#MODELMONDAZE: PLAYING IN THE SAND

Sooooo, I’m still tweaking my sites and content because I want to showcase a lot of my work in addition to my personal style. I see my work as being an even clearer depiction of my personal style. So to do that, and to push myself to work even more, I’m going to be revamping my content. The first revamp is a feature that for now I’m calling ‘Model Mondaze’. Model Mondaze will feature creative photo sets I’ve shot with different models. Mondaze are hard for me to get motivated and I know I’m not alone. So to help me, and maybe help some of you too, we’ll be starting off the week with some creative inspiration!

This beauty is Angela, and you have probably seen her on my site and social media accounts. She’s one of the first girls who really fucked with me creatively and she’s one of my favorites to shoot with. We make magic. The beauty of photography is that the pictures hold different meanings for every person that views them. Watching Angela grow and become more comfortable with each shoot is a beautiful thing. The first couple series we shot alluded more to the rougher side of femininity because that’s what I identify with most strongly. For our third collaboration, I wanted to do something softer and sexier.

My favorite thing about this shoot is that before we even started, Angela was having serious doubts about her ability to be sexy. WHAT?!  This presented a really amazing opportunity for me: to bring her sexy out. There is a huge part of photography that can’t really be learned traditionally, and that is the interpersonal aspect. People need to trust their photographer, they need to be comfortable and be confident that you’re not going to make them look crazy or unappealing. For women, this is even more crucial. Honestly, Angela’s reluctance made me even more confident in my ability to direct her. The moral to this story: Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because amazing things happen there! and Jessica always gets what she wants 😉

p.s. these are the sexiest pics I’ve taken, so I’d say she pulled it off just fiiiiiiiiiiine, don’t you think?

CASUAL FRIDAY

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It probably has something to do with how long I spent in college, but for me, the weekend starts on Thursday night. Even if I don’t go out, by Friday I’m already checked out and focused on what I’m doing over the weekend. This is probably because the weekend is my biggest chunk of time to work on my personal projects, and workin’ on mah prooooojects is always at the forefront of my mind.

Not only that, working 3 jobs my weekdays fly, and I do mean FLY, by. It seems like I wake up on Monday, blink and it’s Thursday and I’ve gotten nothing done. This feeling has been really pervasive lately and I’ve been struggling to feel like I’ve got my head above water with everything I want to do. I’ve been distracted and really irritable, especially in situations where I feel like my time isn’t being used as productively as it should be. I shot this series after a particularly long and uninspiring day.

My sister recently moved home, and one of the best things about having her here is that I have my personal photographer back! I’ve realized that what makes me feel the best is being productive. So as soon as i got home I grabbed my sister and made her come shoot with me.  We only shot for like 45 minutes, which is actually a bit long for a typical OOTD shoot, but just those 45 minutes of doing something completely for myself made a huge difference on my mood. I went from legit feeling like I needed a Xanax and a good cry to laughing hysterically during this shoot. It was a good lesson for me about learning to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions that come along with chasing dreams. Nothing is as valuable as a good time with good company. And it was a great reminder of why I do what I do; because it makes my life more enjoyable. With that said, try to take some time this weekend to do something that directly makes your life more enjoyable.  It can be really hard to keep negative thoughts and self doubt at bay and keeping those emotions in check is a huge part of staying sane.

Jumpsuit: Forever21 (SIMILAR)
Jacket: Forever21 (SIMILAR)
Shoes: Air Jordan 8’s
Bag: Anne Klein

XO,
Jess

 

ADVENTURES IN CANDYLAND

A few months ago, I stumbled upon the work of a guy named Matt Crump. Matt has developed a unique photography style he calls ‘Candy Minimal’ which he showcases in his Instagram gallery as well as an account created exclusively for sharing amazing #CandyMinimal features from all over the world.

The basis behind Matt’s eye catching style is simple: Minimalistic shots with vibrant candy colors. I have become obsessed with his style. Candy Minimalism was at the forefront of my creative mind on a recent trip I took to, perhaps as close as we will ever get to experiencing a real, live, candy colored world: Disneyland.

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Disneyland lends itself well to the candy part of candy minimalism. It’s the minimalism part that requires a bit more work. BUT, its well worth it. I love Disneyland, don’t ever get me wrong about that. But all the things that make Disneyland a photographers dream: emotion, fun, youth, families, breathtaking scenery, once in a lifetime moments at every turn – can also make it difficult to create truly stunning images within the park. There is always a straggler (or 10 or 20) in the background; a pesky wire running a tangent through your photo, an absent minded stranger wandering aimlessly through your background. It can be excruciating. Focusing on #CandyMinimalism helped me to circumvent these common obstacles. Especially since, for me, photographing in Disneyland can sometimes be exhausting. There is literally too much to look at. I feel pulled in 50 million directions, creatively, when I try to shoot there. Should I be capturing candid moments street style? or documenting the amazingly detailed decor? or capturing my own memories via video? Just trying to figure it out can take a lot of the fun out of it. Finding focus often allows us to find clarity, both proverbially and literally.

Consider this next time you are feeling overwhelmed in any situation. What are you really wanting to say or show, or do? Defining this, in simplest terms, can help you to refocus on tasks that align more centrally with your core objectives and get you closer to your end goal.

Stay Inspired,

Jess

SEGWAYING TOUR THROUGH GOLDEN GATE PARK

Believe me when I tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden a Segway. A few weeks ago, I took my lil boo on a Segway tour through Golden Gate Park for his birthday. This was our second time so we were excited for the longer ride and more challenging terrain.

I’ve lived in the Bay Area my whole life and this was my first time really getting to explore Golden Gate park. We took our tour through the Electric Tour Company. Their adventures are great for locals or tourists and their guides are full of interesting facts and helpful hints about San Francisco. For example, did you know that Golden Gate Park is the largest urban park of it’s kind in the U.S.? 5 times the size of New York’s Central Park? Neither did I!

 
TOP: A teeny fairy door in a hollow tree. BOTTOM LEFT: The Shakespeare Garden, a popular (& inexpensive!) wedding venue tucked deep into Golden Gate Park. BOTTOM RIGHT: A greenhouse made of wood and glass, left over from one of the world’s fairs?  I can’t totally remember but I know they have a corpse plant and venus fly traps on display inside so it’s definitely worth the checking out. ABOVE: The highlight of the hike ride (…?) was when our guide brought us to this stunning waterfall. The waterfall came out of the side of a hill and flowed into a pool that dropped into the lake. The huge flat stones (LEFT) formed a walking path to cross the pool, which was about 30 feet wide – you can’t tell in either of my pictures
:{  I was shocked at the size of the waterfall when we walked up, it was so big. There was a bridge near the top we were able to walk across for amazing selfies with a waterfall right behind us. The weather was kind of against us that day and it rained on and off but they were nice enough to let us borrow jackets and gloves.

Disneyland Days

I love going to Disneyland. It’s like going someplace brand new and very familiar at the same time. The atmosphere is celebratory and youthful and makes you feel like anything is possible. I always feel compelled to shoot while I’m there because everything around me is so visually stunning. I’ve yet to really capture the essence of Disneyland in my photos, but I just use that as an excuse to keep going back. One thing I always love about Disneyland is how swaggy everybody is! Aside from the fanny packs, sunhats and ridiculous sandals, most people come with some of their best outfits ready show off their Disney spirit. Of course, the best pieces usually don’t come from the park. Hot Topic has a sick collection of Disney inspired pieces and some of my favorite things I saw were from there as well. One of my main focuses this trip was to photograph Disneyland Street Style in the style of classic street photography.

I failed miserably at capturing the essence of the photographic style, but I do know how to spot great style when I see it, so the photos aren’t amazing, but the subjects are sporting some seriously cool shit.

Theres just too much to appreciate at Disneyland! Disney is really good about finding actors who are truly committed to their roles. When you meet Kylo Ren at Disneyland, it’s not like meeting a character, it’s not even like meeting Adam Driver. It’s like stepping on to Star Killer Base and meeting Kylo Ren. It really adds a lot to the Disney experience.

Unfortunately, I have to wait till summer to come back. But my family will be coming, including two of my nieces and my nephew so I know it will be even crazier and more fun than this trip! What are some of your favorite attractions at Disneyland and California Adventures? And who is your dream Disney Bound? I’m trying to think of a really good group Disneybound that can include myself, my mom, sister, two nieces (15 &11) and my nephew (9), and would love to hear some of your ideas!

XO,

Jess