Archive for June, 2011
PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is one of my favorite venues to shoot and it was a treat to photograph Liisa and Ethan’s wedding here. Liisa, whose father is English and mom is Finnish, looks like a film star of yore and Ethan a dashing gentleman – yet, don’t judge a book by its cover. The outwardly sophisticated pair are also outdoor enthusiasts who walk on the wild side. They met in San Francisco after Ethan spent a year sailing professionally. With a mutual passion for skiing, sailing and training for road-bike races, it comes as no surprise that Liisa and Ethan took the plunge and decided to craft an adventure-filled life together.
While most brides would be nervous preparing for the big day, Liisa spent the day before the wedding in her ski clothes and drinking beer with friends. Yes, she’s cool like that. On the actual day, however, the picture-perfect couple were well-composed and graceful in an elegant ceremony, thanks to coordinator Stephanie Anderson of One Fine Day. Their guests, all beautifully clad in gorgeous gowns and tuxedos, made you feel like you stepped into an old movie set – where everyone had courtly demeanor and perfectly coiffed hair.
In another post, I talked about how I’ve had a problem with my back for some time – my hips were literally locked and my booty-shaking abilities were seriously compromised. Thanks to my regular trips to my chiropractor – I am able to dance freely again. Watch this video of me in a samba dance while I was in Brazil. My boyfriend says he’s never seen a white girl shake her booty like that. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
In the mean time, news from my studio:
TWiT Photo Episode 13 with Ed Kashi
Ed Kashi’s a legendary photographer who regularly works for top magazines such as National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and has won countless awards for his compelling work. I first met Ed in an Eddie Adams workshop – and he has always inspired me with his passion and sensitive, moral eye for political and social issues. Watch TWiT Photo Ep. 13 to learn his photography insights and tips here or on iTunes. Ed, you kicked butt!
Have questions, suggestions or praises? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Interview With Jondo Art
We all witnessed a terrible disaster as the worst earthquake in decades rocked the northeast coast of Japan a few months ago. In a bid to help, I joined organizers, Jondo and artist-photographer Maki Kawakita, and 10 other photographers who donated their artwork to raise funds for a good cause. Here, read my interview with Jondo, where I shared my inspirations and idols.
Recommended: Gloria Wong Design
Gloria Wong is one of the most sought after event designers not just because of her inspired creativity, but also for her masterful attention to detail. Her San Francisco boutique wedding design and consulting company is a leading choice for discerning brides. She crafts exceptional weddings with exquisite details, that ties style and personalities with the bride and groom’s particular vision.
Every year, thousands travel from all over the world to Black Rock City to rejoice in the freedom of expression at Burning Man. In the desert, your bike is pretty much your best friend. I took this photograph during my first year at the festival and I wanted to capture the great vibe of the place – how it’s more about the lived experience, than the colorful individuals who inhabit the Playa. The bike and the mirror allow us to experience this woman’s creative self-expression and spontaneity, but they are also a channel through which we experience the nonconformist and alternate reality of a harmonious gathering of free and creative spirits.
My first show on TWiT Photo was so much fun – thanks to our funny, engaging expert guest, Scott Kelby. I hate to give out spoilers – but what happened on the show was too cool for me to keep it to myself. We asked Scott to give our viewers tips on soft lighting and lo and behold, he walked away from what we thought was a Skype cam to a moving on-set camera – the Photoshop maestro had a gorgeous model waiting for him! And guess what? He actually conducted an in-studio demo shoot and caused a riot in the TWiT chatroom. Hats off to you, Scott! Watch the full episode here or on iTunes.
Keep a look out for the next episode of TWiT Photo tomorrow at 1 p.m. PST. We have another great guest lined up :)
Linus had his blankie – I used to carry Steve McCurry’s Portraits everywhere as an aspiring photographer for months on end. Every night, I would flip through the pages in awe of the intensity of each photograph – how Steve, famous for his portraiture work, including the epic Afghan Girl photograph, has somehow captured the secrets of each character with his camera. I swore one day I would work and learn from the master of portraiture. Guess what? It came true and I was lucky enough to work for Steve. I attribute the success of my own portraiture work to my invaluable term as Steve’s assistant. Here, the master muses on his craft.
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Post + Photo By Steve McCurry
“A true portrait should today and a hundred years from today, be the testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.” – Philippe Halsman
As human beings, we are all fascinated with each other and how we look. Diane Arbus talked about the gap between intention and effect as revealed in portraiture. People put on make-up and adorn themselves because they want to create an effect and give a certain impression, but often, other people look at them and say it’s tragic or comical or curious or funny or odd. Arbus photographed a woman on Park Avenue trying to make a statement with her appearance, but in fact, we see through it, we see the folly. Portraiture can be that kind of sharp critique.
We go to another culture to observe how other people live. Sometimes, you look at somebody on the street and they just seem to have a strong presence, a look, a certain kind of attribute that comes out in the face.
Most of my portraits are not formal situations; they are found situations. In Tibet, for instance, where people have a great sense of style, an innate fashion sense, they come out of the mountains wearing these outlandish hats, make-up, jewelry in their hair.
The Jains in India have exalted and highly revered monks who are naked because they consider the sky to be their garment. They are detached from material things and being naked is a symbol of their renunciation. The nuns and monks wear masks to ensure that no germs or insects creep in. How did they arrive at that, as opposed to Islam where they go to the other end of the spectrum to be covered in flowing robes?
A good portrait is one that says something about the person. We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the good portrait should also say something about the human condition.
I’ve learned that humor is universal. You do a little bit of mime and people laugh. It’s very easy to use humor to connect to people in any culture.
Part of what I’ve done is to wander and observe the world. What else is more interesting than that? Sometimes I think it’s good to observe our planet as though we were dropped down here to make a field report on Planet Earth.