Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why I've Starting Photographing Boudoir

The first time I became interested in photographing boudoir was after second shooting a wedding with a good friend of mine. The bride wanted to recreate a photo she'd seen on Pinterest before getting into her dress. She was topless, her bare back towards the camera, and the light from the hotel room window passed through her veil. They easily got the shot in just a few clicks, but my photographer friend encouraged her to try a few other looks. She shyly covered herself, notably sucked in her stomach, and self-consciously moved only as she was directed. After a few more clicks, my friend flipped the camera screen around to her and revealed an incredibly gorgeous woman staring back. "Oh my gosh! I can't believe that's ME!" Seeing herself like that, maybe for the first time ever, triggered something. And what was only meant to be a quick shot turned into a full boudoir session as she rolled around in bed, made eyes at the camera, and increasingly became more and more confident with herself and her body.

I loved that moment so much. Yeah, the photo was intended as a gift for her soon-to-be hubby, but that experience was all for her. A beautiful self-transformation. As a photographer, I wanted to be a part of giving other women that same experience.

I need not remind anyone how much of Western women's lives are spent fussing over our bodies, feeling insecure about too much this or too little that. We constantly look back on how we used to be or long for an unrealistic future version of ourselves, never embracing the right now, just as you are.

One of my favorite quotes I've included in my sample book is:

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” - Coco Chanel

The great thing I saw happen when I offered my Valentine's boudoir promo so last minute is I had many women spontaneously decide to book a shoot right now. They didn't have a chance to "get in shape," get their hair did, or practice being sexy. In fact, one of my friends ate a Big Mac right before her session. And guess what? She looked stunning! Because she chose to be herself.

Which is why I also prefer to have my girls do their own looks. Some boudoir photographers offer full hair and makeup transformations (some even go as far as showing "before and after" photos in their portfolios as if it's some great feat that they turned this "ugly duckling" into a sexy swan). Those are the Groupon ads I see all the time. Women with loaded on eye makeup in pearls and high heels lounging in white sheets looking like soft-core sexed up parodies of what they think men like. Instead, my goal is to show women just how beautiful and every-day gorgeous they are, right now in their daily lives -- no professional styling, personal trainers, or stripper heels needed.

Of course, anything worth doing comes with critics. Since starting to post boudoir photos on my Instagram (with permission of course), I've lost numerous followers, and definitely experienced my fair share of judgement from some of my more conservative acquaintances. Their hatred of seeing other women being body-confident says more about them than it does about me or my work. No amount of negativity can take away the reward of watching the self-confidence pour in when these women realize how gorgeous they are on camera. My work never had this kind of purpose before – through these photos, I'm helping make an impact in other women's lives. I'll never get tired of hearing, "Oh my gosh! I look so good!" So I'll stop posting boudoir on Instagram once every woman has that same moment of realization. Until then, haters can deal with it.

Wanna book a shoot with me? Email me for more details!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Gifts for Your Strange Girl

I'm beyond #blessed to have a man who nurtures and encourages my weirdness. I mean, he gave me a dead skunk as a wedding present; took me to the Museum of Death for our 6 year anniversary; and during one of our early dating years I told him I didn't want flowers for Valentine's day, so instead he filled a mason jar with dirt and stuck in a few twigs and foxtail weeds. No one embraces my strangeness quite like this man.

Don't know how to tell your own guy you want jewelry fashioned out of human teeth this Valentine's day? Or don't know what to get your odd lady? Check out my list of strange gift ideas for the girl who has everything weird.

1 // Indulge her affinity for the strange and unusual with this Freak of Nature crop top by Pretty Snake, featuring a pattern of familiar oddities and curious creatures.

2 // What girl doesn't love getting jewelry for Valentine's day? This beautiful buffalo tooth necklace capped with a gold filigree wrap has a special Victorian naturalist charm similar to the stag teeth jewels Prince Albert frequently gave his beloved Queen Victoria.

3 // And speaking of teeth, these human tooth rings are an especially sweet token of affection. Each real human molar is just as unique as your Valentine.

4 // Beyond the Dark Veil is a gorgeous collection of post mortem and mourning photography from the early 20th century Victorian era. Each image "speak[s] of love, loss, lives cut short, brave final hours, shattered families, and the depths of the human spirit."

5 // This chic matte black porcelain doll head mug is the perfect gift for the freaky coffee or tea drinker in your life. She's sure to think of you every time she takes a warm sip from it's lifeless noggin.

6 // For Strange Women is a botanical perfume boutique that concocts scents reminiscent of antiquity and nature. Their solid scents are sold in beautiful Victorian lockets, bottles, and compacts; and the intriguing fragrance names range from "Satin Corset" to "Coyote" and "Horse".

7 // This charming little beetle purse features a lovely screen print of a black stag beetle, a sexually ambitious insect that uses its signature antler-esque mandibles for courtship and battle against other males. So romantic.

8 // When in doubt, just get her a skull. Particularly an otter skull with gilded teeth. Bitches love skulls.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Newest Member of Our Little Family

Sorry for the radio silence lately, but my life has been consumed with raising our new fur child. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen lots of Scout, our 3 month old blue heeler. Dave and I picked her up in the boonies of Ramona, California and immediately fell in love!

If you aren't familiar with Australian cattle dogs (which most people don't seem to be -- we gets lots of "What is that?!" on our walks), they were originally developed by crossbreeding Collies with Dingos, and later with Dalmatians and Kelpies. They're one of the top 10 smartest dogs. I've grown up with some smart dogs in my life (my first childhood dogs were a Rottweiler and a doberman, and of course my current Rottweiler, Frankie -- who lives at my parents' place if anyone is concerned where she went, haha), but there is nothing like a cattle dog. I'm starting to understand fellow owners' obsession with the breed. I might be turning into a bit of a crazy dog lady. But training and spending my days with her has been so rewarding. They're not kidding when they say these dogs are smart. Within a week of having her, she already mastered sit / down / stay / come / shake / leave it / bring it / drop it / crate / and every command I really need her to know. This breed is notoriously known for being "velcro dogs", so you can be sure she follows me everywhere, sits at my feet while I work in the office, cuddles on the couch while we watch movies, and constantly looks up at me for approval and guidance. It's uncanny how much she understands and how well we're able to communicate with each other throughout the day.

I'm so looking forward to the journey this dog is going to take us on in the years to come.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Flying with Sam Golden

My friend Sam officially earned his FAA certified Commercial Pilot license after 5 years of hardwork and dedication. In celebration, we did a commemorative photoshoot (technically this was meant to be his Christmas present last year -- but now we had an even better reason to finally shoot!). Sam flew us out to a short landing strip in the middle of the nowhere, surrounded by nothing but desert and bare mountains. Such a fun afternoon and so exciting to fly over our beautiful city in this little plane!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Happy Friday everyone! Christmas is just around the corner. I haven't even finished my Christmas shopping yet, let alone started wrapping. But if you're ahead of the game, I've created some freebie holiday gift tags to spruce up your packages. All you need to do is download the file, print it onto cardstock, cut 'em out, hole punch, and tie with string or twine. I have a few different options -- big, small, colored, and lineart only. Feel free to use for all your personal gift wrapping needs!

If you use these these on your gifts, I'd love to see! Upload a photo and tag me on Instagram @stuckwithpins!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Corinne's Christmas Wishlist

This year, I don't want a lot for Christmas *cue Mariah Carey singing*. The practical (work-related) things I really do want are a $2,000 85mm lens and a new $300 Canon printer, but I've maxed out my Santa card in the past and don't expect any of these things to be coming down the chimney for me. Alas, it's the season of giving/getting, and without a wishlist, family and friends constantly complain they don't know what to buy, so here's a little round up of some knick-knacks and accessories I've had my eye on, and hopefully inspire you to support a few of these small businesses during your own holiday shopping.

1 // I'm absolutely obsessed with this adorable bat sleep mask by Appendage. I've never slept with a mask, but I might need to since too much light comes into our cave in the early morning and it's cheaper than buying new curtains…

2 // The Sick Rose by Richard Barnet is a beautiful collection of medical illustrations documenting nineteenth century diseases. To say I need this book in my possession would be an understatement.

3 // San Diego is super spoiled with tons of talented local artisans. JaxKelly is one of those artists and I swoon over all her earrings, including these gold dipped rose quartz, every time I see them at Pigment.

4 // Madame Talbot is an illustrative genius and curio extraordinaire (I don't think there's an oddity shop in America that doesn't have her work on the walls). Her Victorian gothic posters are so unique and stunningly detailed. We already have the Lincoln Ghost Train framed in our middle room and get compliments on it all the time. I'd love to hang The Everlast Embalming Fluid print by our bar.

5 // Surrounding myself with beautifully designed things is important for my creative process -- and that includes pretty office supplies. I'm in love with these gold shears from Target's Nate Berkus collection and would be pretty excited to find them in my stocking -- probably more excited than anyone could ever be about scissors.

6 // Have I told you how obsessed I am with Madame Scodioli? Oh yeah, I have. Well I was ecstatic when she started making spray perfumes, especially of Elyria, my signature scent of earl grey and lavender.

7 // Okay, I don't expect anyone to spend over $200 on shoes for me this Christmas, but I can dream. I'm on the hunt for a nice (affordable) pair of metal toed boots like these Jeffrey Campbell Bentley-2.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far and keeping sane during their Christmas shopping!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kory & Priscilla's Wedding

Kory & Priscilla were married at Hidden Oaks in Ramona, California in the heat of October. Sila drove up for the processional in an old red Chevy and their outdoor ceremony was beautiful and emotional, full of tears and laughter with the sun peeking in through the shade of the oak grove. I absolutely loved this reception! Twinkle lights and a chandelier sparkled from the trees and candles flickered under the bridge, making for some really magically photos. Not to mention they had one of the best tasting wedding cakes I've ever had in my life! As you can tell by the final photos, my second shooter Suzi and I had a lot of fun with Kory and Sila's friends and family when it came time to party it up. I'm honored to have been a part of documenting this incredibly special day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gift Guide for the Oddity Aficionado - Pt 2

Back again with more unique gifts for the collector of strange and unusual wonders! Last year, my curated list for Pinterest's Holiday Giving Guide was a hit, so I've gathered up a few more curiosities to inspire your Christmas shopping for the oddity aficionado in your life. Check out the whole board on Pinterest!

1 // Natural Histories Book and Print Set - ModCloth | 2 // English Bulldog Anatomical Embroidery - HandmadeEntomology |
3 // Antique Edison Cylinder Record Canister - AllvintageMan | 4 // Real Vintage Armadillo Purse - Ebay | 5 // Pearl Beaded Roe Deer - Virginia the Wolf | 6 // Genuine Spiderweb Necklace - PreciousCreature | 7 // Antique Prosthetic Eye - The Twisted Eye |
8 // Bat Patch - Gerri Tullis | 9 // Rare Autographed Photo of "Penguin Girl" - diabolic | 10 // Antique French Hair Reliquary - Mercurysmoon | 11 // Antique Medical Lithograph Manikin - TrunkGypsies |

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Bucketlist 2014

Hello December! The holiday season is in full swing, the Christmas tree Instagrams are rolling in, and it's time to start planning our winter-ish festivities. I'm really feeling this is gonna be a good year. Here are a few things we've got on the agenda for making the most of Christmas 2014 in San Diego:

✓ December Nights at Balboa Park

Kick off the season with lots of holiday spirit (and insane crowds) at December Nights, one of San Diego's most popular holiday events. It's a smorgasbord of art, culture, and general Christmas cheer. There's live music and performances, food and gifts from all different parts around the globe, and the museums are open late too.

✓ Craft Himmeli ornaments for the tree

These geometric ornaments were super fun and easy to make.

✓ Throw another awesome ugly sweater white elephant party

For the last couple years, I've hosted ugly sweater parties centered on watching a horrible movie. Last year we watched the Star Wars Holiday Special, and in previous years we've done horror films like Santa's Slay, Jack Frost, and even an Evil Dead II zombie themed Christmas party.

✓ See the lights at the zoo

Renew our San Diego Zoo passes and walk around at night during Jungle Bells when the park is open late and illuminated with colorful animal lights.

• Buy new leather pants

To rock with oversized sweaters all winter long.

✓ Bundle up and head out to Julian

Grab some legendary apple pie and do a little antiquing in the historic mining town. And maybe see some snow if we're lucky (my favorite part about living in Southern California is having the perfect warm weather all year round and crisp mountain air just an hour away when we need it).

✓ Concoct a new Christmas cocktail

I'm thinking a hot buttered rum, or a festive white russian.

✓ Partake in our traditional annual Elf fort night

Every year we get together with friends, build a blanket fort in the living room, and watch Elf inside it -- like all 20-something & 30-year-olds should.

• Sew our own stockings & fill them with fun little gifts

My mom always gave me fancy new underwear for Christmas and it was my favorite, haha. Dave might be getting some underwear in his stocking this year…

✓ Shop local

Buy gifts from small businesses in our artsy little neighborhood of North Park.

• Celebrate Krampusnacht

Really bummed we won't be able to make it up to any of the Krampusfest events in LA again this year. But if you're in SoCal, check out some of the happenings in celebration of the folkloric Christmas devil.

✓ Throwback with Christmas(-ish) movies we haven't watched in ages

We started with Batman Returns and Home Alone. Next up… Just Friends and Edward Scissorhands.

Now I want to know what you guys have going on this season! Any unique plans, favorite holiday movies, long-standing traditions, or go-to recipes for the best Christmas cookies? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Pinspiration - 3 Holiday Decorating Styles

I'm not usually one to get ultra prematurely excited for Christmas. But this year, something's gotten into me, and I was ready to start adorning the mantel with garland the moment Halloween was over. The housemates and I agreed to wait until after Thanksgiving, but that hasn't stopped me from pinning a zillion holiday decor ideas in the meantime. Here are some style moodboards I've put together in preparation for the upcoming season.

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Dreaming of a Natural Christmas - I know I don't have to tell you, but I am not a red-and-green-and-plastic-santas kind of xmas decorator. Instead, I like bringing natural elements into the house (scrap cuttings from the tree farm, pinecones, branches) and wrap all my gifts in brown Kraft paper with jute twine and a sprig of pine.

Get the Look - This is such an easy (and potentially free) look - which is why it's always my favorite. Gather pinecones to display on your shelves, in a bowl, or even make your own ornaments. Take home scrap cuttings from the tree farm (most trimming stations have a trash bin they'll gladly let you scavenge from) and stick them in vases or make your own natural wreaths and garlands (check out Molly's DIY triangle wreath tutorial).

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Sugar, Spice, & Fur - I love the warm cozy vibe of glowing candles, deer pelts, and deep brown tones everywhere. Makes me want to bundle up under a fur throw and sip chai by the fireplace while waiting for a batch of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven.

Get the Look - Okay, maybe this look is a bit dreamy and out of budget for most. But if you've got it, arrange luxurious natural elements like pelts, antlers, drift wood, and feathers around the house. Collect an assortment of candles and votives. And of course, constantly have fresh baked cookies lingering in the air.

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Glitzy Copper Christmas - Dave and I have been obsessed with copper this year. It seems to be popping up everywhere now, so why not try to incorporate some penny into our Christmas look?

Get the Look - A few metallic accents can really go a long way. Try Rachel's DIY copper foil branches or check out this super easy DIY for glamming up those tea lights you probably have a million sitting in a junk drawer. It's also always good to have a can of metallic copper Rust-Oleum around to give a spray paint makeover to any kitschy Christmas figurines you might find at a thrift store.

Hope some of these ideas have inspired your Christmas decorating style for this year! I'd love to hear your favorite looks or crafty DIYs for the holiday season. Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!

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