Saturday, August 28, 2010

Running Circles Around Myself

I woke up this morning to a text message from a close high school friend.

"My mom passed this morning."

To do list for the day:
-Buy Shampoo
-Buy birthday gift for ----
-E-mail ----
-Send shoot brief to ----
-Thread eye brows
-etc, etc, etc...

Sometimes, I get the feeling that I am running circles around myself. I keep myself so busy I hardly have the time to stop and look around, to hug my mom in the morning, to take a breather and relax, to just STOP. I think we're all like this to an extent. What are we so busy with that we don't have time to just not be busy, if only for an hour or two on a Sunday? And beyond that, how important is it? And beside that, how important is it to just stop and take a looksie and what's around you.

I slept through the text message since it was only 8 a.m., but what awoke me was a ring from what I presume to be a wrong number.

In life, there's no room to second guess your accomplishments but only to move forward to achieve more. In death, of course, none of that even matters. I'm not saying that you shouldn't move forward with your goals in life, I'm just saying that when you're on your deathbed and once you have passed, how much money you accumulated, how much fun you had, how many countries you've visited - these things won't matter to you anymore. What I do think matters is how good a person you have been. I don't think I've written this on my blog before, but I am Muslim. I believe in God and afterlife, and I believe that how good of a person you are and what you did to help others are the only things they echo to eternity. Not even my photos will last that long.

I try not to speak to much about my personal life in this blog. It is supposed to be for professional purposes only. I just felt that if there was ever a time to let you guys know about my personal life, this is it. I'm writing this for me, but I'm also writing it for you.

I want to live life to the fullest. I want to experience and know. I want to meet and see. I want to laugh and smell. I want to keep going, to push things forward. I want to life and feel that I've done everything that I've wanted to do - that I've lead a life that, throughout it, I've felt so starkly ALIVE. But I also want to feel like I've helped someone, like I did something of worth that serves someone beyond myself. I want to buy sandwiches for homeless people and spend Saturday morning crying with a friend on the phone - because once I'm dead, how alive I felt won't matter anymore.

Running circles around myself - this is how much life for the last year or so has looked. Today, I held my mom and dad really tight and told them both I loved them. I'm still going to finish my to-do list, but I think I'll also take them out for a walk around a lake, and I'll add visiting a particular friend to the schedule for the weekend, even though she told me she didn't need it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Take Your Camera Everywhere





Outside Bay Street Coffee, we sat on the curb in the dark and thought about what was, what is and what will. She sipped a French soda and I had a latte. A million places, a million faces passed us by from the Middle East to Paris to Downtown San Jose. We wonder how this could be when we are still so young. The light shown behind my sister like a halo glimmering around her face and back. I stopped taking my camera everywhere a while ago because it was too heavy and was hurting my back, but tonight I was glad I thought of throwing it so haphazardly in my bag.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Outside of Your Skin























Finally some photos from last week's shoot with Alexa H. from Look Model agency. Alexa rocked the look while her cutie mom blasted whatever we wanted to her from her car stereo - all in all, we had a wonderful time. And a special treat, some behind the scenes pics:







Monday, August 16, 2010

Dream Become Reality

My shoots are fun. That's why I shoot - because shooting is fucking fun. The team had an absolute blast yesterday. Michelle of De Linda Artistry did hair and make up and www.thrifted.net provided wardrobe and styling. The model was Alexandra H. from Look Model Agency, a model I've been wanting to work with for a fairly long time. It was nice to see the dream become reality - the shoot itself was planned in maybe as far back in February, but we just were never able to shoot it for multiple reasons.

Alexa is best friends with Selin, who I have shot with a couple times and adore. Our shoot involved a telephone prop yesterday and Alexa kept yelling into it imitating Selin fighting with her boyfriend and then her boyfriend's response. Hilarious! We ended up shooting as the sun went down. By the time we wrapped up the shoot it was 9 pm - I ended the evening with Chipotle and I came home exhausted, wishing I had a hot tub in my house. Photos from this shoot will come shortly.

In addition, I completely forgot to blog this, but I recently did an interview with C-Heads Magazine. Christine from C-Heads is totally sweet and it came out pretty well. I was so flattered by the things she said about me too. Take a second and check it out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Like Arabian Day...































When I got the latest Free People catalog in the mail, it sparked a whole new trend for me. The photos are beautiful – amazing light, amazing models, and the cutest camel that must exist in the country (have you seen a camel before? They’re rank!). I love the sand dunes, the layers and layers of clothing, the textures, the messy hair, the patterns, the jewelry. In fact I find the fifth outfit to simply be perfection. I’d wear it.

Other images are from Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and one image from the Bantu Swim line look book.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maria, Maria










Finally some photos from my last shoot with Maria. Maria lives about 5 minutes from my house, so we planned a mini shoot in just a few days. I picked her up and we shot on a Sunday morning in front of her high school. I pulled clothing from some things I had just sitting around in my closet (as well as a denim jacket that just happened to be in my car. The results were a lot of fun and a lot of great pictures. We were playing Crystal Castles from my iPod player while we snapped away. Hopefully you'll all be seeing more more Maria on this blog very soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Cat's Pajamas
















via Bear Ca LA

I love this photo spread from Vogue Nippon of Devon Aoki (You may remember her from Fast and the Furious). I personally remember her from when she was featured in Ellegirl:



I decided at the time I did not like her or her face. But with this spread, I'm feeling inspired, and you know, I actually like her face. It's amazing how she looks like a giant when she's only 5'5". I love seeing little models making it.

This spread is the kind of series that makes me wish I had been the one behind the camera. Oh well, there will be other days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Littlest Super Model











About a week ago I did a shoot with the littlest, superest model. I highlight her height because Maria is actually the smallest model I have ever worked with - but her height holds little importance next to her beautiful features, bubbly personality, modeling talent and drive to succeed. There aren't quite so many high school students I admire as much as this little-engine-that-can.

In addition, we did another shoot just a few days ago. I can't wait to show you guys.