This winter I felt like I was in a creative rut. The last couple years I would brave the cold with no problem to get photos. This year I just couldn't get motivated for some reason. Even taking photos indoors felt like too much effort (mostly because I've been having such bad luck with locations as per my post a few weeks back). I'm glad that spring is finally here and I'm starting to feel inspired again. I've seen other people on social media say they've also felt like they were in a creative rut, so I decided to share some tactics I use to get myself motivated again.
•organize your inspiration
I'm constantly saving photos that inspire me on Pinterest and Instagram, but it can be easy to click save and never reference back to them. Whenever I'm in a creative slump, I go back and gather inspiration. I create a mood board or album to help me organize my thoughts.
•put on music to set the mood
I'm so inspired by music, so putting on music to set the vibe of what I'm shooting really helps me to get into character. While shooting these photos I of course was listening to sunny, 60's pop music.
The day I took these photos, it was a sunny Saturday day and I had a laundry list of items to shoot photos around. I knew I had to take advantage of the nice weather and get some new content, but I still wasn't feeling it. I decided to just start, and once I did, I really got into this shoot. Taking photos is a lot like drawing, writing or any other art form, I feel like once I get warmed up, the ideas just start flowing out of me. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
Yesterday, my friend Emily and I went to The Gutter, a bar and bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for some good old-fashioned fun. Like me, Emily is also a vintage-loving gal, so we decided to both dress in our vintage bowling shirts for the occasion. The front of The Gutter is a dive bar, and then there are 8 lanes for bowling. The whole place has an old-school 70's vibe, so it's one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn. On Friday and Saturday nights, it gets packed and you can end up waiting hours to bowl. Emily and I headed there right at 12pm when they opened on Saturday, so luckily we were able to get a lane right away. There are a lot of bowling alleys in NYC, but this one is definitely my favorite because it has a lot of vintage charm. It's also more affordable compared to some swankier bowling alleys. In total, it cost us each $30 for bowling shoes, 2 beers and 2 games. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday in Brooklyn if you ask me.
I snapped these photos last weekend after brunch and in between vintage shopping. Spotting a vintage car when I'm out wandering through the city always makes my day. People always ask how I manage to find so many vintage cars for my photos. There's certain cars I know are often parked on the same street or neighborhood, but of course it's not guaranteed they're always there. This particular car is often parked on 12th street between avenue A and B, but last week we found it a few blocks away from its usual location. Aside from East Village, some of my other favorite neighborhoods it's easy to stumble across vintage cars are Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Red Hook in Brooklyn.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here (and it's currently on sale):
Dress: c/o May 68
Location: East Village, Manhattan
Funny story time: Paulie Gee's Slice Shop is one of my favorite pizza places in NYC. I thought the b&w checkered floors and 60s vibes would coordinate perfectly with these tights from Emilio Cavallini. Well, apparently I coordinated a little too well because while I was there a guy came up to me thinking I worked there and asked if he could place his order with me. Oh the things that happen when you dress vintage!
If you want to shop my tights, you can find them here:
Emilio Cavallini has so many graphic, mod inspired tights! Definitely check them out!
Tights: c/o Emilio Cavallini
Dress: Vintage; Shoes: We Are Kling (bought from Hello Holiday); Bracelet: By Malene Birger; Headband: DIY
Location: Paulie Gee's Slice Shop (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
We've moved the clocks forward and the weather is supposed to be in the 50's this week here in New York, which means one thing...I've officially caught spring fever. Although I'm ready to break out the sundresses and go tights-free, we're not quite there yet.
This might not surprise you considering I do most of my shopping at second hand stores, but I'm really cheap when it comes to buying clothes. There are sometimes exceptions, but in general, I usually don't spend more than $40 on an individual item. I blame this on working retail at J.Crew and getting such a big discount, it made me not want to pay full price for anything, ever. With all the end of the season sales going on right now, its tempting to make discounted purchases, but I'm not a fan of buying something that I have to save until next year to wear.
One of my favorite vintage inspired brands, May 68, recently sent me some pieces from their fall/winter collection. May 68 is a 60’s inspired brand that is designed and manufactured in LA. They seriously create the grooviest pieces and everything is amazing quality. I love the fact that their clothes are ethically made and the quality is still exceptional (because the two aren’t always mutually exclusive). They sent me this plaid skirt and detachable collar I am wearing in these photos, as well as another dress I will share soon. Although this plaid skirt definitely feels fall, I styled it with a bit of spring in mind. I thought I would share some tips as well for how to style your off season purchases so you can get some wear out of them now.
•legwear makes all the difference
Styling this skirt with black tights would have been a no brainer, but it would have definitely felt heavy and dark, so I opted for white knee high socks instead. Since it was cold (only a high of low 40's) when I shot this look, I decided to add tan pantyhose underneath the socks for an extra layer of warmth. The same rule can be applied for wearing spring/summer stuff in the fall. Adding tights to a floral dress can easily make a summery dress feel more fall appropriate.
•pass on anything that's too holiday
There are certain things I don't consider worth buying this late in the season. Anything that scream holiday, like fur, sequins and velvet, I wouldn't buy at this point (unless it's a classic silhouette you know you'll wear next year).
Adding the right accessories can also make a difference. I thought this daisy bag would add to the sixties spring vibes I was going for.
If you’d like to shop my skirt, you can find it here:
If you’d like to shop the rest of the sale, click here:
Skirt & Collar: C/O May 68
Sweater: Century 21; Loafers: Eastland Shoe; Bag: Dandy Boutique; Bow; Claires
Location: Casa Magazines (West Village, Manhattan)
Last weekend I went to the Tiffany's flagship store on fifth avenue to shoot photos of this party girl Holly Golightly look. You may remember I wore this look back in September when I visited the Blue Box Cafe. Utopiat recently sent me this feathered hat to complete my Audrey look, so what better excuse to go back for another photoshoot. Audrey Hepburn has been one of my style icons and role models since I was in high school, so I welcome any opportunity to dress up like her.
I have quite a few pieces from Utopiat's Audrey Hepburn collection. Although they are technically costumes, the quality is so amazing and I mix the pieces into my regular wardrobe when I just want to be Audrey inspired.
This party girl LBD dress is currently on sale!
You can find the dress alone here:
You can find it with the accessories here:
Dress, hat, earrings and gloves: C/O Utopiat
Sunglasses: Raybans; Shoes: Steve Madden; Purse: Vintage
Location: Tiffany & Co (Fifth Avenue, Manhattan)
You might not know it from looking at my beehive or bun, but I have extremely thin hair. I usually avoid wearing ponytails because of this, so I was excited to try the Pony Puffin from Puffin Beauty. It gives your hair a little life to make your ponytail appear fuller. Here is a step by step guide of how to use it. You can find it on Amazon or their website if you're interested in trying it out for yourself. It comes in hot pink, brown and clear. I've listed the direct links below.
Shop it on Amazon here:
Shop it on the Pony Puffin website here:
Dress: Dolly & Dotty; Saddle Shoes: Eastland Shoe (bought from DSW)
Location: The Pop Shop (Collingswood, NJ)
In the last month or so, I've been having bad luck when it comes to photo locations. Getting good photos in the winter is always a challenge because it can get bitter cold in NYC. And as most of you probably know by now, the majority of my photos are taken with a self timer and tripod. Shooting photos alone can be more time consuming as opposed to having someone on the other side of the camera. It's hard to physically be outside in the cold long enough to get a good photo when I'm shooting alone. Because of this, I usually venture indoors during the winter months and find retro inspired interiors. Yes, sometimes it can be embarrassing and people stare when I'm shooting in a restaurant or store, but I've rarely experienced the owners or managers telling me I can't take photos until recently.
Aside from 2 record stores and a magazine store, the diner I took these photos in was another place I got in trouble at recently. I met my friend here for breakfast before work one day because we both work in the area, and I figured I would have her snap a few photos of me in this dress. After we ordered, we took a few photos in our booth. Then I moved to the counter (where there was only one other man sitting at the time). Finally we went into the back of the restaurant where they had a wall of vintage decor (which was also empty at the time). A few seconds into taking photos in the back, a waiter came over and said "you know, people usually pay to take photos in here". My friend replied, "oh, we're eating here", so he knew we didn't just come into have a photoshoot. He said, "I know, they usually pay on top of that". When I looked at the diner's Instagram, I saw a few brands had rented out the space to hold a photo shoot or fashion week presentation. I totally get a brand or company paying to use the space. Most of the time, I'm not earning money from the photos I take, so it's not like I'm using their business as a way to profit and not sharing a cut of the revenue. If I'm a paying customer and not in anyone's way, what's the harm in taking a photo of my outfit?
I was venting to a friend about how annoying it was that I kept experiencing push back lately and he sent me an article about a restaurant that had to enforce a "no photo" policy because of influencers. I totally get why business owners could get annoyed with influencers taking photos in their store or restaurant, especially if they're taking up space without buying or ordering anything or getting in the way of paying customers. The article said customers were still allowed to take photos of their friends or food, but influencers were not allowed to. When looking through the other tagged photos from this diner, I saw a photo of a girl, clearly taken with an iphone, posed on the stools just like I was, but she was dressed casual wearing sweatpants. I feel like it's unfair to determine who can and can't take photos depending on how they're dressed or what they're using to take the photos with.
Nowadays, I think everyone can technically be considered an influencer. No matter how many followers you have, what you post on social media can influence the people that see your content. Influencer marketing has been dubbed the modern day word of mouth. I wish more business owners would realize the power of social media and by letting people take photos in their store or restaurant it can drive more traffic to their business.
What do you think? Should business owners be okay with letting influencers take photos in their establishment?
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Sunglasses: Rainbow Optx; Tights: Vintage; Sneakers: Converse
Location: Square Diner (Tribeca, NYC)