Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saint Laurent Fall 2014

Heidi Slimane brought us sixties mod style at its purest for this season of (drop the Yves) Saint Laurent.  My sharing of this collection is very self-centric however: these are the types of clothes I love wearing. Sparkly mary-janes, mod minis, and the always stylish beaten leather jacket over a feminine frock--the style inspiration is vintage but for those who are a fan of the 60s its timeless. Details I'll be focusing on when trying to imitate are the higher mock-turtle neck collars and glitter-fied shoes. View the full collection here.

The Subtleness of the Sea

Helen's Tower was located near the coast, so a seaside excursion was called for and I even packed the perfect dress in anticipation. I figured with Ireland being an island and all I would eventually have cause to wear a dress with whales--the knit made it an even more cozy option for the brisk excursion. I'm quite convinced that longer length skirts, even just ones that hit at my knee instead of above it, aren't the best for petite females like myself, however I'm trying to experiment with more of them this spring and summer. There's an elegance to a longer skirt that can't be found in something of the shorter more flippy cheerleader variety I usually favor. So, I'm trying to learn to deal with looking my height in favor of seeming more elegant.

Outfit details:
Shop Ruche coat (sold out)
vintage shoes
Zara purse
*pictures by Thomas

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photo Tip: Executing Photo Shoots by Micaela

Most of my photo tips have focused on how to take your own pictures (self portraits if you please), but this week I've asked Micaela of The Drifter and The Gypsy to share her insights on how to plan a photo shoot. I often think of taking pictures of myself as practice for working with others, but there are a lot of questions about transitioning from one to the other and thankfully Micaela has some insights. I always enjoy her dreamy editorials as well!

Planning, Organizing and Executing a Fashion Photo Shoot
Hi guys! My name is Micaela. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I run Drifter & the Gypsy blog as well as my fashion photography website, micaelahoo.com. My passion for photography was actually born out of my blog (I was constantly inspired by the photography I would come across when gathering content for my blog posts). Aside from one basic entry-level photography class, I am entirely self-taught. I’m excited to walk you through process I go through when planning, organizing and executing a fashion photo shoot.
The first step is coming up with a concept. I ask myself, “What is the general mood I’m trying to convey?/What inspired this shoot?” Usually I’m inspired by song lyrics, books and movies. From there I brainstorm a few keywords that embody the mood of my shoot. Then using those keywords I brainstormed, I search for some images to create a mood board. A mood board is essentially a collage of images that all match in style and creates the aesthetic you are trying to achieve.
After I create a mood board, I pitch my idea (via email) to some people I’d like to be part of my photo shoot team. My team consists of a makeup artist, a hairstylist, a wardrobe stylist, and (of course) a model. It usually takes a few tries (and emails) until I piece together enough people that are interested in the shoot and available on the date that I had in mind. When choosing a model, I usually browse through the websites of agencies in my area and choose a few of my favorite models. I then email the model agent (their contact info can usually be found on their website) with my concept, accompanying mood board, shoot date, location, and team; I include as much info as possible to give them a detailed understanding of how I envision this shoot.
Shoot day is the most fun and the most stressful! I always worry that someone isn’t going to show up or get lost and luckily I’ve never had that happen (although I HAVE had people back out of my photo shoots the night before). Depending on how intricate the style, makeup and hair can take 1-2 hours. Either before or after makeup is done, the wardrobe stylist will fit the model in the outfits he/she brought. In a typical editorial shoot, there are anywhere from 6-10 outfit changes. Then I shoot! I usually have a list of shots I want to get, which makes it easier to explain to the model how I want him/her to pose. When shooting digital, sometimes the photographer will bring his/her laptop to upload the photos as they go along so that they can see how the shots are coming out and if they need to change hair/makeup/wardrobe based on how the final images are looking. In most recent years, I’ve tended to gravitate toward using film photography, so I don’t have this luxury! Although I’ll always bring my camera to test the lighting before I start shooting. Film is so expensive these days, I have to use it sparingly!
After shoot day is done, I am left with a few hundred images to sort through, edit and retouch (if I’m using digital). When I’m using film, it’s off to the camera store I go to get my film developed! I hardly ever retouch my film photos. Something about their rawness and the grain is so natural and works so well with my vision I feel they don’t need to be retouched. However, editing down to my favorite shots can be tough. I try to keep each photo shoot or fashion story to 20 images and less to keep it cohesive. The editing process takes me about 1.5-2 weeks. I like to take a few days off in between to be able to come back to the photos with a fresh eye. Sometimes my perception of the images changes and a shot I didn’t like before I like better later.

After I’m done editing the photos I email them to the entire team and put them on my website. I’m done with another successful shoot! Hopefully this post was insightful and inspires you to start shooting for yourselves! If you’re looking for more information, I did more detailed blog posts breaking down the process: part one and part two.
*behind the scenes photographs from my Bella Blue shoot
For more of Micaela's awesome work check out her blog and portfolio.

Straight Forwards

As promised on Monday: further pictures exploring the interior of Helen's Tower. The tower boasted a quite modern kitchen and facilities, so it was only after you walked up the spiral staircase to the third floor and opened the ancient wooden door to this chamber that you felt you had truly stepped into the past. Elaborately painted ceiling, ornate wallpaper, narrow arching windows--check, check, check! This sitting room was where Thomas and I spent most of our time; enjoying a little cider in the evening, sitting in front of the fire as the wind whipped around the tower, even playing the occasional board game--the room managed to convey both the grandeur of a forgotten time and be welcoming and cozy enough that on grey days I never wanted to leave.

Outfit details:
Anthropologie jacket
Seychelles oxfords
*pictures by Thomas

Monday, April 14, 2014

Postcards From Ireland

A few snaps from my first week running around Ireland, or rather Northern Ireland.

Helen's Tower

My expressions in these photographs in no way convey the amount of excitement I had when I first saw Helen's Tower. The other week was my one year anniversary with Thomas and I was mostly exited to be in Northern Ireland to spend time with him and didn't anticipate more than a meal out to commemorate the occasion. He surprised me by announcing we were going away for a couple of day and didn't reveal the destination, even as we drove off towards the seaside I was in the dark. It wasn't until we found our way on a small backroad driving deeper and deeper into some murky woods and finally rounded a corner to see this tower looming above us that our destination--Helen's Tower--was revealed to me. As an American all too easily impressed with the sight of castle ruins the idea of staying in an actual tower for a few nights was quite overwhelmingly (to use my most American term) awesome. The tower was built in the 1800s and the Irish Landmark trust has renovated it (along with other interesting properties) to make the tower suitable for brief visits. I have more pictures to share inside some of the rooms in the tower, but today the focus is on the impressive exterior, the spiral staircase that rose through the center, and our little rooftop area which provided beautiful views on less foggy days. It felt quite surreal to unlock the front door and make ourselves at home--even on our second night sitting by the fire with a game of Scrabble in the evening I found my eyes wandering around the room and wondering how I managed to get there. Definitely an outstanding anniversary surprise that I won't soon get over.

Outfit details:
Seychelles oxfords
*pictures by Thomas
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