Everything you need to know about the new cool kid on the block…
Remember the film American Beauty? A middle-aged man develops an obsession with his daughter’s friend – I don’t remember much about the storyline, but I do remember the key scene that has become quite iconic: a naked Mena Suvari lying in a bed of red roses while seductively looking into the camera with only very little of her body covered with petals.
San Francisco based photographer Carey Fruth has now taken this well-known scene as inspiration for her latest photography project in which she snapped 14 women in the same setting as Mena Suvari: naked in a bed of flowers. The main difference? The women she chose don’t necessarily reflect the general American beauty ideal that was portrayed in the movie (young, tall, and skinny).
Quite the contrary, Fruth chose women in different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages. Ranging from size 2 to size 22 and aged 18 to 69, Fruth wants to show what real American beauty looks like; in other words, there is no one American beauty, but a variety.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Fruth said: “When women come into my studio, I want to prove to them that they ARE as beautiful as they always feared they weren’t, then maybe they can let go of that fear. By stepping into a fantasy dream girl world and by letting go of that fear, they free themselves up to direct that energy they once wasted on telling themselves that they weren’t good enough to elsewhere in their life.”
This sounds absolutely beautiful and is a very good reminder that the women we predominantly see in the media are not a reflection of reality. Only because we don’t look like a model on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean that we aren’t good enough.
Looking at these 14 images, I can honestly say that even though all of these women look different, they all share one thing: they look confident and beautiful in their own way. What a great way of embracing diversity.
Images via popsugar
If you holiday once or several times a year, you not only make special memories with the loved ones you are with, but you are also visiting a new part of the world that you may or may not ever see again. Whether you stay in Australia for a beach holiday, travel to Europe for a city break or visit Africa to experience a safari, you will make unique memories that it is important to capture so they last a lifetime.
Here are five innovative ways that you can use to preserve those precious memories:
1. A photo speaks a thousand words, so a main way to capture these memories is through images and a modern way to do this is through the use of a selfie stick. Long ago are the days when you took your photos, sent off the film when you returned home to receive it back weeks later and discover your finger right across the center.
Today we rarely take a typical camera as our smartphones do the job for us, with which we can take the photo as many times as is necessary to get one we are happy with and without having to ask a passer-by to stop and take it for us. As things advance we can upload our selfies, which we can now take with our selfie sticks, to our social media accounts so everyone can see what we are doing as we do it!
2. A photo album and not the Facebook kind! We all love to upload our snaps to social media and create an online record. But since we have used technology to store our photos, how often do we print them off? We used to fill actual photo album sleeves so we could flick through them and look at the original print.
A modern version of this is the photobook, available from places such as Photobox, this goes further than your traditional album. Adorn the front with your favourite snap, then customise the design and layout including text and images. The result is a book the whole family can enjoy looking through time and time again!
3. Rather than having a generic mousemat, a plain mug and the same phone cover as everyone else why not adorn your everyday items with your favourite photos from your holiday? From the pillows on your bed to the calendar on your desk at work, so much can be personalised with images that you can have items for home, work and on-the-go. This is a special and unique way to capture the memory of your holiday, and means you always have a photo at hand to share stories of your trip.
4. Photos aren’t the only way to capture your holiday! A modern version of a diary or travel journal is to keep a blog. This can be set up for free through sites such as WordPress. Document your holiday online, where you can include photos and videos if you wish, to share with friends and family. You can then look back over your holiday, so no part is forgotten, remembering not only what you did but your thoughts and feelings as well.
5. Relive your holiday through video footage. But like the old school ways of sending off our rolls of film to receive our photos, this is not footage captured on a video camera that you wait till you get back home to connect up to the TV and watch. This video can be filmed on your smartphone, uploaded to social media or You Tube if you wish for a wider audience to see. Also with apps such as iMovie, your week away can be transformed into a movie you can show the grandchildren one day.
Women’s clothes are generally less comfortable than men’s clothes, it’s not a secret. But just how much pain do women have to go through and what effects does tight clothing have on our bodies? These questions are easily answered – without any words, but through photographs by Justin Bartels.
In a series of black and white photographs showing women’s bodies who had just taken off tight clothing, such as skinny jeans, push up bras, or lace up heels, Bartels gives us an impression of the impact fashion can have on our bodies. Deep marks are left by every seam, lace, or button; one woman’s bare feet even look as if she is still wearing her lace up heels, the dents are that deep.
Bartels had the idea for the photo series after dating different women who all had one thing in common: Tight and uncomfortable outfits. By showing the marks, which are almost wounds, Bartels wants us women to question why we choose style over comfort. The answer would most likely include society’s unrealistic beauty standards and expectations.
Seeing those pictures as a woman, what is shown seems familiar as most of us have worn tight jeans before or heels that leave not only marks, but blisters and cuts on our feet. What seems normal to us, really should make us think: Why do we choose skinny jeans over loose pants and high heels over medium heels? Are we trying to please others? Is it masochism? And most of all: Is it worth it?
Image via refinery29.com
When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Well according to a new survey conducted by Officeworks, it wasn’t recently. Through their survey, the giant office supply store discovered that 95 per cent of us are at our happiest when we are participating in an activity that we love, however only 20 per cent are making the time to engage in these pursuits and activities.
As the Easter break fast approaches, why not schedule some time to re-discover or discover your passion. Whether your interests be creative, energetic, free, or costly, there is no doubt that your mood and mentality will reap the benefits. Dr Paula Watkins from the Happiness Institute shared her top 5 activities that will certainly keep you busy and entertained over the holidays, and the best part is that all these are kid friendly – so no excuses!
- Getting Outdoors
When was the last time you spent some quality time outside? And no, walking to work from the bus stop doesn’t count! This Easter why not get outdoors and enjoy discovering parts of your city or region that you didn’t know before.
It may be a lazy afternoon spent reading a book under a tree, some time in the park with you’re your family, or if you’re looking for something more physical, why not try a long walk or bike ride through local National Parks and reserves? A little Vitamin D never hurt anybody and according to Watkins, increasing the amount of exercise you do “stimulates dopamine and other happy hormones.” Like they say, the best things in life are free!
- Art and Design
Remember how much you loved art at school? Well why not pick it up again this Easter break as a hobby and introduce it to the whole family. Painting and drawing is a great way to relax and is extremely therapeutic. “The precision required, paired with quality family time, will leave you feeling connected to your mind, body and soul” says Watkins. Painting and decorating your very own Easter eggs is a great way to celebrate the holiday.
Photography is an art and can be the perfect way to document special moments as well as gain a new perspective on familiar landscapes. Yet taking photographs doesn’t have to be a solo hobby and can be a fun way to get everyone involved, particularly over Easter when a lot of extended family spends time together.
Get creative with how you take your annual family photo – create a photo booth with props and a theme. Alternatively, for those who are passionate about photography, allow time to produce a photo-shoot with friends and family. As Dr Watkins highlights: “Special moments like these with loved ones will leave you feeling connected and content.”
Sick of hearing the top 40 on repeat every time your turn on the radio? Are you still listening to that same old album you purchased 2 years ago? Those who are passionate about their music know that there are hundreds of artists across all genres that are amazingly talented and produce music that does more to the soul than any medicine could do. According to Watkins, “listening to music stimulates the brain, boosts mood and serves as an emotional and stress release.” All that from just listening to music – we should do it more often!
Remember all of those photos you took of your most recent birthday that are hiding in the dark corners of your computer? Why not retrieve them along with all the other photos that hold special meaning and create a scrapbook? Officeworks spokesperson, Watkins highlights the benefits of reminiscing: “It is known to be good for our health. This kind of nostalgia can boost mood and helps to provide a sense of meaning.” Scrapbooking can bring your memories to life and let your favourite moments be more regularly recognised and appreciated.
First of all, for those who aren’t sure, a “flat lay” is a display of items on a flat surface and photographed from above. A favorite technique of fashion bloggers, the flat lay has exploded on Instagram as a way of exhibiting your latest clothing items and accessories. It’s a great way to share your #ootd (outfit of the day) or just expend some creative energy.
1. What should you be snapping?
It’s best to start with one or two statement pieces, and fill in the gaps with smaller accessories or decorative pieces. It looks amazing when things fit together like a puzzle. Experiment with folding, overlapping (not too much – you don’t want it to look cluttered), and arranging and rearranging to get the perfect look!
Your flat lay should also follow a theme. You might want to flat lay your whole outfit or contents of your purse, but perhaps you want to pick a theme likes “essential beach items”, or color scheme for the best effect.
2. Basic background
You will often see flat lays on white surfaces (a lot of bed sheets) or wooden floors. Whatever you choose, keep it simple – you don’t want your background to distract from your pieces.
3. Angles + lighting
The point of the flat lay is to get an aerial shot from directly above the display. Therefore, depending on the height of your flat lay surface, you will need a chair or stool to boost you up.
It is also vital to position your flat lay in a place with a lot of light. It’s best to get an evenly lit shot, with few shadows that keep highlight some pieces, while keeping others in the dark. Choosing the right surface is actually trickier than it sounds.
Images via blog.wantering.com and Instagram (top-bottom) @westfieldinsider, @collagevintage, @emmalucey
Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong has defied nature and shot a collection of artwork consisting of images taken underwater. The photos done in the depths of Balinese water made for the perfect abstract backdrop for a fashion shoot. The surreal images created a challenge between the wreckage and aquatic flora with Wong describing:
“Normal models wouldn’t work unless they had extensive dive training and even then, they wouldn’t have the ability to hold their breaths for very long, especially at depth so free divers were going to be required.
“Normal clothes couldn’t be rented since the sea water would wreck them, so we had to find a designer willing to part with the clothing they’d lend us. Normal assistants wouldn’t work, specially trained safety divers were going to be necessary to ensure a smooth photoshoot”.
Though, despite these complications the models look at ease, as though they were at home in the ocean, peaceful, even asleep and dreaming. The clothing is much the same, flowing to the current and moving with the models in a manner of serenity.
Models Nora Li and Camilla Argent made the impossible happen, as Wong said, “Lighting and gear would be limited – shooting underwater meant that we had to work with what we had available: on camera strobes or natural light.” Yet their bodies looked as though they were in a studio and these complications were non-existent.
Wong created the highlight of his career with this collection, the unpredictable shoot required hard work and training, but in the end, the effort was more than worth it.
Image via thevine.com.au
By Amy Miller
A Photoshop addict/photographer has delved deeper into her photo-editing addiction with a series of images entitled ‘Photoshop In Real Life’ where she explored what life would be like if we could alter our real selves with the software. The 20-year-old from Hungary, Flora Borsi, told the Huffington Post: “I’m really curious about what people would do with Photoshop in real life… Maybe everybody would be perfect, but only [on the] outside? What would be the difference between us?”
See the pics here.
She says she is a self-confessed Photoshop addict and relies heavily on the program to manipulate each and every photograph that she takes. Flora even admits that this practice has ultimately began to affect her own self-perception.
In one images, shared on Facebook, Flora poses side-on, showing how her nose has been made to look longer and she is holding a toolbox with a mouse symbol clicking on ‘Puppet Warp’.