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: Stacey Moua Photography

We first reached out to each other when Stacey posted up a need for editing help a year back or so and I reached out to her first through messenger since the post got a bit spammed and I lost track of the questions. Fast forward, my friend Cha told me that I should meet up with Stacey in person because Stacey is amazingly cool and lots more of other facts that finally pushed me to contact her.

The first time I reached out to collaborate with her, I caught the flu and couldn't make it. I felt so bad that I just kept to myself until Cha and I got together again and she was like, JUST CONNECT AGAIN GIRL! So that night, I drafted my message and sent it to her hoping there wouldn't be any more issues that come up.

 Collaboration between Maivab Photography & Stacey Moua Photography Photographer: Katherina Vang Model: Lucy Vang Make Up & Hair: Mai Vue Assistant: Ericka Vang

Collaboration between Maivab Photography & Stacey Moua Photography
Photographer: Katherina Vang
Model: Lucy Vang
Make Up & Hair: Mai Vue
Assistant: Ericka Vang

So before the shoot, it was raining and I was hoping (because MN weather is bi-polar) that it would stop raining when we got to location. Which it did! Thankfully! During the shoot, it was beautiful, the sunset after the rain just helped the glow on her skin and it was just beautiful. Although when my sister and I headed back home, we got lost, it was a fun mini adventure.

 Collaboration between Maivab Photography & Stacey Moua Photography Photographer: Katherina Vang Model: Lucy Vang Make Up & Hair: Mai Vue Assistant: Ericka Vang

Collaboration between Maivab Photography & Stacey Moua Photography
Photographer: Katherina Vang
Model: Lucy Vang
Make Up & Hair: Mai Vue
Assistant: Ericka Vang

Thank you Stacey for putting this shoot together! You gave me more confidence to contact creatives about working together. It's one of the struggles I go through having anxiety and I'm thankful to have awesome people like you guys help me work through my anxiety with me.

So here's a little clip of what went on behind the scenes. We're missing a chunk of the middle of the photoshoot because we were putting our assistant to use (I have my assistants record if I don't have them hold the reflector or something). 

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. 

New Focus

Hello there,

As a birthday gift for myself and as I turn 25 this year (in a few weeks), I decided to revamp my website a bit. Here, I hope to show you the creations that went into the process and work of the end creation. My goal is - for the shoots that require more crafts - to record the process or photograph the process and end with a D.I.Y. sort of thing for you. Letting you know that you can also create all the things I created for the shoot. Of course, if I didn't create the item, I will provide where I bought the item as well.

I hope you are as excited as I am to learn more about how I do what I do. As the new year comes, I hope to share and create more content for you to see!!

Sincerely,

Maivab