La Photographie: Free Spirit

Here are more photos by Eman. For these, we had to travel a short distance up a mountain within the city, to the home of CJ and Eman’s friend. The place was lovely, by the way. Cool and quite isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. I had to bring a bag full of clothes and shoes for the shoot. For this particular session, CJ asked me to bring dresses, adding that the shoot will have a bohemian theme. And, as is the case with the La Vie Boheme series, the clothes I brought to the photo sessions with Eman and CJ hold a special place in my heart. For instance, the graphic dress here is a favorite.

I brought, like, at least 4 outfits for the Bohemian-themed shoot. I think. But we started late as it had been raining. So, we didn’t get to photograph all the outfits I had prepared. Anyhoo, here are some photos.

This set is among my favorites by Eman. This and this are two other favorites.

During my pre-teen years, I was obsessed with beautiful clothes. Not for me to wear but to dress other people with. So, there begins my love affair with fashion. I’d draw dresses and gowns that I imagined would look great on beautiful women. Yeah… And, I had aunts who encouraged my budding love for fashion, which I greatly appreciate then and now. So, yes, when I was young, I had this great secret dream of being a fashion designer.

Then, a few years later, I discovered the wonderful world of photography. I remember daydreaming about being a fashion designer-cum-photographer when I was a teen. But alas, my young self simply had no sense of priority and many interests were pushed back to oblivion. Many things got in the way, as is as was usually the case with me. But I did try.

My first attempts at fashion photography was back in college. My models victims were my sister’s friend, Gacy, Angie, the sister of my dear friend, Israel… and cousins Summer, and Anya, who was just a tiny tot then, and my sister, Kat. Anyway, more about that on a future post. I’m hoping I’ll be able to find and salvage copies of the “glamour” photos I took as I have moved houses several times since and could only guess where the photos are now. I’ve been using film back then, and am therefore crossing my fingers, praying to the gods that I’ll find those photos in good condition. I’ll be posting them here once found.

Such is life… Jette



La Photographie: Stylista

So, here’s a third set of photos by dear, Eman. These are very different from the first set of La Photographie photos I’ve posted, perhaps because those were taken during the day while these were taken at night.

I’d have to admit, I’ve come to enjoy posing for Eman. What, with the images that he comes up with? Who wouldn’t, right? The first time I saw these photos, I was very impressed. I like working with him, and CJ. Eman’s calm and let’s me be myself. The only pressure I felt during the sessions were from myself as I really don’t know how to pose. I’m not at all comfortable being photographed. But Eman managed to capture a good angle of me, which is a wonderful surprise.

And basically, I rely on CJ to tell me what to do. Often times, I really feel awkward. And if he’s not there to tell me how to pose, I’m at a loss. And besides, my face is given to exaggeration that people often get the wrong impression about what I’m feeling or thinking- e.g. When I’m really tired that I could barely manage a smile, I try to relax my face, but to others it may seem that I’m angry or glowering. Case in point: At dinner some weeks ago, MissL and I were the only ones left at the table. We’ve been talking when suddenly, there was a pause, I thought about relaxing my face a bit and tried to void my face with any expression, at least I thought I hardly noticed MissL was staring at me when I heard her ask:, Mum, why are you always angry? I was surprised because I’m not always angry and that evening, I was feeling particularly fine. See, I have little control over my facial expression, which gets me into trouble sometimes, if not most times.

Overall, I’m grateful to CJ and Eman for being a source of encouragement. They’ve made me feel good about myself one way or another, no matter how short a time or few.

On the other hand, I am more comfortable behind the camera, taking the photos. I’ve always been fascinated with how moments are captured in pictures. I’m quite sentimental about many things, if you might have noticed by now. So, yeah, at a young age I’ve already been kind of  obsessed with taking photos. Family members have been somewhat irked by my compulsion to take photos almost everyday. I let them say whatever they want to say so long as I get to take my pictures. But, their criticism do get to me and I get distracted and my resolve to take pictures wanes. At times, I’ve had to repress the urge to take pictures. But that’s how things are and I’ve learned to just roll with life’s highs and lows. As the Rolling Stones song goes, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you find, you get what you need…”

Such is life… Jette


La Photographie: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Unfortunately, this is not a review of Stieg Larsson’s book nor is this an article about the 2011 movie starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. No. The title simply refers to the theme of a shoot inspired by the movie. My dear friends CJ and Eman are big fans of the movie and they wanted to do a shoot in tribute to the movie. They asked me to model and I was happy to oblige. Eman photographed and edited the photos.  CJ came up with the theme and directed the shoot. I , on other hand , was asked to bring clothes and accessories befitting the theme.

Teh results:


These are the second set of photos by Eman that I’ve posted. You can view the first set here. Or, you can check out more of Eman’s work @ La Photographie! | EArnaez Photography.

Some fifteen years ago, I’d never be caught dead doing this. I was never comfortable having my pictures taken. For those obligatory photos, I’m either frowning or smiling nervously. I was never confident in front of the camera. Hilariously, even until now. But it’s a state of mind I’ve learned to put behind curtains when deemed necessary, which is evidenced by the  numerous outfit shots I’ve had taken since… hah! And yes, I do cringe at my photos most of the time, but I try to console myself with the thinking that people have different preferences, tastes, and perception. That’s me hoping that people won’t find my photos repulsive (as I do). Oh! For the record, I’m not referring to the photos in this post or any of the photos that Eman took. I actually love how Eman make me look nice in his photos. But I was referring to other random photos taken since my teen years,.

So, why don’t I just remove/delete or not post the photos if I don’t like the way I look in them? I’ve considered that. But, after a long and thoughtful consideration decided against it as an ode to imperfection. It’s such a cliche to say “nobody’s perfect.” But I forget. It’s only human to always want to look/seem perfect.

At some point or another, I’ve tried so hard to be the best person I can be. But, hey, really? Reality is, you can’t please everyone and you’ll only end up being duped yourself. You put so much effort into pleasing others- don’t do this and that, should do this and that, etc. You’re very careful to be always pleasant and all, but others would always find fault in you, look for flaws. So, what gives? You end up hating yourself, hating life, which is so wrong because life is meant to be lived and appreciated, lived to the fullest. So, how do I handle criticism? With as much grace as I can muster.

People are given to make assumptions about other people and certain circumstances or situations. But it’s when those people begin to consider their assumptions as facts, pass it on to another person, that gossip goes out of hand. And, yes, of course there are others who simply make things up just because a) they want to look good; b) they lust after what that person they are trying to ruin has.

And, in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve been a victim of damaging gossips a few times in my life. I was naive and very trusting for my own good, and was complacent to boot! I’ve never cared much for gossip. I still don’t. I’m not inclined to listen to or make gossip. And that is why when the gossip is about me, I’m usually last person to learn about it.  Often, I learn about the gossip too late, like a year or so after, leaving me with very little or no chance to disprove the gossip.

Once, I brought this up with some person. He asked, “Why are you bothered at all? Is it because you’re guilty?” No. Absolutely not. It’s just not fair, is all. I grew up with the idea that if you don’t do others wrong, no wrong will come to you. SO NAIVE.

Anyway, mistakes and regrets are all part of life. It’s how we deal with them that dictates how our lives unfold. Live and let live.

Such is life… Jette


La Photographie: C’ est la vie

As mentioned in a previous post, my good friends Eman and CJ asked me to model for them a few times last year. I was happy to oblige as: a) I was bored; and b) I’ve realized years ago that I’m not getting any younger. Thus, I should try to be bolder and, well, just have fun while I still have some youth on me. Right. So, the photoshoots kicked off some time June, I think. And if you’d care to notice, my hair has grown longer in later photos. Til now, I haven’t had my hair cut since January 2012!

We had, like, four photoshoot sessions, give or take. So, I’ll be posting them in series. For the first set, here’s some lovely photos that were shot and edited by dear Eman.

La Photographie! | EArnaez Photography: Never Let me go

For these, we actually took a bus out of the city. It took us about an hour or so to get to the town, which included a narrowly avoided fatal accident. Our overloaded bus skittered on a very narrow rough road, carved out of the mountain side. Seriously, the bus was on the verge of the cliff! So, imagine how terrified we were when the bus tipped onto its side, threatening to tumble off the cliff. With our breath caught in our throats, we looked at each other, wide-eyed and tongue-tied, disbelieving. Gratefully, it wasn’t our time to bid dear life adios. So, when we go to our destination and off the bus, we just laughed off the incident once. On our trip back to the city, we took the safer route, as common sense would dictate.

By the way, here’s a few other photos taken on the same day at another location.

You can check out more of Eman’s work @ La Photographie! | EArnaez Photography.

 Such is life… Jette


La Vie Boheme: Building a Mystery

Another week in the life of this dreamer. Has life been kind? Here, I escape to.

Anyway, here’s the final installment of the La Vie Boheme Series. This, by far, is my favorite. The outfit, ambiance, expression, and overall effect seem to come together to give the photos the vintage-y and magical feel that I was actually going for. Yey!

And, yeah… Sarah Mclachlan was a big part in the latter part of my college life. Night and day, I’d listen to her songs over and over.

Part 5: Building a Mystery

Thanks for dropping by. If you got time, do check out Part 1: Verses in the Life of a Girl, Part 2: Worlds Collide, Part 3: Strangeness and Charm, and Part 4: Cinnamon Bun.

Such is life… Jette

La Vie Boheme: Cinnamon Bun

Here’s the fourth installment of the La Vie Boheme Series. I might have gone a little ambitious with my editing skills here. I had some difficulties lightening the face part in these photos as my sister was posed against the light, looking down, and I wasn’t using any reflector. These photos required a bit more effort to edit than the photos in Part 2: Worlds Collide, and Part 3: Strangeness and Charm.

Oh! And that book that Ella is pretending to read is actually a random book (by Han Suyin, titled “…and the Rain my Drink-” might be a good read…?) I picked up in a book sale some months ago. Earlier, when packing or this shoot, I mistook it as one of the books by Robert Jordan that The Mister owns.

On the other hand, the big book that Ella carries in Part 1: Verses in the Life of a Girl is Book 10 of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time fantasy series. Crossroads of Twilight. The series was introduced to me by The Mister. While pregnant with MasterD, I spent the evenings reading books 1 to 9. I’ve been  fan ever since. I just learned that the final book of the series (Book 14: A Memory of Light) was recently released. So, The Mister and I are both looking forward to grabbing a copy.  Can’t wait to complete the collection and finally find out how the story ends. Of course.

Part 4: Cinnamon Bun

Such is life… Jette