Okay so after two months of living in New York and hunting in Manhattan for agency representation, the consensus I have gathered from all the feedback is that I need new photos.
A few weeks back, I met withagency owner Jeff from Q Model Management, and he shuddered at the sight of my portfolio! He said it made me look old 😦 and that I look much much better in person 🙂 Also, my DC agency, the Mattison Agency, kicked me off their website. They said they weren’t getting any inquires for me. Geez 😦
I know I could’ve done better with the overall presentation of my portfolio. It is in a binder with plastic sleeves protecting the photos. Note to self: If I’m going to be in NY with the big girl models, I need to have a book that puts me in the competition. I can’t be walking around with a Staples 3-ring binder. I need a professional looking portfolio with my name enscribed on front in glitter (well, not the last part, but you catch my overall drift).
I’m not sure why I didn’t think it was that important. I guess it was because my book sufficed for what I was doing in Washington DC, but this isn’t DC anymore. After meeting with Direct Model Management and not getting a definate no or yes, I decided it was time to get a new look in my portfolio. Something commercial, something clean and simple.
So now I’m hunting for a team. The first hurdle is a photographer. Then I’ll need a make up artist, and a hair stylist, and a wardrobe stylist. I’m aiming to accomplish this by mid-February, because hopefully by then I will have dropped an additional ten pounds (yes I know, I gotta be a skinny bitch for this).
Anyway if you read this post, and you know of anyone great in the NYC area, feel free to post their information in the comment section!
I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything once I started working here. That lasted ohhhh about 2.46 weeks. Four pairs later, I am offically a fan of Cole Haan shoes! The quality is amazing, they are so well made! And they have size 11!!
These are the shoes that have found their way into my closet and my heart lol. I have to put a hault on my spending for now, but there are definately a few more items on my list.
Juno Boot (water proof)
Lizzie Rain Boot (water proof)
No no no, I’m not talking about the delicious island fruit. I’m talking about a fashion tasty treat, if these clothes had calories I’d be in the gym daily. When I say TONS of clothes, I mean it. You absolutely must check out this website.
Check out some of my favorite pieces, all under $60!!
Hello, my name is Naomi and I have big feet. I wear a size 10.5 (which only exists in a fairy tale fantasy land with unicorns and mermaids), sometimes **gasp** I wear a size 11.
The problem I always have when I have to buy boots is that the calf is too big. Just because I have big feet doesn’t mean I have gigantor calfs. My legs always look like they are drowning in the leather that is my boot.
Imagine my amazement when I came across this boot from Tom’s shoes.
You can wrap it around your leg! How ingenious. It comes in red and tan too, and is priced at an acceptable $98.
A little about Tom’s shoes…
One for One
TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we’re all about.
In 2006 an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie, befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by caring TOMS customers.
Since our beginning, TOMS has given over 150,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the One for One model. Because of your support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009.
Point, click, point, click again. If that is all you think there is to the art of photography, you are highly mistaken. One click of the camera has to capture the light, the essence of the surrounding environment, and the emotion and soul of the subject. One click of the camera has to grasp the scene so very eloquently that anyone viewing the reproduction feels as thou they are in the moment in which the picture was taken.
Ajani Truth, a Maryland native now residing in Arlington, VA, understands all the underlying details behind pointing and clicking. He just decided to pick up a camera one day and began shooting birds and flowers, or “stuff that can’t complain” as he humorously puts it.
What type of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D300. I learned from my days doing music production that it wasn’t so much about the equipment, but the creativity. So when this camera can no longer technically do what I want then I will upgrade. I started with a Nikon D60 – the camera that Ashton Kutcher was running around with in the Nikon commercials.
Other than your camera, what’s your favorite photography accessory?
I would say the beauty dish, being that I do a lot of beauty work for makeup artists [and] companies. The beauty dish is hard light that creates a real sharp, contrasting look. Plus, with beauty work, that beauty dish can help reveal fine details…I pretty much love anything that can help me modify the light.
How do you find the subjects for your photo shoots?
Early on, I found most of my models on Model Mayhem (Model Mayhem is a networking site for models, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, and Photoshop experts) but lately I have been contacting various agencies in the DC, Baltimore, Richmond, and New York areas. I’ve actually found several exceptional agency models on Craigslist, [but it] can be a little amusing sometimes because people don’t read the castings so I end up having males responding to female ads, half-naked photos, and just terrible images. It’s like an online American Idol! I sort of love it for that reason.
What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by so many things. People hate the rain and the clouds, but I love it! It puts me into a “Europe” mindset, especially when I couple it with my second inspiration, music such as Telepopmusik or Thievery Corporation.
Is there any picture that you are particularly proud of?
There is a picture from a test shoot with a model from Wilhelmina that I love. One of my favorite makeup artist and hairstylist Demetress Valentine put the look together. The colorful piece came from a designer named Tia Gugliotta who has done costume designing and wardrobe coordination for starts like Marilyn Manson, Shania Twain, Janet Jackson, and the Backstreet Boys.
The way Demetress Valentine matched the makeup with the colors in the piece…was amazing. The hair was a 6 ft. ponytail that was wrapped around the model’s head. The executing on our side and the models expression just hits the mark.
Ajani describes his shooting style as ever-changing.
I’ve always liked shadows. My style is getting more dramatic, more edgy. I also like contrast. Forget a pretty model in a pretty setting. Let’s go with a pretty model in a grungy background, like an alley.
What’s something you’re still learning about photography?
On the fashion side, I’m still learning how to create those intriguing storyboards for editorials. I really want to create more fashion stories. Another thing is that I want to create some more interesting effects in the camera as opposed to [creating them] in Photoshop. The main thing that I’m still learning is that my photography style and skills are still growing. That keeps me motivated.
Photoshop is sometimes a photographer’s ace in the hole. It cleans up the image. You can adjust everything from the lighting, the makeup, the models features (skin, hair, eyes) and even her weight! However, agencies sometimes prefer to see an image raw, or pre-Photoshop. It can really display the skill of the photographer.
Describe the last project you worked on?
My last project was a shoot for Lux Hair Extensions…I had a chance to shoot with a few models that I’ve wanted to work with for a while…It was fun.
What photographer inspires you?
I’m truly inspired by people that seem real to me. Local people such as Roy Cox for his lighting ability and just creating fashion images in a place like Baltimore where people say fashion doesn’t exist. David Leslie Anthony…has that raw edginess that I love. Going back a bit, [I also like] Helmut Newton just because it’s raw, sexual energy but still classy and still fashion. Last but not least…I would have to say Gordon Parks. Parks was able to embody what I envision for myself. He did portraits of amazing things dealing with race and socioeconomics but also did fashion. I have a desire to create those portraits that people see and remember for decades.
Some people that Ajani would jump at the chance to shoot are music artist/actor Mos Def, political prisioner/activist Mumia Abu Jamal, Lady GaGa and Rihanna. He is intrigued by interesting people across all genres and professions. He feels that when you shoot a portrait of a person, you build a relationship with them and get to understand them on another level (which may be different than what you see in movies, music videos, etc.).
It’s no surprise that Ajani describes himself as the “Truth,” and that is just what his photos embody: moments in time captured just as they are, in all their splendor, emotion, and beauty.
I try to predict what’s up and coming in the fashion world. I was a little late with the jumpsuit frenzy, and failed to accept leather leggings, but I do think that combat boots for women will be coming back on the horizon pretty soon.
Women are doing more and more these days, and to press onwards with the never ending quest for equality, we have to pull ourselves up by our boot straps, and those straps should be connected to some fashionable boots. I’m not talking about your Uncle-Sam-Wants-You-army fatigue-mud under the eye-hiding in bushes boots. I’m talking about cute, chic, edgy,and slightly punkish boots.
Check out some of my favs below.
These boots by Madden Girl are your basic black classic combat boot, what’s even more classic is the price, $59.90, no need to go to war over that.
Next, these in brown from MissSixty, and they might turn your credit into a battlefield at $234, but they are very stylish.
Lastly, these knee high boots from Volatile will put you intouch with your inner Lara Croft.
Slightly confused about how to wear them? Don’t fret. You can never go wrong with skinny jeans. I imagine wearing them with some sort of jacket and a shoulder bag. Check out some looks below for inspiration.
Also, combat books can add a certain fcuk you to a girly outfit lol, I’m on board. Are you??
Guess where I met this photographer! Twitter! LOL. I know right, sounds sketch, but after some back and forth tweeting, we decided to meet for lunch to talk about a shoot. We met at the Chicken Out in Bethesda. His name was Rashard, and his craft was Human Clay Photography. I found the name witty and clever.
We got to know each other over chicken and salads and set up a date for a shoot. I wanted him to capture me, plain and simple, sort of like grasping the essence of my being, of all that is Naomi. Hair back, clean face, simple dress. Here’s what we got…
Interesting right? He had some cool filters on the camera that gave it the grey scale effect. While I had a great time shooting and enjoyed his personality, I wasn’t too happy about him branding the photos or only sending me these two. I didn’t get to see any of the rest of them. I guess I should’ve hashed those details before hand. Oh well
I don’t know whether I would toss red paint on these or just stare. Let me start by posting the picture…
This is almost as bad as King Jaffe Joffer’s animal cape.
I’ve seen some pretty “out there” fashion since I’ve been living in New York but I hope to never see these shoe mistakes clomping the pavement on 5th Avenue.
So far, so GOOOOD! I don’t miss DC at all (sorry DC, I love you, but we can never go back there again). I have the subway down to a science and have managed to not get lost, but I’ve learned that late night, or rather early morning (i.e. 4 a.m.) it’s best to cab it home than wait in the empty train station for the next one to arrive.
I went out dancing a couple of times. My favorite place was 1 OAK (or one of a kind) in lower Manhattan. The crowd was so chic and everyone was dressed to be seen. The music was amazing, I literally danced all night. I went with my roommate Monica, and my new model friend Janine.
Speaking of modeling, you might be wondering what’s going on with that. Well, I’m working on it! In the beginning, I dreamed of walking into an agency and them instantly saying “Oh my god, we love you! Sign here! You’re amazing! We love the freckles!” BUT, on the contrary, it is not so simple! I have been to a handfull of open calls and haven’t gotten a definate ‘yes’ as of yet.
Some of the feedback I’ve been getting is that my pictures make me look older than I actually am in person. So, I am going to plan a photoshoot for Janauary to get some fresh shots in my portfolio. In the meantime, I’ve been sending these raw images to agencies (I took them with a regular digital camera)
I was able to get a talent agency, and they have me going to the People’s Court later this month to be an audience member, it doesn’t pay much, but you never know who might be there. I swear every agency in New York has received, if not more than once, these photos!
Last week, Monica and I went on a SKETCHY casting! It was for a designer from India, the casting was at a hotel. We went up to the room and it was just him sitting down. He had us walk for him, but he wasn’t pleased with how I walked, so he told me to walk towards him like I wanted to seduce him and make him kiss me! I was like UMMMMMMM nooooo!!! I’ll walk straight up and down and that’s that! Then, he tried to get Monica and I to dance for him! Unbelievable! I told him I didn’t know how to dance lol. The clincher was when he gave me $40 to go across the street and get a bottle of wine, and let his friend upstairs!!! I know I know, this sounds like the beginning of a scary movie.
I do have a fashion show coming up on December 19th, so I’ll be sure to post about it.
Other than that, I’ve just been enjoying life. I found an amazing part time job at Cole Haan that pays better than my full time professional job back in DC, plus I get a SICK discount on all the goods! I already have added two pairs of shoes to my collection. I met an amazing guy (beginner’s luck) and am smitten (yes smitten) with him. We shall see how month 2 plays out.