Soooo....I'm super behind on updating my blog posts and that's because life has been a whirlwind and kept me busy from everything I had to do. But I'm here, alive and breathing, preparing this blog post for you all.
I had the amazing opportunity to I got to work with the amazing Photographer Linda Vang and again with Designer Keng Xiong this summer (I had worked with Designer Keng before the Fresh Traditions Show in 2016). I met these two while on a road trip from the US to Canada and it was fun and amazing and a lot of driving and a lot of me getting motion sickness. We stopped in Indiana because a friend of mine had gotten married right before we left and she had moved to Indiana with her husband, so of course, we took the time to spend a week or so with her before heading back home to Minnesota. I honestly don't remember the story of how they met my friend but they were super welcoming and loving to us and after learning that Linda was a photographer and Keng was a designer, we had to connect.
When I got home, Linda and I talked about collaborating for months and then when Keng and I made our collaboration happen, Linda and I knew now it definitely had to happen. So we finally decided on a date and on a whim, started planning.
Planning in the beginning was a mess, as always but we ended up with an awesome team. We had Keng modeling random thrifted outfits as well as her own designs. We knew we would be having a team of photographers/videographers: Keng, me, Melissa, Lee and Yeej. We also got the amazing make up artist Moriah Justin who joined us and completed the magical transformations. I also got transformed since I had wanted to experience it and experiencing it, I did!
The location was recommended by Keng as she has driven by it a few times. Its the abandoned City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana. I had my sister Melissa and my buddies Yeej and Lee join us for the shoot as I knew I needed help driving to get there since it would be a seven hour drive. We were pretty burnt out by all the events that had taken place the week before so I was nervous that it would be a waste of time for them. Thankfully, everything seemed to flow nicely as soon as we all started gathering. We also met a lot of other photographers and the church was so much bigger than we had imagined. There were so many nooks and crannies, of course you had to be careful because everything was slightly falling apart but it was super cool to explore the space.
Much props to Linda and Keng for pretty much planning everything. I was pretty dead with all the events was taking place and I had no inspiration whatsoever but since I had already agreed to this shoot, I couldn't miss it since we planned it so many months ahead already. I went in pretty much telling the ladies not to expect too much creativity out of me because I was completely drained and they were such sweethearts. As mentioned, I got to model for Linda and she completely transformed me. I was so nervous that I would ruin her photos as I am a completely different person when someone else takes photos of me (yes, I cannot channel my self portrait poses...) but she did amazing and I was completely awed with the results.
Here are the photos I took from this collaboration.
Photographer: Melissa Vang
Below are the shots that Linda got of me as her model.