Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exhausted

It may partially be because I stayed up until 4 a.m. yesterday, but I am overall just feeling exhausted and lethargic. My heart is with photography but my brain and body are not. I've learned to accept that my art goes through phases like this. My life has become increasingly busy on the social front, and of course I am still doing my day job. And even if I am not out and about all the time, my brain is definitely tired and overworked, thinking up plans and what to do next. I am hoping this summer is going to be awesome, photography included. But right now I am so tired, I need a little break. I've been contacted by a few stylists and models who are interested in testing, two of them hoping to work next week. But I'm just much too tired to work that soon, especially for free.

My next shoot is on June 14th and I think I'm going to keep it that way.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Weren't Invited

I had a pretty eventful Memorial Day weekend. I went out to Seattle to visit my friend Sacha, and I aligned it so I'd get to see her little sister Mehreen, who who was visiting at the same time. I finally got to meet Matt, who is very cool, and my friend Augustin came along and stayed at Matt's place. We even got a chance to meet up with my friend Feyza. The weekend involved a lot of hanging out, eating (SO MUCH GOOD FOOD), shopping, watching terminator 4, and we even drove about 3 hours outside of Seattle to the gorge amphitheater for the Sasquatch music festival. It was a lot of fun. I'm putting up a few videos from my two favorite shows of the day. I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs - the crowd was a little stiff but Karen O. is such a rock star. What a freaking pleasure.



The only show I enjoyed more was the Crystal Castles show. They were so late coming on, but we were so excited we were just dancing even though they were just playing crappy background music in the meantime. It took so long to finish the mic check, which was ridiculous because Alice Glass just screams into the microphone like a madwoman. Finally the band came on and the crowd just went completely INSANE. Like seriously. People started jumping up and down, pushing each other, crowding around the stage, shoving to get to the front, dancing, screaming. That is what I love about concerts. I don't know how many other people's sweat got on me, but that's just how I like it. And I was definitely one of the people jumping up and down, screaming and dancing. At about 0:55 of this video you can see how nuts people go when they start "Crimewave." Note this person was also way in the back, while my friends and I were in the front.



Alice Glass was supposedly rated the coolest person of 2008 by NME. This is not surprising. I need to figure out how she does her make-up (for myself and for my shoots).



The funniest part of sasquatch was a couple getting it on and having sex on the hill just above the main stage during the decemberists. Everyone was amused - even the band was looking up there and kind of laughing haha.

My best friend and I are busy working on my official website right now. There are some kinks here and there but for the most part it is done. Once the glitches work out I just need to upload all my photos and edit the website information and we'll be up and running! Woo!

My next shoot isn't until June 14th. I was hoping to be getting some agency work by now and thus fill up June that way, but I haven't heard anything back from them yet. I'm not sure I ever will...which will kind of dash my dreams of being a big famous photographer one day. We'll see, I'm still crossing my fingers and there are at least two more agencies I can try. I've been contacted by a few traveling stylists and one local model for testing, but quite frankly, I'm not sure I can be bothered. I think my portfolio is at the point where I don't need to test that much any more. Isn't that when people are supposed to start paying me? I may end up working with them anyway. If I'm not getting paid work it doesn't mean I am going to stop shooting.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Frenzy

Ugh, what a hectic week I have had!

Yesterday was my 24th birthday. My friends came over and we ate (3) different kids of cakes before going out for a sushi dinner. My friend's Mo and edina bought me a new tripod to replace my wobbly one, and my former roommate sami got me a fashion book.

Earlier in the morning my brother and I had a pancake breakfast. The only thing in between breakfast and dinner was a shoot with model Grace. Yep, on my birthday.

Then today, my friends and I took a long but scenic drive to santa cruz and did some hanging/eating/photographing there. Overall we had a lovely time.

I have so much on my plate right now. I have work to do for rock dot com, lots of photos to edit for sharlene and lots more to resize for Grace. I also need to get ready for my seattle trip, and overall I have a lot of errands to run in the next few days.

Here are Grace's best shots...at least of the ones I have edited so far:

CHANGE 1





CHANGE 2









and this is not CHANGE 3's best shot, but it is the only one I have edited so far:

Monday, May 11, 2009

An Antique Dream

I had a ridiculously tiring but fun weekend, hence the fact that I didn't post anything a little earlier.

Oh Friday I had a shoot with a model named Sharlene and MUA Ann. Sharlene is a beautiful mixed girl and is signed with City Model Management in San Francisco. She is visiting from Dubai right now, and is signed with a total of 5 agencies. Ann is a professional make up artist in my area - she largely works with bridal but does fashion on occasion too. She also designs and sells the cutest swim suits!

I knew I was going to be a little late to the shoot, and it became much worse when I had a GPS mishap and ended up coming even later than that. Sometimes when I worked with Sinh, she would just get the make-up started before I got there (it was even agreed to it that I didn't have to be there from the beginning, considering that I am not needed for those two hours really), but there were some miscommunications and Ann didn't start until I got there. Way to go, stupid GPS. We started an hour late.

Sharlene and Ann are great though, and we were at the location but 4:00 (Ann wasn't feeling well so we left her behind to get some rest). It was incredibly hard shooting a model wearing a huge petticoat in the middle of a bunch of plants. There were definitely some annoying moments when the petticoat would snag on the branches, and when the mosquitos would bite Sharlene (only sharlene for some reason!). I also hadn't anticipated how spotty the light would be, even though I came to the location ahead of time to be sure of what direction is would be coming from. We lost a lot of shots to bad lighting, which was unfortunate. This was probably my most difficult shoot to date (I have some REALLY long ones planned for the summer which I know are just going to kill me). But Sharlene is a trooper - she's lovely and poses like a dream. So even though it was a difficult shoot, we still got quite a few good shots.

The best shots from the first change:





The best shots from the second change:





Ann told me she loved the shots, and I think Sharlene did too. Melissa, the model I worked with for my last shoot, also sent me a message telling me how her agent "looooooved" the shots with the camera, so this definitely made me feel good, especially because Ann and Sharlene were telling me how I need to start doing some lifestyle to be successful, and I simply do not want to.

I'll upload the behind the scenes pictures in a little bit. They're on my other computer.

I got home from my shoot on Friday and was exhausted. I edited a few photos and then called it a night - just toooooo tired. On saturday I woke up early and dyed my hair black (what an improvement), and hung out with some friends for the day - edina, sarah, taqwa, etc. Yesterday, we (me, edina, sarah, and my other friend momo and her husband) went to an art exhibit in San Francisco. It was the Andy Warhol show and it was only showing one week more. A nice lady gave us her re-entry tickets, saving us about $40 (momo's husband still had to buy one). None of us were big andy fans, but I think I definitely came out with a better appreciation for what he did. I especially liked his photography. I know that Justin Timberlake and Ashton Kutchner think they're reinventing the rat pack, but they're wrong - the second coming of the rat pack was andy warhol, edie sedgwick, mic jagger, ozzy ozbourne, the velvet underground, madonna, etc. I love his photos of them because he was simply taking photos of his friends. He really was an artist in the true sense of the word. I found his works very inspiring.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Friends Love Me

My birthday is next Friday (the 15th) and already I have received:

- A GPS from my parents
- a steamer from my friend Sarah (lol, see below as to why I needed this)
- a Flickr Pro account from my friend Shaz

In some way or another everything I have got so far is for my photography. The GPS to help me get places (included the MUA or stylist's places or the location), the steamer to help me iron-out the wrinkles of garments when I am doing the styling (I absolutely despise ironing and this will help me save on dry cleaning!), and the Flickr Pro account obviously to upload and share more pictures. My friends all know that I'm pretty tight on cash this year, hence the practical gifts. I also need a sensor cleaner, a new tripod and a new portfolio, but I am not going to hold my breathe for these ones. I can live without a sensor cleaner a while longer (and just edit out the spots), and I have a tripod even though it is a bit busted. The portfolio I need. I need it badly because I was intended to start pushing the agencies to let me use their models around the end of May...I bought one a few months back but long story short, the company sent me the wrong color and they won't respond to my customer service calls. It's freaking hideous. I filed a charge dispute with my bank about it, because I am not about to pay another $90 for a portfolio without a fight for my money back. They told me it could take a couple months...

On another note, I've got a nice afternoon shoot with a model and MUA I have been simply aching to work with. Tomorrow guys! Wish me luck! In the mean time, I'm going to share Crystal Castles with you. Their music is AMAZINGNESS!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Apology Song

Okay new musical obsession which isn't that new because I've been through a Decemberists phase before...but seriously how great are the Decemberists? This video was made to the song by some kids who liked it...it's definitely kind of silly.



Also, my awesome, awesome best friend Shaz got me a (two-year) flickr pro account for my birthday! Pretty sweet of her I must say :) I had to fight with her because she wanted to buy me a $470 macro lens. I just can't have anyone spend that much money on me - heck, I wouldn't even spend that much money on me. Especially for a macro lens - my kit lens does pretty much everything I need. I'm not the kind of photog that bases my work on my equipment. I just try and do...well...what I do.

I stumbled across this fashion site today, called LOOKBOOK.nu. It's like a"best of" any one of those style diary sites...way cooler than chictopia and I'd say it rivals facehunter. It's just real people from around the world wearing REALLY COOL clothing! We can definitely all learn from it - I really love these kinds of sites.

And lastly, the location check on Sunday went very well. As did the make-shift picnic - we seriously had a ton of fun, and I was sore all day yesterday from the insane amount of playing we did. I know it's odd to say the word "play" when I am coming up on 24, but that's what we did. I am super excited about my next shoot, and just about summer in general.


Augustin playing alongside a little girl named Katie.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let's Get Together!

I needed to scope out a location for my upcoming shoot, so my best friend Shaz and I decided to do a picnic at the prospective location, a park in Los Gatos. She decided to bring her little sister and two younger brothers. We decided to make tuna sandwiches and make a day out of it. On a whim I invited my friend Sarah, and then my friend Edina called me and asked me what I was doing tomorrow, so I told her to come and bring her friend, Amanda. Sarah informed me that our friend Auggie was back from his insane adventures in India so we invited him to come and much to my surprise he agreed! Lastly, I realized no one had called our friend Sabz, and as I was on the phone with her, she informed me my friend Sarah was on the phone with her brother, inviting them to same picnic.

And this is the story of how a location-check became a picnic between a lot of friends, some of whom hadn't seen each other in a very long time. I'm happy. We're going to snack and fly kites. Hopefully the weather is good - our back up is chuckie cheese.

How is this photography related again? The main purpose is that I have a lot of hopes that this will be my location for my shoot with Sharlene and Ann next friday. Hopefully this works out or I will be very sad!

I was supposed to have a shoot with a model named grace yesterday but we got rained out. Sucks...the weather had been so nice, so it was really unexpected. I had everything ready to go and I really wanted to shoot (my shoot with melissa was just a week ago but it feels like agessss). Oh well. We're trying to reschedule for mid-may.