Can Scrunchies Make the World a Better Place?

7 09 2009
Viva Spandex!

Viva Spandex!

Some people complain about the fact that the 80s made a comeback and some are even outright livid that we are transitioning directly into the 90s.

But…fashion has ALWAYS done that.  And fashion’s not the only one…

I understand the idea that we all want to be surprised and why we love to see something original – but I don’t think that should preclude all of our desires – nay our rights! – to go back and play dress-up in our parent’s closets.  The very idea of playing in and experimenting with the different elements, i.e. the past, is what enables us to internalize ideas and feelings – to really “get it.”  And the more we “get it,” the better we incorporate it…Kind of a learn-the-rules-so-you-can-break-them approach.

Look at kids – they’ll go through a stage where all they want to do is put lids on pans, and that’s their sole life’s purpose for 3 weeks.  Then, on the 4th week, they move onto hoses…and so on.  They are studying and understanding the physical world around them by playing with all of the pieces and discovering all of the interconnections – the more obsessed they are with the inner workings of lids and hoses now, the better able they will be later to intuitively use them in some creative cure for cancer or perpetual motion machine that somehow enables world peace.

Fashion is one of the many parallel versions for adults – like a set of new toys that encourages us to keep experimenting and learning.  Fashion – well, most art, and even math and science, actually – is a combination of both the physical world and the cultures and histories that inhabit that world.  So, by going back in time and studying fashions and the environments that surrounded those fashions, we are, quite literally, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of others.  We are, whether we are exploring in movies, photos, costumes, or makeup, trying to get a better understanding of the past – or even a different culture from the present.  We are, essentially, trying to know what they knew.

So don’t get hung up on only doing something ground-breakingly original – stick your hands in all of the finger-paint jars and make something pretty.  Not everything has to be a masterpiece, and you have to have a little fun in order to make the world a better place…So get started!!

I’m sure there are people out there who have something worthwhile to contribute here – we’d love to hear your thoughts!  Talk amongst yah-selves dahlings….

In the meantime, be sure to hook it up so that you don’t miss out on any tantalizing tidbits… and you know they’re tantalizing…!


Incredible Photographers and Images

1 09 2009
Third Floor Photo Society

Third Floor Photo Society

Hey guys – came across some great recommendations from Third Floor Photo Society and just wanted to share some of my favorites.

Howard Schatz studies the human body in dance and movement – I know somma ya’ll fly girls from back in the day will be all up on this like white on rice.

Stockl and Martel create some of my favorite commercial images, check it.

And, FStop, one of the cool kids in terms of online photography resources.  Enjoy.

Jackie-O Shoot: Scene and Makeup Sketches

23 08 2009

jackieoHey guys – working with Mr. Chad J. Wilson on a Jackie-O project, and thought I’d throw up some the sketches to let you guys in BTS (behind the scenes, yo).

Chad has a fascination with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and we wanted to do something different from a lot of the portraits we’ve seen.  We decided to take an “off-camera” (or BTS if you want to use the abbreviation of the day) approach with this project, exploring the more human perspective of Jackie-O, seeing her in her more vulnerable moments, private moments – a kind of moment we all know.  Not only was she in the spotlight as the First Lady and wife of an American Icon, but she had to deal with a rough day-to-day of rumored affairs and typical marital struggles.  On top of this, she survived the loss of three children (one miscarriage, one stillbirth, and one baby boy who survived only two days), and, of course, the very public assassination of her husband.  It goes without saying that she definitely had a lot to think about during those quiet moments.

We are in the midst of getting all of the pieces together, and I had a few rough sketches that I hope will help convey some of the scenes that we are trying to depict.

Jackie-O makeup005

This is a basic rough of the makeup that we are planning, though the scanning process messed with the color a bit.  Starting from the top, we have, of course, the classic Jackie O brows, underlined by some sculpting to help the model’s eyes look a bit more deeply-set like Jackie’s.  Then, where you see the small “H’s,” we will subtly highlight the inner and outer brow and cheek to help pull that area forward, creating the wide shape of Jackie’s brow and eyes.  Lay on some basic apricot shadow, blush, and matte lipstick, finish with some strip eyelashes, liner to round out the eyes, et viola!  Jackie-O!

JackieO004 To the left we have a rough sketch of one of my initial ideas.  Being in the public eye, Jackie often had to keep up appearances, hosting and attending social gatherings throughout all of her struggles.  I love the idea of her stepping away from the party into a quiet room to put her head in her hands while cigarette smoke settles in around her.  You’ll see this theme repeated often in this story.  The main room will ideally be lit somewhat dimly and warmly (tungsten), with a blue, moon-like glow (maybe some Kinos or a strobe flash) coming from the back room (left of center), silhouetting Jackie in her chair.

“A” represents the woman whose face we see in the bottom left and whose shoulder we look over to see woman “B,” whose line of sight will lead us toward the room where Jackie resides.  Here are CU (close up)’s of each of the two women: JackieO002JackieO001

This next image is another party scene, only this time, instead of being in the back room, she sits in plain sight, lost in thought.  The dotted lines separate different scenes (from top right clockwise): standing in front of a window, lost in thought, baby room in background – then, through the window looking back in.  The lower picture is her with the kids in a hotel room, lit mainly by a warm, tungsten bedside lamp directing the viewer to her, and receding into darkness with toys scattered on the floor.


Starting from left to right, we have an OTS (over the shoulder – I think just made that one up…!) shot of Jackie staring at herself in the bathroom mirror, preferably topless to enhance the honesty and vulnerability of the moment.  Top center is just a profile shot, next down is a CU of her face as she lays on her back, eyes closed, tears smearing down her temple, 3rd down is a CU of her mouth with tears smearing down, and finally a profile of the same situation.  The far right picture is her sitting in the window room again, nursery over shoulder.


So what do you guys think?!  Does it inspire any ideas in your mind’s eye?  What does it remind you of?  What else would you like to see?  Any requests for future stories?  Hit me up!  Let me know!  I love hearing from you guys…

….I don’t want to rush things, but maybe we could consider starting something up…??

We can smell the fear…

25 06 2009
Violater3's Photo "An Unpleasant Sense of Fear"

Violater3's Photo "An Unpleasant Sense of Fear"

What sets good eyes out from empty ones is fear.  If you are afraid, you hold back, put up that wall, and that comes across as weak confidence, empty eyes, and a boring photo.  People want to connect, they want to see soul and link up to it – and if there’s a brick wall of panic in front of the model’s eyes – ain’t nobody seein’ or connecting to anything. So that begs the question, “How to get past the fear?”

I’ll keep thinking on this, but in the meantime – any answers?  Go ahead.  Talk amongst yah’selves….

You, Light up my Face

18 06 2009
Models - Look into the Light!

Models - Look into the Light!

Models – look into the light!

One of the things that I love about makeup and photography is the opportunity they both provide to manipulate and experiment with light.  Highlighting and contouring are obvious basics, and then you add shimmers to the mix, and you’ve got a whole other field of fairy dust to play with.

BUT – As much as I love to bend the light to my will, I – a mere mortal – cannot overpower it.  It’s still up to you, the model, to find that light, feel it on your face, and make the photo shine.

Photographers – you’re not exempt from this lesson.  You shouldn’t be constantly reminding the model to “Find the light, Find the light,” but an occasional redirection when they lose track in their creative stories will help fulfill your quota for photographic direction and ensure that you – we all – get a good image.

There are other areas besides the face that can play with the light, but none with features as powerful as the eyes.  It is imperative that we all work together to let those eyes shine and show off your bone structure – otherwise, the picture is a waste, with no emotional connection or background story.  Those eyes are like your cell phone connection to humanity from the desert island in the picture – don’t lose them, or you lose all communication with your audience!

Added benefits?  If you work it, that squint can make your eyes fierce.  And we all know how the modeling and fashion industry feels about fierce.

The Key to Creativity is Continual Learning

11 06 2009

Okay boys and girls....

Be a lifelong learner.

Even if you do something that’s already been done, by studying something and finding connections, you can bring YOUR passion, a depth that others can connect and relate to – AND be inspired by.

Important clarification: studying does not mean memorizing dates and facts – Get LOST in it!

You’ll find yourself naturally drawn to certain topics and then you’ll probably become obsessed and immerse yourself in that topic for awhile.  From that obsession, excitement will follow, a need to act out and put into practice what you have learned – we all learn best by doing, right?  From there, you can explore, experiment, and refine these skills into your trade, be it photography, make-up, modeling poses/energy, writing – what have you.  Once you’ve gotten the knowledge and the experience under your skin, you’ll begin to see it surface in surprisingly creative and subtle ways.

Sure, reading a few books on history and doing a few photoshoots isn’t going to totally revolutionize your style and shoot you to the top of every industry, but, overtime, your knowledge base will improve, and your palette will be all the richer for it.

Besides, life is BORING when we stop learning!!

Another exciting fact?  The digger you deep, the more you find that the ant tunnels of our little worlds are all interconnected.

Pretty cool if you ask me.