Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm currently in the planning phases of two new shoots, one with a model I have worked with before and absolutely adore, and another with a model visiting from another state until mid-December. I know i told myself I'd give myself a break after the Anamika shoot, but you know me...Besides, i really want to be doing paid tests for agency models by spring. I want to see some return. The weather has been crappy the past couple days, and yes, eventually, we're going to have to just have winter. The weather has been on my side for my last few shoots even as we have got into November. So we'll see. As much as my technique has developed, I still don't actually have that many photos to show agencies.

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 Main Influences

As I keep doing this, I realize that my style is not completely self-taught - I have learned a lot about editing, photography, and fashion photography in particular from the beautiful photographs around me. Before, this meant the likes of Vogue, Elle (even good ol' ElleGirl), Nylon, etc. But when I first got into this, two photographers in particular stood out to me. As I wrapped up my eighth shoot last Friday (can you believe it has only been eight?), I realized these two people pretty much taught me everything I know about fashion and beauty photography.

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


Forgive me for not posting a little more detail on my shoot with Anamika. I have been a bit moody lately due to circumstances in my personal life, but I am feeling a bit better lately. I can't be bothered to go back and detail the whole day, but here are some behind the scenes shots.

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

riding the unemloyment wave

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

go team

Great work from my biggest team ever on our shoot last Friday. It was a little short but we got a lot of great shots. I actually met the MUA over a year ago totally randomly and never thought I'd see her again. It was a bit bizarre to say the least.

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

Shoot Today

In a few hours I need to be off for my shoot with Anamika, Jaime and the unknown MUA. Jaime had something come up so the shoot was postponed until 1:30 p.m. I couldn't tell her not to do whatever it was she needed to do, but I was kind of sad that we're really only going to have no more than three hours max to shoot. Probably less, depending on how long preparation would take. I guess this just shows the difficulties of trying to fit so many people's schedules together. Well, I'll be shooting all digital today so I'll get to show you the results of the shoot pretty fast. I'm going to pick up the last three rolls from the Queen's Daughter tomorrow, so you'll get to see photos from the second change, which I liked much more than the first change.

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

And Coming Up Next...

I feel like I just wrapped up my shoot with Hannah, and now I am looking face-to-face with a shoot with gorgeous Indian model Anamika. We'll be working with a stylist, make-up artist, and I will have an assistant, making this my biggest team ever for a photoshoot. We're going to be doing something fun. You'll see.

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

The Queen's Daughter

Today I had my second shoot with model Hannah C. and my first with MUA Jonathan, who agreed to work with maybe about a year ago while I was in Egypt. We met at 9 a.m. and it took about two hours for Jonathan to finish doing Hannah's hair and make-up...the make-up may seem simple, but Jonathan put a lot of effort into it. Hannah looked exactly as I wanted her to - like a dolled up playing card! She changed at a local McDonalds and then we drove two blocks to our location, a downtown San Jose parking lot with red walls overgrown with ivy. We did two changes, and the theme was some dark yet romantic, edgy yet vintage. We came out with some cool things, I think. I wanted to go for fashion so we did a lot of full body shots, and for the second change we used a stool.

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

Congrats to us...GOBAMA!

This post is a little late, but I just wanted to express how proud I am of all of us who helped vote Obama into office. It's been eight whole years down a whole road of Republican-ism...we've been dragged into two wars that we can't seem to get out of, our economy is in shambles, and quite frankly, everyone has just been really SCARED for a long time.

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

Fashion is a Skill, plus ANTM Survivors!

Even when it was super trendy, I was much wary of the dreaded poncho. I have never, ever seen a poncho that looked chic, that didn't make the wearer look fat, that didn't look utterly cheap and tacky.

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!!