I recently discovered Anna Di Prospero‘s work and I love it. Born in Rome, her photographs all follow a common thread — she appears in them in some form. She has separate series for solo self-portraits in various types of locations, self-portraits with family, and self-portraits with friends. It’s a fascinating ongoing theme and the way she executes the photos is amazing, as well as the gorgeous color palette.
I have a hard time with the concept of an afterlife. I am downright terrified about dying, so I feel like that fear makes me want — or rather NEED — to have some kind of belief regarding life after death. I don’t know where specifically my fear comes from. I think every human being on earth has a natural desire to want to live, for the most part, and maybe it has more to do with that. I want to live, want to be here on earth with my family and loved ones, and dying would take me away from that. It’s hard to believe that there’s something in the afterlife that could be better than where I am right now. But the fact that you can’t really talk to anyone about dying is terrifying. Every other horrible tragedy in life — illness, injury, catastrophe — has survivors. People who lived through the experience and can tell you what it’s like, even if you couldn’t possible comprehend their description. There’s some comfort in knowing that no matter what else happens to me, there’s someone who can relate. Who’s been there. And while there’s people who have died for a brief moment, I don’t know if that really counts. If they really got a chance to see what it’s truly like. So it’s scary knowing that one day I will walk into the true unknown — and that I really have no control over when that day comes.
I was raised in a very Catholic setting. I went to Catholic school for my entire kindergarten through senior year time, and went to church for a good portion of that (required at a Catholic school — we didn’t go as a family). The typical Catholic belief is that you die and either go to Heaven or Hell. I think, if that’s the case, that even though I haven’t spent much time, if any, being religious, that I would end up in Heaven. But what IS Heaven? Is it the same for everyone, or does it change for each individual person? Will my loved ones who have died be there? Will it be filled with my favorite things? A never-ending bowl of guacamole, kittens running free, and a mountain of cupcakes? Somehow, even with those promises, it’s not very comforting to me. Plus the idea of anything happening for INFINITY? Scares the shit out of me. Everything we as human beings know has an end. This day, the TV show I’m watching, our lives, this sentence. My mind can’t wrap itself around the concept of anything being “forever”.
My most common belief regarding the afterlife is that we are reincarnated. It just makes so much sense. A decent chunk of our karma comes from our experiences in past lives, not necessarily this current life. We are either punished or rewarded for the deeds that we’ve done. We have memories we can’t explain that sometimes manifest in the form of deja vu, or dreams, or feeling like a place or person that we’ve never encountered before (that we can consciously recall, anyway) is familiar. I for one am constantly curious about why things are the way they are. Why do some people just have a natural ability or talent? Some are amazing at math while others can play the piano with the best. Some people are “old souls”. Some children have memories that can’t possibly be explained by anything other than being young enough (and open enough) to remember a past life. And for me? It’s very comforting to think that my soul will move on after this life, either to a new person, animal, or entity. Keeping my karma intact does more my moral fiber than any threat by a god ever could.
I love Zhang Jingna‘s work. Her fashion work is great, but her beauty work is staggering, and her personal work tops everything. Sure, she’s worked for clients like Mercedes Benz, Lancome, and Canon, and her work has been seen in Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, but the creativity, depth, and gorgeous color and light in her person work? Unmatched.
Based in Los Angeles, Benjamin Askinas is a bad ass photographer. He’s got a bunch of different projects on his site, and I have favorites from all of them. Gritty, raw, and evocative.
A favorite quote of mine…
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
I’ve been a fan of Olivia Malone‘s work for a long while now. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is now based in New York City, and has done work for clients such as Nylon, Kate Spade, Stila Cosmetics, Miley Cyrus, and Kleinfeld. She also recently added director of photography to her resume — she shot Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video as well as Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”. She’s kind of awesome.
This time of year is basically my “summer vacation” from work and it’s the time of year when I start to get restless. It’s easy to crave a calm and open schedule when I’m busy… but then the chaos winds down and I find myself wondering what the hell to do with myself. I am, of course, still tying up some loose ends work-wise, but that will be done within a week, at the most. And then what? I think it boils down to me being a workaholic at heart. I really do love having a packed calendar, having something that demands my attention at all times, even when it stresses me out. It gives me a larger purpose, I suppose. But when I’m left to my own devices, my mind doesn’t know how to occupy itself. An anxiety disorder will do that to you. An open mind, searching for things to latch onto, can be dangerous and can lead you down a slippery slope of boredom, restlessness, and self-loathing. Luckily I always have a myriad of projects that I want to work on during the summer/fall but don’t have the time or attention to devote to them, as well as things like website maintenance, pricing updates, portfolio additions, etc… but still. Sometimes it makes me wish that instead of having 6 months of insanity and 6 months of somewhat calm that it could be moderately busy all year long to just make things feel a little more balanced.