Dinny Tran (Stylist @stylebydt), Rachael Nicholas (Makeup & Hair Artist), Jessica Apap (Photographer)

It’s pretty amazing what can be achieved when talented and motivated women come together to work towards a common goal… especially if that common goal is helping a younger woman achieve her dream. Never have I seen this displayed so evidently as last month, at my niece’s first-ever modeling photoshoot.

I helped to create this photoshoot when I came to learn some months ago (through her mother) that my niece, Emma, was interested in pursuing a career in modelling – yet was unsure of where to start. I reached out to a contact of mine, Rachael Nicholas (of RachaelNicholasMakeupAndHair.com), who I’d met and clicked with years ago. I always felt a special gravitation toward Rachael, who, when I met her in 2010 – was living a ‘corporate life’ in the insurance industry, yet dreaming (and working tirelessly) towards her ‘passion life’ of being a full-time hair and makeup artist (a dream she is now successfully living). I should have known that when I sent Rachael a screen-shot Instagram picture of my niece Emma… magic just might happen, and it did.

Rachael introduced Jessica Apap, a progressive and emerging photographer in the field of fashion, (who is surprisingly established for her ripe young age of 22). We soon learned the news that Rachael (makeup and hair) had hooked up a ‘newcomer’ stylist for the day, funnily enough, a talented young woman living her ‘corporate life’, with a budding passion beginning to bloom in the creative industry – as a fashion stylist

A studio was booked and a date set. The shoot was on.

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The day itself was truly inspirational. There were so many layers of the-beauty-of-life unfolding to be absorbed. From Emma, flourishing before our very eyes, in her element – to the power of Rachael (makeup and hair) leading by example in living her dream (which was clearly having an emotional impact on newcomer stylist, Dinny Tran). From the talented photographer Jess, work her magic in capturing the true essence of Emma’s youthful beauty. There were moments of joy and laughter as the atmosphere was lightened, allowing Emma the freedom and confidence to be herself and express her beauty confidently. There’s one woman who, when you think about it, was probably most important on the day, and in the days, months and years leading up to it. Emma’s mother, Jacinta, who not only raised her daughter with an instilled belief that she could do absolutely anything she wanted to in her life – but was here, helping to make it happen.

It’s not surprising that, together, we achieved some of the amazing shots here, a credit to all involved and especially Jessica Apap who captured each moment so spectacularly, (oh, and Emma of course, it takes more than a pretty face to deliver shots of this caliber, on her first day of shooting – it takes pure talent). Emma told me she literally had one of the best days of her life… and I truly believe it was not only getting the photographs to take the next steps forward in her career, but being surrounded by positive, talented, empowering women… who truly wanted to help her. I only hope that she takes what she can from the day, and learns that life is as much about personal success, as helping drive others toward their goals and dreams.

I’m pleased to update that Emma is now interviewing with a leading modeling agency in Melbourne. Watch this space.

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By Julie Anne Longano