Model: Azaria L @ Brand Models Makeup: Brittany Ball
sidney x willow models heres a session with blonde bombshell kaitlynn from a bit ago, been meaning to share the full shoot for a while! enjoy!
The ocean, the beach- it's like pure medicine to me. I need to live near it. Too much time without gazing at the horizon, too much time without touching my toes to the water, or walking on the sand and I break a little inside. While California water gets cold, dipping into it and floating on its surface, the temperature doesn't matter to me. It's healing and as I grow older, I become more and more self aware of a much needed connection I have to the sea that I just cannot ignored. During my time in college, a great professor, downright scared me. He scared me because he spoke of "burning out." He shared that many students he would talk with after graduating did not want to photograph anymore. Since then, I have burnt out, many times. My relationship with photography has been a continual rollercoaster of love and hate. I'm always wanting to get better and in response to this, I've gotten angry. I push myself and I burn out. But, then I get anxious and I need to create. I need to pick up that camera.
The ocean helps. It inspires. It heals. It reignites the flame. It's a reset for me, a way of stepping back and acknowledging the grandness of the world. It's hard to do that in the world today. There is a constant demand of instant, new work. Share! Share! Share! But it's in those moments of rest for me that the seed of something great has time to develop, to be created. I need to live a life, in order to create something lasting.
The ocean is an inspiration to so many and means a great different things to people. But here, this story is a reflection of the calm, the quiet, and the stillness it can bring directly to one's soul.
Model Kelly Coker shows up as the ultimate beach goddess in Malibu, California.
Makeup by Maddie Buffardi
Photography & Art Direction: Sidney Kraemer
Photography Assistant: Alexa Smith
One of the most rewarding parts about being a photographer is being able to document the important moments of my life. While you rarely see me take a selfie, a self portrait - on the other hand - is a different story. And I think it's probably time I embrace the selfie game anyway. But back to where I was going...when I first started taking pictures in college, I often had to use myself as the subject for assignments. As anyone knows, being in front of the camera is a lot different than being behind the camera. I think doing both is important. Ever see a model become a photographer or a model/photographer? There must be a good reason for that, right?
Being in front of the camera will make you a better photographer and picking up a camera will make you a better model. It allows you to step into the other persons shoes. For instance, after being behind the camera I am much better at communicating and directing my models. I learned that models need feedback. A successful shoot has plenty of communication. Saying the model does everything perfect, repeatably, will become insincere and loose its authenticity. Which is not going to make them perform their best. But, not enough communication leaves room for questions - What is the photographer looking for? What should I be doing? What do they want? Not to mention self doubt might creep in! Ah!! Same for the other side, those individuals that shoot in addition to modeling, know things that help make the shoot go smoother. They know how important light is and how it works. They play their bodies to the light. They might even know what a photographer is going to say before they say it! It is just like another form of practicing, practicing from a different angle, a different perspective.
Now, after school, I found myself not as frequently in front of the camera. There were no friends calling me to shoot last minute assignments and my fashion work definitely did not call for a 5 and 1/2 of an inch small fry. But I wanted to get back in front of the camera to remind myself how the models feel, to sharpen my communication. So, I started shooting a lot of self portraits again, and mostly with my daughter to document our relationship and her ever-changing growth. Today, I wanted to share an image I took of the two of us that was chosen as a finalist in the 8th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. As a finalist, my image will be exhibited in the Berlin Biennial 2016! I feel so grateful and excited to be honored alongside such talented artists from around the world. Check out the galleries of the awardees and finalists here. Now, if only I can get over there to see it all. I got time though, maybe it will happen...
Everyone, I'm pumped to share this story with you all. Shot in Los Angeles Art's District, Model Lily shows off some california winter basics for any budget.
Forming a relationship with the subject of your lens has great benefits. While I often think photographers are worried about shooting more models, shooting with someone you already have before has its benefits. Where do you think muses come from? There's a level of trust that is there and often a smooth flow, like dancing. Having a level of comfort is essential for me when shooting. I'm asking someone to be vulnerable. I might ask them to show intense emotion or do something that might seem really silly to them. If they don't trust me, it will show, seeming forced or unnatural.
This is preciously why I like to speak to my models as much as I can before shooting. I try to have everything ready even before everyone's arrival, if its possible, and that way I can talk to my people. Get to know them a little bit before I start directing them from behind the camera. I find this is especially helpful for new faces.
Shooting with Lily again, I wanted to do something very different from the beauty shoot we had done previously. Her own personal style influenced my choices and this sort of vintage street style became the movement for the shoot. I was super inspired by the makeup trends for winter this year. I've always been a fan of the classic looking cateye, in the hands of my makeup artist, Crystal came out so beautiful.
I'm a big fan of Zara and they show up a few times in this story. Proving fashion does not have to cost an arm and a leg, Zara has become a major staple in many women and men's closet. I can still recall my first time in their store. I was in high school shopping with my sister at one of our favorite places, South Coast Plaza, known for its luxury designer stores, and she exclaimed that we just had to go in to Zara. Previously, I had always looked longingly at the dressed mannequins in the window and continued on assuming it was one of those stores I could never really purchase anything at. She led me in and years later it is still a must visit during shopping excursions. Oh my goodness and now with their kids line! I can safely assume Billy's closet is over half of the Zara brand. If you haven't checked out their kids line I order you to do so right now. For some more adult looks check out our story below.
Shirt: Ella Moss
Ear Cuff: Leith
Blouse and Skirt: Zara
Model: Lily McCune
Makeup by Crystal Martinez @ Iconic Artistry
Thanksgiving is officially behind us. I hope everyone can attest to eating as much turkey as I did. And now...onward to the Christmas season! I'm sure many of you will agree with me, there is something about Christmas that just makes everything good. There is nothing I love more than seeing all the lights and decorations. I absolutely love the window displays, each transporting you to magical world. I'll admit sometimes I head to the mall, grab a cup of cocoa, and my favorite almond croissant, just to look at the over the top holiday displays. The creativity that goes into everything is just one of the reasons I love the season so much.
Another reason it remains my favorite season is the holiday parties. Holiday parties are a chance for us to show that same creativity, luxury, and opulence. One of the few things in today's casual world we can still dress up for. Perhaps it is the cold weather allowing us to wear that outrageous fur coat that automatically ups the ante or the twinkling lights that provide the perfect ambience for our floor length gown we thought we would never have a chance to wear...but let us dress to impress this holiday season.
Last week I had the pleasure of shooting Miss Taylor Anne of Brand Models. Here she shows us some perfect holiday looks from the party, to after hours. Everyone on set was loving the sequined asymmetrical dress, vintage fur coat, black velvet, and classic lingerie. What do you guys think?
Model: Taylor Anne @ Brand Models
Makeup by Sharla Sobraska
Photography & Art Direction: Sidney Kraemer