Photographer since 2001

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIE ANTWOORD will leave you feeling traumatized - (but the good kind that makes you re-evaluate art)

Just like a train wreck, I cannot look away. In fact I go back and watch it over and over again. It's hypnotizing. I'm kind of in love with this, for reasons no one in my household can understand.
I love their anti-hollywood, coke induced, shock-value videos. Plus their macabre sets are just plain dirty/sexy.

These two have a baby together, which blows my mind and probably infuriates 90% of social conformists, bible thumpers and conservatives alike. Art is subjective - look at all the hard work and detail that these two have put into their visuals, I can get behind that... plus all their music is really catchy ;)

Video and stills copyright Roger Ballen & NINJA (Director of Photography Melle Van Essen)

The Glitch Mob takes over Seven Nation Army

Is it me or is this incredibly sexy?
I originally heard this (or a similar version) in a G.I.JOE movie preview - Though I could give less than a shit about the movie, the soundtrack definitely had my attention.

Tattooed Lady part Deux

So, when I was 17 I made a bad tattoo decision. I went over the reasons why in the last tattooed lady post - but basically I can't stand looking at it. Tattoos are scars we wear with pride but at a certain point (aesthetically speaking) you need to maintain it or cover it up because that tattoo just isn't doing anything for you anymore. Here's the evil offender:
Yep. That's Cantonese for "friendship" but for all I know it could mean "crazy bitch"

I got the piece in memory of a friend that passed away with the same tattoo. As I said before, I love my friend but I hate that f-ing tattoo. So, I decided it was time for my first cover-up. A couple of friends asked me what I had against Character tattoos - the truth is: nothing. I just hated the look on me and I find that my taste has evolved since 10 years ago. I get tattoos now for aesthetics and I prefer to invest time and money into pieces that are beautiful and well done (especially the visible ones).

Last week I went to MTL Tattoo to see Hilary; Hilary Jane is the tattoo artist that drew and worked on my amazing arm piece. I find it's the most beautiful piece on my body so naturally I went to go see her again for my cover-up project. I told her I loved her bird tattoos, roses, pearls and her crucifix pins through the heart. In just a couple of days she came back to me with an amazing sketch:
As usual, it was EXACTLY what I wanted. (Photo courtesy Hilary Jane)

The whole tattoo took about 3 1/2 hours and was done all in one sitting. It went rather fast and like all tattoos it hurt like a bitch at the time and I swore it was my last one; but now 24 hours later I have trouble remembering why I was such a whiny baby and am already planning my next one. I had a harder time with this one because I couldn't see where the needle was going to pierce (I was laying on my side for easier access to my ankle and side of my foot). I find being able to see where the pain is coming from makes it easier to process and overcome; PLUS my feet are super ticklish so a couple of times I burst out into hysterical laughter. It was NOT a pretty picture. Props to Hilary for putting up with me. To her credit she has a very firm and steady hand and when she noticed I was getting fidgety over a spot she'd move on and come back later.
Here's the piece right after my session:
(Photo courtesy Hilary Jane) My foot is so swollen I have a cankle - totally worth it though to be rid of that hideous tattoo. Very successful cover-up!

Needless to say, Hilary's work is fantastic and If you're in the Montreal area you should really check her out. I'll post a healed pic in a few weeks so you can see a less inflated/shiny version.
A couple of people wrote to me and asked the name of the vitamin E cream that I used (they had similar problems with polysporin sucking out their colours). It's called Webber Vitamin E and looks like this:
It's cheap and it works - I recommend it 100%

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tattooed Lady

So, anyone that knows me, knows I'm a big fan of tattoo art. Montreal is a big city packed with really talented artists and there's always a large amount of amazing foreign talent flying in for guest spots. So.... How to choose? My advice:

-Look at tons of portfolios - not just of the illustrations but of the artist's actual tattoo technique. Make sure that your artist has a history of stellar work that you really like.
-Stick to a style. Don't approach someone who excels at horror/gore and ask them for pretty ponies (unless you WANT a gore influence in your pony, of course). You're just looking for trouble.
-Don't f*&k around with your artist. Pay a deposit & don't ask for it back if you chicken out. Don't skip on appointments without notice. Don't be a douche bag. This person is putting art on your body with sharp needles - you want them to like you and care about your tattoo.
-Expect to pay 100$+ /hour. Anything less is probably a scratcher. Are you seriously so cheap that you can't spend the extra 50$/hour on a PERMANENT piece of art on your body? Come on now...
Photo and tattoo on the left courtesy Hilary Jane - Photo on the right courtesy some asshole scratcher who thinks (s)he's an artist.

Lately my tattoo artist of choice is Hilary Jane (we did a set based on her work a few months ago) I just realized I never blogged about my last experience with her and before I get my second tattoo by Hilary I figured I should talk about why I'm choosing to stick with her. Last time I wanted an "Alice in Wonderland" inspiration - but without it being openly obvious. Hilary came up with a great drawing in her signature style which I loved right away (good start). The piece is pretty big - about 18inches long and 5inches wide and is on my inner forearm on my right arm. The whole thing took about 7 hours which we did in three sessions, mostly because I'm a big sissy when it comes to having my wrist tattooed. (Big rose = lots of colour = awful pain = me barfing) Thankfully I did not barf on Hilary but I was glad to get the F out of there after my second session of colouring the rose. The tattoo itself has lots of cool elements like a flamingo in the hat jewel, the plume is the colour of the cheshire cat, there's a vial with heart shaped smoke that says "drink me", a rabbit (which I already had done by a super talented artist named Eilo), a pocket watch, a red rose and the neck tattoo that says "the mad ones". Hilary definitely has a gift for line work - they're clear, straight and beautiful. Hilary is very focused and gentle with expert technique. I'm extremely proud to have her work on my arm.

The tattoo healed exceptionally well once I switched to vitamin E gel instead of green polysporin. I've never had problems before with polysporin but it just wasn't jiving with the red of the rose. Once I switched over to Vitamine E gel (as Hilary Suggested) The whole thing healed up quickly and vibrant.

Next week I'm going in again to get a cover-up piece on my ankle - it's the dreaded (bad teenage choices) Chinese ankle tattoo... I got it when I was much (MUCH) younger as a memory of a friend that had passed. As much as I love my friend, I don't love that shitty tattoo. I went in for my consultation with Hilary this past monday, basically it's important to me that my two (visible) tattoos have the same style. I trust her as an artist to come up with an original piece but the guidelines were as follows: Roses, birds, hatpins and pearls. Hilary suggested a Magpie... I have to say that's a nice looking bird:
A Magpie (upon further research at home, because on the spot I was clueless) is usually seen as unpredictable, high-spirited and expressive, which suits my personality just fine - Also, they're obsessed with shiny things (Yeah, I know I have a glitter problem).
Stay tuned for before and after pictures next Tuesday - one of the roses is on my ankle (another barf spot) Jay will probably be taking bets to see if I lose my lunch ;)

Hilary works at MTL Tattoo / Tatooatouage both studios are on St-Denis, check out the website HERE
Call them at 514-288-9767 for appointments and info. You can find Hilary online HERE

Laval Bike and Tattoo 2012

Once again we'll be at the Laval Bike and Tattoo Expo with a booth packed full of pinup gear, corsets, high heels and hot Pinups! This year the event organizers asked us to do live pinup shooting with bikes and expo enthusiasts, we'll have a second booth set up beside our regular one for people that want to take photos with the models or just watch the process of a photo shoot - should be interesting and fun! Our models range in age and size - which I think is very important because as a society we tend to group things into "one or the other". Curvy girls think only curvy is hot, thin girls think only thin is hot, young vs. old - WAKE UP! You're ALL HOT! I think it's about time we stop discriminating and start celebrating.... Plus these biker dudes seem to be a big fan of any size/age as long as ladies are dressed as a pinup or burlesque performers - which I find infinitely amusing and AWESOME.
Stop by and see us April 20th to the 22nd at the sport expo centre in Laval and take some photos with us!

Speakeasy Burlesque Cirque Edition!

Once again we'll be organizing a burlesque night in the small rococo speakeasy lounge at Abreuvoir Bar & Terrace! The theme this time around is Cirque hosted by Ring Master Velma Candyass! There will be prizes for those that arrive in costume or in 1920's chic. The night's sure to be unforgettable as so many stars come together in such an intimate setting. We're happy to announce performances by: Mlle Oui Oui Encore, Cherie Black Diamond, Bon Bon Bombay, Lavender May, Sucre à la Crème, Exotic Bloom, Velma Candyass and more!

Last time around we managed to pack the venue and had to turn people away at the door for lack of space so please come early if you want a booth or a table!

Here's our Blurb:
soyez parmi les privilégiés qui assisteront à la prochaine soirée Speakeasy Burlesque Édition CIRQUE, présentée par Glamour Montréal et Vintage Love, en association avec L’Abreuvoir Bar & Terrasse et le Carnaval Burlesque à Québec. Pour la première fois, seront réunis sous le même chapiteau: Velma Candyass, Cherie-Black-Diamond, Bonbon Bombay, Mlle OuiOui Encore, Exotic Bloom, Lavender Ma
y et plus encore! Une chance unique de voir ces artistes de renommée à un tarif aussi bas! Performances extravagantes d'inspiration cirque-rétro dans l'ambiance speakeasy des années 30. Venez vivre l'expérience cirque entouré de showgirls, dresseuses de lion, clowns, freaks, gymnastes etc. Pour ceux qui seront costumés, surprises assurées, aussi concours et prix de présence à gagner!

Le 5 mars 2012, ouverture des portes à 20h et spectacle à 21h.

Avec votre hôtesse Lavender May et votre Animatrice Velma Candyass, dans le cabaret rococo privé au sous-sol de l’Abreuvoir!

Entrée 12$ à la porte.

Friday, February 17, 2012

TV and Radio Blurbs!

This week was pretty interesting for us; we were mentioned on CJAD and featured on the french TV reality show, Opération Séduction.

First, the lovely and talented Yael Perez was featured on CJAD's afternoon current events talk show. They were discussing being a plus-size model and the media's need to photoshop the crap out of everyone - even Adele on the cover of Vogue. She graciously mentioned us while discussing people she wants to work with in the new year! Hear the clip HERE on Yael's site.

Second, we were featured on the dating reality show Opération Séduction. Usually I'm not into the whole drama of reality TV but Anaïs was a past client of mine that I really adored and love to collaborate with. The filming was short and my whole studio had to be cleared out but the staff was really nice and down to earth. I didn't get to see much of their dynamic together but, good for Anaïs for being so straight forward with him - no time for bullshit even on a TV dating show!! After the filming the guy chose his "Favourite date" (which was not Anaïs) but something that made us all laugh at the studio was when the dude came back to pick up his clothes off camera - he asked us if she wasn't too disappointed that he didn't choose her because she seemed really into him.... Marie-Sophie just laughed (while I stood there traumatized) and said: "non, vraiment pas!!" Better luck next time guy ;)
Check out the clip on Opération Séduction

They're kind of cute together, no?
For your entertainment, here's a still with me making a stink face :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exotic birds in my studio, cool clients and more!

As one of my clients said to me today; any girl can get excited over diamonds - but show me feathers and watch out! I have to say, I feel exactly the same. I love feathers, I go to Ultratex on St-Hubert street and compulsively buy/hoard feathers. A giant birdcage just seemed logical...

8 hours of building, painting and assembling later - we had something pretty awesome - Above you're seeing evidence of me zoning out- I find it kind of looks like I'm about to drill Rick in the head! In the end we have a square stage, a golden border with carved roses, golden cage bars draped in elegant gold damask and red fabric - as well as a fully functioning swing.

Something that was very important to me was that the swing be able to support over 250 pounds - I have many plus size clients and I don't want them to miss out on this awesome set. The last thing I want is for someone to feel too heavy to be elegant - because that's so far from the truth!

Below you'll see some light tests with Lavender May, She's the full time makeup artist and costume designer here at the studio. Her costume was entirely made by hand (by her!) - I think the mint looks f-ing fantastic with the gold, silver and black... and that lavender hair!

Our Promo Blurb:
Birds of Paradise Set - Become an international showgirl for a day like Dita VonTeese, Roxy Velvet or even 1930's Zou Zou (Josephine Baker).
The fully functional swing and open cage made completely from scratch in our studio can hold any exotic bird up to 275lbs. Many costumes and light tests to come soon!

Available at the studio from February 13th to March 31st 2012

150$ Includes: Hair, Makeup, Set, Costuming and Accessories, 1 High-Res Retouched Image as well as all your additional images on USB. For booking please contact:

On a side note- I'd like to say a fond goodbye to Eve, the French photographer that's been at the studio over the past few months. Today she's heading back to france to open a studio inspired by our "Pinup Parties". It has been so wonderful getting to know this talented and warm woman - I know her business will be successful, she has a way of making people feel comfortable and sexy! Go check out her fan page on Facebook: Eve Photographie.

Finally; I've had a slew of really great clients lately - I don't know what's up but I've been getting people coming in and telling me that they read my blog, take my advice, try my product reviews and think I'm cool. I have to apologize to these people because I kind of stare at them like they're crazy or I get really bashful. I'm just really touched that People I've never met have taken the time to be interested in what I do and say/think/write. Many women tell me that coming to see me is like a therapy session - they find renewed self-confidence in their inner diva/goddess ... without having to exploit themselves in any way. I have to say, having clients like YOU make me feel good about what I do. I've always known I was on the right track, but it's definitely nice to have that pat on the back every now and then! Thank you.