Monday, 30 April 2018

Preloved Luxuries & Millennial Pink

It's been three weeks since I've returned from my China trip and I was out of commission the first two of those three. I don't know what it was (although at one point it was definitely bronchitis – oof) but it sure knocked me on my butt! It was pretty awful and I’m finding myself scrambling to try to catch up for all the lost time. With this post, I can cross April off my to-do list and get a move on the *hundreds* of China photos I’ve been neglecting.

I've been wanting to shoot accessories for a while, and after the few when shooting outfits with Haikang, I realized the main struggle was finding the right surfaces to shoot on. Luckily, while shopping for housewares in Simon's, I found a bunch of neat place mats (for like $4!) and thought they'd be a great hack for those blogger flat lays on gorgeous marble or wood counter tops. Here goes my first try shooting with the marble one (with $1 fake flowers to complete the blogger aesthetic :P)


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Haikang's Spring Lookbook

Even before the final post of the 2017 Fashion project, I knew I wouldn't actually be done with fashion photography. And while I'm enjoying the fashion challenge of my 2018 personal lookbook project, I do miss the fun dynamic of shooting with others. So I reached out to my fashionmister buddy to see if he'd be interested in more fashion shoots and building a lookbook. If you couldn't tell, he agreed! And with the perfect spring-like weather finally pulling through this past weekend -- I love it when everything comes together :)

I tried some more graphics-y styling on some of the photos, just playing around but I think I like the effect!


Friday, 23 March 2018

Details & Dates & Spring Florals

I'm going to come out and say it -- spring is my least favourite season (that's as harsh as it gets, I'm Canadian and we're nice, sorry :P) Knowing my trip to China was going to cut March into a month even shorter than February, I was in full-blown panic mode the second I hit publish on the February post.

I really liked how last post's product and fashion shoots were related, so I kept going through my closet trying to find an item that would trigger the brain blast I needed to get the ball rolling. But for the first full 2 weeks of the month, I made absolutely zero progress - no ideas, no inspiration, nada. And suddenly I was a week out from my trip and guess what, I also didn't managed to pack anything  for my trip! I looked up weather in the cities in China that we would be visiting, and they would have actual spring weather, with sunny rays, some rain (understandable), and lots of flower blossoms! Nothing like the second winter we get in Ottawa (I swear we got more snow in March than in February) -- which lead me to my first epiphany: I don't have proper spring clothes because Ottawa (or even Toronto really) doesn't have a proper spring! I mean, sure, I have clothing items of the correct warmth and thickness, but in greys and burgundys and other more autumnal hues and patterns.

Now I was faced with two problems: nothing to shoot and nothing to pack. I was complaining about this quite annoyingly to my super supportive girlfriends when one pointed out, why don't I do the blog post on how hard it is to dress for spring? And she's right, that was the whole point, wasn't it? Not to show easy outfit pairings, but to challenge myself and help me break through mental blocks.

Once the idea was in my mind, I had to write it down in my photography notebook, which led me to my product/lifestyle shoot:





I'm by no means a super detail-oriented person but I do find that after the initial inspiration strikes, rough planning -- especially physically putting pen to paper (I'm a little old-school like that) -- helps me hit the ground running to put my ideas into action. This specific notebook is actually my photography notebook, and I thought about sharing a literal page out of my book, but my handwriting is actually pretty atrocious, so I painstakingly took my first stab at some hand lettering instead.

For the outfits, I unwittingly ended up with another pants vs skirt combo again -- but I rather like both in their own ways! There are a number of similarities between the outfits which I'll get into below:

Outfit 1 (left): Floral grey sweatshirt from J Crew, (inner) button down shirt from Club Monaco, WHBM white ankle pants, thrifted vintage layered necklace, thrifted vintage navy Dior heels
Outfit 2 (right): LOFT blouse, J Crew Factory floral skirt, vintage belt, Coach suede flats

Outfit 1: The Floral Sweatshirt

This sweatshirt from J Crew is probably the most spring-appropriate item I own! The florals have fresh shades of green, blue, and splashes of yellow, and the roomier fit allows for layering. After the shoot, I packed the sweatshirt into my suitcase for the trip :)



I paired it layered over a button-down shirt, which would be the right thickness for Ottawa spring, and white bottoms to brighten up the whole outfit. Some vintage touches in the jewelry and shoes and this would be casual Friday at the office or a dressier Sunday brunch with girlfriends. I like this outfit because it highlights this preppier, almost country club type vibe that I don't showcase very often, but is still a very real part of my style.

Outfit 2: The Floral Pencil Skirt

I fell in love with this skirt at first sight but hesitated on buying it right away due it it not fitting properly at the waist. However, I couldn't stop thinking about it so I went back to pick it up the weekend after! I normally wear it paired with tights but decided that the greens were a fresh enough aspect to the floral print that I could make it work for spring.



Similar to the previous outfit, I went with simple, white/cream pairings to keep the focus on the florals. Relied on my trusty vintage belt to secure the loose waist. Shoes are these adorable little pointed-toe, berry coloured suede flats from Coach. I own a few pairs of Coach shoes and they've always been really good quality leather, super soft and luxurious. The Bay carries Coach shoes and I notice they regularly have sales, so it's an affordable investment, in my humble opinion.

You may or may not have noticed that I tend to look to my right in the photos. Is it a creative or artistic choice? Is my left side just my better side? Or is it neither and I look to the right because that's where my phone (which I use to remotely control my camera) is precariously placed on the table that's pushed just out of frame?

If you picked c) then congratulations, you win! Your prize is...the secret knowledge behind my poses :P Hope you enjoyed these photos and the story behind my very real struggle!

Thanks for reading :)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Lights Lately

2018 has been off to a pretty busy start in terms of shooting! In addition to my monthly projects, I have a noticeable backlog in addition. But add regular work and the recent preparations for an upcoming trip (more on this later!) it's been a constant game of catch-up! One thing I did manage to get up on the website are photos for a Muay Thai event called Art of War at the Canadian War Museum. Was my first time seriously shooting this sort of content but I'm pretty happy with some of the shots I got! 

This post is another chip at my backlog, first up couple photos here from the Toronto Light Fest. Not to be confused with Lights Festival that I attended in Ottawa last September, with the lanterns. The Toronto Light Fest is an annual temporary art installation in the Distillery District.



Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Vintage Perfume Bottle & Velvet

I feel like I say this a lot (maybe too often?) but I am honestly so incredibly excited to share out the photos in this post. I've had this idea brewing in my brain for quite some time now but I delayed executing, partly due to logistics, but also a little bit out of fear that it wouldn't live up to the image I had built up in my mind.

Still, when I headed back to Toronto for Chinese New Year and Family Day long weekend, all the pieces were finally together, there was no more room for excuses.

Here's my little product shoot inspired by Valentine's day:


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Charcuterie Board & Burgundy Plaid

I can't believe the first month of the new year is already done! It's been an pretty packed month with lots going on but that will likely be the case for the rest of the year. I have lots of exciting things planned and can't wait to share it so take this super lengthy post as a preview of what's to come!

In the moments of the impending wrap-up to a pretty successful 2017 project, I struggled with ideas for my next project. I didn't feel done with fashion photography but at the same time, wanted to pursue something further. I sifted through old photos from both Vintage and Fashion projects and realized I wanted to zero in on the props shots -- some examples:





Shooting with models, going to various locations, and trying to work with what's provided to me was challenging in it's own way. But it'll be really cool to create the sets and have complete control over what comes out on camera. Kind of a throwback to my traditional pencil + paper days, creating something from nothing. A totally different challenge! From the little taste I got from shooting the few props shots in the vintage project, I know this won't be an easy undertaking, but it's definitely an area I want to develop. I haven't focused on this area before so I'll try my best to push myself to create magazine-esque shots of product and lifestyle photography. Here's an example of my aspirations: release the kraken.

It'll be a while before I reach that level but I got an early opportunity to try my hand at a small get together with friends. They brought out the charcuterie board and champagne and I helped arrange it nicely -- but it didn't actually occur to me to take photos until they all pulled out their phones for their Snapchat stories. After laughing along with the many filters, I decided to snap up some shots of my own.

"Alright, move aside ya filthy casuals." -cue more laughter-



Friday, 19 January 2018

Winter Wrap-up with Perrin

Please excuse the lateness of this post! Perrin and I actually did shoot this back in December when this post should have come out but the entire month was insanely chaotic with work and holidays and then I left for my trip (more on that later!) but better late than never right? Plus, winter is like, the longest season in Ottawa, so these outfits are still relevant even now!


So herreeeee we goooo!