hipstamatic. why was this kept a secret from me?


I discovered hipstamatic this week.  welcome to 7 moths ago, I know (thanks, Eric). Its kinda awesome, but totally gimmicky and i’m sure we’ll all be sick of it soon, if not already.  We, in the photo world, joke that ‘everyone’ is a ‘photographer’ or a ‘stylist’ these days (a good camera might take good photographs, but it does not make a good photographer) and these kind of apps are not helping any.   (but i’m kinda  a good photographer, no?)


Here are some behind the scenes pics of the last day of my Pendleton shoot.  Maryalice’s vision was  Mad-Men-in-Portland.  Pendleton’s clothes are so classic and conservative so she thought that putting them in a throwback Americana environment would highlight the clothes, while making them more relevent and current.  And I think she is totally right.
So my job was to find wallcoverings, furniture, books, objects etc that are MidCentury, but more American than European and more classic, simply beautiful and timeless rather than kitch.  I shopped only in Portland for the job (which has amazing stores, but there were times when I missed a good old fashion prop house because today i’m returning all the rented props to like 25 stores).

Hey, Jose, por que mira triste? (translation needed because Jose Martinez actually doesn’t speak spanish, much to my confusion. I think i just said ‘why look sad? but i could’ve just said ‘you look burrito’).  So we had 4 different sets. I called this set the ‘grey’ set, because it is grey.  I painted two 4×8 sheets of plywood with 3 different tones of paint to create a, well this effect, that actually photographed beautifully (via Maryalice’s art direction to me).  We decided that this world would be a newspaper office (its easier to prop when you create a ‘world’ with characters, and then you ask yourself while shopping, ‘would this live in her world?’ I recommend not saying this out loud).  
(that patterned wallpaper behind the grey set is another set, but i can’t give all of it away, sign up for the catalogue, yo)
just a few of the other props as a teaser:

Such a fun job. I can’t wait for the catalogue to come out, in early july, I think…
p.s. these are the bearded mexicans.  donning pendleton shirts, of course.  and while they do look like domestic terrorists, they are actually friendly (friendly might be a bit strong, maybe just ‘not domestic terrorists’ is more appropriate.)  Oh, and not mexican.  I have no idea why we call them that. 


Pat, Eric and Anton.  Really, Eric? that’s your face?


Ah Portland. or should i say, plaidland, or beardtown.  There is such a look here, its ubiquitious yet totally natural at the same time – like the rain, i guess.  I love it.  Tomorrow is the last day of shooting for Pendleton. 8 days of shooting in a row, 3 days prep before that…i’m a little tired.   I’ve been working with the same awesome crew, Jose Martinez (shooting) MaryAlice Eckart (art directing) Jose’s crew of bearded plaids (will post pics, don’t worry) Eric, Pat and Anton, with Kristen and Sara on wardrobe and Ivan and Nica on hair and makeaup.  oh and me and Dustin on props and sets.  We’ve been at a studio for the first five days, then urban portland for one and on a farm for one, where I got to wrangle this beauty.  

This is Butterball, but I called him ‘bangs’.  Bangs and I talked a lot about the positives and negatives of flatironing your hair.  I shared with him that I’m a beach waves girl myself, but bangs find that people take him more seriously if he straightens it.  He is a show pony after all, he would know (although if you asked me i would say its a bit fried, no?   BTdubs I much prefer ponys over horses.  There were a bunch of horses at the farm, they are so beatiful, but sooooooo big.  and have such big teeth, i think i’m scared of them, er, i know i’m scared because every time they moved towards me i jumped.  but not bangs.  nope. bangs is my beautiful medium-sized show pony.  I love you, Bangs.



house plants: can’t live with ’em.  can’t live without ’em.   or more like I love them but can’t keep them in the apartment because bearcat eats them constantly and then throws up, or I don’t water them enough/over water them and kill them.  but i like them.   and the weirder the better.  I have to buy a lot of them for work, so its like anything, after a while you find that you love the more unexpected ones the most.
*bearcat is my teeny tiny full grown black cat that looks like a baby bear cub mixed with a puma, except very small (she was the runt).  I’ll refrain from really diving in and fully describing the amazingness that is bearcat for fear of losing all my anti-cat readers (which even the concept of being ‘anti-cat’ kinda baffles me, all animals are pretty awesome and worth blogging about)
If you guys insist i’ll post a picture of the bear soon.  
via emmas blog


bean me up, bloggy. er. yep. that’s the best title for now. sorry.


I hadn’t seen this in a while.  i like. no, i love. 
 Styled (or art directed, i forget) by Tom Delavan (the domino editor i worked with a couple times….SUCH a lovely, lovely awesome man).
she’s adorable.  and her place has a great casual, feminine, random feel, mixed with super modern, vintage, morrocon, victorian and traditional elements.  bean me up, bloggy. 





So the commercials have started, the bloggers have begun critiquing us and the phone is ringing with interview requests.  Super, super, super weird.  I just keep thinking, me? wait, you want to talk to me? why? 
oh yeah, because i’m on a reality show.  perfectly normal.  
So i figured i might as well let you guys in on some of the drama before my interviews start.  
*Also this blog is basically my style journal – huh, that sounds lame, don’t it? – so this is where i document that part of my life.  I started it to organize my thoughts about what i love and why when it comes to style and photography, but people seem to respond to the personal stuff just as much,  so, when in rome. ahem.  I really, really, really don’t think i’m self-obsessed, but there is a good chance that i will blog about the show pretty often until it ends Aug 22 and I hope I don’t come off as such.  It is super exciting and weird and interesting and writing it down here will make it permanent, you know, for the children…also I haven’t been able to talk about it until last friday, so i’m still kinda bursting from having such a big secret for a long time).
So, here’s what i would be curious about if I were you, god, i hate presuming that you are curious, as if you have nothing else to do but be curious about my reality tv-hood, BUT if you are:
Some often asked questions:
Yes, we were quarantined – no interaction with the outside world at all. that includes spouses, kids, parents, etc for the entire time we were filming.  We stayed in a penthouse in a hotel in New York.  I didn’t see any friends in New York, no one even knew I was there.  So weird.  
Yes, i cried – this should not surprise you.  i’m a quick weep.  the real question is how many times and how much of it you will see.
was it fun? that’s a tricky word ‘fun’. Was it exciting? more exciting than anything I’ve ever done……ever.
made friends? absolutely.
create drama? yep, unfortunately.
regrets? that I didn’t bring my A game sooner, also that i just said  ‘A game’.  But seriously, its a really foreign situation and I wish I had adjusted quicker.
favorite part?  that you never, ever, ever knew what you would be doing in 10 minutes.  Yes, this is super frustrating BUT in retrospect it made every second interesting, important, nerve racking, completely and utterly fascinating.  Some times I would give into it and let myself be at their mercy and think ‘go ahead and do your worst’, and other times i/we would overanalyze every possible detail we were given, desperate to find out what would happen next.  In a nutshell:  It becomes one huge adrenaline rush that lasts as long as you do.  Of course i’m psyched about a lot of the people i met, but i coulda met them anywhere and i would have liked them.    The rush and excitement of constant surprise is pretty hard to duplicate.   You become a complete adrenaline junky.  Life is just so interesting here.  It’s why bands love to go back on the road. and why soldiers want to go back to war….yes, i just compared HGTV design star to actual soldiers risking their actual real lives at war.   But then again,  i didn’t compete in the ‘most appropriate metaphors’ reality show, thank god.  
Oh, and here is a huge misconception about reality shows – they (the Mark Burnett producers) don’t try to create drama.  Sure, they put us in unusual situations that are dramatic, BUT there is no pinning us against each other, no emotional manipulation, no contrived situations, they really just try to document authentic actions and reactions – we create the drama.  Riddle me this, readers  – if you put 12 really strong personalities that all think they deserve their own TV show into a penthouse for a few hours, guess what might happen? d.r.a.m.a. – not all of us and not all the time, but it’ll happen, often and ugly.   I’m sure other production companies are different, but these guys weren’t trying to stir the pots – we did that all on our own.
(ahem… i haven’t seen the show yet, obviously, so who knows how i’ll be portrayed…i might take all of that back.)  
So there is more where that came from. guess you’ll have to come back. and for the record, I want people to watch the show, therefore I want exposure for it.  If you guys know any media (print, blog, tv) at all that might be interested in interviews about the show, hit me up.  there is one hoop to jump through, but it’s pretty painless.  I figure if i’m on it, i might as well help it be as successful as possible.  
oh, and also i want more readers.  i’m no idiot….ish.