Saturday, 29 April 2017

Love-hate photos. What is perfection anyway?

I think, if only I could only get that one perfect photo, I'd never have to take another one. The same goes for thrifting and the perfect outfit. Hahaha, there's as much chance of that happening as me becoming a bikini-clad camel jockey in Qatar. Complicating matters is that my "Stunning!" today often turns into "Vile!" tomorrow, and vice versa.

Photos are static and I am not, so the wild swings are normal-ish. In the end, even knowing the impossible odds of nailing perfection, the pursuit keeps me going; I'll never give up. The alternative is ghastly! Maybe I should buy a bikini just in case. Heh.

These look like mug shots. Yes, they border on criminal, but sometimes I like that.

Below are photos you haven't seen, that were loathed or loved or simply bumped in favour of shots I thought I liked more. Unlike most of my photos, I was lucky to have these taken by friends.
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Shelley took this first specimen during a hilarious shoot together when she visited Vancouver last May. I look like a creature. That's why I love it now; that's why I didn't before

Here, I've cropped the original, pumped the levels, and added sharpening to make the photo pop. One of the shots I took of Shelley ended up with well over a million views(!) on the blog "Warning: Curves Ahead," under the title, "24 Things Women over 30 Should Wear (whatever the f*ck they want)," here. Cool, right? 

Creature from the Plasma Lagoon. Hungry for flies. Silk blouse from Thorne Garnet.

Then in January, I needed some high-res photos for a magazine PDQ!! A magazine?!! Freak-out time - especially since about a year's worth of my photos were zapped in the Big Crash of 2015 (hard drive). I grabbed the Bat Phone: "Sandra, HEEEELP!!" Luckily, she was able to step in as my photographer. I stuffed a few outfits into garbage bags and we hit the streets running, just like old times when we style parkoured Snakes and Ladders-style around town.

We got this photo at the Four Seasons Hotel, which we love for its elegant decor, napping potential, fine restrooms, and fantastic bar/restaurant Yew, where we often decamp for debriefing like true professionals. The trouble is the relatively dim lighting, which requires photographic CPR. (FYI, I never alter my face, body or clothing.)

Too much posing! I am all tuckered out. Do you think there's room to stretch out on the couch?

I'll call this next photo, "Woman in Fabric." It's almost exactly as it was taken, no farking, and it's loooovely. So why don't I love it? Sheesh, who wants relaxed and happy when you're wearing an Avengers uniform?! If I switched this jumpsuit for jeans, would you even notice? Entirely unacceptable.

The groove factor of a vintage, low-slung belted, siren-red one-piece demands a life of danger, evil headquarters in volcanoes, smudged lipstick on snifters, hovercrafts, the gait of a prowling panther, maybe a pink one. Do you see any of that here? Nunh. This is a bit better.

My face says: Let's go have a picnic in a meadow. My head says: Stop, hand over the secret formula! 

I love this next one: "Next Season's Hottest 'It' Bags." Hahaha. The loud clash of the suit with the garbage bags and the monster truck on my formal farked tux shirt led to this low-watt lightbulb moment. Would the magazine like it? Hahaha. But it fit well in our don't-give-a-feck plan.

Taking photos of grand architecture like this - Sandra did a stellar job of framing - is almost impossible with a tripod on a fairly busy block when you need space between the camera and subject. Sandra, on the other hand, expertly dodged and ducked passersby. And her feedback helped immeasurably; all day we exchanged very productive dialogue: "Hahaha." "Hahaha."

The season's hottest "it" bags put those cheesy expanding handbag infomercials to shame. 

Another Four Seasons photo, farked within an inch of its life - "We have a pulse!" My upcycled outfit is somewhat hectic and the colours/patterns in this setting are a settling la-ti-da complement. In terms of photo farking, I chose a relatively flat effect to enhance the abstraction. If we had proper lighting, I could have achieved this look with less finagling and grain. But I like it like this - would the magazine? Yes, VOGOFF would love it.

Another one that wasn't a contender. But check out those golden arches!

Below, testing the camera settings. This is another magnificent downtown doorway, the Marine Building, with me standing in the way. See all the little marine creatures in the decorative metalwork? Clearly, we started the day off on the right foot. We also switched camera duties once in a while so Sandra could build up her photo stash too. Her Instagram is here.

On my way to fire up another meeting of the Executive Boreds 

And I can't close without including a photo of Sandra. I love this photo and I love what she was wearing too: a kilty skirt thing, inside-out tux jacket, and designer over-the-knee boots. She scouted out this pedestal as a location. So perfect. Dressing the part of a high-fashion art photographer, she was treated as one by everyone who crossed our path.


Ironically, in the end the magazine didn't even choose any of our mad dash-about day photos. !!! They (Marie Claire Brazil) went with one of my old tripod ones, here, which by chance I still had in high-res, squirreled away on cloud storage, safe from the Big Crash.

It's funny but the Crash was really no big deal - who thinks they'll ever need their old blog photos again, right? Gaaaa! But I try now to take original photos in higher res and back up everything regularly for these just-in-case, freak-out situations, although a mad dash-about is always worth a good debriefing afterwards. Hiccup.

I'll link something here up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style and her famous "Visible Monday," and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb and her #iwillwearwhatilike linkup. She's still basking in (and recovering from) her big win. Excellent!!

Our spring has half-sprung. Kind of. I hope you are all 
doing what you do best and loving it!!! xoxo


46 comments:

  1. You are pure art and have so much fun with fashion that I adore you.
    Much,much love, dearest Melanie
    XXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Much love back to you Mis P, my muse! xox

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  2. Loving the golden arches photo!!!! I'm horrible in pics and have to work hard to look normal!

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    1. I took FOREVER to get more comfortable having my photo taken at all, so I understand how you feel. From my eye, you always look stunning in your photos. xo

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  3. Is is always interesting to see what doesn't make the cut.

    There are some truly wonderful photos here and the locations are spot on.

    The one with the garbage bags might just be my favourite.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Often it's the goofy photos I overlook, when in hindsight they are the ones with the most life. I'm glad I keep them. xo

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  4. These are all amazing, my favourite being the one that's "flat" with all the different patterns and textures. Oh, and I see "our" pink wig made the cut here (hee, I love those photos you took of me). You are just schtellar, dahlink.

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    1. Thanks, darling. When I see that wig now I always think of you. Hahaha!! You were such a schtar in it. xox

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  5. Dude, I love all of these looks. I have to say that fifth one got me by the balls, though. Haha. So impactful. Totally rad! <3

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

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    1. Thanks, Anna! We had a blast that day. xox

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  6. Not sure you ever take a bad photo, these are all just wonderful. The outfits, your poses and expressions , to say nothing of the locations are all spot on. Those casting people don't know what they are missing.

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    1. I hate to say it but those casting people know TOO WELL what they're missing. Hahaha. But thank you for this supportive comment! xox

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  7. Great show. I especially love the second photo in the Four Seasons with the arches of the table legs. A high end magazine photographer couldn't have done it better. Well of course he or she would have had more lights set up and monitoring laptops etc, but as for angle etc.. brilliant.
    Sandra looks so fashionable. I can understand they took her very serious, especiallly with you as a model.
    I upload all my photos to a folder with the date, name and ALL. Then I start chosing and putting thé chosen photos in a similar folder but without the ALL. After a month I delete the folder ALL and store the folder with the high res photos on an external back up device. The low res ones I store in a folder called Blog and from time to time I transfer folders to theexternal back-up as well. And apart from that I have another device which backs up everything all the time. How is that for a risk avoiding person?
    I still very much like the photo of you in a busy street with a dark jacket and a white tutu underneath it. I nearly spit my coffee out when that picture materialized on my iPad.
    Greetje

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    1. Your back-up system is gold! Hahaha. I'm better at it now. I used to SHOOT in lower-res too so even backups wouldn't have helped - why not low res when I only need them for the blog/IG, right? Now I know. I'm a big fan of cloud storage these days. I'm sure you will be called upon for your high-res photos and you'll be ready.

      Sandra and I tend to laugh wherever we shoot, and it always pays off in our photos. Thanks, Greetje. xox

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  8. Big congrats on the magazine, Mel! So fun to see a little of the process behind the magic. I'm always amazed and impressed with your results. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Louisa. That was a shock being contacted by Marie Claire Brazil! xox

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  9. The locations here are certainly a far cry from the dungeon of sad styrofoam eh? Sandra's artistic eye is evident here and it's nice to see the way another artist sees you once in awhile! She clearly honors and appreciates your vision Melanie. Sandy shares her own sense of composition here without overshadowing yours.
    Marie Claire probably saved these photos in a little cloud marked "fabulous farker and her friend for future reference".
    Your golden arches outfit is delicious with brocade and looks cozy!!!
    I'm having a HELL of a time posting comments Mel. Looks like this one will go down as from "unknown".
    FYI, it's me, Jude Gramith

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    1. Yes, the locations are bright outdoors - it was an instruction I had to follow. But I'll never give up the styrofoam dungeon! Yes, Sandra is the best photographer. I'll make sure she reads this. Heh.

      That's soooo frustrating when comments don't go through, so thank you for persevering! I wouldn't have wanted to miss one from you, Jude. xox

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  10. I prefer to work with a real live person taking my photos than a tripod (which I rarely do) not only because it's way more fun, but I also have someone to play off of and to give me feedback. Seeing that photo from our shoot last year (it's almost been a year, can you believe it??) reminds me of how much fun we had.
    Sandra definitely has the style vibe of a cool photographer and the eye! The "flat" photo with all the patterns is my favourite.

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    1. A person is ALWAYS best. I can't believe it was a year ago you were here. WOW. I had the same thought when I was going through my stash. Yes, Sandra has a great presence and eye. I'm lucky I could call on her so last-minute! We love goofing off in that lobby. Heh. xox

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  11. Melanie, you are so bold and expressive, and this is a fine collection of photos! I especially love the one on the couch (I need that couch in my home - it'll stick out of the window though). I get what you're saying - I also find that the same photos and same outfits bring me almost opposite feelings at different times. We're alive, so we are changing all the time, and so are our feelings about things.

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    1. That is a couch of MAGNIFICENCE. Like you said, it would stick out my windows too. Hahaha! And it's also odd how other people may select photos of me that I don't necessarily like, and me of them. But it can be eye-opening in a good way. Thanks, Natalia. xox

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  12. Golden Arches! I think we can make a mini-series out of that title. These are all so fabulous and magical, and please do not lose them!! Did we have drinks at the Four Seasons together? I can't remember, but the place was grand, and the evening was spectacular. xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Hahaha, I'd watch that mini-series. Our drinks were at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which also has a stunning lobby - reminds me of the Overlook of the Shining. Heh. It was a great evening, wasn't it? Thanks, Patti. xox

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    1. <3 back at you, Maryanne. Thanks for visiting. xo

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  14. How blooming efficient is Greetje? Tidying up my computer is so far down on my list of priorities, but I know it's gonna catch up on me one day...

    You, red jumpsuit, big grin = endearing. Love the quirky, crazy, wild, zany version of you too, but sometimes it's good to break out and pretend to be normal.

    Love ya x
    Anna

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    1. I know, Greetje is a star organizer. I guess that's why she's also so good at her job. I'm finding cloud storage really convenient lately, but I'm still not as vigilant as I should be.

      Yes, even when I am sleuthing about in my red jumpsuit, I am still this version. It's just rare to get it on camera with a tripod. Sandra captured it though. Thanks, Anna. xox

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  15. loooooove all those pics!! you look fabulous and genuinely yourself, on all those elegant&cool backgrounds! I'm loving that picture of you napping on that big sofá! and that decó building looks amazing! (the doors and the marine animals!! wouuu) And your 'evil headquarters in volcanoes' red jumpsuit is pure coolness, I think it deserves its own funky soundtrack as you wear it!
    besos

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    1. Oh, I would like to show you that lobby. The sofa is a work of art, it's so freaking huuuuge! Oh yeah, you and me both need soundtracks as we ride our underwater jets to the secret volcano entrance. Hahaha. That would be fun, right? xoxo

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  16. Your photos are all fabulous and you fark so beautifully! Some wonderful locations for the shots and Sandra looks gorgeous, too.

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    1. It's so great to have a friend with photos. And yes, Sandra has a very cool wardrobe, always turning heads. Thanks, Veronica! xoxo

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  17. I can't tell you how much I love the mixed pattern outfit with the leopard print bolero sweater/jacket! You and Sandra make a great team. I am awed by your many talents!

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    1. Like you and Daniel, two is so much more interesting than one. I thought that lobby shot might be a goner. It won't work for high-res but I love how it came out here. Thanks, Judith. xoxo

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  18. Oh dear. You are SO NOT A CREATURE. YOU ARE A GROOVE THING, and it is time you came to terms with your sheer fabuloussitude. ( Yes I can create odds when I wan to.)
    Always inspirational.!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

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    1. I love that new name, GROOVE THING. I shall henceforth be known as GT. Hahaha. Word creation is most welcome at my house. Hurrah! Thanks, Elle. xox

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  19. Your post makes me realize I have been lost all these years without blue eyebrows and arch-like crotch pants. How I love reading your posts for fun and inspiration!

    - Sherry
    www.petiteover40.com

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    1. Hahaha, you must try the blue brows at least in the privacy of your bedroom. They are strange and wonderful. When I take photos like that I yell to O, you can't come in!! If you get inspiration here, my mission is a success. Thanks, Sherry. xox

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  20. Maybe if we all agree to try this look Melanie will come to Seattle! (?)
    From Jude

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  21. Well obviously you look amazing cool and faaabulus, even in your reject shots. These all look pretty awesome to me. Come on now, do you really have any bad shots???

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    1. Do I have any bad shots? They are burning now in the fires of hell where I send all my truly, TRULY bad shots. I keep those fires going. But thanks, Carolyn. xox

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