A new-found respect for the fashion photographer

20130917-103324.jpg

My attention is always being pulled in the oddest of directions. And with a fashion show, one would expect that my attention would be squarely focused to the MASSIVE stage in the middle of the MASSIVE room but true to form, the obvious does not hold my interest for very long. I was particularly interested and drawn to the photographers situated at the end of the runway. For there they rest, silently waiting in the shadows for their prey; once the scripted pose is achieved, their furious snapping begins. And just as fast as it all starts – it ends – and they simultaneously drop their weapons as she floats away.

It was the same scenario for each person that graced the end of that stage. And oddly enough – I was completely mesmerized by the pattern. But don’t tell that to the designer presenting on stage. It will be our little secret…

I guess the stage show didn’t draw my attention like it should have because it all seemed to be rather contrived. Way too controlled despite the lively music. Not to mention the fact that EVERYTHING is beautiful at a distance. And I happen to be someone who genuinely appreciates fine details – which are next to impossible to observe in low lighting on a moving subject. But it was my observations of the photographers as they scrolled through their shots, clearly deleting the ones that were not worthy of the space, that offered me the sense of authenticity that I was seeking from the event. Their presence also provided me with an interesting and creative point of view with which to observe, because each photographer was vying to get a slightly different shot than the other, even though they were all presented with the exact same material to work with. I watched as some moved about the room, capturing different angles, all in the hopes of communicating the emotion that the designer was hoping to achieve; even if the model was unable to convey it clearly.

A fascinating evening indeed for very different reasons than one would ever imagine.

Advertisements

The art of the selfie

20130827-104731.jpg

I would love to post my daily outfit selections to my followers. I spend considerable time (and money) on my wardrobe and genuinely enjoy the whole process of dressing, selecting and styling myself for the day. I feel that I am doing everyone a public service by taking great care to make myself look presentable in the morning.

As a result, I am always WAY too overdressed for an errand at Walmart. And that’s just the way I like it thank you very much 🙂

But this lack of documentation leaves me in a bit of a pickle because I have no idea how all these people are taking pictures of their outfits on a daily basis! I have tried everything from mirrors, balancing on stairs and makeshift tripods; all in an effort to get the full view yet I am always left disappointed with the results. As vain as it sounds, I would love the opportunity to participate but have not yet mastered the selfie enough to live up to my high standards. It always seems off kilter, never really giving the outfit that I so carefully selected that morning the justice that it so richly deserves. And I always seem to get a close-up of my chest – not exactly the message I wish to convey to the world…

I find that words cannot communicate these choices either as we are all naturally visual beings. Simply stating that I am wearing a fabulous black one shoulder Michael Kors dress from the Resort Collection 2012 today yields no emotion. No oohs and ahhs to be had and it takes considerable effort to read and imagine me floating down the street on nothing but a cloud of perfume and fluid fabric, pulling and hanging at all the right spots. Thank you internet for making me jaded and impatient.

Sigh.

Is there a technique that I am missing? Or is it just an accepted fact that selfies are simply bad photos?

I got my proofs!

Time to celebrate!  The wait is over!

Time to celebrate! The wait is over!

There are hundreds of shots to sift through. It is very odd to look at myself repeatedly and then ask my friends what their opinion is of how I look. The whole act seems rather vain to me. Of course, my friends exude nothing but positivity for anything that I do related to this venture, so I am taking their excitement with a grain of salt. As a result, I’ve needed to seek the advice of certain people in my life; people who I go to great lengths to shelter and protect any possible vulnerability from; and open myself up to them and their honest (and potentially brutal) opinion.

Since I am not a “yes” person in my own life (a fact that always seems to get me into trouble…) I certainly don’t want to surround myself with a bunch of “yes” people when seeking advice for this venture. I love my friends but I require an absolutely emotionless and honest opinion.

While there are the usual odd angles, poses that didn’t quite translate right even though at the time they seemed like a really good idea and shots with closed eyes, I also have many usable shots for my website that display the product well and in a professional manner.

So (with a bit of liquid courage), the shots have been exposed for brutal honesty. Arguments for or against have been pitched. My gut is telling me the direction I ought to go. Now I just need a couple of days to think everything through before making a final decision.

And this is the perfect task to do when I am driving to Montreal. I have nothing but time to think and plan my next move.

My first day as a model

IMG_1268

I stood gingerly on the paper backdrop in my fabulous heels in front of the camera and said naively to my photographer “what do I do now?” She laughed. This was her first obvious clue that I had no idea what I was doing…

She immediately commented that she LOVED the colour of my nails and that they will look fantastic in the colour shots – as if I had somehow planned it this way. I hit my forehead rather dumbly – I hadn’t even thought of that! Luck has struck me once again! I knew there was to be justification for all my frivolous manicures!

Then she just started snapping.

OK – deer in headlights is not a good look. My inner mind just started to spin out of control in ADD proportions. “This whole production is costing me a fortune…these lights are really hot…the last thing I need is to have dead eyes, poor posture and nothing to work with at the end of it all PLUS a bill that needs to be paid…is that little blemish covered completely…what’s that in the corner?…”

I literally had to yell at myself inside my head to snap out of it! WTF – I will probably never see these people ever again anyways! This is my chance to practice expressing my true passion and enthusiasm for this venture to complete strangers. I may never have another opportunity to do anything like this ever again! I am literally living a mini-version of a dream I once held as a teenager flipping through all those beautiful magazines, admiring those women and what they were bringing to those glossy pages. I should be forever grateful for this once in a lifetime experience! I’m ACTUALLY living a daydream!

OK- with control and sanity regained, I decided it would be best to start talking about everything that I have done to bring me to this point only because I have been told that my eyes glitter when I do. I had to do something to pull this from the fire. And that’s when my postures relaxed and I started to move my body and provide her lens with range.

And she too breathed an audible sigh of relief. Possibly with an eye roll as if to say – “Finally. Now, we are getting somewhere…”

Studying for the real test tomorrow…

Sunny day by the pool studying W magazine and Nylon…

Fashion shoot is scheduled for tomorrow. I feel like I’m in university again cramming for the final exam.

I’ll let you know how it all went-my only fear is that I will stand stiff and the shots will be useless…

If all else fails, at least there’s photoshop.

Day 40 – Fashion Inspiration – Erin Wasson

IMG_0861

Quirky, fearless, unapologetic and effortlessly cool. These are the thoughts that come to mind when I think of Erin Wasson.

Not that I know her. Or have ever met her. Or seen her in real life…

Now, if I really sit down and analyze this statement, it feels a little strange that I can identify so strongly with only an image. Her brand. I only know that she exists because I have been told that she does. I have only seen what I have been “allowed” to see – yet her influence on me is as real as if I knew her personally. I can only imagine that we would hang out with a cold beer,where we would discuss our latest tattoos and how we never really connect with others because we seem to operate on different level. In this daydream, I see a swing porch in this conversation, dry grass and a hot setting sun…

So, even knowing that I have been fed all this potentially diluted data, I continue to use “her” as a template for my fashion life. I admire her photos for their stunning range. I emulate her apparent unfazed attitude daily. I seek to portray her easy, carefree confidence. But what is truly amazing is that she has communicated all of these thoughts and characteristics to me simply though a photo lens. And that is really where her true talent lies.

To always be quirky, fearless, unapologetic and effortlessly cool. My daily fashion mantra.

Thanks Erin.