Friday, December 26, 2008
My computer died so I am using my brother's. Lame.
Here's to hoping the new year brings many more shoots, more creativity, a new direction, and some real work!
Happy Christmas everyone...
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I really, really want to be published about now.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
My goal upon entering photography was, besides having fun and creating beautiful art, to shoot high fashion advertisements and editorials for fashion magazines, eventually bringing me to go. I am well aware that I have a long way to go.
So in an attempt to inspire me in the right kind of way, I went to my local borders and picked up a few magazine. I picked up Bazaar and Vogue because they are the top magazines period and are set at my highest goal, and I also picked up Elle just because they had an interesting editorial. I decided to leave Nylon even though I'd love to shoot for them. Bazaar had a lovely editorial this month as well, but I decided to leave Vogue unopened until I got home because it was the one I most wanted to study. This month, Jennifer Aniston graced the cover of Vogue, though I must say she did this less than gracefully, as she also was recently featured in a nude shoot for GQ...which is, well, less than classy.
The article on Ms. Aniston went on to call her stupid things like a simple beautiful and said that her style is so chic and simple - basically nice ways of saying she is neither. Jennifer Aniston looks like a kindergarten teacher, which is why I suppose the article on her featured run-of-the-mill pictures of her with a dog, her on a wood porch, blah blah blah etc. etc. The editorials were totally uninspiring. In fact, the only thing that really struck me in the entire magazine was a Longchamp ad featuring Kate Moss, the one in the lower right corner.
Unlike most designer handbag ads, which generally feature a model either (a) topless and covering her breasts with the hangbag or (b) clothed and doing some high fashion pose with the handbag, the longchamp ad is actually just a beautiful picture. Together the ads work as an editorial, telling some kind of beautiful story, and in the end, the story and atmosphere are so beautiful, the bag becomes beautiful. Bravo guys.
Also in complete disregard to my so-called "break," I booked another shoot with model Bianca in between now and when our favorite MUA Jonathan comes back from his vacay. I'll be a low-stress shoot (hopefully), three changes and just around Fremont. I have requested Bianca just do her own basic make-up and she is okay with that, and I don't want to do any beauty shots so it won't quite matter. It will be a casual editorial in nature, kind of holiday-themed for an imaginary alternative teen magazine that must exist only in my head haha. I purchased a little dress from Anthropologie and a cute headband from H&M today and we're now good to go.
And on a totally unrelated note, I can't stop listening to "Kids" by MGMT...as well as watching this awesome unofficial video for it on youtube, haha.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Jonathan is happy with the shots though and there are enough for me to feel good about. Here are the best shots:
Regardless, we got some pretty good shots out of it, but only after being kicked out of Starbucks in the morning because Jonathan was hair spraying Crystal's hair. The people sitting directly near us didn't mind. In fact they seemed very interested, and an older woman sitting behind us was very sweet to us, though she was keeping Jonathan from his work. Someone must have complained though because they asked us to leave, and we compromised by going outside and working. This is definitely not the first time I have prepared for a shoot in a Starbucks but definitely the first we got kicked out. We then all drove over to our location, a super urban-y looking side of a building/parking lot. Jonathan commented that it, once again, smelled like piss, but fortunately there were far fewer cars going in and out than our last shoot with Hannah. Crystal is so good with her poses that we wrapped up our first change really fast. Jonathan commented it was his fastest first change ever, and it was my second. I ended up taking about 200 frames per change so we weren't slacking though.
We then went back to the car and stumbled across this tiny Swedish bakery. In downtown Hayward, can you believe it? We all got cookies which Crystal changed in the car and then the owners were nice enough to let us do the second look on their outside tables. Their pastries were delicious and they brought as samples as we worked. I liked the second change a lot more than the first. Crystal wore my white Michael Stars shirt, a chunky coin necklace I got from Hebron, Palestine, a silence + noise bandage skirt, leggs tights with intentional runs, and some payless shoes I borrowed from shaza. With what Jonathan did to her hair and make-up, she looked amazing.
We shot our second change on the side of another urban-y looking building with lots of bricks and bars. We attracted a bit more attention here, but it didn't bother us. Crystal kept bringing it with the poses and I again got about 200 frames before we called it quits. We were all ready to leave Hayward and it was only 2:30. Crystal went back to the pastry place to buy cookies and Jonathan and I went to Lucky to buy cheap make-up. Using me as a canvas, Jonathan found some nice things, and I did too, including a red lip gloss I gave to Sami and some lollipops I intend to use for my next shoot with Bianca. Then I drove Jonathan to the BART, and I was home really early, earlier than any other shoot day. I am trying to learn to shoot faster so I can get in more changes, but I have to admit that crystal made it easy by posing so well.
Speaking of Sami and Bianca! I went with Sami yesterday to an old train station in a part of my city I have never been to. It was awesome! I am going to use it for my shoot with Bianca, an upcoming editorial shoot which will also involve Jonathan. I am going with my unofficial assistant Sarah to check out some more locations tomorrow. I promise this will be something cool. I'm really intent on having good styling for this one since I feel like I pretty much lost my whole first look with Crystal due to bad styling. So Bianca, Sarah and I are hitting the mall sometimes soon to find the clothing. I also bought a few new shoes (for me) that I think may be useful for the shoot as well.
I'm also getting ready to buy my first ever leather-bound portfolio. I am thinking something colorful and cute. I am just so excited!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I have a shoot on Tuesday with the awesome MUA Jonathan and a visiting model Crystal. Crystal is a little short, but I love, love, love her look. We'll be shooting in the downtown area for an urban tone. I'll post as soon as I am done editing as you guys know.
I am also doing another shoot with the beautiful model Anamika and MUA Sinh with a more romantic theme to it. We're trying to plan a date right now.
And lastly, I am trying to figure out something for cute model Bianca right now. She has winter break soon so it is a short window of free-time for her, so I am trying to think of somethings good.
In the mean time, I am busy conjuring up more high-fashion-like, edgy shoots. There are a lot of ideas going on in my head, and when something definite comes out of it, I'll be back to shooting in no time.
I finally got an external hard-drive to back up all of my images and super large music collection, so I feel a lot safer now. The photos were also taking up a lot of space and my poor laptop and its hard drive was almost full. The external is 500G so it should hold me over for a long time. I have finally started my new HR job. It's not very many hours, and it's only $10 an hour, but it gives me something more to do per day and it brings in a little money. I am happy to have money at my disposal again to pay for styling and jonathan's BART. I bought my mom this game she had been wanting for a long time as well, as well as a few new things for me. It feels good to have my own money again. Also on my list of things to buy is a domain name for my photography, a leatherbound portfolio, fiberwig mascara, the my so-called life box set, cover-up and a medium format camera (probably a holga).
I also just got this lomo camera from Urban. I have yet to develop a roll, but i think this camera is awesome. i wanted that fisheye effect but don't want to buy a lens because it is just so esoteric and expensive. So I bought the urban version. I intend to have a lot of fun with it - I think it would be great for parties and street portraits, and photographing anything that is wide, or round, or both! One of my friends, Sami, went with me and bought the urban holga. We intend to start going on photo adventures together, and both of us are thinking of taking a class at a local community college on black and white photography so as to learn how to develop film. I mean, it's about time.
Sami and I are also working on another, really cool project, but you'll know about that in due time.
I also took a new self-portrait the other day. I thought it was about time I had a self-portrait with my camera. I like the way it came out:
On a totally random note, everyone needs to check out Editors, Electrelane (listen to "I Want To Be President"), and the Ferocious Few. These are three bands I have been listening to a lot lately. Also, if you go here, you can download Girl Talk's album "Feed the Animals" for just a donation.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My laptop has been acting up which means I need an external...fast, because I would pretty much die if I lost all of my photos. I also need a leather portfolio and I need to register my domain name. I think I'm almost to the point where I need these things. These are going to be costly :(. And I also need new shoes because I am woman :).
On another, happy note, I am starting a part-time HR job after thanksgiving, which should help pay for the shoots, external, porfolio, prints, domain name and shoes, heheh.
Today A friend of mine introduced me to a band photography who I feel instantly in love with. Her name is Wendy Lynch, and she is just amazing. Band photography is something I'd really like to get into but have yet to find a band that would let me shoot them (I'd even do it for TFCD). It's neat because it can be very conceptual.
Here are a few photos of hers that I liked and found inspiring. All of these photos are property Wendy Lynch, and I do not own them.
Also, I've finally got into editing the second changes from both the Queen's Daughter shoot with Hannah and my shoot with Anamika.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
My first and biggest influence is 19-year-old Lara Jade (official website/flickr). This photographer is so amazing - every image produces has a soft, beautiful quality too it. She does a bit of fantasy-fashion photography which has greatly affected me (as per my most recent photoshoot with Hannah and Jonathan), and is always trying to go outside the box and go beyond her own work. I think I have somewhat inherited this quality to my photos, and I look to her photos as pointers for composition, perspective, etc. I have studied her photos, in a way.
Lara Jade also has a very cool editing style, which I also think has influenced my editing style a lot.
The second photographer that has influenced me a lot is Dubai-based Asyha Abdulla (official website/flickr). Aysha is a little different in that her work primarily consists of beauty and portraiture rather than full-body fashion shots. Before I stumbled across her work, I had this idea that beauty/glamor photography was boring. But Aysha produces such amazing work that it became clear to me that taking a good beauty photograph is not stupid - in fact it takes a lot of skill and talent. I actually think that I have studied Aysha's work so much that beauty is now a stronger point for me than fashion...I would like them to be both strong points.
Thanks for teaching me everything I know about this, guys.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sinh doing some hair-fixing for Anamika between shots
Me helping Anamika get between the long grasses. The poor thing almost fell!
The lovely stylist, Jaime, and make-up artists, Sinh, chilling on the sidelines.
...and then frantically trying to get Anamika into the next change before the sun goes down all the way.
Me shooting Anamika in our second change
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Hooray for me, I am still unemployed, so all I can do it buy lipstick. Ya like? Me likie. And I like this fluorescent pink theme I have here.
So basically, this is it: I'm unemployed, I'm back in the shithole I grew up in, I have like four friends who live within a half hour from me, I'm bored as hell, and I've gained 8 pounds. Yay. Good thing I still have cute lipstick.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The stylist, Jaime, had an awesome collection of clothing as well as good taste. She didn't leave anything out either (she even matched jewelery to the outfits beforehand, which I admit I was not expecting). Anamika looked adorable in the dresses.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I decided on the park to use for the location today with my unofficial assistant Sarah Fozzy yesterday. It's located in Union City California. Here is a photo of the park. It's quite lovely.
And this is my excited looking unofficial assistant, hehe.
Wish us luck, despite the short shooting time!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The nice thing about having a stylist is that she saved me from having to do a lot more work. Hopefully these photos come out well. I'm excited...my portfolio has been building itself rather fast. I have started requesting pay from models that I don't have prior arrangement with, so far with no avail. I just cannot do TFCD anymore because it is costing me too much money in terms of preparation and gas. I really could use some money, and I think my photos have gotten good enough for me to ask for pay. The TFCD I do remains to be with people that voiced their interest while I was abroad in Egypt...besides the fact that they have first dibbs on me, I also appreciate them having believed in me before I started to get the little bit of attention I am getting. And I don't mind working with somewhat inexperienced models (totally inexperienced is a no). I like helping them, and if they give me good photos, they're helping me too.
Tomorrow I am going to scope out two places I have narrowed down as locations for our shoot on Friday. Wish me luck. Let's cross our fingers for some good weather on Friday as well.
I had a few problems with my film developing over at target for the Hannah shoot, so I took them somewhere else. Unfortunately, I won't get the images back until Saturday. Hopefully they will be up to par. The images I did get from target are sub-par, so I am going to have to go to target and argue with them. Hopefully they are more understanding than i think they will be and will just do it for free, because I'd rather not argue.
On this note, it's official. I am giving up film photography. Bye, bye malcolm-the-camera!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Special thanks go out to my friends Shaz and Taqwa, for letting me borrow their beautiful shoes and earrings respectively. Everything came together perfectly. I am calling the series "The Queen's Daughter." I got what I was going for. Well, at least in the digital. I am still waiting to see what I am going to do with the film because I am not sure how I am going to develop them. I had a little problem at the normal place i get them developed so I am hoping this problem will solve itself or I will take my business elsewhere. Most of all...I hope everything with my buddy Greg is okay.
Here are today's best digital shots:
The problem with my film is bothering me and after seeing the digital photos, I am eager to see the film, as I am usually much better at film.
We got so many funny looks while Jonathan was applying the make up in the student union in San Jose State. After a while he starting telling people "yeah we have a fashion show, we're in a time crunch!" People were so interested in what we were doing and others were just weirded out. Similar happenings occurred in McDonalds and while we walked from the car to the location. At one point we had piled all of our belongings next to and on a pick-up truck parked next to us. A man started walking towards us and was like "you might want to move your stuff." He wasn't mean about it or anything, just drove off. Slightly later, he drove back into the parking lot and parked in the same spot. He opened the back of the truck and told us to feel free to use it so long as we closed it when we were done. We didn't end up using it, but we wrote on one of the playing cards we had used as props:
"Thanks for being such a good sport :) - Sarah, Jonathan, Hannah."
It was amusing.
Here are a few behind the scenes shots:
Jonathan guarding our millions of junks while Hannah and I shoot. There was a lot of it!
Hannah looks like a modern day Audrey Hepburn as she plays around as we took five.
Jonathan removing the millions of bobby pins from hannah's hair...and Hannah totally looking like a little diva. She's not though, Jonathan was just telling us a really horrible story.
Jonathan and Hannah walking to La Vic's, both totally unphased by Hannah's appearance.
Hannah is such a good sport though...she didn't even mind sitting in La Vic's and eating with her asymmetrical eye make-up. And a La Vic's session is always necessary when we shoot in downtown San Jose. Jonathan had never been there and loved it (and how could he not?). Fortunately since we started so early, I got to go home early. I dropped jonathan off at the BART station at like 5 before going to target. It was refreshing as opposed to the time I came home from my last Hannah shoot.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We made a choice for change on Tuesday. I only hope Obama lives up to his promises, but unlike the Republicans, at least now we have it. Hope, that is.
So I want to extend my congratulations to everyone who helped, even if it was just a little, such as talking to a friend about why they have to vote, or voting yourself. And of course I want to extend my gratitude to those who actually picked up and went to other states to campaign for Obama. YES WE CAN! YES WE DID!
On another note, I have found a few more photos I find inspiring. This first two appear to be from some Asian Magazine. They were featured over at Picked Pics. Combined with the other photos, I think I see a photoshoot brewing...one with eclectic styling pieces and a lot of color.
These images are all from the amazing photographer Manu Coillot. I'm not sure I will desaturate my images like he did, but you get my drift.
Monday, November 3, 2008
And then Raych from That's Chic had to come along and prove me so wrong, I now am DYING for a poncho. And yes the poncho can be chic and daring without being tacky. Thanks, Raych! I find keeping up with these things extremely important since I do most of the styling for my shoots, and fashion is half the battle.
Now I am imagining a black poncho with some gray jeans and the mary-jane-booties by report I had dani wear for our indie inspired shoot. Ahh, fashion is an art, and it's an art that I love.
On another note, I discovered that cycle 10 loser Katarzyna Dolinska has been booking a lot of editorial work since her dismissal from America's Next Top Model, and rightfully so. Besides the beautiful Lisa Jackson, I thought Katarzyna was one of the only models in the show who ever had that high-fashion look. She was kicked off for one bad preformance in addition to the judges claiming she had no personality. Well, personality or no personality, she is back and looking better than ever, and did an editorial in a Greek magazine. She looks amazing and models superbly. Info and photo thanks to DesignScene.net.
The weather isn't very encouraging right about now for photoshoots. It has been raining on and off all day and I am very worried about my shoots with Hannah (which has been confirmed) and Anamika (not confirmed) next week. I'd hate to cancel, even though it would be totally understandable if I did if it were raining. I love photography, but damn do I hate the planning. I can't wait until I am a big famous photographer with a lot of money and assistants to throw around so I don't have to do this :P.
Please, please let the weather look up!!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I am currently in the planning stages of two shoots with two models. Unfortunately, because I don't have a lot of money, planning takes longer than it might for another photographer. I know I shouldn't take a break after just two more shoots...the more experience and photos I have to add to my port, the more chance I have of getting client shoots and thus of getting paid for what I do. But I just can't pay for these things anymore!
On another, more cheerful note, I wanted to explain why I have a few fashion blogs linked here. In a post over at fashionphotographyblog.com, Melissa said some true words of wisdom:
A lot of new photographers allow the models to just bring some clothing and then they throw something together when the model gets there. I don't believe in this...and this is partially why TFCD shoots are making me broke haha. You can totally ruin a photo with poor styling choices. I wish I had some good examples of this, but I can't think of any off the top of my head, and I run the risk of offending someone out there. But my point is, the styling shouldn't be left on the backburner when preparing for a shoot. It really is the most important part.
Fashion photography is the business of photographing fashion. That means that the product we are selling are the clothes. It is important for the young, aspiring fashion photographer to understand this. When a client hires us, we are being hired on our technical ability of understanding garments and the way they will photograph. I see so many photographers who are just starting out and building their books and the weakest part of their photographs is the styling.
- The clothes are wrinkled or out-dated.
- The clothing is accessorized poorly.
- The model doesn’t befit the style of clothing she is wearing.
You really need to think about poses that will match the garmet as well. For example, I saw a series by a photographer in which the model was wearing a long lose summer dress, and clearly trying to pose with her legs. Instead of looking good, the dress just looked lumpy and the model looked awkward. If you're selling dresses, pose according to dresses, and if you're doing a portfolio shoot for a model who wants to do odd poses with her legs, make sure she is wearing something that shows her legs!
Picking a model that matches the look is quite important. I couldn't have used one of my beautiful Indian models for my indie-inspired shoot...well, I could have, but it would not have come out as well as it did with Dani, who already had perfect indie-red hair, straight-across bangs and a face begging for gigantic, vintage sunglasses.
That said, I link to a few fashion blogs because I think keeping up to date with fashion photography is important...and I am also a total fashion whore who just loves reading about it haha. You don't need to study a lot, but just reading every so often also gives you a better sense of how to match things and what is in.
And while we're at it, here are two more "best shots" from my Danielle shoot.
Monday, October 27, 2008
, originally uploaded by ekpa_ntan.
I have recently been missing other types of photography since I have only really been focusing on fashion since I got back in the country. I have never done any kind of sports photography, but I would really like to start photographing skaters. I have always been that one girl that hangs out with a bunch of skater boys, but never bothered to photograph them. Now I wish I did...it seems like a lot of fun, and I like the more conceptual ones as well as the ones of them in motion. I want to get back into street portraits and candids as well.