Wedding Season Is Upon Us!


Did he put a ring on it? Time to start planning.

When it comes to “the most important day of your life,” good photos are essential—and good makeup.

I spent a recent afternoon with wedding photographer Susan Shek and MAC makeup artist Maura Rivera to talk weddings weddings weddings and how to create and capture the most beautiful subject on the most beautiful day of your life—you.

Here is my day of makeup and photos with two awesome ladies who make weddings their business.

Maura Rivera, a freelance makeup-artist for MAC, arrived with (literally) a suitcase of beauty products. She just completed stints doing runway makeup for both NYC and Jersey City fashion weeks.

As Maura applied my makeup, Susan began to take pictures.


Susan is a wedding photographer with a very strategic approach. “I meet with clients and share my portfolio, which spans eight years in the business. People ask me what makes me different from other photographers and I tell them ‘Because it’s not a job. I do it because it’s my passion. I love it.’ If I wasn’t doing wedding photography, I would be doing wedding planning.”

Susan also wants the bride-to-be to have the least stress as possible going into the wedding. “I always have a specific plan. I give the bride and groom an organized list of how the day will play out photo-wise, shot by shot.”

Here is one of the shots Susan took of me outside the day after a big snowstorm, dashing through the wintry white in the cold. (For others, check out in the near future). She has a great eye for picking good backgrounds, even when options are limited and the air is thick with fog—both of which could have caused problems on this particular day.


When it comes to Jersey, both women are enthused. Susan says, “I like working in Jersey the best because there’re more venues, more space. I would love to shoot at Liberty House. I love that Jersey City is still close to Manhattan, and it’s a diverse and close community of ex-New Yorkers.”

“People in Jersey are crazy about weddings,” chimes in Maura. “I like weddings because I love pretty makeup and being part of a woman’s special day. A lot of women don’t even know how to do their own basic makeup [JCG interjection: Myself included!], and it’s the best feeling when they look in the mirror and gasp and say, ‘Thank you. I’m so beautiful!'”

As an old-school gal, Maura doesn’t rely on social media for her business; it has been purely word-of-mouth (still in style!) amongst Manhattan’s elite and her MAC customers. She has plenty of regulars for eyelash extensions and daily makeup (I’m thinking rich housewives). She also does party makeup: Club nights, the prom, sweet sixteen celebrations, Halloween faces, fantasy makeup, etc.

Susan’s photography business is booked for most of 2014, as she likes to start planning a year in advance and prefers space between weddings to really focus on each one. She also does the editing, photo-retouching, the layout, and chooses what photos make the cut. Check out her website here.

Both ladies travel to their clients and do not have set price lists. Rather, they individualize packages according to the customer’s needs.

Later in the day, Susan said, “I can’t see myself planning my own wedding because I’m too controlling and obsessive. I’d want everything to be perfect.” Maura and I laughed, because despite the fact that all three of us have long-term boyfriends and love weddings, we feel the same way.

Be pretty, Pretty Princess,

2 Comments on Wedding Season Is Upon Us!

  1. Susan Shek
    February 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm (10 years ago)

    I love this write up!! Thank you!!! Maybe we should start a wedding planning company together!! 🙂


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