Finally, a REAL fashion show in New Mexico!  The City of Santa Fe was alive with style, libations and hors d'oeuvres for the first annual Santa Fe Street Fashion Show on August 28th, 2015.  The only fashion show to be personally endorsed by the Mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzales, as well as celebrated by the eclectic people of The City Different, it was a night filled with delight and professionalism to reflect what can be done properly when the right people are behind it.  Fashion blogger and style connoisseuir herself, Amy Shea, produced a fitting (pun intended) and elite sartorial display from fashion capitals such as New York, Paris and Milan that are currently available via high-end retail shops located in Santa Fe.  Although it took a New Yorker (Shea) to produce a show worth the $175 price of admission, the sold-out event was a massive statement to say the least of how badly a respectable fashion show was desired in New Mexico.

From major prevalent designers such as Etro, Comme de Garcons, The Row and Issey Miyaki to rising star designer Renato Dicent, to New Mexico's own crown jewel designer Orlando Dugi presenting his latest collection "The Red Collection", it was a night of high art meeting impeccable presentation.  A global mix of fashion talent gathered and coalesced with Santa Fe's own stylistic mode to deliver a fashion alchemy of high art, replete with silk-covered reserved seats and chic gift bags for each ticket-holding cosmopolitan.  

I had the pleasure of attending and photographing the highly-anticipated gala and was pleasantly shocked at how well the show was produced, especially for a first-time endeavor.  The models were the most professionally suited (again, pun intended) for the event and carried the designers garments with elegance and grace.  I've not seen a better fashion show in New Mexico to date (not even close), and expect the subsequent events next year and in the future to be better and better.  

Special shout out to our local Santa Fe designers and retailers who also showed that evening:
Santa Fe Dry Goods/Workshop
Cicada Collection
United Nude by Goler Shoes
Santa Fe Scout Handbags (all handmade in Santa Fe)
Eyewear by Ojo Optique in Santa Fe and Nob Hill, Albuquerque
Jewelry by Patina Gallery
Lilly of the West who provided the dresses at The Show opening.
Hair styling provided by Mark Pardo Salon Spa

For more information on the event as well as what's happening in Santa Fe's growing fashion interest, check out these quality fashion blogs:
Santa Fe Street
More Than Turquoise

I'm already looking forward to next year, and what Santa Fe Street Fashion Week will do right for New Mexico next.  -MT


Crew Spotlight: Pro Makeup Artists Are Essential.


I'm been a believer in the lasting photographer's adage that, "A photographer is only as good as his weakest crew member."  True that it is paramount to have the right team when constructing complex images for top-quality fashion and beauty work in an industry where a photographer is only as good as their last photo.  To survive is one thing, to succeed is another.  Success is a very illusive endeavor that requires both high quality and lots of luck.  But if the quality isn't in one's work, one better hope they have a large supply of luck.  

Kevin Hees preps Elite model Noel in New York.

Kevin Hees preps Elite model Noel in New York.

I bring attention to one of the key members of any good fashion photography team: the Makeup Artist.  I emphasize "artist" because a true "MUA" is so much more than a makeup applicator- the MUA is arguably the most critical  team member a photographer should hire for a shoot with possible room for exception for a good first assistant and a great model.  

I've been fortunate enough to work with and around some top-level MUA's including my roommate in New York who is the Creative Director for Kevyn Aucoin Cosmetics, Kevin Hees.  I've also had the pleasure of working on numerous shoots with Conrad Sanchez who spent nine years with Chanel and I quickly learned the difference between a true makeup artist and someone who just applies the makeup.  A true makeup artist can interpret a mood board, understand the creative direction that the photographer and CD or AD wish to achieve and correlate that to the model's particular facial structure and features.  A talented MUA can cover all the bases; from light, beautifully clean makeup to complex, powerful, hard-edge and near-theatrical editorial looks.  A great MUA will contribute a refined, professional statement with the makeup in the photograph rather than an obtrusive, amateur design and tacky application.  A photographer needs to know they can rely on their makeup artist to deliver the makeup design that best fits the creative direction.  For me, it's such a great feeling when the model comes out of hair and makeup looking better than what I had in mind.  Makeup artists with talent and vision are true artists and rightfully deserve their title.

There are sometimes elements on any given shoot that may not look right according to plan and the team can figure out ways to work around it.  Stylists can strategically clip clothes that are too big for the model, assistants can adjust light to favor the scene, photographers can even trick an inexperienced model into getting a "lucky shot" when they can't model at all.  But there's no workaround for bad makeup.  Bad makeup will ruin the shoot, period.  The only possible way to save the shoot is to fix the makeup in Photoshop- but that's an enormous  hassle to retouch bad makeup in post.  It's a far better action to hire the right MUA for the job in the first place.


Pro MUA's like Justin Paul in NYC bring everything they need.

Pro MUA's like Justin Paul in NYC bring everything they need.

  • Valid work experience.  A professional MUA can show a work history of being booked for diverse print jobs with high-quality photographers.  A good MUA will have a strong book, even if it's mostly test shoots.  The level of photography a makeup artist displays in their book is a good indicator of who wants to work with them.  When their work is displayed in great photos, it shows what level they are on in terms of their career as well as the level of creative professonals who hire them.  It shows they can do the job and that high-quality professionals rely on them.  A MUA who's experience is limited to only having done tons of weddings or only regularly work with amateur/hobbyist photographers isn't really up to par for the skilled nature of real fashion/editorial print work.  They inadvertently show they don't have the drive to be successful.
  • They bring all their own equipment.  I love it when I'm shooting on location and the MUA arrives with their own makeup chair and whatever they need to do their job.  There's been a few times when an MUA showed up with only a makeup bag and began asking me for tools such as a makeup chair, a mirror, a table, lights, extension cords, even a hair straightener.  I felt like asking the MUA if they brought some strobe lights I could use.  It's the same thing.  Photographers bring photo gear, MUA's bring makeup gear, period.  Really pro MUA's will have an assistant or intern to help them carry and setup their gear.  This is very intuitive since it's imprudent to expect the photographer's assistants to lug the MUA's gear.  The best makeup artists bring everything they may need and look after it themselves.
  • They pay close attention on set.  A real MUA knows that the most critical time to watch the makeup is during the shoot.  Smudge fixes, hairs sticking to lips or minor touchups are always something needing to be addressed while the shoot is in progress.  A makeup artist that applies the makeup then stands around playing with their phone during the shoot is one of the most obvious signs of an amateur.  A good MUA is present on set to correct unwanted flaws or to make adjustments during shooting.  This saves the photographer from shooting the next hundred frames only to find out later that those shots are unusable due to some problem that went unnoticed while shooting.  Believe me, it happens all the time.
  • Models (and everyone else) speak highly of them.  Great MUA's take proper care of the models by being careful around their eyes, making sure the model's aren't allergic to the products and by generally being pleasant and fun to work with.  Pro MUA's treat models and everyone as people, not as objects.  They want to be an integral part of the team and do their best to have the shoot go well.
  • They can approach anything asked of them with optimism and honest feedback.  The best MUA's not only know how to do perfect work, they can change it if asked to without taking it personal or getting upset.  They also can be a great creative asset by informing the photographer if a certain makeup look requested may not work with the model's facial features.  A good MUA won't falsely assure a photographer that a look will work if it may not, which can result in wasted time and a lot of frustration.  It's a team effort and the makeup artist is expected to be the expert advisor on the makeup while at the same time working toward the creative goal.
  • They stick to the creative plan.  This is possibly the most important factor in a makeup artist being invited back.  A MUA who agrees to apply a certain makeup look according to the creative direction, then goes off-script and applies something different is a detriment to the entire shoot.  There's nothing worse than setting up a shoot, agreeing to a mood board and then having the model come out of makeup looking nothing like what was expected and agreed upon.  There's probably no worse of a way to waste everyone's time, other than being late to the shoot.
  • They never, ever, show up late.  It should go without saying, but the best of the best MUA's are absolute professionals and will be at the appointed location prior to call time.  Many even arrive early so they can take their time to set up.  Great MUA's do what they can to make the day go easier for everyone else, so they can ensure that they will be invited back again and earn a great reputation.
  • They have awesome personalities.  This is important for anyone, but everyone loves a makeup artist that had their own identity and is fun to spend all day on set with or even hours on the road with when driving to a location.  For example, sometimes early morning call times can be a drag (especially for the models), but a makeup artist with a great personality can get the day started off right since they are often the first ones to start work.  Personality + performance is always in high demand.

Makeup artists are mission-critical to a successful outcome; they can make or break your shoot.  Don't be complacent when considering one- it matters.  Great MUA's are not a dime a dozen, so when you find one, keep them happy and they'll do the same for you.  They are worth every penny of their day rate.

MUA's like Kata Baron have to be ready to work in any environment.

MUA's like Kata Baron have to be ready to work in any environment.

MUA Hannah Morrow with her positive personality is always a model-favorite.

MUA Hannah Morrow with her positive personality is always a model-favorite.


New Work: Zink Magazine.


I did some work for Mark Pardo Salon & Spa a few months back and just had a couple of my favorites from the shoot featured on the website of one of my favorite New York fashion magazines, Zink.   Check out the feature on    

Here's a couple of behind the scenes shots.  I didn't take many since it was a busy day and the schedule was tight.  Had to keep my mind on what I was doing!  Many thanks to the Mark Pardo hair and makeup crew, the models and my assistant + digital tech Jess.  Great work, great day.


New Mexico Fashion Models


I recently spearheaded a new business endeavor that I felt was truly needed in the New Mexico fashion market.  I'm proud to be a part of the newest and most sincere New Mexico modeling agency and I'm very proud to be working with these wonderful and incredibly positive-sprited people.  These are the faces of the newest and most professionally dedicated New Mexico fashion models.  Please welcome to the New Mexico fashion market as well as the fashion industry, MTM Model Management.