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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Snap shots of the week

The trip to Belfast

Eating out in the sun

The very, very, very wet trip we had to the Giant Causeways

The Titanic Museum

The photo shoot with Maria Lola Roche

The 2013 Griffith College Fashion Show

The Photographic Exhibition of the II Year students

How fancy a margarita looks right beside a pint of Guinness...

Enjoy this beautiful sunny Sunday everybody!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Through their cameras

Hello again!

As Creative Week goes on, here I am as promised with the updates from another one of the events that en lighted this week: the Photographic Exhibition of the II Year students of BA Photography.
It took place in the Avenue Road Gallery of Portobello, which means that from college we could easily walk there and that' exactly what Tiberio, Chiara and I did the evening of the inauguration, two days ago.
Well, that's what we did after ironing Tiberio's shirt and getting ready for the very first public exhibition of some of our friends' work.
Sounds like a pretty big deal?
Well, if was for sure, and one of the biggest proves of that was the dedication that our lecturer (and sometimes hero) Kevin Fox put into the preparation and organisation, bringing what we usually call promotion to a whole new level by screaming from his bike to everyone he passed by to go there and participate...

Must say, all the effort was very well repaid again:
The gallery was a lovely little but very cool space, which almost looked like a old factory but whose metallic door made me think of a cool loft or the studio of a modern artist just as the ones we sometimes see in movies.

When we got there the two rooms where the photographs from some of the students were displayed were already filled with people chatting and commenting what they were seeing,
but also drinking and enjoying the refreshments that were being taken care by some volunteers among the First Year students of BA Photography.
The same students that hopefully will see their own works on these walls next year.

But for now it was the big moment of this year II Years'.
Even if not all of them exposed their pictures, and I know that among the ones whose work we didn't get to see were some very, very talented ones, the average level was quite high.
Talking with them I found out that apparently the most difficult thing was choosing just some pictures among their entire body of work, which they all have been developing during the year by doing their assignments but also coming up with their own projects.

I must admit that even if I loved very much Tomasz Kornas' photographs 

which were so smooth and very well edited, 
and I also enjoyed many other ones 

The photographs I liked the most were my friends' ones...

Karen was exposing three black and white photographs which she has taken in an hotel room which she had chosen as the location for her photo shoot.
They surely got the attention of many of the participants and chatting with the people around myself, asking them about their favourite photographers, almost all of them mentioned Karen.
Very well done job and she was glowing, just as much as her mum and her auntie who joined her for the evening.
I must say, the all looked like sisters!

(Karen with her gorgeous auntie)

(Karen with her mum)

(Karen and me)

Of course, Sami was also among the students exposing.
I think he made a very clever choice for what is his ind of photography: he exposed just one pictures, big and framed.
The result was extremely strong, also due to the pictures itself which I thought was absolutely amazing.
That is exactly the kind of picture that I would hang in my house: so beautiful and yet so powerful, a great example of fashion photography but on a much more artsy lever this time... he nailed it and it was so good to see him smiling while Chiara and I were complimenting with him!
Especially because I know how much work he has put into that shot, which he has been showing me for a while now and which I always thought was great, despite not really realising how great until I saw it hanging on the wall in its huge awesomeness.

(Sami and me next to his photograph)

Talking about the style that each one of the students has developed until now, their identity as photographer, I felt like every one of then represented their unique personality and wanted to send a different message with their photographs.
But if you asked me, there was one of them who was a little more unique then all the others.
There, among all the landscapes, experiments, fashion shots, four pictures which you just couldn't avoid looking at, as it should be with any documentary which deserved to be called that way.
Do you remember (I hope you do...) Tiberio Ventura?
The ultimate fashion photographer during Maria Roche's huge and amazing (and very long!) fashion shoot last week?
Well, you should know that Tiberio is just starting now to consider fashion as a valid alternative (which he should as he is very good at that too...) but until not so long ago, he was all on for a very difficult and challenging type of photography: Documentary.
Some people would call what he does a Reportage, and that also helps the ones of you that are not great at definitions to understand a little better where you could find pictures as his ones: an issue of National Geographic, an exhibition in some big museum around the world, the web site of the Pulitzer Price awards, maybe.

At this point, a bell should ring in your head.
It would for sure if you saw the pictures live (get to the exhibition!)...
But you would be even more surprised if you knew the story behind these extremely powerful shots.
In fact, as a respectable documentary which is well known to be a long thought process, they are the result of Tiberio's work of an entire summer which he spent inside of a mental institute close to where he lives in Italy.
Initially he just wanted to go there and take pictures, but he soon realised that it would have been way too upsetting for these people having the issues they have to see someone photographing them all day without a reason.
That's when he unexpectedly turned into a volunteer nurse in the clinic, spending time there every day to familiarise with the patients, learning their stories, observe them and finally, introducing his camera to them as a form of game they were playing together.
Finally, he took the pictures, 

and he choose four of them to be exposed in Avenue Road Gallery.
Sounds unbelievable?
I know...
He didn't do it?
Oh no he did it, despite spending three months in a mental clinic in Italy which is probably not the place you would want to spend your summer at age 20, believe me...

But apparently timing is not an issue for Tiberio, instead he likes going for the long shot, as he did again last semester when he has been trying to get in touch, following and photographic Drag Queens all around Dublin for his successive project, which turned out to be pretty amazing as well.
Do you want to see more?
Are you amazed?
I am as well and I assure you, he got my attention so badly that I think you will have many more updates about his work since now...

He is also about to launch a web site for his portfolio and I promise I will share the link with you here so that you'll be able to see more and more and maybe get in touch with him as well and give him your opinion about his work.
I am sure he would be happy to find out that someone is actually able to understand the meaning behind these pictures.
The suffer, the hope, the effort that they require, which goes beyond carrying the camera and doing endless brain storming that end up looking like a cherry tree in May...

(Chiara, Tiberio and me)

I think he was pretty happy about the result, which was proved by the fact that he actually asked me to take some pictures of him beside his work...

But I was not the only one as many other asked him to strike the pose (lol) next to his photographs.
In fact, it was so nice to have with us students that evening all the lecturers and the people who help us and follow us during the development of what is our practical work but also out identity and our probable future.
One of them was Steven, photo technician and former Saint always available to help us with the equipment or if anything is broken, gets broken, is about to brake while we shoot in the studio and outside.
But apart from that, he has always demonstrated to be genuinely interested in our work and what we do, which feels so good and which I must say is not so rare in Griffith.
Sometimes I think about out College as if it was some sort of very big family: a place where we spend a lot of time, we struggle but we also have a lot of fun and, just as my friends photographers whose pictures are still on show (you have until the 26th to get there and have a look...) a lot of satisfaction...

With this thought I will leave Dublin and my fourth semester of college here.
And honestly, I cannot wait to start over again and do more, learn more, meet new people who will inspire me and make the last year even more special...

(Chiara, Antonina and me)

And to all of you, who will hopefully keep following me through my journey,
Stay tuned!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Beautiful walking assignments...

What a week everybody!

But not just because it's my last one in Dublin before going back home for the summer...
In fact, after an entire year spent working on our pictures, videos, garments, our college celebrates us students with the so called "Creative Week", during which we get the possibility to show our portfolios but also be featured in shows, screenings and exhibitions...

Sounds amazing?
Well, it is! And even if everybody is very nervous and super busy organising everything, this very last effort before taking some time off is so worth.
Tonight I am so looking forward for Tiberio's photographic exhibitions which I will keep you updated about, but today I'm going to show you some snaps from the Griffith College Fashion Show 2013 we went yesterday night.

I wanted to go to that show since the beginning of the year as I have some friends in the Fashion faculty and I just couldn't wait to see their finished work.
Also because last year the College Fashion Show was the exact same evening of the Om Diva fashion show in the attic in Drury Street and of course I had to take part to that, therefor I missed seeing last year's collections from the students...

But when I started asking if it was possible to get a ticket for this year's show, everybody told me that it would have been much harder as it wasn't going to take place in the auditorium anymore but in the actual fashion lab as they meant to make it a much smaller and exclusive event to which they invited the press, photographers etc...

I had almost lost my hopes when Tiberio told me, some days ago, that Maria might have been able to sneak us in or provide a ticket for us.
I was so happy about it and I couldn't wait, even if it was not sure, just the idea made me so enthusiast!

So yesterday evening at around 6 we popped in the Reception of the College which is just in front of the fashion lab, already embellished and ready for the Runway show, and met Maria's manager who gave us a ticket.
The excitement was palpable, as all the families and the students themselves were running around and trying to get everything ready in time.
Luckily, there happened to be an extra seat for me and that's how Tiberio and I ended up sitting down in the lab, among the parents and friends and also journalists and press members who gathered in that small but beautiful room to see the work of these young talented ladies...

The show was also being screened in the big screen outside of the room, live, so if someone hadn't made it inside, they would have been able to watch the show from a even better angle just being out in the Reception.

I must say, I was very impressed from the pieces which walked down the runway.
The show was divided into three parts, each one corresponding to the students of each year of the course.
First year students had just one garment showed, 

second year ones had two 

and the final year had their entire six pieces collection walking down the runway.

In between the second and the third year pieces, before the grand finale, the specialists' collection was showed, which impressed me because of the great crafty textiles that they have created for their garments.
Some of them were so new, so different that they really made me wish I could have a closer look or even touch them to find out how did they make them...

The how factor is a pretty big one, because these girls really didn't pull back in terms of structure and construction of their pieces...
Not at all, they pushed it so hard and the result were extremely well made pieces, whose lines and seams looked just perfect.
That is quite understandable from a third year fashion student, but I was astonished of how good and sometimes complicated were the creations of first year ones: among them there were some of my absolute favourite.

But as I said, what made me the happiest was seeing my friend's creations.
The result of a year of super hard work and commitment, which was very well repaid from the great feeling of showing something they were 100% proud of.
Linn Hatleid for example, who is my absolute favourite with her strong style, great constructions and practical ideas that make her garments haute couture but absolute ready to wear at the same time: every designer's goal basically, and she is just at her first year. 

At the end of the show, she was assigned one of the four Internship awards that were up for grabs for the fashion students this year and I must say: I cannot think of anyone else deserving it more than her!

But also Maria Roche, whose pieces I finally saw walking down the runway and they looked just as amazing as I thought they would.
They were absolutely fantastic, especially her magical fur coat and the old style dress with the structured skirt.

Strange but true: even if I had already spent and entire day doing nothing but looking at these pieces, seeing them again didn't take off the surprise and excitement I felt the very first time I had seen them.
I guess they'll have that surprise effect about them which will make me say "wow!" every time I'll see them, just as if it was the very first time.

Shouts also to Giovanna Bursa, who I didn't know before yesterday and whose creations I hadn't seen before, but who I thought was one of the most talented ones among the designers.

Her use of contrasting fabrics and particular colours I did really like and I think the presenter of the show did too as she was wearing one of her pieces.

After the show, the speech made by the President of Griffith College and the awards being assigned to the girls who proudly walked down the runway accompanied by one of their models, 

we all gathered in Arthur's bar for refreshments 

and a bit of music and chat.

The atmosphere was still filled with excitement, but at the same time we all could feel as the girls were normally breathing at that point after such a long time holding their breath because of the huge amount of work they had to do until the very last minute.

It was such a nice evening, and I was so happy to get to meet some of the girls' families as well.
It was so lovely to see how proud their parents are of them, and how supportive they are toward their work and talent.
That's probably a great help for them too.
Now they'll have some very well deserved rest, but some of them already told me that they cannot wait to come back in September and dig in, learn more, do more, create more...
Sounds crazy right after their final show?
Well, not so much to me, as this is the call of passion and even if we do sometimes, passion and talent never go on holiday...

Congratulations to all of you talented ladies!
I cannot wait to see everybody's new collections!

Stay tuned!

Monday, 20 May 2013

A day with Maria's

Hello my dearest ones!

I am just back from one of the most intense trips I've ever done.
In fact, three days ago Penelope (my flat mate), Antoine, Clemence, Tibault and I went up to Northern Ireland to visit Belfast and some other places around there.
Of course, I will update you with pictures of the trip and chronics about what we did and were we went, also because I have a little idea about how to use some of these pictures I've taken which I will try to develop in the next days...

For now I'll just tell you that we had a lot of fun and because it was so eventful I feel like we've been away for so long and we've built so many memories which I will keep with me next year when my friends will be back in Paris...

But today, or maybe I should say tonight as even if  love my blog I couldn't sit down before showering when I got home, I want to give you a chronicle of something else which I hope is going to blow your minds as it did with mine.
Before leaving for the trip, I've been working with my friend Tiberio as his assistant during a photo shoot he was taking pictures for.

It was something absolutely special: the final fashion photo shoot of Maria Roche'

very talented fashion designer who is graduating this year from Griffith College, despite being already an awarded designer as she won the UCD Young Designer of the Year 2012 award, and ready to rock the scene once she will be out of College...

We already had a test shooting almost a week before the actual shoot, where I could see some of her creations from the collection she made last years and with which I completely fell in love.

But when I saw the pieces she selected from her latest collection for this shooting I couldn't help but being astonished of how good she is, first of all, but also of how much her style reproduces what is my ideal of couture.
Loads of black and white with some strategical colour hints,
clean lines,
She has got it all and she is not afraid of the critics of the ones who doesn't like her style, which I really admire about her, as it means that she has her identity clear in her mind: a basic ingredient for a good designer.

The day of the shooting started quite early, as I met Tiberio in the Studio at 8.15, just to set up the back ground that Maria had painted on a smaller format and then got printed and made into a giant panel.
She also painted the bottom part of the stage, which was made of a very nice rough material on which she painted a big black star.

The final result of the stage all ready was so simple and yet very cool and somehow perfectly coherent with the style of the clothes...

The hair dresser, professionals who came from the midland to attend Maria's photo shoot ( and the wonderful make up artist who made me wonder if she herself was the model, Blue Evans, were the first ones who came to the set after Tiberio and me, 

and who waited for a while to get started as the model, Irish Top Model Rasma Dzene ( of Assets Model Agency got stuck into traffic, making all of us nervous as we thought we were going to have to deal with a diva, which she was so not.

Nice and fresh, she came in her casual clothes and no make up at all, but after some minutes of preparation from the two magic women en charged to take care of her following the suggestions of Maria about style and colours,

 they turned her into an incredible creature, so beautiful that you could have made her up in some kind of game trying to reach for perfection.

Also, Maria creations seemed to be made for her, as everybody was astonished of how goof the fit and the entire look was on her when she came out with the first piece to be photographed.

Another prove of the fact that she was really the one to wear these kind of fashion creations which could actually be quite tricky 

was the fact that any times during the shooting we seemed to be a little stuck, talking about poses and angles, and by just moving her hand, slightly turning or doing something else she blew us away and became absolutely perfect, with all of us screaming and laughing like kids in a candy shop: "Don't move! Don't move! Stay like that!".

Believe it or not, the shooting lasted almost ten hours.
But what was crazy was that we almost never paused, just because all of us couldn't  wait to see the next creation coming out of the changing room...

Each one was looked better than the previous, as Maria's collection really is a great example of couture.
So creative and original, but cool in a kind of dark and rebel way at the same time, 

while looking at Rasma being photographer by Tiberio I imagine how it would be to see these pieces going down the runway, which will happen very soon at the Griffith's final fashion show: magical.

Also, the great job that came out of the shooting in form of pictures was due to the great team which participated to it.

The hair stylist, Vanessa, was such a perfectionist, always ready to fix even the smaller rebel hair which was not where she wanted it to be.
Blue, the make up artist who was the absolute best one I've seen at work (and believe me, I've seen quite a few now...): she transformed Rasma but without over-doing her look.
Her skin being so great and her eyes being so gorgeous and expressive, the model was a good base canvas where to start from, but if there is something I've learner attending fashion photo shoots during all the course of the past year is that a make up artist can really make it or break it.
And she made it, definitely.

Tiberio, last but not least, was then the structure who kept everyone together: the photographer.
He is a very good one indeed, and even if he usually doesn't define himself as a fashion photographer and even if I myself imagine him with his camera wondering around and building controversial documentaries much more than in a studio, I think that because of his "different" touch he will have to reconsider himself in the fashion environment...

Because he is used to look at something different than a model posing in a studio, he has that eye which makes it look different even when he actually is shooting fashion, which means that the shooting itself carries that very particular vibe that makes the pieces, the photos and the identities involved, photographer and designer mainly, very recognisable and, most important: unique.

I have to say, even if it has been a very eventful year during which I've been lucky enough to attend a good few photo shoots, especially fashion which are the ones I prefer also because of the atmosphere that is usually involved,
I really think this one was the best.
Or at least my absolute favourite.
I really felt like I was close enough to the job I'd like to do one day, as this shooting gave me everything that I'd like my job to give me: being in a creative environment surrounded by great people, great professionals I should say, and having the feeling of being creating something special...ART.

Shouts to Maria, the amazing designer whose work and sleepless nights made all this possible, 
but also to the entire team, a group of fantastic people who will probably work together again as they just clicked in the perfect way, creating a fun working environment without compromising the high quality of the work.

A great, long day and the perfect conclusion of this semester and college year.
At the moment despite being quite excited about holidays and the summer, I cannot wait to start a new one which will hopefully be even better, thanks to everything we have been achieving so far!

(Maria Roche with her model Rasma Dzene)

(Gorgeous Rasma and me)

And you, of course, as usual: 
Stay tuned!