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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Post Secret & Cornell

Post Secret according to Wikipedia is:

"an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret's books or museum exhibits."

The blog site is updated every Sunday with new postcards and new secrets and serves as a suicide prevention and awareness site as well. At the bottom of the secrets for this Sunday there was an interesting exchange between a reader and Frank about the suicides at Cornell. I went to see Frank speak two years ago at Cornell and I vaguely remember what the woman was talking about in her comment.

This is the exchange posted by Frank on the post secret website:

Dear Frank

I thought about sending a postcard but wanted to share a story without anonymity. I'm a senior at Cornell University and at your PostSecret Event here two years ago, I shared the following secret: "My main motivation for applying to the PhD program in Clinical Psychology was to honor the memory of my three cousins who took their lives by acquiring the training to help alleviate the despair of others."

Recently I received an offer of admission to the USUHS in Bethesda, Maryland where I will be joining the Suicide Behavior and Prevention Laboratory. As soon as I received that offer, I remembered the secret I shared with the audience that night and how deeply meaningful it will be to follow through.

It makes me smile to know I'll be moving so close to where all the secrets are sent and being only a few miles away from someone breaking down barriers in the mental health field in a way science has yet to discover.

-Jen Bakalar


I still have good memories of the Cornell PostSecret Event in 2008. And being a basketball fan I enjoyed watching Cornell's team go deep in the NCAAs last week. But I've also been distressed to see the lopsided media coverage of student basketball compared to the half dozen student suicides at Cornell this year.

According to Yahoo, 7,573 news stories were written about Cornell Basketball in the past 30 days. During that same period, only 275 stories were written about the six Cornell students who took their own lives.

Suicide is a secret that we collectively keep from ourselves. But if we can find the courage to tell the painful stories, together, we can take the actions that will bring help and hope to those of us who suffer in silence.

This year over 1,000 college students will kill themselves. March is the month with the highest rate of suicides. Here are five ways you can fight back today.

Take a look at the secrets on the blog and you will find this exchange at the end of the secrets for this week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Sartorialist Vintage Photo Contest

One of the blogs I check regularly is the Sartorialist. Scott Shuman is a very influential person in the fashion industry and for his blog, he photographs people on the street who have an amazing sense of style. One of the new things he is doing is a Vintage Photo Contest. He asks people to send in (the scanned digital image) of a vintage photo that could be either from your family or one that you found somewhere (like a flea market or antique store). I love this project because looking at old pictures is one of my favorite things to do. Whenever I go to antique stores I always pilfer through the images and I have started my own collection of old portraits. Take a look at his blog and the images that he has posted. I would love to see a book or a large collection of vintage portraits but I'm sure that will never happen because of copyright laws and such. Keep checking his blog because he is going to keep posting new images.

Scott Schuman photographed for the Gap:

Here are two of the images that he has put up on his blog. Each one has a caption (from the person who submitted the image) underneath with information about who these people were.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finding Old Shoots

I came across this shoot with Nicole Richie from Seventeen magazine the other day. It was shot by George Holz from the December 2005 issue. The image quality isn't great but you still get a sense of the beautiful light and rich tones.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recent Favorites

Some of my recent favorites. I got these images off of Tumblr so most of them weren't credited. Let me know if you recognize any of them:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Branding and Consistency

Lately, I have been interested in branding, which is something that I think is really important in establishing a personal style in photography (as well as in other fields). Branding is how a photographer presents themselves and their work through a consistent photographic style throughout their body of work. People want to look at a few images from a photographer and know what his work is about visually, conceptually, and the style that makes that photographer unique. Photographers are usually chosen by magazine publications because of their photographic style. Photo editors choose photographers based on which style would best fit the look and intent of the shoot as well as the magazine that is featuring it.

Here are a few people whose work exemplifies a consistent personal style and branding:

^ This is a blog that I follow. I think it is interesting, whether you like the style or not, that the photographers 'look' is obvious. The dust on the images (small white specks), the light leaks, the interesting color tones of the film, and the grain are consistent throughout.

^ I came across this photographer, Kyle Cook, today. His website is great because the design complements the images and makes himself, his work and his branding, very cohesive and contained. His images have a similar style to the ones in the blog above, but what is great about Kyle's site is that the tape headers and the handwritten text reiterate the 'amateur'
style. Because this is his style he would most likely not be contacted to photograph a studio shoot because that isn't the kind of photography he is promoting. I like that the grainy texture and blurry flashes make the image seem like anyone could have taken it, but when you look beyond the techniques, the intimate subjects are made even more intimate by the way in which they are taken. An intimate moment is captured by the amateur photographer, her lover, their best friend. The style brings the viewer into the lives of the subjects. Kyle has his style, his brand.

The first five images below are of the actress Hannah Murray (shot for Lula magazine) who is best known for her role in the British TV show "Skins". I think the promotional images of her are a good example of branding her 'look', her as a popular figure in entertainment, and her as a character. For anyone who has seen the show, she is styled in the same way as her character. For anyone who compares her style in the show and in the press, she takes on this role of an eccentric girl with a unique personality and fashion sense. Hannah becomes the character she portrays in the public eye, whether or not this is really who she is in real life.

Here are a few more images of her in the public eye that again reiterate the personality and style of her character in the show.

Monday, March 8, 2010


This is what my words would describe if I could write.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Each of these images were published independently of each other but each set had something in common that made me want to pair them up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Random Occurrences

So here it is.
An editorial.
A website.
A video.

Dree Hemingway was photographed by Josh Olins for Vogue Nippon April 2010.
Here is a website that has a lot more examples of shoots that Josh has done. All of his work is flawless. He knows how to connect with the models so that he provides a varied consistency. Each of the frames of his shoots are different but the model and the image has the same feel and direction. For example in this shoot the model has a soft face and her expression is consistently refined, yet he still varies each of the shots so that the model is doing something different and new.

image source: 'rox yr sox' at the fashion spot

The website I want to share is Rock the Trend . The website is described as "a site that covers everything in fashion from show soundtracks to runway models". It is a great place to stay up on everything current that is fashion related. They have models, covers, campaigns, magazines, and miscellaneous and is a great site to just have fun with or keep up to date with the magazines and fashion print media that might not be as accessible to us here in the US.

Lastly, I have to credit the video find to my mother who is the queen of art-kitsch. Its a fun music video for the really catchy song 70 million by Hold Your Horses. Watch it and try to see how many artists you can identify.


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