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I was watching the U.S. Presidential debate live last night, in bed with a glass of red wine, around 4am French time. As I listened to Hillary Clinton speak (looking chic as F in Ralph Lauren, IMO) I was so impressed with how knowledgable and studied she is. Dedicating your life to anything, especially in her case of public service for 30 years, is a huge statement to passion, purpose and incredible knowledge on the subject. I was contemplating how that related to my own purpose.

Change makers start by first learning, then with doing. The power is in knowledge. The expertise is in experience. That’s what I took away. If you have been following my Snapchat this week I have been sharing what I’ve learned about photography. Quick little daily tutorials on knowledge I’ve gained either in the class room or from experience in my breathe thus far as a photographer which is and will be my life’s work.

On Photography

My journey started when I was 13. My mom handed me her 1970s Pentax 35mm film camera. The kind that is so basic and manual all you can do set the shutter and aperture. A far cry from the endless options and controls we now have with digital.

My first lessons in photography started with basic balancing of the camera’s built in light meter and a LOT of trial and error. I learned quickly that I like to overexpose my images by a stop, especially when shooting faces. I learned how slow I can set the shutter before the image begins to reveal the shake from my hand, or breathing. I learned how to communicate movement, not just freeze it. This is knowledge I still use today when I want the image to feel alive. From there I read books, I took every class I could for the next 10 or so years. Post college, I still study. I watch youtube videos, I take classes in alternative photography, I buy random cameras and learn how to shoot with them. I play, experiment, challenge myself and discuss daily.

The Continued Study

I’ve studied photography. I loved photography. I still love the history of photography, btw THIS is the best podcast on the subject. We are now all photographers. We all take pictures, communicate through imagery and share with the world. For those of you who want to make it a profession… take a lead from what inspired me about Hillary. Be studied, do the work. Take your time on the journey. Here I am 20 years later and I am still doing just that. She makes me excited for who I will become as an artist (and business woman) in the later years of my life.

Please, this is not a political post but one about being inspired about another human’s knowledge and commitment to what they belive in, if you belive in it with them or not… #ImWithHer

Above self portrait, in Baukjen dress & wrap coat,

inspired from the painting “San Gerolamo” by Caravaggio


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Cannes Diary with Chopard

Hotel du Cap

We found paradise. Whisked away from the hustle and bustle of Cannes, we emerged at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. The once private mansion opened as an Antibes hotel in 1870 overlooking the French Riviera like a perfect postcard. It’s the kind of corner you turn where you feel as if they shut the gates behind you, you would never know a world outside anymore…nor care to. The secrets these old walls could tell, the affair between Taylor and Burton, the celebrities and their chaos wax and wane like the tides. You walk the grounds and you feel as if nobody else exists…and if you listen closely in the silence of the garden, you can hear the ocean calling like the distant sound of the late night trumpet from behind the damp walls of a New Orleans party. At the water’s edge sits the magnificent Resturant Eden Roc where we sipped on white wine and enjoyed the view while Leo did press interviews for Gatsby and Sasha Baron Cohen took photographs of his parents on vacation. This day sits in my memory as one of those beautiful days where the sun came out, everyone was smiling, we were young and beautiful and still making our way, the world still had magic and we had more time to create. I read somewhere there is a plaque in the garden that reads “Ce qui sera, c’est ce qui fut”- “what will be, is what was” and this day was perfect.
As the late afternoon set in, the rain returned as did we to Cannes. Kevin and I had a Chopard Cinemagraph shoot scheduled with Cara Delevingne before we all descended on the evening’s activities. That particular night was the Chopard Trophy Party with Colin Firth as guest of honor and a performance by Solange Knowles at the Hotel Martinez before slipping peacefully to bed dreaming about that garden of Eden that has captured my imagination so.

French Riviera

Eden Roc Hotel du Cap    Eden Roc

Eden Roc


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Cannes Diary with Chopard

Our journey to Cannes started a few months back; it actually began in Geneva in a workshop of craftsmen, spending countless hours making this year’s precious Palme d’Or Chopard so proudly bears the honor of crafting each year for the Cannes Film Festival.

I had a lot of expectations for Cannes – how could you not with such a famous and star studded event? I can remember as if it was yesterday sitting at the breakfast bar of my parents’ house in Texas, getting ready for school and watching the Today Show cover the red carpet of Cannes. My eyes were fixated on the screen… and now I am here. Beyond the glamour and the evening gowns, the faces of such notable actors and luxury brand names, the Cote d’Azur, our French Riviera, was also the view that inspired artists such as Matisse, Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I couldn’t wait to see it, to taste it, and to just watch it all with my own eyes and not those of a child in front of a TV set.

The day started at the Chopard Lounge on top of the Hotel Martinez: a sweeping terrace with views of the Promenade de la Croisette. Yachts smiled in the harbor as the crowds of photographers swam around waiting for pictures of celebrity arrivals in the bustling streets. It was a very strange sensation from up on the terrace and laying in bed at night to all of a sudden hear screams from a crowd – ah yes, another celebrity has emerged.

The rain came and went and with each pop of sun another beautifully dressed guest would walk through the doors, glittering in diamonds and sapphires, French perfumes dancing through the air, entangling itself with the smell of fresh cut roses. The distant sound of champagne being poured and glasses clinking, the faint smell of cigarettes over whispers and laugher, and that view… I’ll never get over that beautiful view.

As the day came to a close we attended the official dinner of the opening ceremony of the festival at the Agora. The Great Gatsby had just finished premiering and as we sat for dinner, in poured the cast and an excited air filled the room…but it was not until Steven Spielberg walked in that the space erupted in applause. He was magnanimous.

The first day at Cannes…despite being jet lagged and just coming off a week long shoot in LA, I lay in bed and thought about how the little girl watching the TV became the woman walking in the room tonight.

Cannes Film Festival (55) Cannes Film Festival (54)

MAIYET hand block printed  in Jaipur, India maxi dress to blow around in the Mediterranean wind. 


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Rachel Roy Travel Diary

New York to Palm Springs

If you remember from our #RRExotic Instagrams, this past January our team headed out west to sunny Palm Springs to shoot Rachel Roy‘s Spring / Summer 2013 Campaign. We spent the first couple of days location scouting with our amazing producer in areas all around southern California. We danced on boulders in Cougar Buttes, walked the sands of Joshua Tree, found a desert oasis at the Salton Sea and felt the colors of the earth at Painted Canyon.

When we are location scouting for a story, we look for the scenes that have been playing out in our imagination to come to life. We look at the light, we imagine the scene and we take test shots. When we get back to our hotel, we go through the images and match them up with the looks our stylist has sent stills of from the fitting the previous day back in NYC, plan out routes and timing and make lists for the next day of what we are still looking for. I love location scouting; all the possibilities are ahead of you, you just have to see it.

Here are some snapshots of our journey to and around California taken with an old point and shoot Olympus camera, a Polaroid Spectra with ImpossibleUSA filmFuji Instax and a Canon 1DX.

Also, this place in Palm Springs was AWESOME.



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