   Seeing the instant gain of confidence when my clients see their makeup, is what inspires me the most.  There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing that you just made another woman feel beautiful about herself.  I’m a true advocate for discovering your own craft to positively influence and inspire others too.  I love educating people on how to do their own makeup through making tutorials on YouTube.

T.O.A.D. - What’s your favorite thing to do?

Ami:   I do bridal work more than anything, but my work is not limited to the traditional natural bridal look.  My favorite makeup looks I like to create are the bold and colorful, non-traditional looks. This is where I get to express myself more as an artist.  I would also love to do more editorial work.

You can book Ami by contacting her at

Please subscribe to Ami's YouTube chanel HERE. Check out more of her work and follow her on Instagram HERE.

We were able to get a many great shots and were super happy with our day!

Vendor Collaborations are a great way to have a play date with talented artists and hang out and create. It's like spending the afternoon with a bunch of girlfriends!

Jamie and I are planning a fashion mini session for Mother's Day!  Calling all Fashion Moms! Please visit our Tales of a Dream facebook page for more information.

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