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Styling the Stars

Styling the Stars
Local photographer Gina Weathersby moonlights as a makeup artist to get her clients – including Hollywood celebs – camera ready. Read on as she gives us the details about the glitz, glamour and real-life realities of this industry.
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Lights, camera, action! While these three words symbolize the beginning of a television or big screen production for many, few people know exactly how much work has gone into making this moment possible. That’s where someone like Gina Weathersby comes in. As a successful makeup artist/stylist in the local entertainment industry for over two decades, Weathersby understands the huge undertaking required to make an onscreen moment look absolutely perfect.

While working at the cosmetics counter of a department store during her high school years, Weathersby began to hone her makeup application skills. She had a natural love of fashion, and began to pursue another passion that would lend itself to her growing bag of tricks-photography. The three genres blended so well that Weathersby began to put together her own photography portfolio which continued to grow through her college years. Fast forward a few years and Weathersby found herself living in Cincinnati working at a photo studio, not at the longed for photography job, but as an assistant. One day, a makeup artist didn’t show up for an important shoot, Weathersby filled in, and a new career was launched. Within a year she was being sought after for major video shoots. A whole other world had opened up.

The average person might assume that film and photography makeup is no different than the products and techniques which the average consumer uses daily. However, on camera, even a natural makeup look requires professional formulations and application procedures which require special training and sometimes years to perfect. Weathersby describes it this way. “Each job is completely different and depends on whether it’s a still photography or on camera job. Bright lights wash out colors, and today’s high definition cameras have a huge impact. Stage makeup is completely different. It really depends on the genre. The heaviness of the application differs depending on what you’re shooting.” Even for a natural or no makeup look there is still a lot of expertise needed to convey that appearance.”
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Over the years, Weathersby has had the opportunity to continue her dream to become a successful photographer, and her business, Kiwi St. Studios is well known in the Cincinnati area for her unique, avant guard style. It is quite obvious that her keen, stylist’s eye comes into play with every portrait session. There are no traditional, stiffly posed photos allowed on Kiwi St. Only the whimsical, magical and dreamy need apply.

And while Weathersby is wildly in demand as a photographer, she is unhurried about giving up her carrier in the styling industry. “Each and every job and challenge is completely different and I really love the creativity. Also, I just adore the people I work with. I relish the collaboration process, and know that our production community in Cincinnati is truly unique. I think that’s why so many out of town productions are now drawn to this area. Besides the urban and rural diversity of our area and the tax incentives offered, huge production companies can look at previous projects that have been shot here and it’s clear that the job will be done right."

Weathersby is very clear to point out that it’s not all glitz and glamour. While she has worked on big budget Hollywood type productions with well-known celebrities, for the most part, the local scene relies heavily on corporate giants such as Procter & Gamble and Kroger. Also popular are the sports teams, non-profits and hospitals. Weathersby also states that all clients, whether celebrities or not are treated the same. “While it’s very exciting to work with celebrities, it’s more important to me to get the job done right, be professional, and have no ego.”


Ilene Ross -

Ilene Ross is a staff writer and the producer for the "Cincy Chic Show." E-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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