Issuu on Google+

EVENT/PARTY PLANNER ISSUE | JULY/AUGUST, 2011

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE FOR: MODELS | ACTORS/DIRECTORS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | DESIGNERS | MAKE-UP ARTISTS | MUSICIANS | ARTISTS | CHEFS/ HOSPITALITY | EVENT PLANNERS/ENTREPRENEURS

CURT & NATALIA A DESTINATION WEDDING STORY

Chicago photographer

JILL TIONGCO LONDON BRIDAL FASHION DESIGNER

JOHANNA HEHIR

CHICAGO DJ SYE YOUNG

CHICAGO EVENT PLANNER

ROBYN BRUNS

Chicago photographer

REDLETTER VENT PLANNER

KYLE MURPHY


CHICAGO PHOTOGAPHER

JILL TIONGCO

1

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


EXPLORE + SELECT + APPLY WWW.IDEALUNIVERSITYUSA.COM


Dear Loyal Readers, The most eventful time of the year is here! Whether your goals are to attend or plan weddings, festivals, concerts, photo shoots, bring with you all that inspires and ignites joy in your heart! You would be amazed at what meaningful inspirations can create in a finished product. Inspiration can come from anything meaningful to one’s heart. Through experience or acquired skills, I encourage applying and directing one’s values to empower others since find it to be a brilliant idea in life. Remember always that less is often times more! Be inspired, and remember to empower! -Ruth Omanya

IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI 3

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE FOR: MODELS | ACTORS/DIRECTORS | PHOTOGRAPHERS | DESIGNERS | MAKE-UP ARTISTS | MUSICIANS | ARTISTS | CHEFS/ HOSPITALITY | EVENT PLANNERS/ENTREPRENEURS

CONTENTS PUBLISHER PORTFOLIO FUSION FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF RUTH OMANYA EDITOR AT LARGE COREY O’DONNELL

6

CONTACTS

10

ADVERTISERS advertise@portfoliofusionmagazine.com READERS feedback@portfoliofusionmagazine.com WRITERS write@portfoliofusionmagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION subscribe@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

29

22

CONTRIBUTE: submit@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

33

GENERAL INQUIRIES: info@portfoliofusionmagazine.com

39 6| ON THE FRONT COVER CURT & NATALIA

29|

JILL TIONGCO

10|

CURT & NATALIA

22|

ROBYN BRUNS

SYE YOUNG

33|

KYLE MURPHY

39|

JOHANNA HEHIR

Image by Jill Tiongco

ON THE BACK COVER Subscribe to

FREE Digital Magazine At www.portfoliofusionmagazine.com

PORTFOLIO FUSION Magazine celebrating the works of individuals in the arts!

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

CONTRIBUTORS & IMAGE CREDITS | JILL TIONGCO| CURT & NATALIA | ROBYN BRUNS | SYE YOUNG| KYLE MURPHY | JOHANNA HEHIR |

INTERVIEWS BY RUTH OMANYA (PG.9-10, 14-20, 24-27, 30-31, 35-37, 41-43). IMAGES: | JILL TIONGCO | KYLE MURPHY| COURTESY SYE YOUNG | COURTESY JOHANNA HEHIR | COURTESY ROBYN BRUNS | COURTESY CURT & NATALIA | ARTHUR ST JOHN| COURTESY CHRISTIANE KING | DURON STUDIOS | COURTESY MELISSA PHILLIPS | ABDUL SMITH | ANGEL HERNANDEZ | MARK ROBERT HALPER | COURTESY MONICA WONG | COURTESY KYLE MURPHY | NATALIA HORRIGAN Copyright: ©2011 Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, distribution, reposts and modification prohibited unless express written permission is granted by Portfolio Fusion Magazine and its respective copyright holders.

WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

4


CHICAGO PHOTOGAPHER

JILL TIONGCO SHARES HER EXPERIENCE &

INSPIRATIONS

N

ew to the world of photography, Jill Tiongco brings a fresh perspective to the always-evolving industry. Having worked as a graphic designer for the past two years, Tiongco combines her passion for design with the art of capturing that special moment with just one click. Born in Elmhurst, IL, Tiongco grew up playing sports and loving music. It wasn’t until her time at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, that she discovered her love for the arts and creativity. In 2008, Tiongco graduated with a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology, and began her journey into the professional work force. 5

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


CHICAGO PHOTOGAPHER

JILL TIONGCO

T

iongco worked as a Junior Copywriter at various marketing and advertising agencies before starting her own freelance company that specializes in copywriting as well as graphic design. For the past two years, Tiongco has continued her freelance work, as well as held a fulltime position as a Graphic/Web Designer. Learning a little bit about digital photography from a few friends, Tiongco decided to make the investment and purchase a digital SLR camera. She knew she always loved taking pictures, but finally being able to take high quality, professional style photographs was it—Tiongco knew she had to add professional photography to her repertoire.

INTERVIEW BY :

RUTH OMANYA

Diving in head first, Tiongco’s first professional job was an engagement reception of over 200 guests, including a personal engagement photo shoot with the couple. This is where it all began for Tiongco, and Ms. Tiongco is so thankful to the Matthew’s couple for taking a chance on a new photographer. Since then, Tiongco has photographed families, other married couples, friends, and events. She plans to continue learning more about photography and hopefully expanding her business one day.

Pages 9 & 10 PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

6


CHICAGO PHOTOGAPHER

JILL TIONGCO

I never really thought about getting an SLR until I saw my older brother, Jake, and sister-in-law’s camera. After seeing them take beautiful photos with their camera, I decided I wanted to try. I took a few shots on their camera and LOVED it. I knew I had to get my own. I also learned a lot from the couple that I photographed in Mexico. They also had an SLR before me and were very helpful with tips and answering any questions I had.

JILL: Oh jeez, just 3?? Hmm… Adventurous. Energetic. Creative.

RUTH: Who or what inspired you to get into photography?

JILL: I’ve always been interested in photography, but it wasn’t until I saw my brother’s and co-workers’ SLR camera that I realized I could actually be a photographer. So I bought my camera and some lenses, did some research on how to use it, and have been learning ever since. I still have so much to learn, but I know what I like, what I think looks good, and I think I have a distinctive style that I hope continues to improve.

RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. 7

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

RUTH: How would you describe your experience during your recent Mexico wedding photo shoot?

RUTH: In three words, describe your photography.

JILL: Artistic. Candid. Interesting.

RUTH: What drives you?

JILL: The finished product. After the shoot and all the editing/ retouching, I love looking at the finished photographs. I could look at them for hours. I do, actually! And I love getting feedback from people. Hearing what they have to say and seeing their reactions to a photograph make all the hours worth it.

JILL: It was a blast! It was a very small wedding, and everyone was so great about posing for photos, and it was on a beach – it doesn’t get much better than that! The private shoot with the couple was a lot of fun, too. We shot for about 4 hours along different spots along the beach and in the resort, so we got a lot of shots. It was a major learning experience and the couple was very helpful.

RUTH: How is life in Illinois as a photographer?

JILL: Life in Illinois is great as a PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


photographer. Now that we’ve had some good weather it’s starting to get a little easier, but I like to travel so I get to photograph a lot of different locations.

RUTH: What was the most challenging aspect of your Mexico wedding photo shoot?

JILL: Hmm… in that moment, it was probably the heat. It was about 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, which was beautiful for all the guests, but as the photographer I was running around, crouching down, trying to get every shot, so needless to say I worked up a sweat! And it was in the sand so my legs were a little bit sore the next day! But after the fact, I’d have to say the editing process was a little tedious because while we were in Mexico we got attacked by a billion mosquitos on the beach, so the bride and groom’s legs were covered with insect bites. Removing those probably took the longest and was the biggest obstacle.

RUTH: What was your most memorable experience during the Mexico wedding photo shoot?

JILL: I guess it was just a big learning experience. I remember in the morning taking pictures of the bride and groom getting dressed. They were both preparing in separate buildings that were on opposite sides of the resort, so I just remembered running back and forth trying to get pictures of them. I guess I never realized how hard photographers work behind the scenes before the wedding even starts— and how heavy the camera is!

RUTH: How did you prepare for the shoot as far as travel is concerned? Was your client responsible for your travel expenses or did you pay your way to destination?

JILL: The client arranged for my travel plans, and I was only partially responsible for the payment since I had 3 out of the 4 days to relax, and only photographed them on the actual wedding day.

RUTH: What advice can you give to aspiring photographers out there?

JILL: Oh wow, I’m still aspiring myself! But I guess just do a lot of research. Look around at other photographers and see what’s out there. Doing that has really helped me get a sense of what I like, what I don’t like, and what I want to aim for. I think there are always new techniques and styles that we, as photographers, should always continue to learn and strive to improve.

RUTH: If you had to make a wish to photograph someone famous, who would that be?

JILL: I’d love to do a big sporting event maybe be at the next Olympics right in the action!

RUTH: What projects are you currently working on?

JILL: I just did a nature shoot in Denver that I have to edit. I also have a 6-month baby boy shoot, a pregnancy shoot, and a newborn shoot all coming up soon – I can’t wait!

RUTH: Where can fans connect with you?

JILL: Check out my work at www.jilltiongco.com Or “Like” my Facebook Page.

RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as a photographer?

JILL: Hopefully I’ll have built my portfolio up a lot more. I want to have a wide variety of types of photo shoots in my book, and have worked with clients of all ages. Basically, I just want to have more experience, have improved as a photographer and business manager, and learned from any mishaps on the way.

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

INTERVIEW BY :

RUTH OMANYA

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

8


CURT & NATALIA A DESTINATION WEDDING STORY

9

Their love blossomed from myspace.com!

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

10


I

n 2006, they met on myspace.com of all places. Curt's good friend Mustafa had them both on his top 9 friends list. Curt inquired about who Natalia was. He said that Natalia is super hot and used to hang out with his younger brother Bilal. Natalia also saw Curt on Mustafa's myspace friends list and was attracted to him at first sight. Curt found Natalia on an Indian dating website called ratedesi.com and took that as a sign and decided to message her. About 2 weeks later Natalia messaged Curt back. Curt asked Natalia out and so began a whirlwind love affair. They moved in together within a month. Their first date was a rollerblading excursion in downtown Chicago along lake Michigan. They have been inseparable since they met. Most of their free time has been spent together. Besides going to school and work, they would go on picnics, stay up late watching Curt's large collection of movies, or go to Mustafa's pool together on a motorcycle. 11

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

During the first year they went on a trip to Colorado where they trailered a motorcycle and rode it together for 1,000 miles over 5 days with just a pack on the bike while the car remained at a hotel for the duration. Curt was in his first year of pharmacy school at Midwestern's "Chicago College of Pharmacy" when they met, and Natalia was in her 2nd year of school for multimedia and web design where she received a Bachelor of Arts at the International Academy of Design and Technology in August 2009. Curt graduated early and received his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in September 2008. Curt works as a full-time clinical pharmacist at a hospital. Natalia works as a full-time web designer. They purchased a house together in early 2009. Curt proposed on Christmas Eve 2009. Curt gave Natalia diamond earrings as a Christmas present, and while she was putting them on PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

CURT & NATALIA’S DESTINATION WEDDING he was getting ready to propose with a temporary diamond ring to match. Natalia had tears of joy in her eyes when she said yes, and it was all caught on video. It was perfect! The whole family was there to celebrate. They never talked about getting married before, and so they went shopping online for an engagement ring soon after. They set their wedding date for 12.11.10 simply for its cool number sequence. Natalia has always wanted a wedding on a white sandy beach, so a destination wedding was inevitable. Curt's sister Becky also got married on a beach in Jamaica so she gave them advice on how it all works. They spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews of all the wedding hot spots, and in the end decided on Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa in Mexico. It was recently built. It was an all- inclusive luxury resort with a lot of flexibility with the ceremony spots and reception areas.


The “Dreams Wedding In Paradise” package was complimentary with the booking of 5 rooms. The package included a wedding planner that helped them coordinate everything as soon as they got there, the service of a justice of the peace, a bride's bouquet and boutonniere for the groom, a honeymoon suite and turn down service at night. The complimentary wedding cake and champagne, which was meant to serve 10, easily served all 15 guests, as well as the bride and groom. They chose to get married right on the beach. The wedding coordinator arranged the chairs and fixed the green bows to them which Natalia brought from home. The coordinator spent approximately 10 hours helping the couple plan. This was done during their stay. No planning was done until the day they actually arrived at the resort besides the things brought from home. Natalia also brought all the table decorations and engraved rocks as wedding favors for the guests. She also brought the best wedding photographer from home, Jill Tiongco, to document her and her

soon-to-be-husband’s special day. Jill took photographs of everything, starting from getting the bride’s hair dressing to the very last dance at the reception and even followed them to their honeymoon suite to take photos of the rose petals arranged in a heart shape on the floor. Overall this resort was ideal since they were trying to be cost conscious for their guests, but wanted a beautiful place for their wedding. The weather in Mexico in December was perfect and outside of hurricane season, yet still discounted similar to hurricane season prices. We are so pleased with the way the pictures turned out and would highly recommend Jill's photography services to anyone. The quality of her photos are far superior to anything that we've ever seen.

We are so pleased with the way the pictures turned out and would highly recommend Jill's photography services to anyone. The quality of her photos are far superior to anything that we've ever seen.—Natalia & Curt

Jill took 3 hours in between the ceremony and reception to take posed shots of us on the beach and throughout the resort. We feel that these shots were worthwhile and made our day even more special. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

12


INTERVIEW BY :

RUTH OMANYA

RUTH: Curt, in three words, describe who you are.

CURT: Driven, passionate, entertaining.

RUTH: Natalia, in three words, describe who you are.

NATALIA: Artistic, peaceful, fun.

RUTH: In three words, describe your wedding day.

NATALIA: Royal, serene, intimate.

RUTH: How did Curt propose?

NATALIA: Curt is so spontaneous and loves surprising me, so naturally he surprised me with an engagement ring and proposed to me on Christmas Eve with my whole family watching while we were opening presents. We had never really talked about getting married before, so I had happy tears.

RUTH: Why did you choose to have your wedding in Mexico?

CURT: We wanted to do something intimate since Natalia’s entire extended family lives in Poland and probably would not be making it. The white sandy beach and the ocean was calling us, so a destination wedding was inevitable. Everyone was due for a vacation anyway. 13

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


We chose to get married at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa because it was a newly built, all-inclusive resort, they had affordable rates for out guests, and a lot of good reviews online, not to mention very flexible with customizing our wedding to exactly what we wanted.

RUTH: How would you describe the experience of your wedding day in Mexico?

NATALIA: It was like a dream. The weather turned out to be perfect and we happened to be the only couple getting married on that day so we had our pick of the ceremony and reception spots.

RUTH: How was it like working with photographer Jill Tiongco on your wedding day?

NATALIA: Jill was great! She really captured the feel, mood, and pacing of the wedding festivities. She shot everything from getting ready in the morning to strolling to our romantic

CURT & NATALIA’S DESTINATION WEDDING wedding suite after it was over. She was dedicated to getting not only documentation of the event, but also to delivering artistic images utilizing all that the tropical resort had to offer.

RUTH: What was the most challenging aspect of your Mexico wedding?

NATALIA: The most challenging was deciding that we were inviting immediate family, not extended family members. We would have loved for everyone to be there, but we wanted to keep the idea of a small, intimate, non-traditional wedding. We did not want a formal wedding transplanted into a tropical location. We did not want suits, ties, or shoes — just enjoying the beach and each other. We wanted something refreshing, casual, and different. A wedding filled with our ideas of what we envisioned as the perfect tropical wedding. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

RUTH: What was your most memorable experience during your Mexico wedding?

NATALIA: It was the euphoric feeling of our wedding day actually happening only a few feet from the ocean on the warm, white, sandy beach. Our bare feet and white laidback clothing. The tall, red king and queen chairs for the two of us at the head of the table that the wedding coordinator surprised us with. The wonderful friends and family that we are so lucky have that shared the day with us.

RUTH: How did you prepare for the destination wedding as far as travel, inviting guests, and family was concerned?

NATALIA: We spent a lot of time writing down flight information, doing research on weather and being outside of the hurricane season, and working with available dates from the resort for our wedding ceremony.

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

14


Then we called all of our guests to inform

them about our wedding plans and research. We

did not send out formal wedding invitations.

15

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

16


RUTH: What advice can you give to new brides and grooms?

CURT & NATALIA: Never take each other for granted. Give each other the respect and courtesy of a new acquaintance and you will quell a great many problems.

17

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

18


RUTH: How many guests did you have at your destination wedding in Mexico?

CURT: We had a total of 15 guests.

RUTH: What was your budget?

CURT: In total, it was about $4,500. This included the resort stay and flight package for 7 nights for the two of us, the reception for 17 people and the flower centerpiece for the table, other things like photographer, clothes, bringing in our own music player, and decorations for the table. Natalia sewed her own dress so the material costs added up to only about $200.

19

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

NATALIA: It was really inexpensive because the resort had a free Wedding in Paradise package with the booking of 5 guests or more. The package included a wedding planner that helped us coordinate everything as soon as we got there, the service of a justice of the peace, a bride's bouquet and boutonniere for the groom, a honeymoon suite and turn down service at night. We also stayed a few days longer than our guests for our honeymoon.

RUTH: If you had to change anything from the day, what would that be? CURT & NATALIA: We wouldn't change a thing. This day was so special to us and we will never forget or regret any of it. We feel so fortunate to have been able to get married in such an exquisite locale with family and friends. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

INTERVIEW BY :

RUTH OMANYA IMAGE BY TOM CAMACHO


EXPLORE + SELECT + APPLY WWW.IDEALUNIVERSITYUSA.COM


ROBYN BRUNS, OWNER OF RED LETTER EVENT PLANNING Robyn Bruns, owner and President of Red Letter Event Planning, planned her first party at 7 years old (with help from Mom). Since then she has expressed her passion for planning events by working for the State of Illinois and a public relations firm. She holds the Accredited Bridal Consultant designation from the Association of Bridal Consultants. Robyn has been recognized as an expert and quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Smartmoney, Shore Magazine, and ChicagoStyle Weddings among other publications, both in print and online. Since 2005, Red Letter events have taken place in mansions, hip art galleries, elegant ballrooms, historic barns, on top of the John Hancock Center, and even on the waters of Lake Michigan. 21

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


R

ed Letter Event Planning adheres to the Association of Bridal Consultants code of ethics and does not receive any referral fees or commissions from vendors. When she isn’t busy planning weddings or other personal events, Robyn enjoys cooking, traveling with her husband, and playing with her dog, Snickers. Red Letter Event Planning Background: Red Letter Event Planning (RLEP), a boutique wedding and event planning firm, was founded in 2005 and is based in Glenview, Illinois. Red Letter Event Planning was started with the mission of creating weddings and events that fit our client’s personality and lifestyle. My path to event planning started at the Illinois Lt. Governor’s Office

where I worked right after college for the Illinois Main Street program. In my role at the Lt. Governor’s Office I coordinated regional and statewide conferences for municipalities. I left the Lt. Governor’s Office to work at a Public Relations firm and pursue my Masters in Public Administration.

distances may be short between locations, the traffic needs to be accounted for, and usually adds double the time it takes to get anywhere. Although I was jet lagged, it was an exhilarating experience to see my event plans come together and create a wonderful experience for all the attendees.

I realized while at the PR firm that event planning was a true passion for me when I was charged with planning a week long international conference. I was in charge of all the business and social event planning for a weeklong conference involving over 24 senior level executives. The conference was in London, so much of the planning was long distance. However, I got to fly out 3 days before the conference. This was a lesson in thinking on your feet. The conference rooms in pictures look different than conference rooms in person, so I had to troubleshoot some space issues. Also in London, even though

After this meeting I knew event planning was the career path that would make me excited to go to work every day. I stayed with the PR firm another 2 years and then went out on my own to start Red Letter Event Planning. The name Red Letter Event Planning refers to a Red Letter Day which is defined as an occasion that is memorable, noteworthy, and happy.

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

At first I thought the company would be focused on corporate event planning as that was my background, but I also was intrigued by the wedding market. I did some research and realized that wedding planning would not only allow me to plan a great event EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

22


but also be a part of someone’s most important day of their life, which was hugely satisfactory. My first client was a former colleague from the PR firm. It really was a great way to get my feet wet in the wedding world. After that first wedding, Red Letter Event Planning has never looked back. Our business is now 80% weddings and 20% other social events.

When I work with a client I really want to understand their vision. It needs

23

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

I like to call it wedding planning done your way. I see my role as an advisor and organizer. The best compliment I can get is when a guest walks into a reception and says this wedding is so (insert Bride and Groom’s name) - that puts a huge smile on my face! I also see my role as the director of the event and that the other vendors are my collaborators. We are all working toward the same goal, realizing the client’s vision for the event. There is nothing more exciting than working with amazing vendors and seeing all the plans fall into place.

INTERVIEW BY : RUTH OMANYA

IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI

One of the first things I did when I knew the business was going to do wedding planning was joining the Association of Bridal Consultants. I took classes to become a Professional Bridal Consultant and last year I received the Accredited Bridal Consultant designation, one of 7 in Illinois and fewer than 50 worldwide to hold this designation. Being a member of ABC has been a huge benefit to my career as I have gotten to meet some great fellow planners and amazing vendors, as well as participate in continuing education for the industry. In addition to ABC, I also regularly keep up wedding, entertaining, and design blogs. My favorites can be found on the Red Letter Event Planning blog. I find creativity and inspiration can come from anywhere. I was recently in Colorado and was really intrigued by the colors of rugged red rock, pine green, and wide open blue sky. While on paper you may not combine all of these colors, when you see it in nature it looks so beautiful. If nature can combine them, then you can make it work for a color palette!

to reflect who they are.

RUTH: Describe your sevenyear journey with Red Letter Event Planning. ROBYN: It has been so much fun getting to know some really great vendors and having the best clients. Every wedding and event that I have planned has left an imprint on me. Weddings have changed in the last few years due to the mood of the country and economy. Guest lists are smaller, but details are more important. It isn’t so much about how big and extravagant it can be, but more about refined guest experiences making the wedding more personal and memorable.


Over the last seven years there have been many challenges along the way that have helped me become a better event planner and person. It has been quite a journey.

describe your work.

RUTH: Describe the experience on some of the memorable venues that Red Letter Event Planning has taken place.

ROBYN: Organized, thoughtful, & witty.

ROBYN: Every venue is memorable in its own way, and the reason my clients chose them for their wedding or event is unique. However, the most memorable for me was a barn in downstate Illinois that literally was transformed into a rustic ballroom. Myself and over 15 assistants put the chic into that barn over a 2-day period. Also it is hard to beat horses making the rounds during the cocktail hour. Another great venue was a wedding and reception I did on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan. The wedding had a “destination wedding” feel even though we were only miles from the center of the city. I was also privileged to plan a beautiful wedding at the Charles M. Harper Center: an amazing, modern, event space on the University of Chicago campus that unfortunately no longer accepts private events. My client’s wedding was the one and only that was held there.

ROBYN: Creative, stylish, & accessible. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself.

RUTH: What drives you? ROBYN: My passion for my clients and making sure their event is everything they have envisioned. My husband - without his support and encouragement none of this would have been possible. RUTH: What are some important key points that prospective clients should know about you or Red Letter Event Planning? ROBYN: I will be your advocate during the planning process. My goal is to always make sure your best interests are always being looked out for. That is why I do not accept referral fees from vendors, and I pass on discounts whenever I can to my clients. I am here as a sounding board, shoulder to cry on, and mediator for those “sticky” family situations. I will do everything I can to make the wedding planning process fun for you and your fiancée. I also LOVE to attend cake tastings (wink). RUTH: What has been your biggest success or achievement in the recent years?

RUTH: In three words, PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

24


ROBYN: Just starting a business is very hard work and it is easy to go astray in this saturated wedding market place. Because I have stayed true to my mission statement of creating memorable and noteworthy occasions that fit my client’s personality and lifestyle, the business is what I envisioned originally and has found its niche. Personally, my biggest achievement has been receiving the Accredited Bridal Consultant designation from the Association of Bridal Consultants. This designation is held by less than 50 consultants nationwide. RUTH: How did those successes or achievements change your life or your business? ROBYN: They have not changed the business; instead they have helped me focus on the business, on who I am, and what kind of clients work best for us. Our best clients are ones that know

25

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

who they are and what kind of wedding or event they want and rely on our expertise to find the right vendors and ideas to create it. RUTH: Are there any obstacles, struggles, or challenges you have faced in your career as an event planner? ROBYN: The biggest challenge is maintaining a work life balance as your business can quickly become your life. It is easy to be on the computer or Iphone non-stop responding to clients, vendors, writing blog posts, etc. which is not healthy nor productive in the end. I make sure to carve time out of the week just for me, even if it means reading a few chapters on my Kindle. And unless I have a wedding or rehearsal, Friday night is always date night with my husband. This year I took a summer vacation, which I had not done in over 4 years. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

Usually vacations have been only in the winter because that is my slow time. It was great having a nice break from the hectic pace of the wedding season. RUTH: What advice can you give aspiring event planners out there? ROBYN: Learn about the industry as a whole. Consider interning or apprenticing with an established planner before you go out on your own. Join industry groups like ABC, ISES, and local networking groups. If you do go out on your own, take some small business courses. The SCORE workshops are great. Remember, this business is service-focused. Clients are not a nuisance nor a means to a paycheck; they are the reason we are in business and good customer service goes a long way. One last piece of advice is when doing an event set up, wear old clothes that can get dirty, torn, and ruined. Change into your


clothes when you are done with set up. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as an event planner? ROBYN: The path is pretty straightforward. I will continue to grow the business especially in the northern Chicago suburbs. Ideally I would love to have a staff person that works with city clients, and I would focus on the suburbs . That is the long term business plan. However, I know life can throw curve balls and you have to be flexible for whatever challenges and opportunities are presented. I know event planning will always be a part of my life. Although, when I am 80, I will be the one organizing the monthly mixers at the retirement home! RUTH: If you had to make a wish to plan a famous person’s wedding, whose would it be?

ROBYN: I know this is going to sound cliché but I would have loved to have planned Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding. Not because it was a worldwide spectacle but because they really are the type of couple I love to work with: mature, they know who they are, and they’re obviously in love. Also, their wedding truly did reflect who they are, and there were so many meaningful touches, like the flowers in Kate’s bouquet, the ceremony trees that were replanted, and even the fun after-party with wardrobe changes. They would have been my ideal clients. RUTH: What projects are you currently working on?

meeting with potential clients, and planning weddings for 2012. Also I recently took cooking classes so I am practicing as much as I can in the kitchen! RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? ROBYN: We are on twitter @RedLetterEvent, Facebook.com/ RedLetterEventPlanning and our blog is www.RedLetterEventPlanning.com/ blog I am also on Google+ at Robyn Bruns, but that is a work in process as the application is still new to me. I also welcome emails at: Robyn@RedLetterEventPlanning.co m

ROBYN: Currently I am planning some end of summer weddings, an enchanted garden birthday party on Labor Day weekend, a photo shoot for Wedding Guide Chicago, PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

26


PORTFOLIO FUSION Magazine celebrating the works of individuals in the arts!

WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

Subscribe to

FREE Digital Magazine

At www.portfoliofusionmagazine.com


DJ

SYE YOUNG

o

ver the last seven years, DJ Sye Young has transformed his intertwined passions for music and entertaining from a simple hobby into a prolific career. While rocking crowds of five hundred or more, Sye has worked his talents to perfection. Now, as one of Chicago’s imminent nightlife connoisseurs, DJ Sye Young has procured an immense following throughout the Midwest. But it doesn’t stop there... DJ Sye Young has flown around the world to spin some of the most exotic nightlife locations in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Jamaica, Cancun, and a myriad of others. He has performed for notable names such as Akon, Kings of Leon, Good Charlotte, Plain White T’s, Nick Cannon, and DJ Jazzy Jeff to name a few.

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

28


RUTH: Who or what inspired you to become a DJ? SYE: My uncle John Taylor first inspired me as a boy growing up in Jamaica. When I was young I use to sneak away and secretly play with his turn tables. Two more well known influences are DJ Flipside and DJ Speed. Just seeing them rock a crowd and them having fun... I knew that was something I wanted and could do. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. SYE: Social, loving, & thoughtful. RUTH: In three words, describe your work. SYE: Unprecedented, high energy, & edgy. RUTH: What drives you? SYE: The single thing that drives me is that I strive to one day be heard by the world. RUTH: In what city or state are you based, and how is life as a DJ there? SYE: I currently live in Chicago. Life as a DJ here is good. I was voted one of Chicago's top five DJs by Scenes Magazine in 2010. Every week I am busy doing corporate and private events, and Chicago is THE place to be in the Midwest. Armed with a highly eclectic music library, Sye’s style can only be described one way…unprecedented. There is no genre or stylistic influence left untouched by Sye’s nimble fingers, which unfalteringly reel in audiences with every successive beat. His pure talent coupled with an engaging, larger-thanlife persona makes Sye not only an outstanding performer, but his memorable and exciting personality traits have also earned him the backing of worldwide fashion leader Ford Models.

He regularly travels the country spinning special events produced by top nightclubs, restaurants, and international companies. Born Carlington Young, Sye was born in Jamaica and came to the United States when he was eight years old. Moving to a new country was a difficult transition for Sye, and he soon discovered hip hop music after hearing his uncle, a successful reggae dance hall DJ, perform. The music became a source of comfort to his new surroundings and eventually his passion. www.syeyoung.com

DJ Sye Young has been based in Chicago and as held down residences at some of the most prestigious clubs and lounges in the Windy City. 29

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

RUTH: What is the most challenging aspect of your work? SYE: The most challenging aspect of being a DJ is the challenge of having to be more than just a DJ. DJs aren't just DJs anymore. You have to market yourself through the press and social networks, and you have to set yourself apart from the rest. RUTH: What was your most memorable experience during your work? SYE: DJ’ing in Vegas at the Reno Hotel, and seeing over 400 people gravitating towards me with smiles on their faces and hands in the air. That was a rush that is just inexplicable.


RUTH: What events do you primarily specialize your DJ work, and does it extend to weddings and parties or strictly clubs? SYE: I don't limit myself to one particular setting. The fact that I am an open format DJ helps me to bring the club to the events. Being able to mix the club vibe and a private party vibe brings the energy level up so much more. RUTH: What advice can you give to aspiring DJs out there? SYE: Don't think about DJ’ing as playing records—think about it as making music with music. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 35 years from now as far as growth as a DJ? SYE: DJ’ing more in Vegas, Los Angeles, and other markets all over the world. Producing a lot more tracks than I am doing today. Ultimately, building the Sye Young brand and relationships with others in the industry. RUTH: If you had to make a wish to DJ at a famous person’s event/party, whose would it be? SYE: P. Diddy. Every time I see or hear about one of his parties they're always off the chain. I've always admired his work and would love to meet him someday. RUTH: What projects are you currently working on? SYE: I'm currently working on The Hangover 2 Mix Tape, with an artist from New York named Anthem. You can download the first Hangover Mix Tape at Djsyeyoung.com or from my Soundcloud page. IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI

RUTH: Where can fans connect with you? SYE: People can contact me through Twitter @Djsyeyoung, on facebook at facebook.com/djsyeyoung, through my website Djsyeyoung.com. Mixes can be downloaded from soundcloud.com/ dj-sye-young (or my website), and you can get in touch with me directly by email at djsyeyoung@gmail.com

INTERVIEW BY : RUTH OMANYA

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

30


SERVING:

MONTGOMERY + OSWEGO + AURORA, ILLINOIS

WWW.K9STROLLS.COM


…a job you enjoy really isn’t a job at all.

I never knew what I wanted to be. If anyone would have asked me what my goal in life was back in my high school years, I would have laughed and shrugged my shoulders. It wasn’t like I was lazy and didn’t care if I pushed a fryer all day long at McDonald’s (because that would be awesome). I was just waiting for it to smack me in the face. I look back now and think… “that was stupid, but it worked.” Everyone was getting accepted into law schools and engineering internships. They had a plan they knew would work because daddy did it too. I had a great auto shop teacher that got me into cars. After graduating, that turned into getting a job at an auto mechanics shop. It was great. My hands were always greasy getting cuts and bruises. We’d crack a beer after the front was locked up and talk about ‘manly’ things. I’m not going to lie. My aims were always high…work hard, play later, and I did. I worked for almost 3 years getting my certifications as a mechanic. Life was great. Then something unexpected happened. I loved what I was doing but didn’t feel complete. “What was I missing?” I had money saved up, a girlfriend, good family and friends. Maybe I was just kidding myself.

KYLE MURPHY PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

I can remember sitting in the backyard of my cousin’s house during a 3 yr old’s birthday party. Children of all ages were yelling, screaming, and chasing each other. The sun was shining and smiles were gleaming. I thought to myself, “This memory needs to be remembered. Don’t forget this moment.” The next day I purchased my first Digital SLR. EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

32


My camera was attached to my hip everywhere I went. I began seeing things in a different way, categorizing as I photographed. I was out to capture life as I saw it. My future took a turn…for the best. My mother’s side of the family is enormous. She had 3 other siblings, not including herself (so four total). One can imagine the multitude of children over the years. I was engulfed in birthdays, funerals, holidays, and family get-togethers of all types. Photographing memories for others to cherish… cry...remember. No matter the subject, I was there to make it something more. More than just a leaf on the ground. More than a bird perched on a fence. It was as addictive as heroin (I’ve never done that, but you get the point). It was weird. Looking at a photograph of someone

KNMPORTRAITS.COM

33

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

KYLE MURPHY A CHICAGO PHOTOGRAPHER

smiling at their cake as if it was happening right in front of me. “I caught that,” I said. Shooting weddings is my passion, but it’s not my only passion. It’s one thing that “pays the bills” let’s say. Capturing the way a groom looks when his bride first walks down the aisle. It’s like filling your eyes with magic every time you look at it. You just can’t put a price on that…ever. I try to get my hands on as much as I can. Whether it’s food, children, seniors, sports, pets, or boudoirs. I enjoy just about everything that’s put in front of me. It’s not a challenge, its love. To this day, I still look at a photograph the same way: “I captured that.”


RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. KYLE: Spontaneous, creative, & charismatic. IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI

RUTH: In 3 words, describe your photography. KYLE: Candid, timeless, & diverse. RUTH: What drives you? KYLE: My love for photography drives me. Having the talent to capture an image, moment, or memory, and give that to someone as a gift to have forever is a pretty incredible feeling for me. I love making people happy. I love being able to save a moment in time to cherish forever. Not a lot of people have the luxury of being able to do that for others, so I feel pretty lucky. RUTH: What is the most challenging aspect of your work? KYLE: To be honest, my job isn't incredibly hard. Taking photos is like another appendage. For me, it's natural. The physical act of taking pictures, editing them, etc. isn't difficult. It can be challenging getting the ones in the picture to cooperate. Some kids decide to throw a temper and run away or go down the slide backwards, so it's impossible to get a picture of their face. At weddings, the guests crowd the bride and groom or step into the frame to take the same picture you are taking with their own camera. It takes patience, that’s for sure, but I enjoy what I do too much to say it's hard. I heard a quote a long time ago that has stuck with me "a job you enjoy isn't a job at all." PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

INTERVIEW BY : RUTH OMANYA

“I try to get my hands on

as much as I can. Whether it’s food, children, seniors, sports, pets, or boudoirs. I enjoy just about everything that’s put in front of me. It’s not a challenge, its

love.

- Kyle Murphy

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

34


RUTH: What has been your most memorable experience? KYLE: There are two that rock my world. One was assisting a photo shoot with Joe McNally. In my opinion he is one of the most brilliant photographers, and my friend (who was his model for the shoot) asked him if I could assist. The shoot was in an abandoned power plant, and I helped with lighting, strobes, gels, and videography of the shoot for his online class to view. Otherwise I was just watching. It was incredible! I learned so much in those few hours. I hope I get to be a "Joe McNally" to someone someday. The other was getting introduced to the infamous Chris Usher. He's an amazing photojournalist that lives in D.C. and photographs the president. Flying on Air Force One was an everyday walk in the park for this guy. Since then he’s been a dear and close friend that (when I visit) inspires and gives the best advice any photographer could ever dream of. RUTH: What advice do you have for aspiring photographers? 36

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

KYLE: If you're aspiring to shoot for more than just a hobby, don't shoot on anything other than manual mode. There's no faster way to learn the ways of the camera for its entirety than forcing yourself. Go out night and day and shoot- shootshoot. As I like to say "learn by messing up.” Also, always back up your back up's back up. I learned that one the hard way. You can never save a shoot in too many places. If you've got the cash, use a new memory card for every shoot. Additionally, don't ever let anyone talk you out of what you really want to do. If you want to be a photographer, be a photographer. It's not corporate; it's not a guaranteed paycheck; there are no health benefits. But if it's what makes you happy, you'll never regret it. Be yourself too. Whenever I sit down with an engaged couple and I’m trying to "sell" the job, all I’m doing is being myself. Yes, first impressions are everything, but I’m not going to put on some Armani suit and tell them what I 'think' they want to hear. If they don't like me...it won’t work. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

They have to want your product as well as your personality. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 35 years? KYLE: Doing the same thing but better. There is always more to learn, more to improve on, new technology to use to store images, edit photos, newer, better cameras, lenses, etc. I could go on and on, but that's why I love it. There is always new stuff to geek out about! RUTH: If you could photograph any famous person who would it be? KYLE: I don't really have any famous person in particular I'd like to shoot. I already love what I do, it doesn't matter who I am shooting. No one to me is any more or less important or fascinating. They all have a different way of portraying themselves in front of the lens. Every shoot is different, and I learn from each and every experience. That's what drives me.— not how famous my subject is. RUTH: What projects are you currently working on?


KYLE: Well, it’s summer, and that is the busiest time of the year! Shooting a lot of childrens’ portrait sessions and family portrait sessions in between weddings, so my project is pretty much just playing catch up! RUTH: How can fans connect with you? KYLE: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ pages/Kyle-MurphyPhotography/125327587518804 Blog: http://knmportraits.blogspot.com/ Website: www.knmportraits.com Email: knmportraits@gmail.com

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

36


WWW.SAMARITANSOFHOPE.ORG A Ruth Omanya Foundation for Orphans In Loving Memory of her late parents, brothers, and sisters, and her orphaned nephews and nieces.


10/12 Chiltern Street London W1U7PX www.johanna-hehir.co.uk

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

38


CLEAN

WILLOW

Johanna Hehir has established herself over the past ten years as one of London's leading bridal designers. Her signature style is clean, unfussy, classic cuts with romantic detailing utilizing the best quality European silks and laces. Johanna is recognized as one of the UK's most innovative and talented designers and her collections reflect the ever-changing nature of the bridal market and the varied tastes and venues of today's brides. She recently showed her new 2012 collection on the catwalk at the new international White Gallery Bridal Fair in London and wowed the press with her fresh, innovative designs, which perfectly capture the "modern classic" aesthetic to which today's brides aspire.

JENNIFER

Johanna Hehir offers a well-marketed and diverse range of styles, which are designed to appeal to most tastes and budgets, from her central London salon in Marylebone. She is now stocked by a growing number of bridal retailers in both the UK and abroad with new international stockists in Greece, the Republic of Ireland, and as of this year, several Johanna Hehir designs are available at Kleinfeld, the most prestigious bridal store in New York City. For more information please contact sales@johanna-hehir.co.uk or phone 0044 (0) 2074862760 To view all her collections visit www.johanna-hehir.co.uk

UNFUSSY 39

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


VERITY

CLASSIC RUTH: How long have you been a designer? JOHANNA: I have been designer for just over 20 years now. RUTH: Why bridal fashion? JOHANNA: I love the fact that I am creating such an important dress for someone! RUTH: Describe your signature style. JOHANNA: When I design a new dress, I also cut the pattern; therefore I put a lot of thought into how my dresses are structured. This is why my designs are cut in such a way as to not only flatter but also support. RUTH: What inspired your clean, unfussy, and classic cut style? JOHANNA: My own love of simplicity. I am a great believer in the saying ‘less is more’. RUTH: How did your growth and recognition as one of U.K.’s most innovative and talented designer status evolve? JOHANNA: My reputation in London is built on excellent service teamed with an excellent product. We specialize in Britishmade dresses using the best European silks and laces. We receive a lot of fabulous feedback online and many of our customers come to us because we have designed a friend’s dress, so word of mouth is very important. RUTH: In three words, describe yourself. JOHANNA: Eclectic, creative, and enthusiastic. RUTH: What was your experience like at the new international White Gallery Bridal Fair in London? JOHANNA: We had a wonderful response at White Gallery, meeting new stockists and getting some great feedback on the new collection. RUTH: Describe your modern classic, esthetics, and how brides aspire to this innovative design.

ISLA

JOHANNA: Our brides are more interested in the contemporary, vintage styles, less of the more traditional A-line gown. the UK, and abroad. PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

40


RUTH: Are you looking to stock in more bridal retails in the U.S.? If so, what is your standard requirement for a qualified retailer? JOHANNA: Yes, we are keen to have more stockists around the U.S. as we get so many inquiries from brides there who are looking to find a Johanna Hehir dress in their area. We always try to build a great relationship with potential stockists and it is essential that they love my style as it will help them to sell the dresses. RUTH: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now as far as growth as a bridal fashion designer? JOHANNA: In 5 years time I hope to be stocked in more international boutiques and continuing to design great collections. RUTH: If you were to design a dress for one person, an icon, or someone famous, who would it be? JOHANNA: I love January Jones, from Mad Men, at the moment. She has a great sense of style and her look is very classic. RUTH: What is new for Johanna Heir - any upcoming projects? JOHANNA: Yes, I’m working on a very exciting new range of dresses - but it is top secret at the moment so watch this space! RUTH: What advice would you give to aspiring designers out there? JOHANNA: Stay true to your own sense of style but remember that people want wearable, flattering cuts.

ARIANNE 41

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE


WILLOW

RUTH: What are some of the hot new trends in bridal fashion you can share with readers? JOHANNA: I am a big fan of the 70’s style dresses that are very popular at the moment – I love floaty, georgette skirts and bell sleeves like my Ophelia dress. RUTH: What general bridal fashion tips can you give to brides to be? JOHANNA: Try as many shapes as possible – even if you think you would never wear it. You might be pleasantly surprised! RUTH: Where can people find and buy your designs? JOHANNA: At my London flagship store in Marylebone or at one of my many stockists around.

IMAGE BY YAROMIR MLYNSKI

INTERVIEW BY : RUTH OMANYA

PORTFOLIO FUSION MAGAZINE

EVENT PLANNER ISSUE

42


PORTFOLIO FUSION Magazine celebrating the works of individuals in the arts!

WWW.PORTFOLIOFUSIONMAGAZINE.COM

Subscribe to

FREE Digital Magazine

At www.portfoliofusionmagazine.com


Portfolio Fusion Magazine ( Event Planner Issue, July/August 2011)