Anya Brill

Magical From Start to Finish!



Anya BrillAnya Brill’s first shoot with photographer Michael Shane Gordon turned out to be a day full of fun, friendship and creative collaboration. It also produced some of her all-time favorite shots.

Here’s the story behind the shoot…Anya Brill

I confess that I had no idea what to expect from this shoot, the first one I helped organize along with model Anya Brill. I had met Michael Shane Gordon through Twitter earlier in the year, while working with another client, and knew him to be a fashion photographer in New York City, where he lived at the time.


Michael Shane Gordon

Michael Shane GordonOut of the blue one day, I tweeted to Shane that if Anya or I were ever in New York we would be sure to look him up. He responded that he was currently in Austin. I was so excited! After hitting it off almost immediately, he agreed to do a shoot with Anya, even though he’d never met either of us in person, and it was officially on!  #SocialMediaWorks

Shane has worked in the world of both fashion and photojournalism, and has filmed TV in both Texas and New York. While in NYC, Shane did test shoots with models for Elite Model Management, and even worked with So You Think You Can Dance and Inside Edition. He currently films for our local Fox news station and has most recently been given the role of Director of Photography and Editor of a new show, Haunted Texas that will run nationally on PBS in the spring.


The Team!

After that, it was just a matter of putting a team together. My good friend, and sister-in-law, Amy Huebel, kindly opened up her beautiful home on South Congress to everyone, and it proved to be the perfect place for us all to congregate while Anya got her hair and makeup done.


Make-up: The Gorgeous Gertie

Gertie Murray was the first to arrive, and WOW, she really raised the bar high! Gertie, gorgeous enough herself to be a model, was all smiles and sweetness as she did what is probably my favorite make-up look EVER on Anya. I have come to really love Rae Cosmetics over the last year, since every single person I’ve met from there has been amazing, and Gertie didn’t disappoint!

Gertie is one of the lead makeup artists for Rae Cosmetics and has served as the head makeup artist for dozens of weddings and fashion shows all over central Texas. Some of the clients she has worked with include: Texas Country Music duo “The Rankin Twins”; A&E’s docudrama HEAVY Trainer, Britny Fowler; America’s Next Top Model finalist Hannah Jones; Austin Fashion Week; The Westin Domain Bridal Runway Show; Top Austin Model; many aspiring actors and models; dozens of happy brides and bridal parties.


Hair Extraordinaire: Andrea Wildcat Juarez

Andrea Wildcat Juarez was in charge of hair and produced my favorite hairstyle ever for Anya. Andrea works here in Austin with N Salon. She was great to work with and we loved the results! Andrea kept everyone laughing and at ease. She says:

“I’m a native Austinite who has been in and around the industry since 2000. I have learned what clients have come to expect from a high-end salon in Austin. I’ve been trained in color theory by board-certified colorist Angie Jones (N Salon). Additionally, I’ve been trained in the art of balayage, cutting technique, and styling by Niki Hayes (N Salon). Most recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to learn from Megan Martinez of Chaos Makeup Artist. She is such an inspiration with both my work and personal life.”

To sum it all up in one quote, “I find I’m most inspired by having my clients embrace their inner beauty and finding confidence in their new look that we’ve achieved together.”



Dawn Okoro- Assistant to the Photographer

Meeting Dawn was one of the biggest surprises of the shoot. She is Shane’s fiancé and had come along to help. It turns out that Dawn is not only a very sweet person, but a fantastic artist, and I’ve become quite a fan of her work (all links are in the credits at the end).

Dawn Okoro’s work is informed by the composition techniques used in fashion photography.  Using oil and acrylics on canvas or paper, she incorporates photography, collage, and ideas from popular culture.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from Texas Southern University.  Her work has been exhibited at RFA Gallery in Harlem, Texas Southern University Museum, Rice University, and the Texas Biennial.

The next time Dawn shows her work in any sort of exhibit, I’m going to let everyone know so we can all show up in support!


The Designer: Ciarla Bridal

Anya is a campaign model for Ciarla Bridal (pictured above modeling for them), and Jessica Ciarla was kind enough to let Anya borrow a designer dress for the shoot. It was the perfect dramatic touch that added that extra special look to every shot. I loved the one-shoulder design and how the gauzy draped fabric blew in the wind; it was very cinematic.


Last but not Least: Anya Brill

Anya is a very talented model and it’s been my privilege to work with her this year. Her career has officially exploded, and for me it was this first shoot where I really saw the extent of what she can do. Although her journey in modeling started when she was 13, this shoot was the first ‘real’ photo shoot I watched Anya do and WOW, she delivered! Enjoy:





Anya Brill
Anya BrillAnya Brill





Lake Travis Shoot

Photographer: Michael Shane Gordon

Assistant to the photographer: Dawn Okoro

Make-up: Gertie Murray

RAE Cosmetics:

Hair: Andrea Wildcat Juarez

Designer: Ciarla Bridal

Production help: Rebecca Price,

Thanks to: Brad and Stephanie Bogus, Adam Price, Amy Huebel

Video by Brad Bogus of Speak Social

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'Magical From Start to Finish!' has 1 comment

  1. December 17, 2011 @ 3:03 am Natalie H.

    Great post Rebecca!!! Georgous pictures of everyone!

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