Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Summer Saturday Hangout with Joan

Working a regular 9-5, I try my hardest to make time to just hang out and catch up with friends weekend. Some days it's easier said than done! As much as I love photography, it can sometimes take me away or alienate me. I mentioned in my last post, I spent a lot of time shooting the bar, which meant I missed out on some conversations with the girls. And while I was taking pictures of the food, I also missed out on most the group selfies (although they were sweet and made sure to get one with me as well!)

That's why I really appreciate solo one-on-one hangouts. Especially when the friend is also down to be bossed around for some fun casual shoots hehe. I find it's easy to keep a dialogue going and the photos I snap up actually add to the conversation, rather than take me away!

Which brings us to today's post, photos from my casual shoot on Saturday with Joan. We spent the afternoon at 613flea hunting for vintage treasures, followed by some girl talk (clothing, jewelry, and prosecco, duh? :P), then a cup of tea and sunset at the beach. That's what I call a great Saturday!

Friday, 8 June 2018

Montreal Weekend: Fashion, Friends, & Food

Happy Friday everyone! As with every trip I make to Montreal, here's the corresponding giant blog post filled with photos :P It was Amanda's birthday last weekend so myself and a couple of girlfriends from Toronto all met up at Amanda's to celebrate. Brace yourselves, if you aren't hungry now, I'm thinking that might change...

Cheers to the weekend! 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Lace Dress at the Beach

It's the first day of June and it hit 31 degrees today! I don't want to jinx it but it looks like it'll be a promising summer this year. Not going to say much in this post because I have lots of pictures to share! And y'know, equals a thousand words, yada yada :P  Without further ado, here are my favourites from a beach photoshoot with Lily.

When we were reviewing photos on the camera, we both noticed that her sunglasses give off a GUESS Jeans vibe. I only have these two in my cut but I'm really digging the magazine style!
We took the sunglasses off for the rest of the shoot. Here are some more classic portrait-y shots:

Monday, 28 May 2018

Teacups & More Teacups!

By now, I'm more than a third of the way through this yearly project and it's funny how it doesn't matter how far in advance I start to plan the shoots, things always seem to be continuously changing up until the very last minute. I had a completely different concept in mind for this month but that's all put on hold for another month now!

If my Tea Time at Tiffany's shoot from my vintage project was any indication, I love tea. At work, I drink at least 3 cups of tea a day. For this post, I picked my favourites from the shoot I did with my high school classmate who who recently started her own home decor company, HomeJourney.

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 :)