Sunday, 27 March 2011

Vibes presents inTENsity

i know that i have been updating very consistently in the last few weeks but i'm battling an illness and and increased work load. *womp* but i did want to take some time out to share some work i did recently with you guys.

last semester i quit my dance team Vibes because i wasn't able to keep up with all my academic obligations, but because i still love all these lovely ladies, i offered to help them put together a behind the scenes look of their practices to be shown at the annual hip-hop showcase (which was last night).

all the photos of 'vibes at work' were taken by yours truly and the photoshoot pictures are courtesy Michael Chillemi and Jose Alvarado. i was a little annoyed that my watermark was removed, but in the grand scheme of things i suppose it would have been a little distracting.... but i must admit, it was pretty fun to see all my photos put together in a neat little slide show like that :) i'm such a noob i wouldn't know how to do that myself if i tried. (ok, i probably could, but still)

anyway, do enjoy :)
(PS. there's nothing wrong with your speakers. there's no sound in the video)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Photo of the Day: Pigeon

via PLola

 yes, it's a dead pigeon. it just seemed like something my favourite photographer friend would do, so i did it too. i really do like this shot though. it took me a while to decide to take it (since i'm not a fan of dead birds and all) but i'm on an 'uncommon objects' kick (more on that later) and i thought this would make a nice addition.
(also, yay me! even MORE original work. on a role today!)

Photo of the Day: Storrow Drive

via PLola

me! yay! (not in the picture... you know what i mean)

i took this a few weeks ago for a stop action assignment in my photograpy class. i was trying to pan, but i failed. sort of. it was a two part assignment and i got an A- and a C- eh.

anyway, this was the only shot i took that i liked (we submitted 6) so i thought i'd post it. yay me! original work!

Cover Wars: Lady Gaga and Anja Rubik by Emma Summerton for i-D Magazine

Lady Gaga and Anja Rubik by Emma Summerton

double cover this week. sexy sex.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Friend Friday: What I've Learnt in 2 Years of Blogging

This week at FBFF we're all answering one simple question: So far, what have been the 5 hardest blogging lessons you’ve learned, and how have they helped make you a better blogger?
*as you may have noticed, i waited to post this until saturday because of the blogger's day of silence yesterday in order to stand in solidarity with the victims of japan.

1. Blogging is a community:
When I first started blogging i didn't update very often, and it really was more of a distraction from the terrible college experience i was having at the time. i didn't know about any other blogs (much less fashion blogs) and i really wasn't concerned. it wasn't until i started blogging for CF that my interest in the niche really grew and i started actively hunting down other blogs like mine. thanks to my roommate at the time i found fashiontoast, tyler shields, the sartorialist and jak&jil (blogs that to this day remain a great source of inspiration) and eventually i stumbled upon ifb and the greater online fashion community. it was really only after this that i realized that i was only a tiny TINY blip on the fashion radar, and that i was far from original. being a part of ifb and more so of fbff (snaps to katy-rose!) has really reinforced the community aspect of blogging for me. we might all be fairly anonymous entities on the greater interwebz, but by and large, we're all here for each other. there have been so many instances of people reaching out for help and getting it (!) from people who don't even know them. for me the community aspect of blogging is one of the best parts of this entire endeavor.

2. Interact with bloggers/readers:
The next logical step in being part of a community is to interact with its members! It's one thing to be aware of the larger community that you're a part of, but it's another thing entirely to actively be a part of it. The reference is a little cliche, but no man is an island. as bloggers, we all draw inspiration from each other and it only helps us all to acknowledge that fact. many bloggers have healthy 'twitter-mances' (join me! @inkblotphtgrphy) and interact with each other that way, or through email. some are content simply to keep commenting and reading each other's blogs. the important thing is to keep fostering the relationships (yes, relationships) that you forge through blogging. this extends to your readers as well. reward them for taking time out to read YOUR blog instead of the millions of others. reply to their comments, questions and emails. (hi heidi!!!)  it makes them feel like they're getting something out of the time they're putting into your blog. and let's face it, without readers, you're just talking into the darkness.

3. Don't compare yourself to other bloggers:
This is the worst possible trap that any blogger can fall into. It's disheartening and it will probably make you want to quit. there are bloggers who have been blogging for years and have transitioned their internet fame to real world success, and there are bloggers who have been in the game for only a few months and have managed to gain huge online followings. either one will make you want to smash your head into a wall. it's frustrating to feel as though you're putting your best into something that doesn't seem to be producing very much for you, but in cases like this, it's important to understand what your goals for your blog are, and what realistic expectations you can attach to that. successful blogs succeed because they've cultivated their brands and made it work for them. (and they've gotten lucky. sometimes) in the short term, stop torturing yourself. there are several blogs i've stopped reading simply because i know that the temptation to 'follow in their footsteps' might overcome me. trying to imitate an already successful blog is only going to diminish your own value as a blogger. why should people read a start-up blog if they're already getting the same content from an older more experienced blogger?

4. Find your own voice/ Be yourself
This sounds cliche, but it's honestly one of the most important things you can learn as a blogger. it also ties into the above lesson well. imitating othter blogs is NOT the way to go. the key to finding success with your blog is to find your own voice and style. you have to decide what works for you and run with that. for example, this is not a personal style. there are tons of personal style blogs, and i have repeatedly felt the pressure to transition into that style of blogging, but in the long run, i think that that would be detrimental to me and my blog. i'm not a personal style blogger. that isn't where my interest in fashion lies. i'm a photographer who loves fashion. THAT's where i want my blog to go. i want my blog to focus on the imagery aspect of the fashion industry. and that's ok. another example is the ongoing blogger vs. wordpress debate. i'm on blogger and i'm cool with that. i've been using it for ages and i'm comfortable with the formats. the pressure to transition is getting stronger by the day, but all the pros that keep getting listed frankly don't apply to me. i don't need to be able to do all the vonderful things that wordpress can do. which leads me to my last point.

5. It's OK not to blog professionally:
earlier this month there was an ifb post about this. i have to admit, i was SO GLAD that someone finally said it out loud! there are so many bloggers who are lucky enough to be able to do what they love professionally. from banner ads to sponsored posts, sometimes reading through my favourite blogs makes me feel like i'm steps behind. then i take a step back and get back to reality. the truth is i don't WANT to blog professionally. i just don't :s for me, my blog is supposed to be a forum to help me get the job i really want, which is as a fashion photographer. as much as i love this thing, and will probably keep updating it well into my career, i could NEVER imagine doing this for money. i think that it would take the fun out of it, and more importantly the objectivity. i know that there are conflicting views on this, but for me, i don't think that there can be true objectivity on a sponsored blog. it can come close, but in the long run, there's always going to be some editorial oversight, and i don't want that. it's just the nature of the capitalist world we live in. in a perfect setting it wouldn't matter, but that's not the case. i've been approached for some sponsorships before, but i just don't want to monetize. not even google ads. i guess it's just a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Model of the Moment: Lily Cole

Lily Cole by Carter Smith

people like Lily Cole are the reason i feel like i will never accomplish anything in life, ever. she's only two years my senior and yet she's managed to become a major fashion model, an actress AND date JUDE freaking LAW. you can't top that. you just can't.

but in all seriousness, lily cole's was one of the faces that always caught be back before i was into fashion. on the rare occasions that i'd flip through a magazine, i'd always be drawn to her porcelain features. i love the way that she always looks to incredibly fragile and pure.

lily was discovered at 14 in London, and since then she's been featured in several major fashion publications including Numero, V, Pop and several editions of Vogue. She has also walked for Chanel, Versace and Louis Vuitton. In 2004 she was named model of the year at the british fashion awards. lily was also featured in a lead role in the film the imaginarium of dr. parnassus.

the reason i love lily so much is because of her dainty looks. she really does always look as though she'd break if you touched her, and every time i see one of her photographs i think of fairies. (is that weird?) between her dainty features and her flaming red hair, it's no wonder that she's had such a lucrative career.

Cover Wars: Rihanna by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue US April 2011

Rihanna by Annie Leibovitz

very jessica rabbit, but i'm not sure if i like this dress.
can't wait for this issue to turn up in my mailbox!

Chanel Mademoiselle Film

Fashion Film: CKone

it's like a pre-teen orgy. but with models. who can't dance.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Sound Off: What Ugly Betty Taught Me About Fashion and Personal Style

anyone who's been keeping up with this blog already knows that the reason i got into fashion photography is because i fell in love with the ABC show ugly betty. (specifically season 3 episode 18: a mother of a problem) when the show got cancelled last year in its fourth season after ratings fell, i cried. yes, i actually cried.

now, almost a year later, i've focused my career ambitions and continued my dedication to the show that showed me my calling.

i recently started watching the entire series again on netflix, and i delight in the fact that i now recognize so many more faces and understand the references i didn't get the first time around. (insert nina garcia and christian siriano cameos, as well as issac mizrahi and adriana lima) watching it for the second time, i realize that somewhere in between daniel's shenanigans, the wilhemina baby drama, betty's debacle with henry and mark and amanda's nonsense, i actually learnt a thing or two about fashion. few would name betty suarez as a fashion icon, but to me, she is a pioneer of personal style. from her signature pearl B, to her loud and often floral ensembles, betty suarez taught me everything i will ever need to know about fashion. 

in the years that Betty worked at Mode, her style evolved, but she managed to never stray too far from her roots. Her quirky style remained evident even after she ditched the ponchos and bright coloured tights. every girl can learn a thing or two from Betty's fearless style. this is what i learnt:

1. Be Original:
if there's one thing betty has always been it's original. while everyone else at Mode was donning designer, she stuck to her flowers and often ridiculous bows. Through 3 seasons of ridicule and a daily blog of her outfits, Betty still managed to keep her Queens charm. Just because everyone is doing something, doesn't mean it's right for you. Fashion is about self expression and individuality, so wearing what everyone else says is in kind of defeats the purpose no? The thing that makes fashion so appealing to so many people is the way it acts as a symbol of the person that we are. We use clothes to signify to the world the kind of people that we are or want to be. (that's why moms are always a little concerned when those skirts get a little short!) the fact is, the reason we're judged so strongly on our appearance is because we all subconsciously accept that what we wear is a direct reflection of the people we are. being original and staying true to our personal fashion sense is one of the best ways to let people know what we stand for and who we are. 

2. Be Confident:
Betty would never have gotten through her years at Mode without the definite knowledge that she was good at what she did. Knowing that she deserved the opportunities given to her was one of the things that helped her wade through all the negativity being thrown at her on a daily basis. this is a lesson most of us already know. when it comes to fashion, confidence is key. i mean, let's face it, who could really wear these completely outlandish man-repelling getups without an armor of confidence and complete self-assuredness to protect them? this is a skill that betty has mastered, and it's something that we all can learn from her. moral of the story? if YOU think you look great, then hold your head up high and do what you do. (unless of course you're wearing ass-less chaps, in which case you might want to go home and change...)

3. Sometimes More is More:
much to the chagrin of her poor nephew justin, betty has always had a flair for bright colours in large amounts. the 'mode-ettes' cringe, but i say why not? obviously you can't always wear the entire contents of your wardrobe at all times, but being a little busy never hurt anyone. they key is to know what works. pick co-ordinating colours so that even if your outfit is loud, it isn't visually confusing. and pick your accessories wisely. some people like to keep their outfits simple and splurge on the add ons, some people do the reverse. betty wears everything all the time :) but at the end of the day, the most important thing is to OWN the look. if exuberance is your style, then there's no reason that your clothing shouldn't reflect that . 

4. Have a Signature Piece:
all the cool kids are doing it. betty's B has been with her since the beginning of the show, and it's one of the things that stand out about her style. having one accessory or styling flair that you can make all your own isn't a novel concept. (remember miranda priestly's white scarves in the devil wears prada?) that one thing can make you recognizable to the wider fashion community. kind of the way that some women have a signature scent. some women always wear red nails, others always wear their hair in a bun. your thing should showcase not just your fashion sense, but your personality. it should make you identifiable from afar a reasonable distance.

of course, towards the end of the last season, betty's sense of style finally evolved past ponchos and colourful socks. but i will always cherish the betty who thought that "dressing down" involved an all black ensemble with a bright pink bow on her butt. fashion is art. all it is, is another way of taking what you feel on the inside and putting it on display for the world. betty showed me that there's nothing wrong with letting people know who you are through what you wear. I salute you Betty Suarez.

CollegeFashionista Interview Exclusive

Check out this fun compilation video that Amy Levin made interviewing some of the biggest names in fashion.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friend Friday: Blogging and the Real World

Blogging aside, everyone has had the experience of not having enough time for everything. whether it's just having the time to schedule a lunch with friends in between all the errands, we've all realized at some point that despite what our mothers told us, we're not superwoman. this week at #fbff we're tackling this issue. how do we find the balance between all the things that are important to us and get everything done? how do we decide what's most important to us, and get as much as we can done?

1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?

While I can't give my blog an actual ranking, i would definitely say that it's pretty high on the list. I actually recently came to the conclusion that i'm a little bit addicted to my blog, because i always feel guilty when i get a little swamped with college and i don't post anything new for a few days. I would love to be in a place where i can make this blog my number one priority (and during breaks it usually is) but until i graduate it's just going to HAVE to take a backseat to the things that actually matter. i love this blog, but in the long run if i decided to quit, the world would keep spinning.

2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?

One thing that i do ALL the time is title and start blogposts for topics that i want to cover. i'm pretty much always online, so usually when i'm browsing and i find something compelling, i'll just open another tab with my blog, put in a working title and link to the article. then i can come back later and organize my thoughts, without missing the passing things i find online that interest me. 

another thing that i do is blog while i'm watching tv. i don't actually have a television, and i watch everything online, so unless i'm watching Glee (which always gets my full attention) i'll usually have some show playing in the background while i titter away on some blogpost or other.

3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?

well, pre-posting definitely, and my editorial calendar. but other than that, not really i guess.

4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?

i do have an editorial calendar, but i don't always follow it. the calendar is really more for me than the readers. it's really a tool for me so that i always have an idea of what i can post on any given day. it's easier for me to have recurring features and it guarantees that i'll always have something to talk about.

5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

i would be taking more pictures. i would doing more shoots. i would posting more original work. i would write more. i would start showing people what I can do, rather than what the already know other people can do. 
someone told me the other day that i'm 'stuck' and that i'm not doing anything to move closer to my life goals. while i disagree with him (profusely) it is still a concern of mine that one day i might get stuck. i'm a creative person, and i do sometimes get restless about not producing as much as i want to be. finally starting my photography classes has definitely helped, but i can only do so much within the confines of the assignments. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Cover Wars: Eva Herzigova by Michelangelo di Battista for Harper's Bazaar UK April 2011

Eva Herzigova by Michelangelo di Battista

since i didn't have time to do a full profile for Model of the Moment this week, i decided to do a bonus cover wars feature. the reason i chose this photograph is because i was reading this article on jezebel last night, which led me to this post on pregnancy portraits.

i think the entire thing is ridiculous to the point of hilarity. there's nothing wrong with pregnant women. OBVIOUSLY. but i think there really is a fine line between pregnancy photography and boudoir work. let's get classy people. less is more.

Cover Wars: Gwen Stefani by Matthias Vriens-McGrath for Elle UK April 2011

Gwen Stefani by Matthias Vriens-McGrath


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Soundtrack Saturday: Pricetag- Jessie J ft. B.o.B

Price Tagthis week's polyvore set is based on the video for the song Pricetag by Jessie J ft. B.o.B. jessie j has been gaining steam recently and although i won't say that i'm a fan just yet,i definitely like her kick ass style. 

this set is basically just my interpretation of her style from the video and what i know of her. i heard her say once that she 'loves a catsuit' and while i doubt mine is quite up to snuff, it'll have to do. the nails are similar to the manicure she has in the video, but i also have just been looking for the shatter nailpolish for AGES now. it looks amazing and i can't wait to get my hands on it.

everything else is really just an approximation of her style. she wears a lot lace, hence the lace tights and outrageously expensive McQueen dress, and the blue lipstick is actually something she does in the video.she also does jewelled lips, but i couldn't find any :( the purple heels i love (and i almost bought a pair just like it recently, but i decided not to spend all my money on shoes...) and i had to include them. the shades just seem like something she would wear!

what do you think? do you like jessie j's style? would you wear a catsuit or are they a little much for your taste? let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Model of the Moment: Alex Wek

Alex Wek by Marc de Groot

this week's MOTM is Alex Wek. This beautiful Sudanese-British model is renowned for her luscious skin and gorgeous legs. after fleeing Sudan with her family to escape war, Alex was discovered at age 18 in London. 
since then, Alex has walked for high profile designers like John Galliano, Chanel and Donna Karan. Wek is also well know for her activism and her self-titled autobiography detailing her experience as a refugee from war. 

i feel like it's a non-issue, but what i love most about alex is her beautiful chocolate skin. one of the 'benefits of blackness' is the ability to pull of bright colours with ease. (as you can see in this picture) people with lighter skin tend to look washed out with colours this vibrant. the one thing i wish i could do is work brighter colours. hats off to alex wek. see her full nymag model profile here.

Cover Wars: Iselin Steiro by Daniel Jackson for The Last Magazine

Iselin Steiro by Daniel Jackson

i've been getting really happy about portraits lately. this makes me happy for two reasons: chickadee here looks like natasha bedingfield, and also, the close up shot really brings out a clean quality in her face. i like the no makeup look.

Photo of the Day: Lea T.

Lea T. by Stefano Moro

much of the hoo-hah surrounding Lea T.'s debut has calmed down already, but I really wanted to post some of her work because I'm blown away by how gorgeous she is. I was looking through these shots and I realised that if someone hadn't told me she was transgender I might not have known. Lea T. is gorgeous and feminine and I honestly can't wait to see more of her work.