Snap Me: Generation Selfie

It is always a joy to get out in NYC and create some awesome art.  With this session we decided that it was time to send a little message to all of the Selfie Haters out there.

Now of course, these images are not self portraits, I took them, but the point remains the same.  The haters need to step off women who post and are proud to share pictures of themselves. When did we decide it was ok to hate on those who celebrate themselves, who are proud of how they look? How in the world, with all of the judgement we face on a daily basis, did it become ok to judge other women for actually being ok with themselves?

Let’s talk about this for a second.

In a generation where we are constantly accosted by a media and entertainment industry that sets insane and unrealistic standards for every day beauty, we need to celebrate our fellow sisters who are out there taking pride in themselves.


we need to celebrate our fellow sisters who are out there taking pride in themselves

I think that writer Molly Fosco for her article on selfies for the Huffington Post says it best:

“I’ve heard the criticism that my generation expects too much out of life because many of us are the product of positive reinforcement as a parenting technique. Our parents told us “you can do anything,” “you can be anything you want to be,” “you’re special.” So when we get to our late twenties and we’re still working at a job that has nothing to do with our college major or whatever prolific calling we thought we were going to fulfill by now, we become dejected and frustrated. We feel like we’re not doing enough, we feel like there’s so much more out there we’re meant to do and be. So where do we look to find that fulfillment and self-worth? Yep you guessed it — the good ol’ interwebs.

Not only are we reading content that gives us a good feeling about ourselves, we’re creating it too. The harshly judged practice of self picture taking, while perhaps excessive or annoying at times, can actually be a really simple way to feel really good about yourself. Dove is a company known for campaigning to raise self esteem among young women so that they don’t get sucked into the objectification that media often bestows upon them. In one of their recent videos aptly titled “Selfie,” they use the practice of silly self picture taking as a medium to help young women really see their beauty and self worth in a very honest way. Although our selfies might be veiled in narcissism, self-obsession or boastfulness I think that for many it’s a genuine attempt to boost self esteem. Seeing a close up picture of your own face and willingly showing it to thousands of people with one click is a form of self-confidence that I don’t think should be quickly dismissed. It’s taking a risk and opening the door to criticism but hoping for positive reinforcement and love… It wasn’t wrong for our parents to tell us we’re special. If you believe you’re meant to do great things in this world then you’re going to be much more likely to actually do them. But first you have to find out what it is you really want to do! And if taking selfies and looking at baby animals online helps inspire you then why the hell not?”

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Annnnd because how could I NOT include a selfie – here is my favorite Behind-The-Scenes Selfie from this shoot:

American Grit Gallery

It is a well known fact that there is now really only one person that I trust with my hair, and that person is Katie Burns of Katie Burns Artistry. Years after I had my hair completely fried and butchered at a salon, and many salons later I finally found “my girl” the one who has slowly nursed my hair back to health, refuses to over process it to make me happy and to make quick money, and who always puts the health of my hair first.  That is a hard thing to find in a stylist. Especially now in days where everyone wants a quick dollar and will bleach and fry your hair just to get your hair done quicker.  Not Katie though, she is the bee’s knee’s. She sometimes even has to yell at me and tell me that the “integrity of my hair is more important than instant gratification.”

So there was no shock that when she moved salons to a bad-ass new location, American Grit Gallery, in downtown Troy that she was ready to fully explore all the facets of her hair artistry.  I was super pumped when she showed me both the stunning model she wanted me to photograph and the awesome hair inspiration! I knew right away I wanted to shoot at her salon.  American Grit is not your average salon. It is also an amazing art gallery featuring the works of barber and photographer Dan Breen.  It was the perfect location for our inspired shoot. 

Channeling inspiration from Melanie Martinez, Gwen Stephanie and the Harajuku Girl trend, we pieced together a pretty epic fashion and music inspired boudoir shoot!

Check out the shoot below and also be sure to check out all of the amazing work my girl Katie has done!

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Return Client – Pushing Limits

There is a very real possibility we caused a few heart attacks the morning of our shoot over at the gorgeous Troy Kitchen. Sara is a super sexy return client of mine and wanted to take this shoot to a new level of sexy by shooting with her friend, who happens to be my Glam Goddess, our hair and makeup artist, Erin!

Knowing that Sara already had quite the epic studio session under her belt (which resulted in a stunning Metal Estate Art Gallery Collection of 3 stellar pieces) I knew I had to really bring it for her 2nd session, step out of the box to create a completely different look and feel, and to explore different areas of my client, who has since quickly become one of my closest friends.

If there is one thing I know about Sara by this point, it is that she has 0 issues pushing limits and raising a few eyebrows. This confidence has been something I have been privilege to watch grow since our first shoot.  I will never forget the first time she showed up for a session, she was so nervous to stand in front of the window she kept gripping at her oversized shirt to cover her perfect figure and kept coming up with self-deprecating excuses as to why she “wasn’t doing her best”  But let me be honest shall we, stripping down in front of a stranger is no easy task, especially when that forces you to have to metaphorically strip down for yourself.  I remember one point during her first session, I put the camera down and told her if she said one more negative thing about herself I wouldn’t shoot her anymore.  My mind was blown by how this incredibly sexy, vibrant woman could be so hard on herself. After a few minutes of talking about her blocks, and her promise to be nice to herself we kept shooting…and believe it or not, she actually went OUTSIDE to shoot in Downtown Troy by the end of her session! Boy did we end up with some smokin hot shots from that first session, you will have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see those!

This second session was nothing like her first session, she showed up, with her “I own this shit” attitude on and didn’t even bat an eyelash when it was time to shoot, this time in a ground floor, public space, fully staffed.  There were no “pep talks” to be had, no reminding her of how hot she was.  This time she knew it and she owned it and she WERKED!

I loved her idea of adding Erin into this shoot, to push the limits just a little bit further, to create provocative and evocative art.  Did you know that their “You Can’t Brunch With Us” picture was purchased by another amazing photographer, a colleague of mine in Canada, to hang in her own gallery collection, because through it she saw all of the girl power were were trying to evoke?  If not, you can read her blog on it here.

I think that is enough talking for now, let’s see what all the  hype is about shall we?

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It is kind of amazing to see how much we have both changed and grown since our first shoot together! Here are a few of my favorites from that session!

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Thank you to Cassandra McKenna for Sara’s first makeup look back when Erin was on maternity leave!