November 30, 2011

StyleLikeU is a refreshingly brilliant site and one of my top favorite places on the internet. This site takes fashion and transforms it into a language which is spoken by each of the different people they feature. Why I love it so much is because it's all about the personal styles of a host of individuals: from designers, to writers, to students, to artists, and not just merely about the clothes. I am so intrigued by personal style because I feel that the way we dress expresses a bit about who we are as individuals, even if we don’t mean to do so. This site reaffirms that style is, perhaps, the broadest form of self expression that exists. I definitely encourage you to check out StyleLikeU and to watch the videos of these different people discussing what style means to them and how their lifestyles influence the way they dress, you will not be disappointed! In the meantime, I will leave you with a few of my personal favorites..

November 20, 2011

A Look Through My Lens, Part 5

A Look Through My Lens is an ongoing series on That GOOD GOOD Blog which features awe-inspiring photographers from all over the world. I have had the absolute privilege of interviewing 10 photographers thus far through this series and today I have 2 more amazing additions to the ‘A Look Through My Lens’ family. Please enjoy the stories of Andre Wagner from New York and Xavier Burgin from Tuscaloosa, Alabama as they share about their passions for their art forms and where their love for photography all began.

I've been shooting digital for almost two years now. What initially caught my interest was black and white photos and film development. I took a black and white film class in college for my initial interactions.
For my personal work, I would say it's more about portraits. But I also shoot some fashion look-books, editorials, and lifestyle photography.

I would definitely say lifestyle, real and meaningful are words that define my photography. For me it's really more about capturing the feeling and emotion than creating it.
In most of my photos people are the most important element. People just draw me and I love deciding on what still should live on forever.

Gordon Parks is my all time favorite. The way he captured beauty in his era was amazing. He was multi-talented by also being recognized as a painter, music composer, and a writer. His personal story is also something that people can relate to and realize they too can do whatever it is they work for. He was also the first African American Vogue fashion photographer breaking the mold for younger generations like myself.
I'm currently using a Nikon D7000. I've started with Nikon so it just makes sense to me.


What set me into photography was (first and foremost) film. I'm a film production major at The University of Alabama and I was going through stasis period of what I really wanted to do with myself. I started out believing I wanted to fashion myself as a new-age writer, but that fell through once I realized I wanted so much more. I started looking for something that involved the creation of stories while pushing an idea to wider audience. That's when film and screenwriting became my focus. From there, I knew if I was going to learn anything about the art-form I needed to dive in both the literary and cinematographic areas of film.  The first REAL device I picked up was a FLIP camera that only did video. Now that I look back on it I've jumped light years ahead, but it's interesting to see how my mode of progress and equipment changed. I took the Flip everywhere with me and used it to document my entire time at the Cannes Film Festival plus catch footage for my first short film (which I laugh about now). I also used it to pick up random footage to play with in media lab library. Some nights I would be there so long the assistants would have to ask me to leave. Once I started getting better with making really short videos I started counting ducks and saving my money up till I could buy the camera I wanted. Unfortunately, I kept on getting hit with setback after setback till the point I thought I'd never get enough money to buy my first camera. My pops watched all of this behind the scenes and gave me a lifesaving proposition. If I could at least save up half the money he'd go in with the rest plus helping me with equipment. I snatched the offer and ran with it and we finally picked a camera up.
If had to summarize my photos I would say they are "Random Ideas In Progress." That just means I'm still learning many of the in and outs of photography and I'm doing this on my own. Whether I'm reading a book or scouring the internet I'm just testing and re-trying everything I do. I want my photography to represent a testament of my growth. I want people to say my photographs have grown with me. As I mature, the relevance and craft of my work should age as well. My type of photos would be "growing pains" in a way. As for what I'm into, it's anything and everything. I've done a few photoshoots, but they are for my enjoyment and the model's benefit. I'm not looking for monetary gain. I just want to post interesting pictures on my website. Aside from the virtual randomness that is my desire for photography I end up taking a lot of personal photography dealing with my family. It's probably one of the best ways I've reconnected back with them along with giving me something tangible to look through. A good example of this is a good batch of photographs I took my grandparents just for myself. I'll probably post them soon, but they have literally never been photographed years...or at least not in a way that truly focuses on their person. That made a big difference for me. My photos just seems to either be spur of the moment or personal insights that clarify who I am.

3 words that describe my photography are random, personal, and puberty.
 My best photos have been ones of children. Even in a closed environment where I've asked them to do something a kid will always have that something about him or her that compels them to do what they want. This isn't a bad thing though. It's given me some of my most interesting pieces.

I use a Canon T2i (550D)rebel with a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a 18-55mm f/4. I'm still a work in progress so this is still my first camera, but I definitely see nothing wrong with it. Before I upgrade to anything else I want to fully understand the ins and outs of my work. I honestly believe a person with mastery in an area and outdated equipment will beat a novice in a field with the best technology. I want to be that old master in a way.
 One of my favorites is Philippe Halsman. He was able to influence the best of both worlds. He not only was able to work with great actors during his age, but he also was given open fields to work in a creative manner all of his won. I'll just say this. Go look him up and check out his work known as "Jump" pictures. It definitely gives you an idea of how a simple idea can make such an important impact.


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November 13, 2011

That GOOD GOOD Around the Web

It’s back! The gorgeous Solange Knowles relaunched her personal site ‘My Damn Blog’ a little over a week ago. This time around, she has taken to where she shares stunning photography from her various travels. As I have said time and time again, I am a humungous fan of Solange; I think she is a brilliant musician and I am so taken by her unique sense of style. My Damn Blog is definitely worth a moment of your time, click here to check it out! Here are a few of my favorite shots..

Like Smoke by Amy Winehouse feat. Nas
Like Smoke is the first song that has been released from Amy Winehouse’s posthumous album, ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ which will serve as record of Amy’s musical development throughout the years. The album will be composed of a series of 12 unreleased tracks put together by Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, both of who collaborated with Amy several times during her career. Amy Winehouse was and still is one of my favorite singers to ever live. I really look forward to hearing this album!

Gorgeous photos from a spread done by Nasty Gal Vintage have been making their way around tumblr and a number of other blogs as well. I must say, I am so in love with what I am seeing. The model is absolutely marvelous (I am so in love with her hair!) and the clothing is great as well. Kudos to whoever photographed this, they really caught some great moments. To see the rest of the photos and to check out Nasty Gal’s website, click here.

The beautiful Toyin Odutola, an artist that I have previously interviewed & featured on this blog, has become the face of the A/W 2011 collection of Pour Porter, an online boutique which boasts incredibly unique pieces from original designers, which I initially learned about last summer through Toyin’s tumblr. The talent that Toyin possesses is nothing short of remarkable; not only is she an extremely gifted artist, but she also makes a splendid model as well. To check out Pour Porter online, click here. Here are a 2 more of my favorite shots..

November 8, 2011

Fall Fashion: He/She's Got That Good Good Edition

As I always say, there is no season better than the fall! I am in love with this time of the year; I truly believe it brings about the best of fashion. I have become quite fond of putting together style inspiration posts for every season and I have been trying to decide what I wanted to do for this fall post. Finally, the little light bulb in my head went off and I have decided to revisit a few of the amazing people I have had the privilege of featuring in my “He/She’s Got That Good Good” style series and to see what they are rocking this fall. You can click on each person's name to see their He/She's Got That Good Good feature & click on each person's link to be directed to their blog. Enjoy!

What have you been wearing this fall? Leave it below in a comment!

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