One-year anniversary in New York! My birthday too! Well, my anniversary was a month ago. But with New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, I was way too busy to celebrate! But at least not for my birthday! Happy birthday to me!
This last 12-months have been both a fantastic and crazy adventure. I can write a book about what I’ve learned and the craziness of it all. I am an intense life-learner. It’s second nature for me to learn about all aspects of life and how everything fits together. You can imagine the amount of data that was flowing into my head moving from California to New York!
One of the most eye-opening experiences has been with the fashion and photography business in New York. In California, you hear about how tough it is. How competitive it is. And it is. It completely is. On an artistic level, it’s a level or two above California. There is serious talent in New York. In all areas of the arts. From the photographer, makeup artist to the stylist.
With models, I was extremely picky when choosing them in San Francisco. The market is different in California. Commercial work rules in California and getting a certain look is extremely tough. I didn’t even go through modeling agencies in San Francisco. They just didn’t have models that had the look I wanted. Good, but just not what I was looking for.
My first experience with models in New York was something just short of a nightmare. I had just been in New York for about a month when I scheduled a shoot with a model I found on the venerable Model Mayhem. My fortune finding and working with great models on MM in California was baffling among my colleagues. With my 4 years of scouting on MM, I can count the number of flakes with one hand. I just grinned when colleagues would tell me of a failed shoot. Not me. Great people I worked with.
Put out a casting call and it was a lukewarm response. It was a Trade shoot. A tall, blonde Russian woman responded who was a great start into my New York start. Professional enough. The shoot went well. Then when it was her turn to select images, she changed. Demanding and threatening. I had an iron-clad agreement that she signed. But the threatening was horrible. I finally just separated my emotion from the situation, stayed professional and told her what she signed. She then tried to sweet-talk me. But she had shown her true colors. She simply just disappeared. I found her Facebook page and was incredibly happy I did. One of the biggest phonies I’ve ever met. Lesson learned: Research people more thoroughly before working with them.
Another Myth Breaker
The second myth that broke was the lack of professionalism among agents, make-up artist, hair stylist and many others in the industry. Shocking really. But at least you learn how to weed out the liars and fakers with things they say and how they behave. And like everyone else, I add them into my CRM but with a special tag. A red one! You know, it’s cool if you have your reason for not working with me. I’m totally fine with that. But wasting my time with your foolishness: Not Cool.
The Positives Begin
Among the negativity were several positives on of which being: New York Fashion Week! I had just moved to New York and with travelling across the country in record time and trying to find a home, I forgot! I didn’t know what to expect. On some levels, it underwhelmed me. I thought it would be much busier. It can be with the bigger shows. But with most, it’s easy to get pics of people. Overall, it was lots of fun. Really fun and provided me some of the best memories of my first year in New York.
The first NYFW was SS16 and was lots of fun. Great energy and looks. I think I got a shot of Kendall Jenner too! Check out the image here and see what you think. She wouldn’t take off her sunglasses but the resemblance is just too much.
The Positives Continue
The second NYFW was FW16. It was absolutely freezing in New York and was only make it to one show due to my IT work schedule. But it was fantastic. It was the Ralph Lauren show and I got to see: Bill Cunningham and Anna Wintour! That was very cool. Especially Bill Cunningham. Recently I saw the documentary about him and his life. Amazing. And I thought he was a real great, authentic and sweet man. I tell you what.. When I saw him, he looked like this frail old man. But when it was time to shoot, he jumped in there with the rest of us!
Maybe the best and biggest positive reason for this last year is: no-limits.
I was researching modeling agencies when I came upon in particular: The Society. Model after model I viewed on their website I kept saying to myself “Whoah! I’ve seen that model for ‘that’ campaign! I’ve seen this other model in ‘that’ magazine!” And the kicker was that the agency is only a short train ride from where I live. Yes, I know many of the top agencies are here in New York. The potential of what is possible really hit home when I realized how close these agencies were. And with all the talent and amazing locations, it REALLY is up to me how far I want to go.
Setting the Tone
There is a very special reason why I used the image for my article header and Instagram posting: she set the tone New York! I took so many great photos of her in 5 – 10 minutes. It just blew me away. The model is obviously a full-time professional that NYFW hired to entertain us photographers. But still. I thought the images we did are so great and special, I dedicated a blog posting just for her. If anyone knows her name, please let me know!
This has been one hell of a year and I am incredibly happy and grateful to be celebrating it and my birthday in this fantastic City!