The Gypsy

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Muse: a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. Every creative artist needs a muse. Someone that captivates them and inspires them to create. Muses have been the fuel to artists’ engines for centuries.

If you’ve read previous posts from my blog, you’ve become acquainted with the fact I’m delving into photography. Taking classes, soaking up all the knowledge I can and practicing, practicing, practicing! I LOVE learning every piece of it.

It also tremendously helps that I have one of the most creative people on the planet on my team. My muse happens to be my BFF from the high school days, Lashon. I’ve pretty much christened her my Creative Director. 🙂

Our last portrait session was inspired by some vintage photos we’ve collected and had a bit of a darker vibe. All it took was just a spark of inspiration and we took it and ran with it. I recruited our friend, Rachel, for hair and makeup and she turned Lashon into a beautiful vamp. Rachel also assisted during the photo shoot by keeping an eagle eye out for any flaws and also keeping us in stitches from her wise cracks!

Ladies & gentlemen, I’m pleased to introduce to you the recent photo shoot with Lashon, The Gypsy.

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In a quaint caravan, there’s a lady they call The Gypsy.
She can look in the future and drive away all your fears.

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Everything will come right, if you only believe The Gypsy.

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She could tell at a glance, that my heart was so full of tears.

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She looked at my hand and told me, my lover was always true.
And yet in my heart I knew, dear, somebody else was kissing you.

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But I’ll go there again, ’cause I want to believe The Gypsy.

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That my lover is true and will come back to me some day.

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I’m Miss World

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The weekend after Labor Day weekend usually is a quiet one since most people celebrate the end of summer during the holiday weekend. Labor Day generally commemorates the end of summertime and all it’s festivities as we transition into the fall season. But Atlantic City in 1921 had no plans of engaging in any summertime blues as it planned a way to extend the summer season.

Enter the Atlantic City “beauty contests” as a way to keep the summer heat on for patrons. The plan was devised by some businessmen of the city and they organized a small beauty contest which seven cities of the Northeast United States participated. Each city sent a “beauty maid” to represent the city in the contest. This contest took place September 7-8, ninety-three years ago today.  The happy winner of this 1921 contest was sixteen year-old Margaret Gorman, who represented Washington, D.C. Her prize was a golden mermaid statue and the title “Miss America.”

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Many other beauty contests followed this one which in turned solidified the Miss America pageants we’re familiar with today. I love these photos of the women from this time. They are wearing beautiful pieces from the era and are natural beauties in their own way. One of my favorite photos of all the photos I’ve seen is the one below of Ruth Malcolmson, Miss America 1924. This photo is so raw and natural.

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Here are some additional photos from some early beauty pageants. I love how dolled up they are in the sand and with their sashes! 🙂

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And to celebrate the city that brought us these beauty contests, I’ll be watching one of my favorite shows, Boardwalk Empire, which takes place in Atlantic City. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing that perfect Miss America wave. 🙂

Myrna Loy: A True Silverscreen Siren

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Allow me to introduce to you Myrna Loy.  The first time I saw a picture of Myrna Loy I didn’t know who the person was in the photograph. There wasn’t a name, it was just the picture, and I was captivated by the photograph. It was the one you see above. The hair, her face, and eyes made me stop and notice. Even the way her shoulder is peeking out from the bottom of the picture just made me stop in my tracks and stare. It was later on that I found the same picture but then it was identified as Myrna Loy.

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While scouring the interwebs for Jazz Age photos, I came across many other pictures of Ms. Loy. She’s even more captivating seeing a front faced photo. So naturally, I took it upon myself to learn about her and her career.

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Myrna Loy was born August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana. Her mother moved her and her brother permanently to California after their father died from the Spanish influenza in 1917. Myrna had already been dabbling in the fine arts by this time which was the catalyst to her career during the 1920s. I read that during her silent film career she often played vamps or femme fatales. She most often played characters of Asian or Eurasion background. She worked to shake this stereotype. She continued her career through the 1930s up until the start of World War II when she put her career on the back burner and focused more on the war effort. I read that she was very outspoken about being against Adolf Hitler (go Myrna!) and because of this, her name was on his blacklist. She picked up her acting career after the second World War, although the acting train slowed down again during the 1950s.

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Throughout her career she worked to ensure black actors had rights in the film industry. She seemed ahead of her time which makes this silent film star actress even more cooler. She made a few other films during the span of the 1960s and 1970s but stopped acting after 1982. She married four times and had no children of her own. She didn’t stop rallying for human rights as she was Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. She was a big fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt and became a personal friend to his wife, Eleanor. She was a member of UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and was the first celebrity to do so. Her last public appearance was in 1991 when she accepted the Academy Honorary Award for her career achievement. Throughout her life, she was destined to make a mark in history either on film or her work outside film.

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Myrna Loy passed away on December 14, 1993. She was cremated in New York but her ashes lay in Helena, Montana. She published an autobiography in 1987 called, Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming. I’m planning to pick up a copy so I can hear from her words her transcendence through the 20th century. I noticed she even had a “shout-out” in the 1991 film, The Rocketeer, when the main character told his budding actress sweetheart, “You got a big part. You stood behind Myrna Loy with a bowl of grapes.”

In the majority of the pictures I’ve seen of her she doesn’t smile. The one I did find, she seemed just as charming and alluring as when she doesn’t smile. However, not smiling never seemed to deter her look because her eyes spoke volumes. I can only imagine how many hearts were stopped when they met her. Her eyes are just mesmerizing. She is truly the definition of the phrase, “the cat’s meow,” and then some. Now for some Myrna Loy eye-candy.

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The Saint & Sinner: A vintage-inspired photo shoot with And How! Imaging

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I love photography. I love admiring the images others create and I enjoy creating images in front of the camera. I think the camera is one the best inventions. To capture our moments in time is such a beautiful thing to me.

Last month my husband and I had the pleasure of creating a vintage-inspired photo shoot with the lovely folks of And How! Imaging. And How! Imaging is Amy and Charles Rouyer who are two very creative people. Their work ranges from pin ups, portraits, conceptual, events, bands and musicians, girls + cars and weddings. They create some great photo shoots and capture the subjects of their photo shoots well. Our inspiration was the 1920s and we just took it from there. When we arrived they had many props and a great setting for us to come up with a theme. I wore a black dress from the 1920s that I had picked up on our trip to Virginia. My husband wore his jazz age-inspired suit. We sat on a church pew, picked up an old, old bible and posed in front of many items that hark back to this time. My husband, being the silly person he normally is, took a few naughty shots. It reminded me of the purity and conservative facade people gave during this time in history, yet, underneath it all, something else could be lurking. Me looking like a saint and him looking like a sinner. 😉 It was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend booking a photo shoot with them. They are great people to work with. Go ahead, check out what I’m talking about ☞ And How! Imaging.

Below are the photos from our photo shoot.

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Getting Decked Out in Art Deco

First thing first, happy new year!

I’m a little belated on my happy 2014 exclamation. I did have a fun and entertaining New Year’s Eve celebration and kissed 2013 goodbye.

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Currently, my husband and I are getting ready for the next big event on our agenda, the Jazz Age Preservation Ball in Richmond, VA. We are SO excited! The Jazz Age Preservation Ball is created and presented by the Art Deco Society of Virginia.   I stumbled across the non-profit organization and found they put on this extravagant event. So my husband and I thought, let’s go! This will be their second year and by the looks of the photos from their inaugural event, it’s going to be a grand time.

I am a Jazz Age and Art Deco enthusiast and love to get my hands on anything from this era. My husband and I love this time period so much our wedding was 1920s themed. (See article on this here ☞ Saying ‘I do’ Roaring Twenties Style.) I’ve always had a dormant obsession with the twenties. Unconsciously admiring the structure of finger waves and secretly falling in love with the flapper style. I love many decades between the 1880s to 1960s, but if I had to choose, hands down the 1920s win. This time is just intoxicating for me. The colors, style, architecture, and the way America was after the Great War and before the second one. When we became engaged and I was going over the theme of our wedding with our photographer, she suggested I start a Pinterest board to give me wedding ideas. At the time we had not decided on a 1920s-themed wedding, but knew we wanted a vintage-theme event. I started my search and started to come across couples who had done this. Thus began my (so far) 1, 777 pinned images of the 1920s style. I could literally live my life in this style, no joke.

So we’ve prepared for our trip to Virginia and are ready to attend the Ball. We’re looking forward to meeting other Jazz Age and Art Deco enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for details on this event!

Here’s a sneak of my dress ☞ photo

Now please, let me show you some images of what I’m obsessing about. 🙂

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