Reimagined, UGG Portraits: Christina Caradona

I met Christina once outside of one of my classic turn up spots, Westway in NYC. It was the casual type of meet and greet during a cigarette break, or ironically, I call it "coming up for air." That was my first one minute interaction and that was it. And then Coachella happened.

As mentioned in my last post, I was stationed in a house with some awesome people on behalf of UGG Australia and StyleCaster, and she was one of those people. Absolutely stunning look both on and off camera, there was no way to avoid shooting her.

As part of this two part photo series, my goal was to demystify and reimagine the brand from a personal perspective. One thing humans are good at doing is judging. We have all grown up with an idea of UGG in our heads. I know I have. Although there are perks to working with brands, such as free product and at times, pay; that doesn't mean you can't elevate your thinking. I wanted this portrait series to demonstrate two things: 1) An ability to capture a new friend/subject in a way I hadn't seen on the Internet or their Instagram accounts. 2) Bring a new perspective and breathe new life into a product that has been, in recent memory, branded as the horrible boot of sorority chicks, teens and 'tweens. (You get the picture.) I think I was able to do just that.

With that, I give you the final installation of the UGG Portrait series shot in Indio, California just 10 minutes away from Coachella at a beautiful ranch style house with some of the funniest people I've ever met. Meet Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge (although, you already know her because she's way way more popular than me).

Clothing Credits: Shirt, House of Harlow | Shorts, Finders Keepers | Hat, Stetson | Sandals, UGG

Clothing Credits: Women's Sandals, UGG | Men's Sandals, UGG

Clothing Credits: Bathing Suit, 6 Shore Road | Jeans, Black Orchard Denim | Espadrilles, UGG | Men's Cap Toe Oxford, UGG

Clothing Credit: Top, Bantuwax | Shorts, Guess | Sandals, UGG

Clothing Credit: Bikini, Olaya Beach

Reimagined, UGG Portraits: Justin Livingston

UGG was kind enough to bring me and a few other bloggers to the middle of the desert for what has become my favorite music festival thus far - Coachella. I have formed an incredibly passionate and enthralling love-hate relationship with the sun. Luckily, there was a hot tub and pool to jump into the middle of any of our fights and help me cool down.

I'm not much of a personal style blogger, but since there were so many attractive and stylish people wandering the premises, I figured I should capitalize. First up, in collaboration with UGG Australia and StyleCaster, I present part one of two of a portrait series featuring Justin Livingston of Scout Sixteen.

Clothing Credits: Shirt, 21Man by Forever 21 | Suspenders, Topman | Shorts, DL1961 | Shoes, UGG | Bandana, Topman | Bicycle, Pure Fix Cycles

Street Style | Simone Marchetti

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If not apparent to you, this is obviously one of the most stylish men I've ever had the opportunity to photograph. A sweet man who really knows how to put together a diverse set of comprehensive and stunning looks. It has been too many months since I last spoke to him, so I'm incredibly thankful to be able to reconnect in Milan.

Small Discoveries Are Paramount

There's no secret I shoot street style - mostly during fashion week. I do it for three reasons... 1) It is lucrative and rent has to get paid. 2) The thrill of the hunt. 3) The challenge of connecting to an emotion without ever speaking to the subject.

I guess what I'm trying to explain is that I understand why street style is so popular. You get to see steazy people provide you with inspiration for your wardrobe, plus it's like the two times a year when there's this informal celebrity created and you get to watch it unfold live. However, how people dress is of little importance to me. I know what to look for, but that is not the interesting part. The draw is the emotion, the behavior, the sociological connectivity. The joy is in moments where the cameras are turned towards people you expect to be photographed, but just to the left there's a girl like this.

I'm a fan of the underdog. I'm a fan of the least expected. I'm excited by snapping the unposed portrait. The challenge is the battle worth working towards, that's what keeps me on the streets. Not the glamour of wardrobe, the staged walks and smiles...it's the challenge of finding the needle in the haystack. This shot is one of the few needles you'll find each fashion week.

Places | Lover's Leap

Lover's Leap at Rock City, Tennessee

Apologies for being absent for so long. Clearly fashion week is coming and the dead period should be over soon! Haha and hopefully, I'll have way more fashion shoots and happenings to share with you. But for now...how about some more nature?

I'm toying around, as I try to rack up my retouching expertise, with different editing methods. One of those techniques is super basic but something I never thought of regarding the use of RAW files and getting the most out of them...even just the most out of one RAW file processed a couple different times. This isn't a teaching blog so I'll stop there, but here's a quick sample of one shot that I just worked on. This isn't completely polished as it isn't going anywhere special. This is about a 1.5 hour job. 

I can definitely see some weaknesses as I type this but still a fun image, and since I love site-seeing, worth a share.

Portrait | Georgia Grazing

I traveled back home to good 'ole Georgia for Christmas to visit family. During my stay, I decided to act like a tourist, and adapt the same method of exploration and travel that has latched on to my senses this year. I guess you could say, I've got the travel bug.

Here's one of my shots from gliding along the winding back roads of northern Georgia. I'll make sure to share more later.

Portrait | Sonja Mauro

When I first started shooting with film, I considered myself a "purist." I thought whatever I shot would be what I would get, period. The reality is, who cares? Developers had all types of tips and tricks to push the film in the production process, and there all types of manipulations that can be done to change the effect of the film other than what happened at the point of conception when light hit chemicals.

There is something to be said about an amazing photo out of the camera, but the reason we take photos; I mean, the reason I take photos is to tell a story, to evoke an emotion, to stop the mind in its tracks for a moment.  And, if that requires a little touch up or a lot on a digital photo or tweaking the digital scan of a film shot, so be it.  It's all a process of discovery up until you, the viewer, gets a chance to digest it and swallow it whole.