Thursday, March 22, 2007

Like a crazy bear lost in a swamp...

That's how Billy Ray Cyrus' dancing was described by Bruno, the flamboyant Italian judge on Dancing with the Stars the other night. If you can picture a crazed bear, then you can picture the rest! Thank goodness for digital recorders, which lets me fastforward the commercials so that I only waste 1.3 hours of my life instead of the 2 hrs if I watched it live. Another guilty pleasure show is America's Next Top Model (also with way too many commercial breaks) - but as it turns out, watching ANTM has actually been educational when it came time to do my first fashion shoot (see previous posts).

Another time-sucker is the vortex known as Facebook. It's the latest incarnation of those networking websites like friendster, myspace etc except that this one actually works, looks good, easy to navigate and best of all, is fast. The downside is trying to find an old classmate with a name like 'Matt Jones' or 'Sarah Smith', so I just let other people find me instead - I'm pretty sure I'm the only Jing-Ling Kao on Facebook.

Good novels are a love-hate thing for me. I love getting into a good book, but once I do, I devote every spare minute to finishing the story. Most recent one: "Until I Find You" by John Irving. Great writing, addictive plot, a bit twisted.

And, final time-waster is the "Fine Gold" store at Dufferin Mall. I bought Fred a watch as a wedding present from there - albeit a bit last minute on my part. Was told by the manager that I could get it engraved for free and in one day, just bring it back. But when I brought it back later that week, that manager was nowhere and was told by the-woman-who-is-now-my-least-favourite-store-clerk, that not only would it cost to get it engraved, but also cost to get a link taken out! Anyhow, I got it engraved and resized, only paid for the engraving, and waited 10 days for it -- they never called me to tell me it was ready because they filed the watch under the 'layaway' instead of 'repair' bin. Don't bother with that store.

To balance out the universe, I will tell you about a great jeweller - Amalia on St. Clair West, north side, west of Christie. Great service and craftsmanship - we got our wedding bands from him. (I didn't get the watch from there because the other place had a good sale on watches more in my price range but instead I bought a headache).

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fashion foray

Today was my first experience shooting fashion! And I am excited!

James King, who is the director of student resources at the Art Institute of Toronto called me in to shoot the final term projects for the fashion students at AITO. I have to admit I was hesitant because I had never shot fashion before... but I'm glad I did it! I bought myself a big roll of seamless white backdrop and rented the rigging. The lighting was just a bunch of off camera flashes (I haven't brushed up enough on using 'real' studio strobes yet - so I went with the known quantity).

The students and the models were great, and Cameron, the course instructor was super!

When it comes down to it, lighting is lighting and people are people... what was I scared of? :) I think Fred put it best - I deal with the toughest models with brides on a regular basis - brides, although they look their best, are for the most part not experienced models, in the middle of their most important day, somewhat stressed, and wearing a big white dress. Some differences I did note, especially afer going through all the shots: models can be put in uncomfortable poses - in fact they usually look better when they look awkward; shooting from a lower perspective is better for models - again, it exagerates the awkwardness, and long legs - and while regular people look better when shot from above, it just makes the models look like their head is too big and legs too short - not good. Also harsher lighting is ok for fashion. I still have a lot to learn, but my curiosity is piqued!!

Designer - Ashley Lynn Storm, model - Kseniya

Designer - Luis Rajiv Agcilar, model - Leeann

Designer - Luis Rajiv Agcilar, model - Nancy

Designer - Rosa Mindreau, model - Megan

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Friday, March 09, 2007


Just met with bride Yen, who will be getting married to Bryan in September <-- Yen was referred to me from Leighann <-- Leighann is Len's girlfriend, I've known Len since U of T (1995!) They were both at our wedding last weekend, see below

While I was signing the photography agreement for Yen, I realized that today, March 9, is Jamie's birthday. I've known Jamie since grade 8 (1989, i think) <--> Yen and Jamie, I mean James, used to work together --> they both know Leighann --> Leighann was the one who helped me get back in touch with James about 6 years ago.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


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Where have I been the past week or so?

Getting married! It was a very small ceremony with 28 guests, in fact it was a surprise to most of our wedding guests.... they thought they were coming to an engagement party! We followed the church ceremony with a meal at Filippo's restaurant.

So if I've been a bit elusive lately, I'm sorry -- had to keep it top secret!