Click, Click, Click . . . FLASH!: My Photoshoot Story

I call this concept The Broken Doll. Cute, huh?

I call this concept The Broken Doll. Cute, huh? Because that’s how I felt. Like a broken doll.


Lights, camera, ACTION! Isn’t that the usual order followed whilst on the set of a professional shoot? There were lights. Very bright lights. There was a camera. But there wasn’t a whole lot of action coming from me during my first official photoshoot months ago somewhere in the heart of downtown Birmingham. In my case it was more like, “Lights, camera, . . . don’t just stand there. Start posing! Do something, woman!”
As I stood before the lens of the camera, white lights beaming blindly in my sensitive eyes, I relied on the photographer to guide me (an amateur “model” at least, a stiff mannequin at best) in what I was supposed to do next. The time had come to put to test if I was as photogenic as people politely claimed me to be; to challenge those who would always tell me I should become a model. I’m quick to tell those people who advise me to become a model that I am, in fact, not a model neither do I try to be or want to be.

I’ve never been the type who likes the focus of attention on any level, because it gives me an uncomfortable feeling of being self-conscious of everything from my hair to my body language; it’s because of this feeling that I’m opposed to taking too many selfies (that, and I just think they are the quintessence of the word vanity. Besides, who has the patience to take 20 shots just to get that perfect one? It’s so aggravating!). After months of ironing out the concept with the photographer–who by the way is one of my confidants–discussing the direction I was aiming for, the time had finally come to test out my painfully lacking skills.IMG_20140831_230735

Originally I had every intent on recording part of the session as a look behind the scenes for “Skinny Girl . . .” but I was afraid my incoordination and ineptitude would produce a major case of secondhand embarrassment to my viewers. If I ever do another one, I’ll try my best to not be too camera shy long enough for me to be recorded. Maybe.

 With Adrianne Morrison Hogan, the woman who gave me the awesome henna tattoo.

With Adrianne Morrison Hogan, the woman who gave me the awesome henna tattoo.

Watching my friend, D. Jerome Smedley, work gave me a new respect for photographers in their profession. Being the inquisitive person I am, there were moments I asked him about the equipment he used and their functions. In the end I did have fun thanks to him (and my Mom who was present, God bless her). Dancing to Michael Jackson and Prince songs on Pandora helped loosen me up, too. They both laughed at my dancing, but I don’t care. They were just jealous of my moves, that’s all.

Would I do it again? I’m not opposed to it. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine nearby and the right kind of music to help keep me from looking like a stiff mannequin who lacks expression next time.

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And now for a shameless plug. Please be kind and visit D. Jerome Smedley’s website at http://www.djeromesmedley.com for contact information.

Of course I had to pose with the photographer!

Of course I had to pose with the photographer!

*k*

Photo Credit(s): http://www.djeromesmedley.com
Styling: Elegantly Chic

Crush Groovin’: The Series Finale

Oh my goodness! Has it really been a year since I’ve jumped into the blogasphere? It’s hard to believe I started Skinny Girl in a Curvy World last April! I’m surprised myself for committing to blogging for this long.

Here’s the thing: I dedicate most of my writing time to completing a story I’ve been working on for almost a year now that I don’t have time to write about thought-provoking topics. My thinking cap is too occupied with an imaginative world where people I create actually live. But blogging does have its perks even if it’s not my preferable thing to do as far as writing goes. (My strength and comfort zone is in writing fiction.) Ah, who am I kidding? Enough with the excuses. Let’s get on with the final entry for Crush Groovin’.

In the past, I’ve praised women who I thought were sexy and/or talented beyond measure. Women I thought possessed the qualities men want and the physical beauty that most women desire to have. Women like:

1. Esperanza Spalding: the talented jazz musician
2. DJ Havana Brown: the stylish Aussie D.J.
3. BoA: the Korean queen of K-Pop
4. Tracee Ellis Ross: the risible actress (with a home-grown derrière worth mentioning here)
5. Aaliyah: the beautiful angel gone too soon.
6. Tami Chynn: the Jamaican dance-hall prima donna
7. Tessanne: the powerhouse voice who actually won “The Voice”
8. Chrisette Michele: the spiritually gifted singer
9. Sarah Jessica Parker: the cute humanitarian actress
10. Sabi: Cali’s own beautiful songstress
11. Erykah Badu: the eccentric soul goddess
12.

Ironically, number 12 recently had a birthday this month (as in April, not May–depending on when I can get this published. Edit: it was published in May). It would’ve been nice if I would have had this entry written up by then, but of course . . . my timing is always lacking in perfection.

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Who gets the honor of being named my ultimate girl crush? She is by far the first woman I was ever inspired by when it comes to fashion even before she was globally recognized as a fashion icon and way before she made her mark as a fashion designer. She’s funny, attractive, fashionable, and British! She’s Victoria Caroline Adams Beckham Posh Spice, and yes, I want to be best friends For.Eh.Ver with her.

I’ve been staning this woman since 1997 when the Spice Girls first hit the international scene. The other girls were brash and in-your-face while the quiet one with the pout, dressed in “the little black Gucci dress,” was the one who really commanded your attention. I attribute my interest in fashion completely to her. Victoria somehow manages to make everything she wears look good, not the opposite. (I wish I could say the same for me. I’m just now learning how to really wear clothes.)

Victoria Beckham: My ultimate girl crush of all time. And here are the photos to prove it . . .

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Quote: "You're allowed to take the piss out of being thin. You're not allowed to say anything about people being fat.

You’re allowed to take the piss out of being thin. You’re not allowed to say anything about people being fat. -Victoria Beckham

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Her first official album. Thanks to Amazon, I ordered it as an import. One of my top 5 Pop albums on constant rotation to date.

Her first official album. Thanks to Amazon, I ordered it as an import. One of my top 5 Pop albums on constant rotation to date.

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I don't follow fashion and I don't follow trends. I just follow my instincts and think  what do I want to wear? What am I feeling for next season?

I don’t follow fashion and I don’t follow trends. I just follow my instincts and think what do I want to wear? What am I feeling for next season? -Victoria Beckham

Exactly my style! How elegantly chic!

Exactly my style! How elegantly chic!

Fun Fact: It wasn’t their catchy pop debut song Wannabe that pulled me into the fandom of the Spice Girls. 2 Become 1 earned my love for them. Traveling back to 1997, seeing the sassy energetic quintet in a time-lapsed video of New York City (the city I love) is when it all began. I used to watch Vh1 all day just to catch this on “Pop-Up Video.”

About Crush Groovin’:
Understand that this was my way of paying homage to twelve women . . . whom I can’t help but to fangirl over whenever I see them; that’s the best way I can word it. They are laudable women I relate to. They are women I would find attractive if I were a man. But since I’m not a man nor do I want to be, they are women I wish I could call up and maybe attend fashion week in Paris with or something. Or maybe we could trade beauty secrets! There are a few honorable mentions like Jill Scott, Shakira, Naomie Harris, Minzy and CL, Gwen Stefani, Kat Graham, and Iman. But listing twelve was my limit. Thus, this concludes Crush Groovin’. Thanks for reading. For additional eye candy, be sure to check out the others I’ve listed.

*k*

Crush Groovin’: Sabi

I’m not too late, am I? Yaaaay, I’m not late!

Wow. I feel like I haven’t posted anything since last year! I’m currently in the process of redesigning Skinny Girl in a Curvy World, complete with photos and new blog entries pertaining to more than just music and girl crushes. Hopefully, I can kick it off really soon! Nevertheless, it’s the last day of January, which means I can’t miss posting about my girl crush of the month.

Now introducing . . .

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If you don’t know who this beauty is, you’re about to now. Her name is Sabi (real name Jenice Dena Portlock), and I think she is hawt! If she wasn’t she wouldn’t be anywhere near my list. Maybe you know her from Cobra Starships’s fun song (one wtdtaof my favorite dance tunes, just to let you know); maybe you don’t. But that’s how I know her, and that one song led me to others she released on her own and more collaborations she has done with other artists like Britney Spears, Tyga, and Diplo, to name a few.

By the way, is it me or does the Inglewood, California-born vixen resemble August’s girl crush? Either way, she’s a beauty in her own right. I wish her all the best in finding her place in the overpopulated world of music. But I’d rather her not become a mainstream puppet. (Nevermind what I want. Those are just my selfish feels talking.)

Hit the play button here and below to see why she’s the pick for January’s crush groovin’. Any chick who can rock this deserves to be on the list, don’t you agree?

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*k*

“Champagne” (This is one of those songs that always makes me want to kick it with my girls and dance the night away.)

Crush Groovin: Sarah Jessica Parker

SJP closing out 2013.

SJP closing out 2013.

When you think of Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP as adoring fans so affectionately call her) a picture of Carrie Bradshaw wearing the most ridiculous outfit anyone has ever seen will always come to mind. No surprises there. The tiny actress did bring life to the fashionista so many women came to love for her puns and unapologetic fashion sense and hate for her moodiness and indecisiveness over Big and Aidan.

During my college era, I remember watching episodes of the series, Sex and the City . . . mainly for the trendy clothes and relationship drama–but mostly for the clothes. It was during the stint of the HBO series that I blossomed into a real fashionista myself after watching four women strut down the streets of New York City in stilettos and wear bright-colored suits and dresses paired with unforgettable jewelry, accessories. (Who can forget the Carrie necklace and the gargantuan flowers?)

I will shamefully admit how I (initially) did not think of SJP as being an attractive woman with looks to kill for. Frankly, I had a very hard time understanding how she landed a role which obviously called for great sex appeal. But somehow, episode after episode, the actress eased her way onto my girl crush list. Before I knew it, I found myself admitting to how adorably cute she was and how much chemistry she had with her female co-stars and her main squeezes, Big (Chris Noth) and Aidan (John Corbett).

I love this look.

I love this look.

Now, SJP is one of my all-time favorite actresses. The reasons? Besides her representing for us skinny girls? Why, it’s because she has successfully gone through her entire career without ever comprising herself for nude scenes (she managed to play on a show about love and sex without showing any hint of nudity), she can wear something that looks like a potted plant on her head with great confidence while everyone else question her [fashion] sanity, and she’s a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador and a philanthropist. Overall SJP is just a fascinating woman, and she is, legit, an entertaining actress.

0f050414b9c52bb29d403bb0ca995dc1Sarah Jessica Parker is the girl next door. No matter what negative, vile comments people spew about her looks, they fail to see her true beauty. Her inner beauty is what makes her one of the most beautiful women in this world of plastic and counterfeits.

Yes, I used to be one of those negative people. But her internal/external beauty–her charisma was what won me over. And it’s why she has a secured spot on my list of girl crushes.

So fly.

So fly.

Crush Groovin’: DJ Havana Brown

Melbourne native, Angelique Meunier, bka, Havana Brown

Melbourne native, Angelique Meunier, bka, Havana Brown

Let me start off by saying what many already think . . . female DJs are HOT!!!! I’m not sure why, but they are. If I had the patience and a firm desire to learn how to dj and mix music I would do it with no hesitation. I have a few friends who are DJs, too, and could gain knowledge from them if they had the time to teach me. But since I don’t have a firm desire yet and they don’t have the time, I’ll just settle for blogging about this Australian DJ I stumbled across.

“I am not a model. I just look like one.”


I was driving down the interstate late one summer night on my way to a juke joint. Usually, I only listen to what’s on my mp3 player, but this particular night, I chose to listen to a local pop radio station. (See? My music taste is all over the place! I was listening to pop/dance music while heading to a blues joint in the deep woods.) That very night was the first time I heard a song that featured the rapper, Pitbull, and a mad-addictive hook.

djhbI recognized Pitbull but didn’t know who the woman was leading the song. You know how it is when you’re listening to the radio and the radio DJ havanabrown2 doesn’t mention what songs are being played or who the artist is; they just leave you jamming out to no-names. Well, since I don’t have one of those nifty radios that spell out the artist’s name and the song’s title, the only thing I could do was remember a few of Pitbull’s lines in hopes of eventually finding the name of the song. Maybe days later, I searched Google for the lyrics, Pitbull’s name included. “We Run the Night,” by DJ Havana Brown, was what returned. You know what I did next. I went to good ol’ YouTube to find the song! “Yep! That’s it!” There was even an official video released and not those silly lyric videos users post. I was even more thrilled to find that she could mix music and not just be another pretty face in the music industry. As a true music junkie, I can usually tell if I will like a song within the first 30 seconds, and this song roped me in within the first 15. The track, which is the U.S. version completed with additional production by my preferred dance music producer, RedOne, instantly became my Tune-of-the-Summer joint.

DJing in a mini-dress. That would be me.

DJing in a mini-dress. That would be me.

Even the personalized headphones are an accessory.

Even the personalized headphones are an accessory.

Fringed leather and bandanas. How biker chic. TOO tough!

Fringed leather and bandanas. How biker chic. TOO tough!

Havana Brown’s funky style (consisting of lots’o leather, thigh-high boots, stilettos, bustiers, bandanas, bright colors) and her adorable accent earned the Aussie of Mauritian descent a spot in my girl crush book. Not to mention, we share an affinity for ghetto-gold jewelry. Oh, and let’s not forget: she’s reppin’ for the “skinny” girls.

(FYI: The Havana Brown is actually the name of a rare breed in the feline family. You learn something new everyday!)

Meoooow! Who’s THAT lady?!

Meoooow! Who’s THAT lady?!

What can I say? Petite women rock! Literally. Just check out my previous girl crush entry if you need convincing. 😉

♫ Run ‘em like, run ‘em run ‘em, WHOOP! ♫

♫ Run ‘em like, run ‘em run ‘em, WHOOP! ♫

(*CLICK HERE* for behind the scenes footage of “We Run the Night.”)

“We Run the Night” featuring Pitbull. ¡DALE!