Why are some people mean?

Why are some people mean? I'm not talking about a little mean, but bazaar, go out of their way to be mean. Recently I've encountered a few mean people, I remind myself that these situations will make me a stronger Read more

Maldives

Our last trip of 2016 was to the Maldives. Last year was one full of excursions, We traveled to Cameroon, Paris, Bali, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Napa, San Francisco, Dubai, and I must say Read more

Quote

It's okay to venture out of your comfort zone... Lately I've been doing it quite often. This weekend is going to be one of renewal, my personal Super Bowl. What are your plans? I will be working today and tomorrow. Happy Read more

Do you enjoy yourself?

Both of my kids are in New York, my son is in school in the Hudson Valley and my daughter is living in Brooklyn and working. So we are officially empty nesters, and have been so for a while Read more

February 1, what happened to January?

January is in the past! We so eagerly celebrated and welcomed the New Year and now it is just a memory. Some of us have already fallen off the new commitments we made and that is okay. Just start Read more

photography

Why I did a Boudoir Session

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on Why I did a Boudoir Session

boudoir session

As most of you know I’m a professional photographer. I Looooooovve photographing women. Although I dabble in other genres, my favorite subject hands down are women. I attended a boudoir workshop in New Orleans where boudoir photographers from all over the country attended to learn from the best in the industry.

So while I was there I scheduled a session for myself with Craig Lamere, a photographer that I have be admiring since I started my career. It was the best investment in moi! So many reasons…Of course I was nervous and was wishing I had hit the gym a little harder and dieted a little more, but once my session started all of that pressure slowly disappeared. Two hours later I felt as if I was on top of the world, Queendom for a day.

I felt amazing getting my makeup done, my hair was on point and loved that sultry  New Orleans weather, and I ended up with a collection of images any ole’ or young girl would want for themselves.

It is the gift that keeps on giving. I have a gorgeous album, prints and everything else I could order. I like that the “sexy” side of me was captured by a professional, a lot better than my occasional sexy phone selfie done alone. I thought to myself, why did I wait so long to do this?

Gigi

I love that I have  documented this moment in my life, a moment that certainly is “middle age” quickly going to the next phase of what society says is old age. Truly, I believe sexy has no expiration, it is something inside that can certainly can be revealed and it is okay. Our sensuality is a part of our identity, why not celebrate it? Why be ashamed of it?

gigi

As a result, from my session I am a better photographer. I learned so much being on the other side of the camera. Being in that vulnerable position in front of another human being, staring at you with a camera I know what that feels like. I also observed my photographer work and get the best images of me I have ever had. Truly amazing. So many ahha moments!

gigi

It was great therapy. As women we are always doing things for our families, taking care of business, rarely doing something for ourselves. This was the ultimate indulgence. Matter of fact it will probably become an annual event that I treat myself to.

gigi

So my ladies and guys…btw (stay tuned for my dude-oir session I’m going to be shooting soon) do something special, give yourself a boudoir session. If you don’t choose me lol, choose a photographer that will be patient and give you an incredible experience. Don’t wait for your body to be “perfect” or you will never do it.

Happy Monday!

XOXO,

GIGI


Are you doing something that you love?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, photography Comments Off on Are you doing something that you love?

quote

I’ve been working as a professional photographer for a little over 3 years, on my own for barely 6 months. It took me a long time to figure out my true passion, but it was well worth the wait. I tired a lot of different things over my life time, interior design, a chocolate brownie business, working with my husband, although I enjoyed those interests for a while, nothing felt like the “it” thing.

There are times when I think about what would I be doing had I discovered my true calling 30 years ago. Would I be burnt out, ready to retire like some of my peers that have been in the professional world for 30 years and are now transitioning to another phase of life. Or maybe I would have been a trailblazer, an iconic photographer in the field, traveling all over the world giving seminars to up and coming photographers.

My journey has not been easy, there are many challenges in a field where everyone is walking around with a camera in their hand. I’m at an odd age sort of, I’m not young by no means, I’m kinda old, even though I don’t feel really old. I am constantly studying and working on my craft, there is so much I want to learn.

Some days I wonder to myself, what am I doing? Maybe it is too much, and I should just chill and relax. Perhaps at my age it is a bit much to be an artist and run a business. Maybe I should just be a hobbyist, and just take pictures of whatever inspires me.

Why do I stay up late most nights working on photography related tasks? It comes down to I absolutely LOVE what I do! I really love taking portraits of women, transforming them and showcasing their beauty. Beauty they had put on the back burner, I love giving my clients an incredible experience and capturing that genuine smile.

In our society there is so much imagery in the media that does not represent true beauty, between all the filters, and the way photos are manipulated via photoshop there is this imaginary bar that many women are trying to reach, that does not even exist. I love being able to take the best portrait of a woman and being able to show it to her without deconstructing her, just capturing her authentic self.

Gigi

I know I am fortunate to be able to pursue something that I love…What are you doing that you love? I’d love to know…

XOXO,

GIGI


Brown Mermaid

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on Brown Mermaid

IMG_1932.PNG

I have always loved the water, as far back as I can remember and that’s a long time. I was the kid that on family trips to the beach I stayed in the ocean the entire time, just riding the waves.  A year ago on a whim I took an underwater photography class and fell in love! Both of my passions together, what more could I ask for…

After taking that class, I rented the housing for my camera to try it out in my own pool and I was hooked, I knew I  wanted to add this to my slate of specialities. So I made the hefty  investment and have been going down under ever since.

 

gigi underwater

gigi underwater

I have done numerous sessions now and I am still fascinated with the variety of results I get each time I do a shoot. Sometimes I’m photographing a dancer or a new swimmer, regardless of the person’s skill set I love creating something unique and magical for each person. Depending on the time of day, weather, location in my pool, and my position, no shoot is ever the same. The light and shadows create a surreal little world.

Sara

Sara

I have quite a variety of “underwater outfits” that add to the experience, including shoes and various other props, everything potentially can go in the water…

"love of reading"

“love of reading”

Sessions go for 3 to 4 hours, I’m in the water the entire time, building a bond with my mermaids and sometimes mermen. I don’t use scuba gear I just free dive and am able to hold my breath for a really long time, allowing me to position myself to get the best shots.

"Red"

“Red”

"Cynara"

“Cynara”

I have even done a few maternity sessions which were really fun. My “mom’s to be” are so flexible in the water.

"Tea-Zap"

“Tea-Zap”

"Myriam"

“Myriam”

I’m dreaming about doing some sort of coffee table book featuring underwater images, another one of those bucket list items, so many of them. I have lots of sessions scheduled this summer and I know I will capture some incredible images- I’m also working on a new website to showcase my work so stay tuned.

Happy Tuesday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

quote

quote

 

 

 


Self Portrait – The ultimate selfie

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on Self Portrait – The ultimate selfie
#17 self portrait

#17 self portrait

Like Frida Kahlo I love doing self portraits. Early in my photography career it was a way to try out different techniques, such as lighting, posing, locations etc.. I would set up my tripod, work on the focus point and jump into the scene and then analyze the result. It became a learning tool, that quickly became another art form for me and a vehicle of discovery of myself.

#17 black & white

#17 black & white

With self portraits, at least mine, I am tapping into a vulnerable part of self- sharing my soul and my emotional state at that moment. Different from a selfie with my iPhone where it is typically a smiling spontaneous image, sharing a location or cute makeup, although you can get some nice self portraits with your phone as well you just have to put a little thought into it. For me it is a creative outlet another part of my art- where my “client” is so patient and she will do whatever I need to get the shot.

#17 color

#17 color

This group that I call #17 was taken on Monday. I could not get myself together and get dressed…I stayed in my nightgown all day-dealing with a bit of being overwhelmed with a laundry list of “to do-s” but I took a moment to capture my feelings and document-

Do you do selfies? Have you played around with self portraits? If no, try it…you will be surprised at what you discovery.

“Because I am so often alone…because I am the subject I know best.”   Frida Kahlo

Xoxo,

Gigi

#17 color

#17 color

 


Gigi in Atlanta

Posted on by Gigi in photography 4 Comments
Gigi & Tea

Gigi & Tea

Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I’m traveling solo this week. I’m at a photography trade show in Atlanta, a city I have only visited a couple of times. Although I looooove traveling with my husband and family it is nice to travel alone occasionally. I decided to go to this conference at the last minute, not realizing that all the host hotels were sold out, so as a result I am staying at  the Ritz Carlton, which is away from all the activity, which is kind of nice.

My Room

My Room- serene-

Ritz

Thank goodness for my big coat!

The weather is really cold- freezing and windy, but I’m prepared for the most part. I don’t have a hat, but my hair is not really hat friendly.

uhm- not hat friendly at all

uhm- not hat friendly at all

I don’t know anybody here, so I’m floating about anonymously, which is kind of nice. I can be an observer and concentrate on absorbing the knowledge I came here to receive. I have all my electronics with me so I have plenty to keep myself busy.

One of the highlights of the day was the keynote speaker, Amy Purdy, the young woman who at age 19 contracted a form of meningitis and as a result both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, she lost both her kidneys, and her spleen had to be removed.

She is an actress, model, world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, professional speaker, clothing designer, past contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and author of On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs To Learning The Dance Of Life.

She made me realize there really is no excuse- we all have the ability to do and be successful at whatever we envision no matter what blocks may be in the way.

Check out her Ted Talk…and you will see what I mean.

Well I have to be up early to start my classes, so signing out-

xoxo,

Gigi


Golden Gladiator # 2 Debbie Young

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, gladiator, photography 1 Comment

PS Couture recently had the pleasure of photographing beautiful Debbie Young. One of the highlights of being a photographer is all the wonderful clients we get to work with. I met Debbie about 12 years ago, shortly after she and her family relocated from the east coast, our daughters became fast friends at their first Jack & Jill event. I have always admired Debbie’s timeless beauty and was delighted to have a session with her and Morgan. We sat down with Debbie at her beautiful home and chatted about her philosophy on living the “good” life.

Debbie

Debbie

On Aging: “I feel so young mentally, age is just a number. Life is to be enjoyed, I feel 25. On Living: “Live life to the fullest! Make other people happy.”

Debbie & Morgan

Debbie & Morgan

On Fashion: “I’m a fashionista…a woman’s fashion tells a story, whether sexy, conservative, boho etc. make your style exciting. On The Perfect Weekend: “Good music, on the ocean, a bottle of good champagne, of course with my family and friends”

Debbie

Debbie

On Advice to a “younger” you: “Positive thinking, exercise, eat well, love myself more” On Music: “My love for music consists of so much Gospel: Tasha Cobbs & Ernest Pugh to Female artists: Ledisi, Elle Varner, Adele, Emeli Sande Male artists: John Legend, Sam Smith, Gregory Porter; Jazz artist: Jonathan Butler, Michael Lington, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright; Classical: up & coming 24 year-old phenomenal soprano, Courtney Johnson just to name a few. While winding down at home I have been listening to The African Heritage’s “Umbulu Lullaby”.

Debbie

Debbie

On What’s Next: “The best is yet to come! God first, Travel, continue to surround myself with family and friends, my music, love, meditate and positive energy. My life mission as a special education & music teacher: music, the arts are an essential part of our lives, especially our children. The study of music/art, etc. fosters an environment of acceptance and understanding of cultural diversity. Music has been so very beneficial in my instructional programs and teaching strategies in order to accommodate diverse learning styles. I LOVE MUSIC!!!!”

Debbie, owner of “Ms. Debbie’s World of Music” provides music education in various schools in Orange County. She and her husband Larry have been married 29 years and still enjoy spending romantic weekends at the beach. Her daughter Morgan is in grad school at U Penn.

PS Couture

PS Couture

Happy Friday, XOXO, GIGI


“I LOOK FAT IN THAT PICTURE”

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on “I LOOK FAT IN THAT PICTURE”

I love photographing women. Initially I thought I would settle into shooting family portraits and maybe an occasional wedding. Starting a new venture at my age I knew I had to create a balance between my business and my personal life. I sort of have an addictive personality, once I latch on to something I live eat sleep with it nonstop. I was taking classes at school and online, so one day I stumbled upon a class with Sue Bryce and I fell in love with her work and her philosophy on photographing women and I was hooked.

Working

Working

I have always been a magazine addict as far back as I can remember, tearing pages out and filling binders up with my favorite glossy images of models, interiors, food, places I wanted to go etc. So fast forward, while at school I connected with Elsy my partner and we formed PS Couture, we both were interested in doing editorial fashion inspired style shoots for our clients. The past 9 months have been incredible, I cannot begin to express the joy I experience when I am looking through my lens and I connect with a client.

I have learned so much about my “species”. Ladies we are controlled by this thing called “body image”, including moi. Perhaps it comes from seeing all these altered images in the media, or perhaps that aunt who always told you “hmmmmm do you need that extra roll?” or in my case my great aunt had my mom  get me a girdle when I was 10…or maybe you had a friend who was a size “0” and when you were out together you felt as if you could be mistaken for her bodyguard.

When I look at proofs from my own sessions, the monkey brain zooms into to what I feel are my “problem” areas ie. “does the butt look to big?” “hmmm what about my midsection?” “Arms?” “Hair?” or lately a new one “Do I look Old?”  After I tear myself apart mentally of course, I become happy and glad that I did the session and happy that moment of moi is documented.

We have shot over 70 ladies this past year, from 16 to 80, size “0” to double digits, straight to curvy, and the one thing we heard over and over is “I want to lose  some weight before my shoot” or “If only I could lose ten pounds before my session”. Yes I too am guilty of this, and I know that with good posing and proper camera angle everyone can look gorgeous, but I still wanted to drop a few before my shoot.

GIGI

GIGI

Yes there is photoshop and you can alter someone unrecognizable, but our aesthetic is more authentic so that a woman still looks like herself. I love finding  beauty in everyone and we all have something that makes us special. I came across this article the other day that I found fascinating about photoshop and how this unaltered image was sent all over the world to photoshop artists and they were told to make her “beautiful”. Check out the link at the bottom.

These are a few of my favorites from some of our shoots, there are so many–

Elsy

Elsy

Molly

Molly

camille

camille

Zuko

Zuko

Jacqueline

Jacqueline

Stephanie

Stephanie

 

 


Before & After

Posted on by Gigi in Beauty, photography 6 Comments
gigi before & after

gigi before & after

As you all know, I am passionate about my craft, I love waking up each day and capturing images that move me or make me chuckle. Sometimes it is something silly like a sign that has a double meaning.

tj maxx

tj maxx

Or this guy “rock climbing” the wall at Starbucks…

rock climbing...

rock climbing…

Although I love taking pictures, getting in front of the camera, now that’s a different story. Yes, I do take lots of pics of myself, but there are many you don’t see, you know the ones you “delete” right away. For the most part, I’m in control of most of the shots, I “pass” the camera to one of the Reggies, and tell them how to take the pic.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to be the subject, so I could see what a client  feels like when a big lens is staring in their face. First thing I realized, being photographed is humbling, your whole person is being viewed by another, and you can’t help but to think about all your perceived imperfections. At first I felt vulnerable, exposed in a way, I was worrying about my hair, thinking about was my mascara to clumpy or did my body look weird and a host of other silly thoughts.  I’m sure it may be different for actors, and models who are always in front of the camera, but I am speaking for those of us that can count the times on one hand that we have had our portrait done, and I am not counting the family photo shoots. We all have our “stuff” when it comes to being photographed–“my butt is fat”, ” I don’t like my arms” or “my stomach” the list goes on and on.

So after about the first 15 shots, I began to relax and trust my friend and take her direction, and soon I was feeling as if I was on America’s Next Top “Old” Model, it was actually fun. I let go and quieted the little voice in my head, embraced “me” and accepted this was who I was at that moment and it was OK. We are bombarded by photoshopped images every day, so we can’t help but to develop a warped sense of what we “think” we should look like. We all want to feel BEAUTIFUL. Many of us don’t even take pictures at all, which is sad, because one day you will look back and there will be periods of your life where you have no images just a fleeting memory.

While I love photographing families, my heart is shooting women, I love finding that sparkle in women who have been on the planet for a while, and have lived a little, those that may not have a perfect, perky 22 year-old-body, but there is something that comes through those eyes, a connection, and when that happens I am delighted. Offering an experience for women, where for a couple hours they can feel like an A-lister, and I can capture something special, my work is done and I am happy. Stay tuned…

my logo...

 

Gigi After

Gigi After

 

Happy Friday-Have a good weekend! And BE-YOU-TIFUL!

XOXO,

Gigi

 

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QUOTE

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration, photography, Quotes Comments Off on QUOTE

Love this Quote

YES!

YES!

You may get tired of this reoccurring theme in a lot of my posts, but it is so true, and once you embrace this concept you will see how life changing it can be. It does not have to be a different career, it could be something simple like going to a show by yourself, taking up a new hobby, a yoga class, going back to school,  just as long as you are doing something that you have “always wanted to do”. The real beauty of this is that if you do something and realize that perhaps it “is not all that” at least you tried and you had that experience.

I always loved photography, and always had my little point and shoot camera with me, nothing sophisticated, just an inexpensive camera I kept in my purse and pulled it out daily to capture moments and observations of my day and the kids and all the “cute” things that they did, btw this is before digital, so I have boxes and boxes of snapshots for each year…another project I need to address one day.

When my brother was alive we took a photography class together about 13 years ago, I remember because Amani was 10 and Reggie was 4 and at the time I could not juggle everything and it was not my time, so I dropped out of the class, however my brother became a professional photographer and changed his life. He departed earth almost 4 years ago, so I know it was my time to pick up where he left off, I know he is smiling looking down on me saying something like “You got this Sis, you can do this”…

GiGi

GiGi

So my friends, go do something YOU always wanted to do…let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

XOXO,

Gigi

 

 

 

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54 COUTURE

Posted on by Gigi in photography 9 Comments
Remembering...

Remembering 9-11

Acknowledging all those that lost their lives…I remember that morning like yesterday, it was my son’s first day of pre-school and I was upset because of something that had happened in the classroom and then quickly I put it all in perspective. Life has never been the same in our country.

Those of you that have been stopping by, know I am passionate about photography. I close my eyes thinking about it and wake up grabbing my camera excited about what I’m going to capture any given day. My kids get annoyed with me at times…”Can’t we just do what we are doing? Why do you have to take a picture?”. I am the family history documenting everything, I know one day they will thank me.

My favorite subjects are women, I love shooting “regular” ladies ie. women that perhaps have not been photographed since graduation or perhaps their wedding day and giving them a transformative experience like an A lister, professional makeup, wardrobe tips, a pampering session directing them and the outcome being extraordinary images. Beauty portraiture inspired by fashion magazine styled sessions, photographing women of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors-finding the beauty in all of them.

I’ve been tossing around names trying to come up with something that feels right for my new venture. Drum roll please…

I think I am going to go with “54 Couture”. Of course you all know “54” is my current age, a number that symbolizes my own transformation. I know I did not want to go with Gervel Sampson photography etc. and my friend Elsy suggested “54 couture” and I really like it. So my friends stay tuned for more info as “54 Couture” evolves. Here is a peak at my latest session with my friend Elsy a fellow photographer that I train with. She will be doing my “beauty” session next week-excited.

Beautiful Elsy

Beautiful Elsy before and after…

XOXO,

GIGI

 

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