Jenna Johnson from Dancing With The Stars

Excited to share some photos from my shoot with Jenna Johnson for her blog www.getrealwithjen.com 

Education vs. Creativity

I am now in my second week of the fall semester and already feeling the lack of creativity and motivation. This has always been an issue for me when it comes to school. I love English classes and art classes where free thinking is encouraged and there isn't just one right answer. However, that is not the case in every English class and even in art classes. It really all comes down to the teacher. 

Most teachers at my college are there for the paycheck and to have paid time off in the summer. Which would be fine if they were passionate about teaching and about the subject. All too often teachers expect you to memorize some terms and formulas, throw them into a couple multiple choice tests and there's the semester. Creativity is often frowned upon in education because there's always a right answer and a correct way of getting there. I have always gotten good grades and have preformed well in school, but honestly, it's because I'm good at memorizing definitions and remembering how to get to answer just in time for the test. Then I forget about it. I never actually learned anything because I just remembered how my teacher wanted me to do it and then never thought about it again. 

Students need to be taught the process of things and why there isn't always a right way to get to an answer, there might be a lot of different ways, and that becomes more creative. Art classes aren't the only subject where creativity can be used. For example, I am a very visual learner, so in a math class, I can't just sit there and take notes from a textbook I need to see how the formulas flow and what the graphs look like and see them plotted and drawn. 

In his TED Talk, Ken Robertson said "we don't grow into creativity we grow out of it" and the educational system is the main reason why that happens. Our schools are draining the creativity from kids by giving these standardized tests where there are only one right answer and one right way of getting to that answer. 

Our society is changing and welcoming people into the job force with creative minds. Creativity is being sought out in candidates because companies are starting to realize that they need inventive and new ideas to reach their audience and customers. When our educational system is discouraging creativity and withdrawing funding from the arts, they are hurting the students in the long run. A new wave of jobs and opportunities, based on creativity, are coming our way but if schools don't make a change, their students will not be prepared.  

Estes Park Wedding

Last month I shot Tasha and Trent's wedding in Estes Park, Colorado. It was at a beautiful lodge in the mountains, and I thought I would share some photos!


Ghita Music

I had a blast shooting with singer/songwriter Ghita, here are some of my favorite shots. You can check out her music at www.ghitamusic.com and on Instagram @ghitamusic


 

 

Photoshoot with Adam Halliday

I recently shot singer/songwriter Adam Halliday in Los Angeles. He just released some new music on sound cloud.

You can check him out at: https://www.instagram.com/adamhalliday_/

His music can be found at: https://soundcloud.com/adam-curtis-halliday

Trip To Colorado

I went to Colorado last weekend for my little sister's graduation. While I was there I went to Standely Lake with a couple of friends to take photos of the sunset. I thought I would share some of the photos I took. These prints will be available on my Esty shop soon. You can click the shop my store button to get to my Etsy store!


Interview with Pheonix Ha

I've been having some issues with what to write about on this blog and I think that I have finally thought of something that I like and that I can keep up with. Whenever I photograph someone we always have some sort of conversation before shooting and some tend to get deep, and we also talk about the modeling industry. So I thought that I would interview the people that I photograph and post the interviews here on my blog. I shoot a lot of models and everyone is so unique and has a different view on the industry and life and I find it unfortunate that models don't have a stronger voice in the industry that they rule. 

My first interviewee is one of the first models that I shoot here in LA, I consider her to be a dear friend and she is one of the most thoughtful and articulate people I know, but she also has a really funny and goofy side. 

Now let's get on with the interview...


Interviewee: Phoenix Ha

Age: 22 years old

Started Modeling At Age: 8 years old

Agency: Looking for a new one

Instagram: @phoenix_ha

 

LH: When do you feel the most beautiful?

PH: I definitely feel the most beautiful when I'm not wearing makeup, like if I have a fresh face and my face isn't filled with pimples, life is really good. But if I wear a really good skin care product and I come out of the house with no makeup and I know I feel really good inside, I always ask myself; why did I ever wear makeup? This feels awesome, and I'll go to a bar in the middle of the night in joggers with all the people I grew up with, its clutch. 

LH: Do you have any beauty secrets?

PH: I do! I sometimes soak my hair in coconut oil before I go to sleep. I definitely do exfoliants every once in a while and put masks on, the weird ones that make you look like a ghost. The cloth hydrating mask ones are great. I used to put toothpaste on my pimples, I don't do that anymore because I hear that it's bad for you. Other than that, one big thing that I do because I have big lips, is before a shoot I scrub my lips with sugar or a toothbrush to get the dead skin cells off and put vaseline on.

LH: How did you get into modeling?

PH: That's a funny story! I was a troll when I was a young kid, but I was at this place called the Canoga Valley Fair and I was walking around and this model scout approached my mom and said, hey I really think that your daughter would be a great model as a child. I think I was 7 or 8 at the time. We went to this place called JRP and It was a total scam, we paid $4000-

LH: $4000?!?!

PH: Yeah $4000! To model... and as an over confident 8-year-old I was like, I can do this! I'm awesome! And it turned out that my mom took the brochure that listed all the agencies that they were supposedly communicating with, and sent my portfolio pictures to all of them, and 7 of them responded and I signed with 3 of them for commercial print and runway as a kid. Then I did a lot of fit modeling and it took off from there. 

LH: How did modeling affect your self-esteem or did it at all?

PH: It did not affect my self-esteem until I grew up. So when I turned about-- when I stopped modeling, I stopped when I was about 14, got back into it at 20, and now I'm 22. So it has been about 2 years. Now its a totally different game with Instagram, and Twitter and all these social media sites, where old school ways of auditioning have been completely thrown out. And now I'm here with a bunch of young guppies, who just started modeling, which is great... but its people who don't even know what a set is. So I'm coming in here and on the call sheet, it tells me how many Instagram followers I have. 

LH: Really?? I didn't know that!

PH: Yeah, you know Shanina Shiak? She even posted on her snapchat that this is a joke, they ask you how many followers you have and that determines whether you get hired.

LH: It's like Instagram shaming!

PH: Exactly. I have never been self-conscience until then and until they told me that I have to lose weight, which was never an issue before because I was always tiny. Now I am a full figured woman and it's like, oh nevermind! Ladies, if you are not strong then don't be a model! It's a lot harder than you may think.

LH: If you weren't modeling right now, what do you think you would be doing? 

PH: Uh PR, marketing, and brand development. I have my degree-- now! (She just graduated college!) I have my degree in business with an emphasis in International Business and marketing. And honestly, not making brands look good but connecting brands with influencers that I think are genuine, big hearted, and have direction in their life to better suit those girls that are opening the magazines saying, hey I want this person to inspire me. I think that's a pretty impactful and important role I could play in this business, other than modeling. 

LH: Describe yourself in emojis

PH: Aliens! 👽 👽 👽 All the way around! I don't know I love the alien one just because I'm an alien, I look like an alien with no makeup. And on top of that, I think that social media is really funny because we are all aliens to each other. Aliens all around!

LH: What is one thing you would change about the modeling industry?

PH: I like that it's strict. I don't like that they are broadening what a model is. As models, we are living mannequins, we are people that put clothes on to help benefit-- and the only reason they want the tall and skinny girls is just because the way clothes fall on a mannequin, that's the way they want to see it on someone's body. Or for aesthetic reasons and purposes, not for the everyday life and that needs to be put out there. This is not exactly for everyone, so I am a full figured model and I love regular models, but when you start getting to the 5'4" range or you're getting people that-- you know it's kind of like a slap in the face to me when all the times I had been rejected for having different colored hair-- there are standards for every job. There are expectations for every job. I'm really angry now that a lot of those expectations and rules have been taken down because they want to be PC. We have to be hyper aware, yes, of people's emotions, but I think that comes within and reshaping the industry and saying; this is the reality, this is why we do the things that we do, rather than telling people, fat shaming. There's a difference. You're not going to tell an accountant that it's okay if you don't have accounting experience because at least you feel good inside. You know? It's different. A model isn't just any girl that walks down the street and is pretty, there are so many beautiful women out there, all different sizes yes, but in modeling there is a criterion for a reason, for a purpose, and everyone dances around that topic but that the core of it. That's a really long answer. 

LH: Is there anyone you look up to as a model? Why?

PH: There's a couple. Shanina Shiak, I always say her name wrong, I don't know. She's beautiful and she's such a dork. You know there's a lot of models that I could be so in awe of and I follow them on their social medias because it's a little bit more personal, like snapchat for example, but them I'm like, uh delete. There's this level of shallowness that comes with it and that's a moral responsibility to anyone, whether you're a model, accountant, whatever! You need to be a good person and I see that she's sweet, you know? She is a good person, and I love her work. Somebody that I think is really inspiring is this girl named Kari Michelle, she has maybe 100k, I don't give a shit. I'm just amazed by her, the versatility she has. And then definitely Karli Kloss. She can go from being the face of Express and then go code. I notice that she uses her fame and whatever authority she has in this world to inspire and instill education in kids, to initiate positivity, rather than takes selfies and create a selfie book. I mean, there's a time and place for everything; self-absorption is really tricky. We have to be careful what line we cross there. 

LH: What's your most worn item of clothing?

PH: My sports bras and my joggers! Yeah, my joggers, I think that every boyfriend I have ever dated has wanted to burn my joggers. Every single one of them. I don't care where they're from, I love joggers. 

LH: Do you have any advice for models that are just starting their careers?

PH: Grow really thick skin. It is really hard. I always tell girls that come up to me, if you don't feel comfortable with someone pulling at your love handles, if you don't feel comfortable with someone telling you that your not perfect, then you are not fit for this job. Having self-confidence, you're allowed to get down sometimes, but this is a job where you keep going, it's a full-time job. Something that girls don't always understand; updates your portfolio. Never say, I'm too good for this, I have done things that have seemed so stupid. I've done really small catalogs and I've done Urban Outfitters. I've done big things and really small things. Those all are built for your success. You know, people are going to hit you up all the time and say, hey can I shoot with you? If you see their work and you see like 1 out of 5 photos that you think are good, you're going to shoot for that one photo. You're going to say, hey I want to make sure that they become better, and I become better as well. Bring on the practice and stop being so in your own head thinking you're the best in the world. Know that the best in the world started from the bottom, and some are still humble. 

 

 

LA Vibes Photoshoot

I thought I would share my recent shoot with Emily Faulk from Q Model Management. We shot this near Abbott Kinney, in Venice, CA I love shooting there because Venice has some really great walls that are all different kinds of colors and textures. 

The Photographers Playbook

For the next few months I will be blogging my way through The Photographer's Playbook. This is a great book if you are having trouble thinking of photo shoot ideas and concepts, or if you are just in a creative slump. 

I will post the weeks assignment on Mondays, and my thoughts on it. On Fridays I will be posting my results for that week, what my process was, and how I think it turned out. I hope you guys will like this blog series!

So for this week I will be tackling page 21 of The Photographers Playbook;

Adam Bell - Failing to Succeed

"At the heart of art is failure. Fail often and fail hard, The time and the space to fail are both precious and both precious commodities, especially for artists trapped within the indentured servitude at art school debt or recovering from its wake. With so little time and so much money on the line, this may seem like an impossibly tall order. But you may just have to give yourself permission and ignore your instincts."

"Take a picture you think, or know, won't work. Try a genre or subject you dislike that scares you. Turn your photo into a painting, a performance, or a sculpture, or vice versa. Take a picture you don't recognize. After all, what you think might work might not for too long. Maybe it never did."

Failure is something I have always feared with my photography, being worried that it won't turn out good, or that people won't get what I tired to portray. Scenic photographer hasn't really interested me and honestly I haven't really tried it so this might be a good chance to do that with this assignment!

Smoking Hot Photoshoot

I recently shot an editorial for Elegant Magazine, the theme was color so I had the idea to use different colored smoke bombs in my shoot. They were really hard to work with, after lighting them we only had about 30 to 50 seconds to capture the photo before the smoke would run out and they were really hot so we couldn't hold them in our hands, the make up artist and hairstylist, Logan and Claire, were holding them with kitchen spoons and waving them around so that the smoke would go in front of the model, it was a pretty hilarious sight and I'm sure the people walking by thought we were crazy! But the photos turned out really good and I was really happy with the end result! I will definitely be using more smoke bombs in my upcoming shoots.

Smoking Hot | Model: Sara T. from IEG | MUA: Logan Andrews  | Hair: Claire | Photographer: Logan Rae Photography

Chase Hill is a model??

My baby brother came out to LA recently and I did a little photo shoot with him, he has a cool look with his hipster blonde hair and I think the photos turned out really good! So what do you think, should Chase become the next model in the Hill family??

 

Favorite Beach Location

There are so many beaches in California for photo shoots, but my all time favorite one would have to be at Point Dume. If you have never been you must check it out! It is located on the far left side of Zuma Beach and is below a cliff. You can climb over some rocks which will lead you to a smaller beach that is also really pretty. If you go on top of the cliff you can see a really nice view of Malibu and the sunsets are amazing. This is a great location to shoot before the sunset when the lighting is golden. I recently did a shoot with Mackinley there, check out the picture below!

Family Vaca to Hawaii

For the 4th of July weekend my family and I went to Hawaii, we stayed about an hour away from Honolulu in Malaekahana Bay. It was so beautiful there it's amazing, the water is crystal clear, and the sunsets are something else completely. We went snorkeling in Sharks Cove and there were so many interesting looking fish and I even swam alongside a turtle! 

We also went to the Polynesian Cultural Center which was pretty cool, although it was a LONG day. It was interesting to see their cultural and the similarities and differences all the islands have in the ways that they lived back in the day. (I never know New Zealand was part of the Polynesian Islands) 

Probably my favorite part of the trip was hiking the Stairway to Heaven. If you don't know what that is, its an illegal hike up a really steep mountains thats guarded by a security guard. There are metal steps (about 4,000 of them) with railing going all the way up and were built because they had radio towers up at the top of the mountains and the stairs were the only way up and down. We went at 4 in the morning with our friend Justin who grew up in Hawaii (he was our "tour" guide for the trip) and we snuck past the guard (we did a terrible job of sneaking, he saw us and started to come after us but we ran up the first few hundred stairs and he didn't bother to chase up that far). These stairs were STEEP and by steep I mean we were literally climbing them like a latter at some points. It took Mackinley and I about an hour (maybe longer) to get to the first landing (the boys were faster than us, Chase and Justin were literally running up the stairs). The view was breathtaking, you could see for miles and miles and had a really pretty view of the ocean. It was pretty foggy that morning and Mackinley and I were so tired from all those stairs so we let the boys go to the top without us (it was really foggy and windy and miserable from the first landing up so we didn't think it was worth going farther up if you couldn't even see through the fog at the top). On our way down the mountain it stared pouring ran on us so we just sat on the steps and got drenched, that was pretty miserable. But all in all it was well worth the terrifying stairs, heights, and the very  sore legs the next morning. 

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven


Stairway to Heaven view

Stairway to Heaven view


Trip to NYC

So my sister Taylor and I went to New York for 2 weeks, she went for work and I came along because New York City is one of my all time favorite cities. I love the feeling you get when you walk down the street and look around and realize that everyone is going somewhere, everyone has a mission they are trying to get accomplished, and so do you. I really love the fact that you can get any kind of food you could possibly want in the city, from chinese to african cuisine and the best coffee. (Plus if you are really lazy you can get anything delivered to you at anytime.) 

A highlight of this trip was discovering Roosevelt Island. We were walking down the street one day and as we pasted 59th street we came across a Gondola that took you across the river to an island. I had never seen anything like it in New York City before, so I researched it and found out that you could use your metro ticket to ride the Gondola. So we went one day and the Island was beautiful, it was very quiet and calm (a nice change from the hectic city life) and had a beautiful park and a memorial area. If you ever visit New York, check out this spot!

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