Monthly Archives: September 2010

Are You Lost Cowgirl?: The Castro, San Francisco

The difference between bad photography and good photography is perspective. And what’s the difference between good photography and amazing photography? The story.

Here ate the, my office is currently located on the streets of Union Square, San Francisco. I’ve walked around those streets so often that I’ve even begun to see the same employees taking their cigarette breaks. In order to change things up, I drove over to the Castro in search of some real style. The Castro district is famous for being the epicenter of the gay community. So why not search there? Gay people dress well so…so why not?! I mean hell! EVERYONE is probably swimming in rich fabrics from Prada, Burberry, and Chanel! This is going to be AWESOME! YAY!!!!

yay? When I got there I was expecting finely tuned suits but instead, I got assless chaps and leather boots. But hey! I’m bound to find at least ONE immaculately dressed man, right? Nada. I was walking around for about an hour and just as the sun went down, I started to lose hope. Then…at the corner of my eye…I saw this woman. It was dark and she was poking her head into an outdoor menu of a Chinese restaurant (the kind that probably sells items such as “Kung Fu Chicken Crispers”).

This was such an odd sight. Here I am in San Francisco, taking a picture of a urban cowgirl who is looking at fake Chinese food. WHAT IS GOING ON?! Needless to say, there was something about this outfit I liked. There’s an innocence to her look and the outfit is actually tailored quite well. However, the question still remains: What’s her story? I’ll never know the answer to that question but I guess this is one of those moments in life where it’s best to just shut up and enjoy the view. See you Space Cowgirl.

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Roger Sterling’s Son: Union Square, San Francisco

One of my favorite things to do when I post pictures on this website is to figure out “who does this person look like?” Do they resemble a cartoon character, a celebrity, or a creature made of complete and utter beauty? For this guy it was quite easy: Mad Men.

I mean seriously, do you really need to look longer than 2 seconds to know that this guy just came back from a Mad Men casting? PUHLEAASE! But now the question remains: which Mad Men character is he? He’s too slim to be Don Draper, and his clothes are too fitted to be a Peter Campbell…Hmmm…AHA! He looks like a young/modern version of Roger Sterling! (If Roger was very…very…very young.)

This past year I’ve grown to love–NAY! OBSESS! about the color blue. Blue is fresh, it’s Fall, it’s Winter, it’s Spring, and it’s neutral. Blue is the new black. From the blue pants, the tinted blue jacket, and his light blue checkered pocket square, you really forget that it’s all blue and instead, you just feel a sense of neutral wonderness. I love this outfit very much and if Peter Campbell had a child with a very young Roger Sterling (surrogate mother perhaps?) then that baby would be very proud of this man’s outfit.



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Mr. [Fresh and so] Clean: Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Don’t you just love the first week of school? New people, new girls, new classes, new girls… One thing that I’ve taken note of is that in college, a lot of people dress very….collegey. Raggedy shirts, torn jeans, Wallgreens brand flip flops. WHAT’S GOING ON?! Why are people dressing so…so…SHITTY!? and then comes this guy…

BEHOLD! THIS is how stylish you should be during the first week of school. If Peter Campbell (from Mad Men) lived in 2010, I think he’d dress like this man. What I also thought was pretty cool was the super cropped sweater a la Prada Fall 2010. It’s always nice seeing ideas from the runway projected onto the street. But hey! Who knows? Maybe Prada was influenced by this guy.

Oh, and does this place look familiar? These steps are actually in front of the Academy of Art University, SF aka, the same place that I took this shot during my 1960’s photoshoot. Cool beans!


Filed under Men, Summer

Asians Are Scary! :Union Square, San Francisco

Believe it or not, Asian tourists are the scariest people for me to photograph. It’s not that they themselves scare me, but rather it’s the idea of trying to talk to them. It’s hard as it is to convince random strangers to allow me to photograph them but to do so with someone who isn’t 100% fluent in English? Fugetaboutit! It’s usually ends up like this

Me: Excuse me, would you mind if I take a picture of your outfit?
Asian Person: ha?
Me: Me, take a picture of you? Yes?
Asian Person: NOOOO! NO NO NO!

If you can weather the communication storm, you can get some pretty damn good shots. Asian tourists have some of the most unique and different styles. From quirky prints to creative colors, they definitely know what they’re doing. Just look at this girl: look at the color of her bag in relation to her hair, and that Joan Holloway-esque top. She looks like a piece of caramel wrapped in blue plastic! Yummm :)

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Black Is The New Black: Union Square, San Francisco

When an artist uses the same medium over and over, he begins to hone
and improve his craft. He becomes quicker, smarter, and more creative.
Is there such thing as artistic perfection? No, not exactly. However, I do
believe that true artistic perfection exists when a person discovers their
thing; a specialty or a niche market. Once you’ve been able to distinguish
yourself from the rest, you are in a league of your own and thus, you’ve
reached perfection.

I‘m only 4-5 months into this blog and I’m already starting to weed out
the kinds of photos I don’t want to take. Initially, I took a few shots of this
man: full body and close up (as shown above). Although the full body
was…well…full body (which allows you to see the entire outfit), there’s
something about this shot that I really love. It’s so… personal.

The closed mouth, the accessories (clubmasters, ribbon, jewel), the hair,
and the black truly paint a portrait of who this guy is. For starters, he’s
definitely unique. His style is not only old school, but really old school
— as in 1800’s. I don’t know if it’s just me but I could totally see this guy
walking down the runways of John Galliano. So here’s to this very retro
man, and his incredibly retro style. *If you look into his glasses you can
see me, and it almost looks like he’s a giant ready to squash me!*

You know what? F*ck it! I’ll just post the full body picture anyways! :o)


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Hips Don’t Lie: Union Square, San Francisco

Throughout my time spent taking pictures in San Francisco, I’ve come to realize that the women in this city walk extremely fast. I’ve been told many times before that I walk fast but these ladies? Jesus Christ! It’s like they’re getting ready for the Amazing Race! They just zip right past you like a beam of light! They look like super fast robots that walk in a straight line without bumping into anyone, crashing right through a glass door –  It’s insane!

With the dress picture above, I was at a crossroad (literally and figuratively): do I run ahead and try to get her picture or do I just take the shot from here? But then I started to look at all of the details and the mind blowing shape of this woman’s dress. I mean will you LOOK at those hips?! For all I know she could look like the hunchback of notre dame with her left eyeball 2 inches lower than her right, but from here, she’s a goddess!

The sleeves are short and sexy, the shoulders have this texture as if it were fish fins, her hair is strong and powerful, and those shoes! Not only are they mini-skyscrapers, they also match her dress in this “I’m revealing myself but only a little” kind of way. But really notice how shapely this woman is and how form fitting that dress looks on her. This just goes to show you that a dress can look amazing even from the back!… eh…that didn’t come out right….

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Filed under Paparazzi Style, Summer

The REAL Gucci Man[e]: Union Square, San Francisco

I was walking briskly through the city when I saw this man speed across the corner of my eye as I said to myself “hmmm, looks like he’s wearing Gucci….HE’S WEARING GUCCI?!” Now boys and girls, there’s a big difference between the Gucci you know and the Gucci this man knows. The Gucci you know is shown in his bag, while the Gucci this man knows is actually everything from his shoes to the entire suit itself. Yes, he’s wearing ALL Gucci.

It’s weird seeing this, ya know? I’ve been keeping up with Frida Giannini’s work (Gucci’s Creative Director) for many years and I can honestly say that I have never seen an entire outfit on a real person, in person. I feel like a giddy school girl when I saw this but I was actually pretty excited seeing him wear this. Coincidentally, this man added me on Facebook and it turns out he’s a Gucci connoisseur! With most of his wardrobe consisting of Gucci products, he wears these luxurious clothes to work, parties, and even the supermarket.

Even though I think he would look much better in a 2 button suit as opposed to the 3, I still believe that this man has some pretty good style. I like the way he discreetly tucks in his scarf and I especially admire the level of break in his pants (which is none at all). So here’s to this man, a wonderful walking advertisement for Frida Giannini’s incredibly work. Molto Bello!!

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The San Francisco Girl: Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

As a 20 year resident of San Jose, I can say with conviction that the fashion in this city lacks in luster. A wave of mass produced tops, dresses, t-shirts, and shoes have flooded my city. Around every corner, in every strip mall, I see person after person wearing the same damn thing. Am I dreaming? Have I been transported into a world where every girl dresses in uniform?

One of the things I search for when I take photos in San Francisco is the San Franciscan version of the San Jose girl. And guess what? She does dress better. I like how this skirt is hiked up just enough to show off the curves within her legs. This is a pretty confusing outfit and your eyes tend to jump around a bit but it still makes sense: The scarf relates to the skirt, the shoes relate to the belt, and blazer relates to her Gilda-esque hair.

This just goes to show you that in fashion, there’s a difference between being loud, and making a statement.

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Smoking is Cool! : Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

Some of the outfits I photograph will bring fourth mixed feelings. At first I might hate it but as I take the time to look over it, I start to like it even more. Unlike those pictures, I actually learned to like this picture less.

Okay, before you start grabbing your pitchforks and shovels hear me out: the outfit is great but what really gets to me is the fit of his pants. If ONLY his pants were more form fitting and slim, he would look absolutely perfect. What I adore about this ensemble is this sense of enlarging. He’s a pretty tall guy so he can pull off the huge shirt collar, but what makes everything proportional is his huge (but short) tie (with cool stitching on the outside which give it this quilted feel), and that fairly rectangular belt buckle.

He just seems pretty damn slick – like a modern day Serge Gainsbourg. What I also noticed is that for once, I actually think he looks pretty cool smoking that cigarette. I’m not a smoker myself so generally I find it hard to be attracted to others who smoke, but this guy looks pretty damn believable with those sunglasses. So please, for the love of McHammer, wear a slimmer cut pants! We will love you for it!

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Waiting for Love: Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

I don’t know if this is just me but don’t you feel a certain level of romanticism with this picture? I can’t pin point exactly what it is, but I’m strangely in love with this shot.

Okay, so you have these boots that give her this look as if she could stomp on a freakin watermelon, yet her jeans are soo slim fitting and unbelievably sexy that it creates an almost neutral vibe. Everything about this is incredibly incredibly subtle. The cigarette and diet coke, the girl pigtails, and of course, that facial expression.

I mean of course, she’s probably taking a break from work or waiting for someone, but it really looks like she’s waiting for someone. That look on her face is just soo familiar; it’s that face you make when you’re waiting for someone you care about, or someone you love. It’s the face you make because even though you have to wait for an hour or two, you know that the person you’re going to meet is well worth the wait… :)

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