I guess I didn't have enough 1960's last Friday, because the next day after visiting the lounge, I made the trek back to the TWA hotel at JFK airport. I recently found a TWA bag when I was out vintage shopping, so there was really no better place to shoot it than the TWA hotel, specifically outside of The Connie, the airplane turned bar.
Since I really had my heart set on shooting photos of this bag here, I didn't want to wait around for anyone to go with me, so I packed up my tripod and headed to the airport on Saturday afternoon. I guess since I was alone, people assumed I was part of the hotel, especially because they have people dressed up in the TWA uniforms throughout the years walking around the hotel. I shared this anecdote on my Instagram stories how one woman even told me she thought I was "a little nuts" after I told her I wasn't part of the hotel and just dressed up that way because I like too...
After taking my photos outside The Connie, I headed inside the plane and ordered a Roy Rogers mocktail. I also brought along some vintage drink stirrers my aunt recently gave me to photograph. They had a new vintage car parked out front and a new seating area that wasn't there the first time I went. I also stopped in the gift shop and picked up a few little things for a giveaway.
Visiting the TWA hotel makes me so happy, it truly feels like going back in time. I can't wait to go back again. If you want more information about it, you can check out my post about my first trip here.
Last Friday, my friend Katie and I headed to the TWA lounge in One World Trade Center for a Peggy Olson + Joan Holloway inspired photoshoot. We've both been to the lounge before, but Katie just recently started watching Mad Men for the first time, so we wanted to do a shoot that paid homage to the ladies of SCDP and we thought the lounge would be the perfect backdrop.
The lounge serves as a showroom for the newly opened TWA hotel but also as an office space for their corporate team. There are a few small meeting room areas that feel straight out of SCDP, complete with midcentury modern chairs, a typewriter, and vintage magazines.
The lounge is open to the public, you just have to email in advanced and get an appointment. Now that the TWA hotel is open, I recommend just making the trip there instead. We decided to take photos in the lounge because it was closer to my work plus it had more of an office feel instead of an airport vibe. However, when we got there, they told us they were going to close early for the day, so we really had to hustle as we only had about 20 minutes to get our photos done. You can really make a whole afternoon of going to the TWA hotel at JFK airport.
If you've been following along with my blog and Instagram for a while, by now you probably know I shoot the majority of my photos with the help of a tripod. My most recent tripod shoot was last Saturday when I took photos in this lemon dress from Smak Parlour. I ended up taking the photos outside of a bodega in West Village. The bodega was right by a traffic light, so every time the light turned red, cabs and cars would pile up at the light, which meant people stared at me from inside their vehicle. Some people looked pleasantly amused, some people looked at me like I was straight up crazy. I inevitably get stares whenever I shoot photos alone with my tripod, but I probably looked even crazier for this particular shoot because I had two lemons as a prop and kept tossing them in the air.
People often tell me they can't believe I shoot alone or say they'd be embarrassed to take photos by themselves, so I decided to write a little post for some tips if you're thinking of shooting outfit photos alone.
start in an isolated location:
I've been shooting photos with a tripod for about 2 years now. At this point, I'm immune to the stares and comments I get from people who pass by, so I feel pretty comfortable shooting in bars, restaurants, cafes, etc, but when I first started, I was pretty self conscious. The first shoot I did alone, I shot in front of a wall near my apartment, so there wasn't much foot traffic. I definitely recommend choosing quiet locations to get started, then slowly work your way up to more populated spots.
invest in a sturdy tripod:
When I first decided to start shooting photos by myself, I bought a $12 tripod off of Amazon. I didn't want to spend too much money on it because I wasn't sure how much I would actually use it. Well once I got the hang of it, I loved shooting with a tripod. I would carry it everywhere with me because it was so lightweight and came in a convenient drawstring bag I could easily throw over my shoulder. It was great, until I broke my camera TWICE, because I knocked into the tripod and it tipped over while my camera lens was extended. Now I have a more heavy duty tripod, it's a bit more annoying to carry around the city with me, but I have more peace of mind knowing that my camera is secure while I'm shooting.
allow for extra time:
Unfortunately, shooting alone takes extra time. If someone is with me to take the photo, I can easily get a good photo in less than 5 minutes. But with a tripod, getting one good photo can take at least 10 minutes, sometimes more. You have to set up the tripod, experiment with the shot, like where you're standing, what you want to be in focus, etc, run back and forth to check how it looks, then once you get the shot, take the tripod down. If I just need one outfit shot, I usually try to give myself at least 15 minutes to shoot with the tripod. If I'm shooting photos for a full blog post, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
self timers & remotes:
I use a self timer to actually take the photo. For full body shots, I set the timer to a custom setting that gives me a 10 second warning, then it takes 10 shots. For portrait shots, I put it on the self timer setting that takes one photo after a 2 second warning. For this setting, I start by already standing in front of the camera before I click the button to start shooting. My camera isn't compatible with a clicker, but that's another tool you can use to help take photos by yourself. I also recently discovered the Canon app I use to download the photos off my camera also has a feature where you can see what the camera sees from your phone, to avoid the running back and forth to see what the shot looks like.
don't worry what people think:
Even though I've been shooting with a tripod for 2 years now, I still get embarrassed or shy from time to time. What helps me get over it is reminding myself to not care what others think, but that can be easier said than done. My boss at work always talks about "the spotlight effect", where you think everyone is thinking about you, when in reality they're not. True, someone might walk by and think what you're doing is strange for a second or two, but I guarantee 30 seconds after they walk by, they've completely forgotten about it. Reminding myself that them thinking I'm weird is just a fleeting thought helps me feel less self conscious.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Bag: Sun Jellies
Location: West Village, Manhattan
Last week, I spent a couple days in Florida with my family. These photos are nothing new, you've likely seen them on my Instagram already, but I wanted to share them here as well. Lately, I've been wanting to post as much as I can on my blog, and not just on Instagram. When I first started my blog, Instagram was my main priority and my blog took a back seat. I always knew the importance of having your work somewhere online that you actually own, but even back in 2016 when I first started, blogs were already down trending. I'd pretty much only post there when a brand would send me an item and I'd take multiple photos for them. But going forward, I want to put as much as I can on my blog.
I don't think Instagram is going anywhere anytime soon, but lately it's not been somewhere I want to spend my time. It could be because it's summer and I don't want to be inside scrolling through my phone as much, but I've just also felt very uninspired lately. I used to feel excited to get home and scroll through my feed at the end of the day, but now I'm scrolling sort of out of obligation it feels like. There's not much content that excites me anymore. I know a lot of people are struggling with engagement and follower growth as well, which also makes me want to post less. It makes me feel like, what's the point in creating content if barely anyone sees it? It's also really frustrating seeing people with worse engagement than me or people who obviously buy fake followers/likes getting paid work.
Moral of the story, I'm still going to continue creating content because I love it, but especially for the summer, I'm going to take a more relaxed approach to it. I've been going out less with my tripod or dedicating chunks of my day to shooting different things, and just taking photos more in the moment with the help of friends or family. I want to work on making my blog a resource, and add more travel guides, tutorials and a FAQ page. I've also been trying to cross promote on Pinterest by uploading my more aesthetic type photos there as well. Lastly, I want to start thinking about my personal brand beyond Instagram. I have some ideas for products that I want to try to launch or host some kind of event.
Last weekend was one of my favorite events of the summer (if not the whole year): The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. This event is a 1920’s style party with live music, dancing, cocktails, antique cars and vintage vendors. I first attended this event in 2014 with my sister, but last year I got to attend both days and weekends because I perform in the last number as part of the dance class I’m in. Even though the days are long and hot, it’s always super fun. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in NYC during the summer. They put on the event one weekend in June and one weekend in August every year. It’s very easy to get to from lower Manhattan, it’s just a 5 minute ferry ride. They have a few food trucks on the grounds, as well as various alcohol sponsors you can purchase a cocktail from, but you can also pack your own picnic if you’d rather bring your own food (your own alcohol is not allowed though). If you don’t know how to Charleston, don’t worry because they do a lesson in the beginning of the day so you can learn. Even if you don’t like to dance, it’s still a great event for people watching and taking in the music and watching the performances. It truly feels like traveling back in time for the day.
If you're interested in getting tickets for August, you can check out the website here.
No NYC summer is complete without a trip to Coney Island. You can take the F,D,N or Q towards Brooklyn to get there. I love to go to Nathan's for a lemonade and french fries, ride The Wonder Wheel and just walk on the boardwalk. If you can go during the week, I'd definitely recommend it, as it can get crowded during the weekends. I think the last time I went, this past Memorial Day Weekend, it was the most crowded I've ever seen it. If you're not a big rides person (like me) I'd recommend checking out the Coney Island History Project or the Brooklyn Aquarium while you're there.
Drinks on a Rooftop Bar:
Nothing says summer in NYC like a rooftop bar. The minute the weather goes above 60 degrees, New Yorkers flock to rooftop bars after work and on weekends. While they sound good in theory, rooftop bars can be extremely crowded and overpriced, so they’re not always enjoyable. One of my favorites is the Standard Hotel Rooftop. Although it’s very popular and usually crowded, to me it has the best view of any other rooftop bar and the drinks are solid so it's worth it. It’s located in the Meatpacking district on the west side, so you have a clear view of both the Empire Sate building and One World Trade Center. Pro Tip: if you’re not a big drinker and want to get the same view, check out the Whitney Museum next door. It has the same views without all the drunk people.
Bike Riding on Governor’s Island:
Governor’s Island is another one of my favorite seasonal excursions. It’s just a short ferry ride from Manhattan or Brooklyn. Governor’s Island is definitely a peaceful escape from the city. It’s park like with historical buildings and gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. Aside from coming to relax, I love to rent bikes to ride. You can rent single bikes, tandem bikes, or even surrey bikes if you want to ride as a group.
Jazz Age Lawn Party:
You can come to Governor’s Island anytime during the season, but 2 weekends out of the summer they host the Jazz Age Lawn Party, a 1920’s inspired event with drinks, dancing and live music. You might remember seeing my Instagram stories from it last year. The event is held 2 weekends each summer, once in June and again in August and it’s a lot of fun!
The Met Fashion Exhibit:
The annual fashion exhibit at The Met always runs from May through September, so to me it’s synonymous with summer. This year's exhibit is Notes on Camp, and it's very whimsical and quirky. I went to see it over Memorial Day Weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I’d definitely recommend trying to go during the week if you can to avoid the crowds. Also, The Met is no longer pay what you wish unless you’re a NYC resident or student in the tristate area, so bring your student ID or a friend who lives in NYC if you can!
Brooklyn Flea + Jane's Carousel:
The Brooklyn Flea runs all year long, but it's my favorite when it's outside during the summer months, especially on Sunday when it's in Dumbo. After shopping at the flea, I love to walk down under the bridge towards the water and Jane's Carousel. Yes I ride it (because I'm 29 going on 9 lol) and then sit by the water and admire the view of Manhattan. It’s honestly my favorite place in all of New York City.
If you'd like to shop the dress I'm wearing, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Saddle Shoes: Eastland Shoe (purchased from DSW); Bag: old; Scarf: vintage; Sunglasses: No Fakes
Location: Coney Island (Brooklyn, NYC)
Last Saturday I went to check out the new TWA hotel at JFK airport. If you remember, last year I went to visit the TWA lounge in World Trade Center (you can check out the post here), which is basically a mini version of the new hotel, so I was so excited to check out the full scale version. The hotel is in the original TWA Flight Center, which was built in 1962, and has been abandoned since 2001. They spent $265 million dollars to restore it to its original 1960’s glory. On May 15th it officially opened to the public, so anyone can go check it out. Here’s some more details if you’re planning a visit:
Most New Yorkers dread trekking to JFK airport for an actual flight, so you might think we were crazy for making the trip there willingly, but to me it was definitely worth it! You can take the A or E train from Manhattan then transfer to the AirTran. The AirTran costs $5. In total, it took us about an hour to get there from lower Manhattan. Once you get on the AirTran, you get off at terminal 5 which is the JetBlue terminal. We got a little lost at first once we were in the terminal, but they did have signs directing us downstairs. Once downstairs, you then take an elevator to the TWA hotel.
Even if you’re not actually staying at the hotel, you can still go to check it out. It’s free to go, but there are places you could spend money if you so choose.
Things To Do:
When we first got there, we headed right outside to Connie, the airplane turned bar. Because last weekend was still sort of a soft opening, they weren’t fully functioning yet. I called the night before to see what time they opened and they said “late morning to early evening”, so they didn’t have set hours yet. The plane was open when we got there around 12 so we were able to go on and take photos. They were also serving free Prosecco, so we took advantage and had a few glasses each. Around 1 they opened for the day and passed out menus. Since we were already a bit tipsy, we didn’t order anymore drinks. The prices are definitely on the high side, but expected for New York City and the ambiance is totally worth it to pay a little extra for a glass of wine or beer. It’s not everyday you can drink on a vintage plane with 60’s music playing in the background, right? I took a photo of the menu if you want to get a better idea of pricing.
The Sunken Lounge:
This lounge is back inside. We took some photos here but didn’t get anything to eat or drink, but I did see a lot of people ordering martinis. I imagine the pricing is comparable to Connie.
This is the Jean George restaurant located upstairs. We didn’t eat here this time around since we had brunch before coming and weren’t super hungry, but from what I’ve heard, like the other bars, it is a bit pricey but worth it for the atmosphere. I definitely want to make a reservation and come back to eat here!
There was a little store where they were selling TWA merchandise. I bought the pin I’m wearing in the one photo for $2.
You can easily come here and not spend a penny and still have plenty of fun. There’s lots of photo ops, from the pay phones, to vintage cars, to magazine stand. They also have flight attendant uniforms on display through the years, which is really cool to see. If you get hungry while you’re there and need some food on a budget, they also have a food court with different vendors. Overall, we spent about 3-4 hours here.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask! You can also check out their website here for more information or to make reservations.
I took these photos in one of my favorite bars in NYC. I've posted about it before, it's called the Trailer Park Lounge and it's located on 23rd street between 7th and 8th avenue. It's super kitschy with lot's of vintage photos and antiques decorating the bar. I highly recommend grabbing a drink here if you're in NYC. They even have a mini trailer parked inside. I thought it would be the perfect backdrop to take photos in this dress from Karina Dresses. Now if only I had a pink lawn flamingo to pose with...
If you're interested in shopping my dress, you can find it here.
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Bag: Sun Jellies, Scarf: Target: Sunglasses: Rainbow Optx
Location: Trailer Park Lounge (Chelsea, Manhattan)
Last week I announced that I was working with Grapevine to help change the landscape of social media and use my platform to help raise money for non-profits. I decided to write a little blog post with more information about what this partnership entails.
What is Grapevine?
Grapevine is a platform where you can donate to curated funds of non-profit organizations. The idea behind the platform is to connect with like minded people who have the knowledge and expertise to help you feel confident in your giving.
How did you get involved with Grapevine?
Grapevine is one of my clients at work. I connected with Emily, the Co-Founder of the company, a couple months back. After learning more about their business and how they were looking to work with influencers, she asked if I'd like to get involved and of course I said yes. I'm really excited about the opportunity to raise money for non-profits I care about and get my community involved.
What's in it for you?
Any donations you make would make me SO happy, but I do not financially profit in anyway from any donations.
What's in it for Grapevine?
Grapevine also doesn't take a cut from any donations. Similar to GoFundMe, they just charge a 3.9% processing fee for any donations. For example, if you made a $5 donation, you would be charged an additional 19 cents to process the payment. You can also leave a tip for Grapevine, but this is totally optional.
What's in it for me?
Besides feeling good about yourself for helping out some great causes, I'll be hosting giveaways periodically to reward those who donate. For every $1 you donate, that counts as 1 entry. If you donate $5 for example, that's 5 chances to win. If you donate, just send me a screenshot letting me know and I'll enter you in the giveaway.
What are the organizations we can donate to?
I have 2 funds, one for organizations who are saving the planet through secondhand style and one to protect some of my favorite animals who live on it (dogs, cats, rabbits, manatees and elephants to be exact).
Organizations in the Animal Fund:
Organizations in the Thrift Fund:
Well I want to help the elephants, but I don't like dogs. Can I pick which organizations I want to donate to?
Yes, you can donate to the entire animal or thrift fund, or just a particular organization.
I think that's it! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
You can check out my fund here.
I found this linen dress and coat set at The Vintage Show back in February. Originally I planned to wear them together, but when I actually went to wear it, I wasn't sure I loved the pairing. It felt a little matchy matchy and fussy to me. So, I decided to style the coat both ways. I wore it with the yellow dress and a pop of polka dot tight, as well as with a polka dot frock and fishnets. I think I ended up liking the mix and match pairing a little bit better because it felt more modern and wearable. I thought this polka dot wall at the Children's Museum of the Arts in West Village would be the perfect backdrop to emphasize this mod look. Luckily it's in a pretty obscure location and there weren't many people around because I just changed right on the street so I could photograph both looks in one shot. Oh the things you can get away with in NYC.
If you'd like to shop my tights, you can find them here:
Dresses, Coat and Purse: Vintage; Tights: Emilio Cavallini; Shoes: Eastland Shoe; Sunglasses: Beacons Closet
Location: Children's Museum of the Arts (West Village, NYC)