A fortnight ago, I went to Louisville for a spontaneous & energerizing 2-day trip. The first day involved a photoshoot with Maggie Lanham and friends, then relaxing with those friends while watching Friends Season 2 on a comfy couch. The friendly hosts had a candy bowl in which a Ring Pop was swimming, glittering and calling my name. I heard the call of the tacky, sugary accessory and relished this unexpected throwback of childhood nostalgia while simultaneously enjoying another bit of 90's sitcom nostalgia. After a few episodes of Friends, one of my friends noted just how much of a mark the Ring Pop left on my person: blue lips, blue-tinted teeth and a blue tongue. Even though the blue was comical, I aesthetically admired the unintentional make-up and icy lips. Hence, I saved the pop and used it the next day in a photo shoot in my cousins backyard--a yard that displays a very specific, family lifestyle which I do not live at all. This statement is supported by the contrast of my pleather-short hot pants outfit and the curated garden and pink swing. Yet, even though this setting wasn't what I had in mind for my ring-pop shoot, the colors of my outfit go perfectly with the colors of fall. In addition, I was able to use a filter from vsco cam that had never matched any natural aesthetic I was searching for, but with these specific colors and overcast weather, the filter seamlessly ironed out the oddity of the shoot and synthesized the colors & concept, making the photos appear as an intentional tableau of vintage-inspired, glamorized domesticity.
remote shooting selfies
September has been a month of transition. The season's literally and figuratively changing. (How poetic of me to notice this similarity?) My soulmate/ roommate moved from the beloved apartment to pursue dreams in France. I let everyone know around town that I'd be shortly be leaving Lexington, to also move to France. A great friend moved to LA. Two of my other bests are preparing to move from Lexington to Antarctica. I have red hair instead of blonde. I was sick most of the month. I listened to less Drake and more folksy tunes. I've been incorporating meat again back into my diet. I got rid of a bunch of my wardrobe and am continuing to pare down my collection of stuff.
Most importantly though, I've been living alone the month of September in my gorgeous, Preston Ave apartment. I've lived here for 3 years and 2 months and have had 4 different roommates during that time. I'm in love with this space. It's a mid-century modern dreamland. It's only downhill from here in terms of living situations. I will never be in such a perfect space, all factors considered. The light comes through this apartment beautifully, usually showing up in hues of orange. In these pictures below, I had woken from various modes of slumber or just gotten home and wanted to capture these moments of natural or electric brilliance with my camera. I put myself in them in the clothing that I had been lounging in, so please forgive the scandalous attire.
There's a Quebecois song called "Retour à Vega" by the Stills. I've been listening to it a lot lately, and a line constantly sticks with me: "Je suis toute à la fois l'acteur et le décor" = I am both actor and decoration. In other words, I am both the participant and the observer. This is true in many respects for this series: I am the photographed (l'acteur) and the photographer (the observer). I am an active participant in this stage of an apartment that will soon be replaced by another actor, but also I feel part of this apartment. I am the decor. This apartment is me.
I don't own much in this apartment; the beautiful mid-century modern furniture belongs to my landlord. However, some favorites of what I do own are included in this series: my Tennessee Valley Authority Phospate bag, my old school maps (literally old school), my world globe, and a book by a German photographer.
While photographing, I used my phone with the remote shooting feature to control the camera. I set my camera to manual, and I was able to adjust the ISO, the TV and the AV via this setting. You'll notice some variation in light with these photos as a result of the quick change in natural light, my manual manipulation of the camera settings, and also a few edits. However, I tried to keep these photos as unedited as possible. Je suis toute à la fois l'acteur et le décor. Voilà.
2 weeks ago, I changed from platinum blonde to copper red. The day before I went red, I decided I wanted an Alex Prager-esque photo shoot to celebrate my 5 month stint as a retro-pin-up platinum blonde. Alex Prager is my favorite photographer--her photos are hyper-stylized, pristinely retro and saturated in color. She always photographs women, who display in distress, consumerism and a look of vacancy. I had a popcorn tub from the KY Theatre I had saved, and I decided that it must be used in my homage/ last-day-as-a-blonde photo shoot.
I used a few different edits of vscocam to try to get what I wanted. You can see the variation on the the three blonde pictures as well as the pictures of me as a red below. Unfortunately, these "blonde" photos are too grainy--not nearly as glossy and silky-smooth like Alex Prager's. Yet, the esthetic and style is definitely similar.
These photos are taken on my roof. It was a bright, sunny, beautiful day, and I wanted to catch some rays. My Americana colored bathing suit and hat fit the primary colors of the popcorn. Perfect for Alex Prager-esque esthetic.
The day that I turned red was also delightfully sunny, and I need to get my Vitamin D for the day. I put on the exact same Americana bathing gear and hopped outside with my camera, hoping to capture my new locks. This time around, I was just posing normally; I had no intention of doing a compare/contrast experiment shoot, with the variable being my hair and the constant being my outfit. It just sorta happened that way. Yet it's amazing how different my "air" is in both of these--of course, I wasn't trying to do an Alex Prager thing on day 2. The colors, the expression and the edits I used on Vscocam are night and day. This impart is due to the sunlight and time of day I took the photos. Even considering these factors, one cannot help but notice the distinct difference in my esthetic and edit.