Vote for your favourite Earth, Wind & Style pic and get 20% off!

My very talented friends, photographer Tina Graham and makeup artist Nicola Ingram, worked their magic a few weeks ago on a photo shoot for my boots.  I thought I would share the results below.  Vote for your favourite pic and get 20% off your purchase at Earth, Wind & Style till Dec 24th, 2012!

girls fighting over boots

ankle boots

boot tug of war

Ankle boots with leggings

shorts worn with boots

convertible boots worn with dressboots with shorts

dress worn with boots

Vote for your favourite pic below and receive 20% off on your purchase of a pair of Earth, Wind & Style boots or handbags till December 24, 2012!

Photo Shoot for Earth, Wind & Style

Wow, what a day!  Such a great experience being on the set of my very first professional fashion shoot for my business, Earth, Wind & Style, on Saturday.  I’d been looking forward to getting some fun pictures of the convertible boots on offer in my webstore and the day was a huge success!  I thought I would share some pictures with you.

Our outdoor set

So great to be in the company of friend and professional photographer, Tina Graham, and to see her in action on my photo shoot.  She really knows her stuff and given that supplies are somewhat limited where we are located in Miri, she was particularly impressive with her improvisation and quick thinking with both lighting and set direction.

photo shoot make up by Nicola Ingram

Nicola Ingram working her make up magic on one of the models

Cosmetology Scotland owner and friend, Nicola Ingram, worked her magic on the make-up for the shoot and faced her own set of challenges while attending to models affected by the hot and humid mid-day heat, but she was a pro and the girls looked fantastic! Needless to say, we were all really pleased to move inside to the air conditioning!

photo session for Earth Wind & Style

Tina Graham and team working their photography magic!

Leonard the Lighting Assistant and lender of the photography studio cum exercise training studio

photo session models having fun

The gorgeous models having a laugh. It’s hard to look fierce!

And (one of!) the end products.  I absolutely love this shot!!!

Cat fight for the boots!

‘The’ shot!

The Hot Topic of Photo Retouching

Magazines and advertisers who are retouching photos of their models to such a degree that they don’t look natural is a hot topic in the media right now and I’m really pleased to see that people are finally taking notice of the ridiculously unobtainable standards that these businesses are setting.

A year ago, several of the L’Oreal company’s brands had advertisements banned in the UK for retouching photos beyond an ‘acceptable level’.  Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts appear in two of these ads, and the question is why the Lancome and Maybelline executives found it necessary to photoshop these already beautiful women to create images that are completely unrealistic.  We are left to hope we can be this flawless if we purchase their products, which is quite impossible.

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Perhaps it is the blatant faults in photo enhancement, such as models missing fingers and heads and other rather obvious body parts that has really forced this topic to the forefront (just google photoshop mistakes and you’ll get over a million hits). Whatever the reason for its making headlines, I think it’s a good thing that it is continuously brought to the attention of the public – particularly for the women who are trying desperately to live up to these  ideals.

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This month, Eva Longoria appeared on the cover of Italian Amica magazine looking more like her Desperate Housewives co-star Terry Hatcher than herself!  You have to wonder what the editor was thinking letting this cover go to press with such an (apparently) well known face on the cover.  She’s far more beautiful in her actual photo (left), yet she didn’t escape the editing process.

I know a lot of women who have struggled for part of their lives – sometimes the better portion of their lives – with body image.  It’s not surprising when you consider the unrealistic images we are confronted with on a daily basis in magazines, online and in advertising.  Madonna is in her 50’s.  She’s supposed to have a few lines around her face. Don’t we expect that after the life she – of all people – has lived?!

How us women got to the point of trying to attain perfection, I’m not sure, but airbrushing and photo enhancement have been around since the late 1800’s – back in the day when women were forcing their bodies into corsets and girdles to create the perfect silhouette – and have almost certainly helped push us into trying to achieve these ideals.

 

Audrey Hepburn airbrushed

 

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Above is a promotional photograph of Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany’s from the 1960’s and it’s recently released marked version showing where the editor thought Audrey needed a little added beauty.  I’m amazed this editing was considered and put into action on a star who, in my mind, was quite gorgeous enough in the original photo!

But there has been some backlash and several celebrities, such as Cate Blanchett, have been making a point against all of this retouching.  Take a look at Cate’s untouched photo on the cover of Intelligent Life.  She is an undeniably beautiful women who has made a name for herself partly because of her beauty.  It’s so nice to see a representation of her at 42 years of age looking natural and, well, 42!

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A fourteen year old girl, Julia Bluhm, from Maine in the US recently caught the attention of the media as she organised a protest at the entrance to Seventeen Magazine in New York to state her objection to their use of photographs that are airbrushed.  Her protest was in support of the idea that these images may result in low-self esteem issues amongst her peers.  She’s on the right track, but we need more people – adults and teens – to make it known that we want to see true representations of models in the magazines we read and in the ads we are exposed to.

It would be great if more celebrities stood up and, like Cate Blanchett, insisted on photo shoots without heavy editing. But it is truly up to magazine editors and advertisers to change the way they think and the way they represent models and celebrities, which lead the general population towards aspirations of impossible beauty.

What do you think about the photoshopping controversy?

Fashion Photography’s New Kick – the Cinemagraph

I was checking out the blog over at I Get a Kick Out of You where I was introduced to the fascinating cinemagraph!  Fashion photography comes alive with this new layered photo, allowing for selective movement within a still image.  It’s really captivating.  Below are some of the best examples I’ve come across so far by inventors Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg.

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What do you think of the cinemagraph? Where do you see it being utilised in the future?