06 September 2011

Photo-shootin' Craziness!

It has been a dream of mine for a while to get into modeling, but I never believed I could because of my height (5'1"). Also, I thought I'd never be good at making the right kinds of poses or facial expressions. I guess I've never considered myself very graceful. Selling myself short (har-har, no pun intended,) can be one of biggest flaws.



Why modeling? There are a few reasons. Naturally, there's an amount of vanity involved---seeing all the hard work I put into make-up and styling turn into a decent looking picture is very satisfactory! As someone who wears Lolita fashion nearly everyday, it's nice to have a reason to get super fancy. I tend to keep the day-to-day stuff fairly casual so that when there is a meet-up, photo-shoot, or other exciting event, I have the ability to get more fancy than normal. I want it to still feel special.

Most importantly, when I model, it's like I get to be a more saturated version of myself. I'm not doing this professionally yet, so I have (for the most part) artistic control of my shoots. I decide what I'm wearing, and the photographer and I will work together to achieve the mutual goal of the "feel" of the shoot. When I first started out, I was very focused on the physical arrangement of myself, but over the months, I am getting more comfortable, and it has become more organic. I still have a long way to go, but now I'm able to experience those moments that I am just "in". Those are the ones that make the best pictures.

Here's a look at my progress:



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Photo (c) Michael Kostopoulos

This was the first time I met Michael Kostopoulos. He came to a meet-up I hosted at my home and was kind enough to take outfit shots of all the girls outside. I wasn't doing much with my make-up yet, and the only kind of picture I knew how to pose for was a snapshot. I had just purchased my first wigs from Gothic Lolita Wigs--they are the reason I started getting the confidence to model. They enjoyed some of the pictures I posted, and little by little I did things to try and create better images in hope of having them featured on their website or Facebook page.

This past Winter, they approached me about organizing and modeling in a large photo-shoot for them to showcase their collection of bobs for the summer with Michael as the photographer. I was beyond honoured. After months of planning and gathering models, it went quite well! I was very happy with the results. 

photo by Michael Kostopoulos
Photo (c) Michael Kostopoulos

I especially love this shot of my friend and I because of how cute our outfits look together. Although, I am disappointed that I didn't do anything extraordinary with my make-up. It would have made this a better shot had I done something that would be striking on film. I think the far-away shots were super cute; in particular, the following one in which a group of us modeled fashions by Pink Macaroon.

photo by Michael Kostopoulos
Photo (c) Michael Kostopoulos

After that experience, I decided I was really liking the feel of this modeling thing. I bought a new camera, (since mine had seen better days,) a tripod, and started taking pictures for GLW. Some of them were used which was great!

Photo (c) ElleJay Volpe Hamilton

Photo (c) ElleJay Volpe Hamilton

By this time, I was making much more of an effort with my make-up, starting to study pictures of real models, and  attempting to emulate the types of things they did. What was missing, however, was fantastic photography. I sort of know how to take a picture, but without someone actually good at it, a professional if I was lucky, I knew I'd never get very far. 

Thankfully, I did know a professional photographer, Michael, and it was within my budget to schedule shoots with him occasionally. It is always a pleasure working with him, and he is a wonderful teacher. I knew little to nothing about the modeling world, and he has been able to expose me to a lot of things I did not know.




Last week, I had three shoots with three different photographers! It was kind of nuts! The first was with my friend, Brienna, and her boyfriend, Ben. Ben was the photographer, and Bri and I modeled together. We dressed in Mori-esque outfits on a beach in Chicago. The contrast of the serene nature setting against an urban backdrop should make for some interesting shots! Once they're ready, I can't wait to show you all.

A couple weeks previous to the second shoot, I signed up for a profile on Model Mayhem. I was a little suspicious of the website, but I found as long as I was very selective, I found some cool artists in my area---the coolest of which is Rob Oresteen. We were both very excited to work together, and we had a blast doing so! We're working on planning our next session already. 

Our first one was a test shoot, but our mutual enthusiasm translated into a good product! I look forward to creating a set next time or doing something on location. My goal for myself as a model is to work towards having the ability to be editorial. 


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Wig by Gothic Lolita Wigs. Apparel and accessories by Pink Macaroon. Photo (c) Rob Oresteen.

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Wig by Gothic Lolita Wigs. Apparel and accessories by Pink Macaroon. Photo (c) Rob Oresteen.


The third shoot was with Michael! We're getting more dynamic together, and I think that was very evident in the photos. I was thrilled to wear my new Fuzzy Bear Hat by KawaiiGoods.com and the Auburn and Light Brown Split Wig by GLW. I only have one photo so far, (the rest should be coming in the mail on a CD soon,) but I am very pleased with it! As you may notice, it's the image I have on my sidebar! (Haha~)


Photo (c) Michael Kostopoulos

There have been some frustrations along the way, but I think this is something I want to stick with. More than anything, it's helping me believe in myself by proving myself wrong. If I continue to work hard and maintain confidence, I can do it! However, the moment modeling stops being something I enjoy, I will stop. One of the last things I ever want to happen is do something because I feel obligated. That is when passion turns into drudgery, and drudgery is not something I am interested in.

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