Stephen King once wrote, “A true romantic will always reject technological advancements.” By that measure, it seems that the world is in dire need of true romantics. How many of us (yes, I am including myself) take the time to actually look up from our phones when we walk down the street? Do your palms get itchy when your phone or tablet or laptop or remote control is out of view? [Read more…] about Step Away From the Device! A Photographic Response to Technology
New York Unfiltered: An Unedited Photo Blog
Post picture editing is about 5 minutes older than the art of photography itself. We have gone from painting in color by hand to the endless complexity of Photoshop and Lightroom. Most of the editing I do for my own photos is done through apps on my phone. I rely on post-shot editing in order to express how I truly saw the scene or subject I was photographing. [Read more…] about New York Unfiltered: An Unedited Photo Blog
Feminism in Fashion- Could It Be?
Feminism has been buried in fashion for as long as we can remember seeing 6′, size 0 women. But is it finding it’s way into the industry (finally)? The general consensus seems to believe it is- and who isn’t happy about this! Fashion used to be only for the tall, thin, and beautiful women with unhealthy and harmful lifestyles. However, all races, sizes, and ages are being brought into the standard for beauty now.
A less than subtle hint to the change in beauty standards was Aerie’s un-retouched ad campaign. Their campaign put normal women’s bodies in the spotlight, showing that not even models are as “perfect” as they Photoshop them to be. Aerie’s store windows display their stunning, yet human, women looking great in lingerie just the way they are. Before this, when was the last time you were in the mall and saw an advertisement with a model who has a scar? You haven’t, or at least you thought you haven’t. Photoshop is so easy to use and has endless possibilities, and at times it almost seems like they photograph one woman and create another. Plenty of the models have scars, birthmarks, or stretchmarks- but they are nearly always erased in Photoshop. So, when was the last time you actually met a person with an absolutely impeccable body? Every person is different in a million unique ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Thankfully you can see the real people in some ads, and women are finally being shown it’s great to love your body, just the way it is.
Aerie wasn’t the only brand to protest against beauty standards. American Apparel showed the world that aging is okay, and “older” is not synonymous with “ugly”. The brand posted their lingerie ad titled “Sexy has no expiration date.”, featuring a beautiful 62 year old woman. Vogue had reported that the model, Jacky O’Shaughnessy, was a perfect fit because of her natural elegance. While audience opinions ranged from disgusted to thrilled, the overall conclusion was that beauty has no age limit.
Advertisements are not where feminism ends in fashion, either. Last fall on the runway, Rick Owens shocked nearly everyone at Paris Fashion Week. He had 40 black, muscular women come stomping and dancing onto the runway in basketball style outfits. This was a huge change from the stereotypical white woman, floating down the catwalk in a delicate chiffon gown. Owens’ statement showed the world that there are many more desirable forms of femininity than that 6′, size 0. And along with diversity in femininity comes choices.
Women’s fashion is also evolving to focus on dressing the way you want to be viewed, rather than trying to get every man’s attention. Whether you want to look classy, intelligent, or casual there are tons of brands and styles out there waiting for you. And when you dress for yourself, you will attract the people you want to be around- rather than walking around everywhere like a sex bomb because you’re “supposed to” and getting all the wrong attention. Women are becoming less and less of “sex objects” as feminism is emerging in fashion, supported by the #1 selling item in women’s dresses being the maxi dress. The maxi dress cover the entire body, except the arms in short sleeve varieties. Beauty is not about how much skin you show or how sexy you can look anymore, but about looking more elegant and simple than before.
Not to mention that the world is not all about women. Dressing to attract every man you see doesn’t make much sense in this day and age, considering homosexuals are more comfortable than ever to reveal their sexuality. Not every man is interested in women, regardless of how they dress, and not every woman is interested in men either. Like I said before, focusing on dressing the way you want to be viewed as a person is respectable now, and attracts more of the people you wish to have around you.
Luckily healthy, human standards making their way into the industry will teach kids in a positive way, and help create a better future for them. Surrounded by real people, kids will aspire to be greater things than “tall, thin, and beautiful”. And hopefully this means the next generations will grow up with better self esteem than and wish to be nothing but the best they can be as their own unique self.
Jake’s Hot in the Fashion District
Breaking into the fashion industry is no easy task, but Jake Labarbera makes it seem effortless.
This newly 21 year old is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying merchandising and jewelry design. He has an interest in photography, and most of all sharing his style with everyone. Jake blogs his personal style, showing the world how to make an outfit ‘pop’ in this competitive world of fashion.
Recently on his blog, www.jakeshotonfashion.com, silver was featured as the up and coming color to incorporate into an outfit. Tested by Jake himself in the fashion district of Manhattan, silver is definitely the way to go. Silver is subtle yet shiny, so your outfit stands out without being overwhelmed by it. This is perfect for those hesitant to go ahead with neon pieces. The easiest way to try silver for an everyday outfit is in jewelry, shoes, or belts- all of which can be found for low prices.
Here is a leather and silver bullet styled bracelet that Jake featured. This piece can be matched with any outfit, and can give theperfect New York rocker tone to an otherwise bland outfit. Again, not an overwhelming piece, but just enough to add the same sparkle as an average bracelet- just with a heck of a lot more attitude.
His other favorite pop of silver is his pair of silver high top sneakers. He blogged this statement about these gleaming kicks: “I’m obsessed with my silver hightop sneakers. And I would totally wear them everyday if I could.” And Jake’s recommendation to everyone is to “pull out your old pieces, dust them off, and put them to good use.” This applies to anything- silver or not- because hey, you never know what will be the next big hit in fashion.
Jake is not only a blogging trendsetter, but he is currently an intern for couture designer, Ralph Rucci, as well as a model. He has been involved in modeling for a few years now, and has quite an array of experience. A few years back Jake modeled for prints for a small boutique in Rhinebeck. Then, he bust onto the Runway in 2013 New York Fashion Week for designer Marlin George. And for 2014, Seduka by Joe Dahan will be featuring Jake in a lookbook and their soon to launch blog.
Young, handsome, and determined, Jake is set to succeed in everything he does. He is still a fresh face in modeling, but a great reputation is certainly building. And let’s not forget he’s a student of jewelry design- we must keep our eyes out for his collections!
New York City Photography: The Queensboro Bridge
The Queensboro Bridge is one of the most iconic crossings in the world. It spans the East River along side the world famous Roosevelt Island Cable Car. The bridge draws thousands of tourists and commuters per day. It also is one of the only toll-free crossings in all of New York City.
One of the best parts of the bridge is that it is available to pedestrians. Along the walkway is a chain link fence where many people leave locks with messages on them. Others are blank, leaving only the ones that have placed them to know their true meaning. It’s definitely something you have to look for but priceless when you find them.
New York City Photography: 5 Ave Homeless
In New York City, there is no greater divide between the haves and, quite literally, the have-nots than in Midtown Manhattan. According to reports from CBRE in 2012, rents between 49th and 59th Street on 5th Avenue were $3,000/ sq ft. Tourists line up to pay $60 for a t shirt and there are 24 hour computer stores. However, lost amongst the glitz and glamor are those who have fallen through the cracks of city society. Those whose stories are too infinite to mention and whose circumstances are too complicated to explain. They sleep on church steps and subsist on hand outs and charity.
If you have followed this journal you have seen some of these photos before. One could argue that it has been some what exploitative of me to use others destitution as “art”. I assure you that was never my intention, but only to simply showcase life as I saw it. However, I think there may be some merit to that argument. In order to rectify this I am re-presenting those same photos in this journal specifically to raise awareness to their plight.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what keeps them on the streets, be it drugs, or mental illness, or disability, or anything else; just as it doesn’t matter what you do about it, as long as you do something. Give something. Even if all you do is think about it and discuss it in polite company. I hope that by doing this journal I have done something. I hope to do more.
New York City Photography: Pershing Square
In the heart of New York City, there is a tiny section named Pershing Square. However, in all of Manhattan, there is more asked of this little square than of any other neighborhood. Located directly outside Grand Central Station it serves as a gateway to all who exit the old, Art Deco designed train station. Emerging from it’s doors is like a trip back in time and a welcome to the modernity of the city all in a first glance.
New York Street Photography- The People of New York
The people of New York City are what make it what it is. They are unique, strange, fun, powerful, humble, and hard working. All of which New York as a city most certainly is.
New York City Street Photography- Working New Yorkers
Take a moment. Step back and think. How does a city the size of New York City function? Only through the hard work of those that fix the streets, collect the trash, clean the streets, work on the tugboats and barges on the river. Through the dedication of those that work the midnight shift so that when we wake up in the morning our city is all the more perfect. Without out any filters or fancy photography tricks this is the first of many journals I plan to post in their honor.
New York City Neighborhood Photography
I love the variety of neighborhoods in New York City. Walk a few blocks and you can go from Little Italy to Chinatown. From Koreatown to the Garment District. In the upcoming weeks I will be spotlighting in photographs the mosaic of communities that make up New York. They will not be advertisements or real estate agent walking tours. Rather they will be what the communities look like from the street level. As if you took a stroll and simply looked around. The point is to draw the flavor out from what that neighborhood has to offer from the average point of view in every day life.
The first in this series is Sutton Place. A very small neighborhood on the east side of Manhattan. Sutton Place and Sutton Place South run from 53rd Street to 59th Street. It’s as far east as you can go on the island of Manhattan at that point. The numerous cul de sac parks offer sweeping views of the East River and Roosevelt Island, as well as the Queensboro Bridge.
Sutton Place is considered one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in all of New York City. The wealth is evident from the attentive doormen of the high rise apartments and the clothes of the women walking around on a sunny day.
It is a beautiful yet exclusive part of the city that certainly adds to the character of all New York.