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  • Writer's pictureDani Sauter

In Living Color

Collaboration. verb col·lab·o·rate \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt\ collaborated; collaborating intransitive verb 1: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

It's no surprise that here lately, I've been focused on collaborations with local area creatives. I have found with blogging, that one of the best things to do is grow and meet other like-minded individuals, and one of the best ways is through collabs. Not only do you learn something new when working with others, it also opens your eyes to new ways of seeing things and perspectives. It also builds new relationships and creates a bond with the other collaborators.

Blonde in the District | Virle Cole | Afton Photography | Will Leonard Allen

Like most all other collabs I've worked on, this one started on Instagram. I came across Cydney's Instagram account for her photography business, Afton Photography. I followed her and I loved her aesthetic, and in return she followed me and commented on a photo she wanted to do a collab. Then, Bettina of Virlè Cole who I met a few months ago at an event, saw this and commented that she wanted in on the fab collab. It all started thanks to IG- the power of social media is very real, friends. To complete the circle, I enlisted Will Leonard Allen, a DC Pro Makeup artist who I've worked with to partake in the fab collab with us.

After a series of emails and an in-person meeting, we locked in a date and created a plan for the collab. The theme was 'In Living Color' with a focus on creating a look book on how to incorporate fun, colorful, vintage pieces in your modern day wardrobe. (Add also- female bada$$ and confidence with no f's given vibes, but that part came on the day of the shoot when we combined all our powers). Our goal was for the photos to have an editorial vibe that we can all use for our respective businesses- which 100% ties into 'collaboration'- each of us working together to achieve an intellectual goal.

With any collab, everyone brought something to the table. Cydney of Afton Photography brought her intense photo skills to the table. Her style of shooting and her direction was perfect- she truly has an eye for photography and capturing unique and beautiful shots. Her skills are so tight in fact, my husband took a special liking to one of the images and had it printed on a 2ft x 2ft foam board for our apartment. So, this collab will forever live on in my house, lol! Bettina brought her vintage styling skills to the table and pushed me by way of vintage style to pull off this look. Her knack for finding amazing vintage pieces and her urge to show the world vintage can be modern, was a key in this collaboration. Will of course brought his makeup skills to the table and gave me a flawless look that legit shines in the photos. He also provided onsite hair styling and modeling techniques and coaching throughout the shoot.

More on the Collaborators:

Bettina Coleman, Vintage Wardrobe Stylist and Creative Director of Virlè Cole. Virlè Cole sells vintage couture pieces and era defining looks! Bettina styles her clients in super-glam vintage pieces but with a modern edge. Bettina's mission is to motivate young souls to wear vintage clothes and to be a vintage image consultant to film and TV projects. Website | Facebook | Instagram

Cydney Afton, Owner of Afton Photography

Meet Cydney Afton, who started Afton Photography to tell loving stories and capture the beauty in every moment. She specializes in engagement, lifestyle/fashion and portrait photography. Based in the D.C. Metropolitan area, this free-spirited and creative gal (who also loves baking cupcakes, polka dots and English bulldogs!) is looking to expand her business nationally and continues to be featured by D.C. most popular publications including: Politico, The Washington Post, The Hill, Borrowed & Blue and FamousDC.

Will Leonard Allen, Professional Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

Will is a free-lance professional makeup artist in the DC area and believes makeup artistry is painting a picture. He absolutely loves the transformation process and helping his clients get in formation! Will feels he truly makes a difference with his golden paint brushes. With each makeover Will does, he makes sure that the makeup look is impeccably different. If there is a 'Will' there is a way.


Blonde in the District


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