Friday, May 23, 2014

Vintage Cameras in the Sun

Confession time! I'm a photographer that has never taken a picture with a film camera! I know..very sad. In college I took a photography course but we actually learned on digital. It is on my list of things to do and I was given a film camera and a bunch of lenses by an old coworker who was moving so I don't have much of an excuse. I just have to buy some film and use it!

So how did I get a hold of these beauties?! Well I recently missed a session for my mentoring project and had to attend what my teacher calls a "boot camp" makeup class. This entailed me helping her clean out her garage (no joke! she doesn't mess around) and while cleaning she showed me some old film slides and cameras that one of her neighbors gave her. She held up the slides to the light and they were hilarious. They were from the 70's so there was retro furniture and clothing galore! The cameras were so fascinating and each one had its own flair. I was surprised by how interested I was in the cameras. I have to admit I've been put off by film in the past by the hipster scene making it "cool". I like vintage but I don't want to BE vintage because I'm...well not. I hope that makes sense? It was a different feeling once I had them in my hands. You could feel the history and intricacy in how they were made. I can see how you could easily get obsessed and who knows maybe one day I'll get obsessed and look back and laugh at myself!

Part of the boot camp was to bring my camera and do a small project so when I saw these I was like ding! After we finished cleaning I spent a few minutes in her BEAUTIFUL and blooming garden taking these. It was fun to combine the blossoms of spring with these old tools. I used VSCO Film to edit these which is what I often use to edit my photos to give that vintage feel to my images but in a modern way because I can still use current technology to tweak it to my liking. I like the feeling of combining old and new and vsco is a beautiful tool for that.

Hope you enjoyed these as much I did. Have a bright weekend :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Red White and Blue. Part 1: Inspiration

Sources R-L: Rug:, Photographer: Nicole Bentley, Eye mask: pinterest,  Tribal fashion pinterest, Turkish Tile, UnknownSuhair Sibai

I've been secretly and enthusiastically working on a personal project called Red, White, and Blue. It is a self portrait series exploring the idea of patriotism and it's layers through my own experience as an Arab, Muslim American.

I've had this project sort of in my head in different forms since last year but it has evolved into something I finally feel passionate about. I have been so fortunate to be mentored from it's beginnings and through to its completion (Inshallah) by my dear friend and teacher Banafsheh from Boston Photography Center. We have been meeting every two weeks to discuss the project, put together an artist statement and eventually I will start to photograph for it. I'm still in the artist statement phase, gathering and organizing my ideas in a cohesive and interesting way. I'm doing this mentorship program with a few other amazing photographers doing their own personal projects. It has been great to share and get feedback from each other and watch one anther's progress. Banafsheh suggested we keep a diary of the process, to keep track of things as they move along both emotionally and through the work itself. So I'll be sharing as I go, on this blog and over on the group Facebook Page.

What inspired me to do this is of course my own experiences as a human living with my own roots being born and raised in the US. In one of our sessions Banafsheh mentioned art being about personal experiences and I couldn't agree more. I think art is personal self expression and if its not personal, raw, and coming from an authentic place, it can come across as dry and boring. I find that the more I get into it, the more I feel myself tearing at these layers I never really explored. It has been both challenging and exciting to face certain aspects of myself, and my upbringing.

In my next post I will go into more depth about the topic and what the project will explore. I wanted to keep this post short and sweet. All my projects start with a color story and a visual board (I kept this projects board private on Pinterest but these are a few images from it). The project will be fully in red, white and blue but I will be using the colors in unconventional ways that tie into my heritage and faith. I plan to make it a story of layers combining elements of pattern, fashion, and color that explore emotions related to being an Arab, Muslim American.

I've been taking things a step at a time because I realized that's how you get things done. Doing a bunch of little things until it becomes something big. I'm seriously so excited!

Until the next update...

Light and Love,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spark Some Light

"You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world."
Oprah Winfrey

Last week one of my favorite artists, Anahata Katkin shared one of my images on her IG. I literally went under the covers and screamed for a second. She probably does not know this but her work and beautiful uplifting sayings inspired me during a difficult time in my life. Way before I found photography, I was an artsy person that decided to pursue a degree in nursing. I wanted to help people so I put art to the side and did something else. I ended up failing out of the program by .3 and I was devastated but a year later I took a photography course and it changed my life. Is it a walk in the park now? Not at all, it is FULL of struggle, but it is the good kind of struggle where you feel you are becoming the best version of yourself. I quoted Oprah above because I truly believe the best way to help others is to be YOU, whatever that encompasses. Only good can come when you feel the light inside of yourself. When you do more of what makes you spark you give light to the spark in others. That is exactly what her work did for me during those moments of uncertainty and soul searching. For that I am thankful. This card sums up my journey called life and I'm in love. I get to stare at this baby every day now and stay inspired.

To see more Anahata check out her website and blog You can also get this card and other goodies over at her company

Keep sparking, and shine some light wherever you go. You never know how it may help someone else on their journey.

Much love,

P.S. Update: If you follow me on instagram then you probably have seen this image and the little blurb above but I wanted to share it over on the blog as well. I have been busy catching up with some photography editing/work and slacking on the blog. I do have tons of projects in the works but I want to keep the content quality up so they will take some time to finalize. XO