Step Rockets

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! I’m a little late with blog posts but I promise I have a bunch of drafts I just need to work on before posting them online.

This year has been the year of working with talented musicians and singers. I love these sessions only because I get my own private show of their talent, directed at my camera = directed at me = feeling all the love and feeling like I’m one of those private photographers for concerts (Still waiting for that to happen).

Check them out on https://www.steprockets.com/ & Instagram!!

 [L-R] Brady, Joshua and Johnny.

[L-R] Brady, Joshua and Johnny.

I’m very thankful for my friend Lee Vue for connecting me with them. I had such a blast working with Step Rockets: Brady, Joshua and Johnny. They’re each so different too so to see how balanced they are with each other despite their different personalties was fun to watch.

 Joshua

Joshua

 Brady

Brady

 Johnny

Johnny

As you may notice, we had a lot of fun with Projections and Gels, which is something I love to shoot.

Keep an eye out for all their updates and the photos from this shoot!! :)

Celestial Moon Goddess

Hello everyone!!! I know this is a long overdue post but I was reminded of this shoot I did with the super talented ladies: Vanessa Lawson, Brianna Violet, and Victoria Vang. So long story short, I had this amazing shoot with these ladies but we weren't able to post any of them up because I got them accepted into Salyse Magazine. The wait was long....a bit too long that I forgot about them as I continued shooting more projects.

Now you'll get to see more of the photos from the session and there's also a link provided below to view the magazine since we had the honors of being FRONT COVER TOO!!!

 Published in  SALYSÉ Magazine  | Vol 4: No 42 | May 2018  Model  Vanessa Lawson  MUA  Brianna Violet  Glitter from  The-Gypsy-Shrine  Assistant  Victoria Vang   GRAB YOUR OWN COPY HERE:  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1474685

Published in SALYSÉ Magazine | Vol 4: No 42 | May 2018

Model Vanessa Lawson
MUA Brianna Violet
Glitter from The-Gypsy-Shrine
Assistant Victoria Vang

GRAB YOUR OWN COPY HERE: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1474685

I am sooooo incredibly proud of these ladies!! Vanessa Lawson started her own business, launching her fashion line: Porte Celestial. Brianna Violet seems to be painting the world of make up and I'm in love with every new creation she does! You can check her work at Breezy Makeup Art. Victoria is my amazing graphic designer of a sister who's been doing hand crafted mixed media and doodles, you can check her work on her website

Without further ado, more photos from the session.

Michael's Challenge

 

I was super excited as soon as I found out that Michael's was challenging creatives to pretty much go into their shop and do what we've always dreamed of doing: photographing inside their store. Who wouldn't take advantage of this challenge?!?! I certainly did - although they announced it right before I got sick so I had to wait a few weeks before I actually finally did anything about it.

Thank you to the lovely model Houa Vang who reached out to me prior to my health for a shoot, I ended up asking to shoot with her for this. She was so lovely to work with and did a super job! Thank you to my awesome sister Victoria Vang for recording footages for me as always. I was able to keep a memory of this awesome day because of her. Check below for the behind the scenes as to how I shot these with no reflector or other source of lighting besides using the light that was given to me.

CONNECT

Photographer: Katherina Vang
https://www.maivabphotography.com/
IG @maivab | @maivabphotography
FB @maivab

Model: Houa Vang
IG @lovehouav

Assistant/Video: Victoria Vang
https://www.victoriakabvang.com/
IG @wtoriadraws

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Collab: Pretty Rock Girl Collection

Three years of being in love with her creations, I finally got a collaboration to happen between us. Pretty Rock Girl Collection has been on my radar for awhile now, I just love her pieces and they're amazing and glam with an edge - which I love! Check her creations out if you haven't yet!!

www.prettyrockgirlcollection.com

I got super lucky and was able to get the amazing Jennifer Chang to model the pieces for me too. Check her out, it took me a year of following her in IG to finally tell myself to just reach out but then she reached out to me first!! She's super awesome, I wish I had reached out to her earlier but it's ok cause we gonna work together again ;)

Special thanks to my sister Victoria for capturing all the footages for me (there's a reason why I've been lacking videos lately - my go-to assistant was too busy to follow me to shoots). She's also an amazing artist so go check out her work too!

Check out the video for behind the scenes and scroll past for more photos from the photoshoot. 

CONNECT

Pretty Rock Girl Collection by Zong Xiong
www.prettyrockgirlcollection.com

Photographer: Katherina Vang
https://www.maivabphotography.com/
IG @maivab | @maivabphotography
FB @maivab

Model: Jennifer Chang
IG @therealjchang 
Youtube Jenniferchang

Assistant/Video: Victoria Vang
https://www.victoriakabvang.com/
IG @wtoriadraws

 

Collab: Nahly Vue Photography

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Nahly Vue Photography who is a beginning photographer. Although she has recently started, she has already started gaining traction from her work and her ability to network so definitely check her out as she is going places :)

 Nahly fixing Kaozong's hair

Nahly fixing Kaozong's hair

Thank you to the beautiful Kaozong Thao for modeling for us and freezing yet again!!

I also created a really quick video from behind the scenes that I recorded as Nahly was shooting and the images shown are the ones I took since I wasn't able to videograph myself shooting. I'll also be posting my part of the photographs below.

CONNECT

Photographer: Katherina Vang
https://www.maivabphotography.com/
IG @maivab | @maivabphotography
FB @maivab

Photographer: Nahly Vue
IG @nalyvuephotography

Model: Kaozong Thao
IG @kaaaoozzzong

Hmong ABC
www.hmongabc.com

Collab: Linda Vang Photography

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.

 Collaboration with Linda Vang Photography Model: Keng Xiong of House of Xiong Designs MUA: Moriah Justin Assistants: Yeej Moua, Lee Vue, & Melissa Vang

Collaboration with Linda Vang Photography
Model: Keng Xiong of House of Xiong Designs
MUA: Moriah Justin
Assistants: Yeej Moua, Lee Vue, & Melissa Vang

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.

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CONNECT

Make Up Artist: Moriah Justin
IG @moriahjustin
FB @moriahjustin

Photographer: Katherina Vang
https://www.maivabphotography.com/
IG @maivab | @maivabphotography
FB @maivab

Photographer: Linda Her Vang
https://www.lvlovephotography.com/
IG @lvlove
FB @LV Photography

Photographer: Lee Vue
https://www.lumielumie.com/
IG @lumielumie | @lumieweddings

Photographer: Melissa Vang
IG @kazuamvang

Video: Yeej Moua
IG @yeejmoua
Youtube @yeejmoua

 

Below are the shots that Linda got of me as her model.

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Collab: Melissa Moua & Savannah Phoukatam

This was one of the most fun session I've ever had hands down. The ladies and I connected so well, we spent most of the shoot just talking and laughing. I met the beautiful Melissa Moua during work time at In Progress, she was one of the artist I taught for a few hours on photoshop and then I met her again during the Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival. I reached out to Savannah on Instagram when she liked and commented on the shoot with Lucy & Stacey. A little about these beautiful ladies:

Melissa Moua is a Filmmaker based in Minnesota, she currently won Best Cinematography Award for her short, "Memories". You can find her on instagram: @melissamoua

Savannah Phoukatam is a Make Up Artist who just moved from Boston to Minnesota. I was very excited as she reached out to me to work together - we slightly had fan girl moments when we contacted each other to work and she is so damn amazing, you guys don't want to miss this talented soul! She's looking for collaborations so feel free to reach out to her! Check her out on Instagram: @savanahtsang

 Model: Melissa Moua MUA: Savanah Tsang Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

Model: Melissa Moua
MUA: Savanah Tsang
Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

As this was the first time Melissa would be modeling, I wanted to easer her in so we had three different looks. The second look, I wanted to try something completely different from the vibe her instagram gave off and I'd like to think she pulled it off beautifully. The last one was just a little bonus round that we had lots of fun putting random things together. 

 Model: Melissa Moua MUA: Savanah Tsang Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

Model: Melissa Moua
MUA: Savanah Tsang
Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

I have to say Savanah is freaking amazing and so easy going. I don't work with many make up artists as she was one of the first artists to reach out to me and get super excited to work with me so seeing her in action working her magic was super....let's just say I fan-girled quite a bit during this session. 

 Model: Melissa Moua MUA: Savanah Tsang Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

Model: Melissa Moua
MUA: Savanah Tsang
Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang

The team was great!! Special thanks to Touchaingkong Yang for dealing with my lighting needs. He totally worked all the lights pretty much as we ladies spazzed our hearts out, best assistant ever!! 

So during the shoot, I was so completely into photographing that I forgot to take behind the scenes photos and I had my assistant helping me out the whole time with set up. So instead, here is the MAKE UP PROCESS - not a make up tutorial just to clarify - just the process of how the amazing Savanah does what she does and then the photos from her beautiful work. Also, sorry for the music, I haven't worked the audio through youtube before so it ends and doesn't come back....video noob here.

Connect

Photographer: Kat/Maivab
Personal/BTS IG @maivab
Photography IG @maivabphotography

Model: Melissa Moua
IG @melissamoua

MUA: Savanah Tsang
IG @savanahtsang

Assistant: Touchaingkong Yang
IG @teeseekay

Collab: Kachia Lee Designs

I know I'm behind on blogging but at least I'm working on them!! Most of them are saved as drafts until I finish editing so don't fear! They're coming!! Ok, so the shoot with Kachia Lee Designs happened because during the school year I was tagged to photograph her designs during a fashion design. Sadly, I wasn't able to since to help because at the same time I was focusing on studying for finals and creating content for work. Fast forward, the moment school was over or getting over (basically when I finished studying for finals), I reached out to her to work together.

Although I was tagged to work with her, contacting her personally was nerve-wracking and felt like finals all over again. I probably revised my message a dozen time. BUT she was such a sweetheart and made my anxiety levels normal again.

 Model: Mihoko Xiong Dress: Kachia Lee Designs Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang Assistant: Yer Vang Location: Sister's back yard Jewelry from Hmong ABC

Model: Mihoko Xiong
Dress: Kachia Lee Designs
Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang
Assistant: Yer Vang
Location: Sister's back yard
Jewelry from Hmong ABC

We met up a week or so after discussing which piece I wanted to photograph. After talking to Kachia about her design and what came to her as she was creating this piece, I knew that having the model in nature would work out nicely as that was also her vision for the piece.

Since a lot of my work falls into the Fine Arts category, I usually pre-warn those who I work/collaborate with about my style (if they didn't take a look at them themselves already) so I'm super happy whenever designers are willing to work with me knowing that the final results won't always be super editorial looking.

 Model: Mihoko Xiong Dress: Kachia Lee Designs Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang Assistant: Yer Vang Location: Sister's back yard Jewelry from Hmong ABC

Model: Mihoko Xiong
Dress: Kachia Lee Designs
Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang
Assistant: Yer Vang
Location: Sister's back yard
Jewelry from Hmong ABC

I went to my niece and asked her to model for me (as I was still too nervous to contact models to work with me) and I had my sister assist with the smoke grenade (which ended up being too close to the model and burning small holes into the design - yes, I felt terrible and I still feel terrible as I'm writing this because it could've been avoided had I been more clear to my assistant). I grabbed some jewelry from my sister's store and then my friend wanted to come along and second shoot so this was a close knit shoot and it turned out really quick and fun. Thankfully it was a cloudy day so we didn't have to worry about sharp shadows, we were worried it was going to pour but it didn't, so we got lucky. 

 Model: Mihoko Xiong Dress: Kachia Lee Designs Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang Assistant: Yer Vang Location: Sister's back yard

Model: Mihoko Xiong
Dress: Kachia Lee Designs
Second Shooter: Touchaingkong Yang
Assistant: Yer Vang
Location: Sister's back yard

I'm so grateful and thankful that Kachia Lee is such a sweetheart. I felt like I failed on my first collaboration since I burnt little holes into the green and pink tulle and I pretty much told myself I should never collaborate again if I'm just going to ruin beautiful designs but she told me everything was fine. Of course it didn't make me feel incredibly good, it just lessened the blow I was putting at myself. In return for screwing up on that portion, I wanted to provide her with the best photos. 

So, only let the assistant handle what they can handle. I was so used to my other sisters handling the smoke grenades and being pros with it that I thought my sister would be able to pull it off too. Not only that, give more clear and precise instructions to avoid hurting the model and the design she is wearing.

Thank you again Kachia Lee for allowing me to photograph your piece and forgiving me for pretty much ruining one of your first designs. I AM SO INCREDIBLY SORRY STILL!!!
 


Speed Retouching

Hello everyone,

I know it's been awhile since I last updated this lovely blog but I'm currently crammed with homework and work. I did, however, make a video update on my youtube account which you can see below. It's a super speeded up process of how I do my basic editing but I just wanted to showcase that once you get the image right, lighting, make up, hair and all that sort, there's only a little more to add on for the final results.

For some reason when anyone reads or hears you mention retouching, they automatically think that you change body proportions. You don't, well I don't at least. I do my best to stay true to BODY PROPORTIONS and that's because I, myself, struggle with my own body type. Why would I put anyone through that too? Anyways, I love retouching for my own personal reasons, just putting this out there that when I do retouching, I get rid of acne and color discoloration as you will see in the video. Then I also love adding volume to my volume-less hair. 

Thank you for checking back with this blog. I promise I'll do better to update after I finish my semester. For now, check my updates (if you want to) through instagram.

Winter Wonderland Glam

I absolutely love working with Joylin. We usually shoot together once a year but this year, it happened twice! We started in studio first as I am learning and experimenting more with studio photography. I wanted to end 2016 shooting differently than the usual so during the christmas haul, I went a little crazy with wrapping paper to use as the backdrops.

The wrapping paper worked beautifully although there are slight changes I would make for my next shoot with wrapper paper. Joylin worked her poses so beautifully, I had so much fun shooting away as we caught up on life. Towards the end of the shoot, we mentioned going outside, slightly cautious of the weather but she was all up for it. Which was great because I absolutely love Joylin with nature. 

Check out Joylin because she's beautiful and amazing and then scroll down to see more from this shoot.

Snow & Fur

SIDE NOTE: I'm a little behind on blog updates only because I had so many shoots within a certain time period so now i'm trying to catch up.

Another winter break photoshoot with the lovely Kaozong. The weather was freezing but at least it was the better day of weather compared to the rest of the week. I was lucky enough to have three assistants to make sure that I had everything together and also get a behind the scenes video. We spent a good 30 minutes shooting until it got too cold to do anything else. So thankful to have such a brave first time model who wasn't layered up much but still braved the cold weather. 

MODEL
Kaozong Thao
http://instagram.com/kaaaoozzzong

ASSISTANTS
Victoria Vang
http://instagram.com/wtoriadraws

Ericka Vang
http://instagram.com/pabgha

Sheng Yang
http://instagram.com/genrenormal

DETAILS
Pearls from Target
Fur from JoAnn
Smoke grenade from Genola Co.
Dress donated to me by photographer friend Lee Vue
http://instagram.com/lumie

Creative Shoot with Xiomara

A few weeks ago, I posted on my social media letting people know that I'm always up for a collaboration. A few days after that post, Xiomara personally contacted me to work together. For her first time modeling, Xiomara did an amazing job. She was super upbeat and bright, I absolutely loved working with her!

Model: Xiomara
IG @ yenefyxiomara

Assistant: Sheng
IG @ genrenormal

Photography IG @ maivabphotography
BTS & Personal IG @ maivab

My assistant and I worked on creating her look and played around with her hair with the items that I had available. She brought her dresses for us to play around with. This was a great first time shoot with her as we eased her from simple portraiture to more dramatic and extravagant looks.

To create the metallic look, I covered her with basically one metallic silver eyeshadow that was part of my metallic colored palette. The crown is a creation a did a few months ago using wire, hot glue and silver spray. The earring, I grabbed from my sister's store Hmong ABC. The pearl necklace I found in the party section at target.