Scar Photoshoot

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Inspired by an article featuring disabled models, I set out to do my own photoshoot documenting the injury that almost cost me my life. my first photoshoot since the accident. It’s a deeply personal project, so it’s a bit different from my normal, fashion-esque or derp-faced costume shoots. I went out on a limb with this one, but tried my best to keep it thought-provoking, yet tasteful. It’s an artistic documentation of my accident scars, along with some of the emotions I’ve felt along the way. I dedicate this series to every one of you out there that has scars.

We survived.

(I set out to create an evocative (but not sexy) photoshoot. It was quite a challenge. (Not to mention for mobility. These pictures were taken a few months ago when I had just started using a cane, so I was still quite wobbly on my feet. But I was determined to get these pictures and wasn’t going to let my disability stop me. It was a bit of a nervewracking process as I don’t tend to reveal much of my body on camera (I lean towards the more modest side of things), but still needed to show the majority of the scar. I finally came up with the solution of wearing a long-sleeve, high-cut leotard to both cover and expose the right parts.)

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Every scar I have makes me who I am. Imperfection is beauty.

(That is, in fact, a scar on my left eyelid. My friends have been calling it my ‘superhero scar’ or my ‘chic/fashion scar’ due to it’s placement. In person, it looks like I’m wearing light red eyeliner fashionably on one eye. Fitting for The Lady Nerd, no?)
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From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, “I survived.”

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“My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed. They are markings of where the structure of my character was welded.” – Steve Maraboli

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Our scars remind us of our past. They do not define our future. (I was determined to stand for this photoshoot on my own two feet. No walker, no crutches, no cane, no help. Just my own God-given strength.)

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“A famous explorer once said: The extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.” – Tomb Raider

As the conclusion to my photoshoot, I leave you with one of the more daring things I did – to balance myself on my cane. I don’t know what on earth possessed me to try this, other than the sheer curiousity to see if I could. But I was able to hold it for the mere seconds long enough for the camera to capture it. Even though I’m only 4 months out from the accident, I’ve learned one very important truth – that the only disability in life is a bad attitude. My handicaps will not silence me.

Photographer: Trent Chau

Fur and Feathers Photoshoot

Fur and Feathers Photooshoot

Lauren Athalia, a snazzy Tennessee photographer asked if I could model for her (in exchange for a costume shoot I approached her about doing). She had a photography series she was wanting to shoot called Furs and Feathers – a fusion of fashion and animals. (Though in terms of co-stars and highlighting local rescues and animal organisations. No animals were taken advantage of in any of the shoots.) You can see more of her work on her Facebook page –> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-Athalia-Photography-Design/272197242805463.

The shoot I was asked to model for was the last of the series. The original idea was to have me in Christian Dior-esque apparel surrounded by miniature horses. Alas, getting the horses to work with us was a significant undertaking. They could have cared less about this bedecked human peacock running around their grounds trying to guide them for pictures. Grass, as it happens, it much more interesting. So unfortunately we weren’t able to get the shots Lauren originally envisioned. BUT the owners of the horses had an amazing backyard that we used to our advantage. That coupled with Meredith Malone’s absolutely beautifully designed outfit made for some very neat shots. It was definitely a departure for me to be wearing a blonde wig (and with a snazzy top hat!), but it was a neat experience to see myself so transformed from my normal brunette look. But without further adieu, here are the photos…

Fur and Feathers Photoshoot

Fur and Feathers Photoshoot

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Fur and Feathers Photoshoot

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Fur and Feathers Photoshoot

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Stay tuned for the next post for a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot!

Photography & Editing: Lauren Athalia
Custom Skirt & Neck Ruffle By: Meredith Malone
Hair: Kristina Noel Wojtkowski
Make Up: Galilee Bagwell
Lighting Assistant: Josh Wood

© Lauren Athalia 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Inspire Magazine Photoshoot 2 – Vintage Vamp

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Sometimes student photographers can pull out some amazing shots. I rather like working with college photographers, still practicing their craft and wanting to get their feet wet. There’s a lot of room for collaboration and helping them branch out in content and feel more confident in their work.

I really enjoyed working with Rachel of Samonia Portraits, even if the location was a bit hazardous. It was a beautiful abandoned mansion in Atlanta, but oh my…hot Georgia summers (with nearby stagnant water) make for a hotbed of mosquitos! Apparently I was on the lunch menu for a group of local mozzies, so my best friend got to play connect-the-dots with my plethora of mosquito bites when I came home for dinner.

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And that was just my back! You should’ve seen my legs…

Photographer: Samonia Portraits and Designs
Assistant: Richard Ladd
Makeup: Lou Lou
Hair: Sweet Peach

Inspire Magazine Photoshoot 1 – Futuristic Dreads

Tearsheet from Inspire Magazine in Atlanta (2013).Magazine1174627_10100383866784728_1443905184_n
I remember looking at myself in the mirror during the shoot and being reminding of the twins from the Matrix. Suddenly I showed up in print as a duo. Coincidence? I think not. jraglin_futureedge_036_mirror_lojraglin_futureedge_047_mirror_lojraglin_futureedge_070_mirror_lo

BEHIND THE SCENES

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So according to this shoot, Caucasian women of the future wear Na’vi dreads and abstract geisha makeup. I’m okay with this!

Photographer: Jerrica Raglin – http://jerriphotography.com/
Assistant: Rachel Wright
Makeup: Kat Yin – http://www.modelmayhem.com/2214500
Hair Stylist: Nina Lee – http://www.modelmayhem.com/2692677
Wardrobe Stylist: Crystal Owens and Donald Leslie –http://www.modelmayhem.com/2941583

Geek Couture – Vogue Loki

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(Note: Another new section! On Wednesdays, I will be rolling out Geek Couture – a category of the blending of the fashion world and geekdom. To give you a better idea of what I mean, I thought I’d start off with one of my own creations…)

Shortly after the Avengers film came out, a friend suggested that, in no uncertain terms, I should do a female version of the title villain, Loki. After a few rounds of online research, I came to the conclusion that the only femme designs created at the time were cocktail dresses or short Lolita-esque frocks (not that I mind anyone wearing these sorts of things, mind you. The designs just didn’t quite jive in my head). Loki has a flair for theatrics, so I figured if everyone showed up somewhere in cocktail dresses, Loki would show up in a full-fledged gown. Why? Because she could. So I quickly sketched out a two-piece gown inspired by both the film and comic version of Loki. My representation is not as exact as I wanted to keep a high fashion element to it. Thus Vogue Loki was born.

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The biggest deviation on this costume design was that I pulled from my experiences as a model and love for high fashion to craft an haute couture look. This ended up being the main influence for the photoshoot, to push it more towards looking like a magazine editorial.

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COSTUME NOTES:

Hair: My own hair simply blowdryed, brushing the hair back from the face then spraying the heck out of it for sheen and staying power.

Makeup: MAC makeup artist Aisha Daly did the honours. She did a mixture of black and green eyeshadows with green glitter eyeliner on the top and gold glitter eyeliner on the bottom, complete with false eyelashes and black glossy lipstick. (We also opted to go for a “no eyebrows” look, common on high fashion, but also because that is the look Female Loki in the comic sports!)

Dress: All one piece made by Angelica of Angelly Cosplay – https://www.facebook.com/angellycosplay?fref=ts (I designed it completely, but I can’t sew to save my life, so I left that in her much more capable and talented hands). The green fabric is 100% polyester made to look like silk dupioni (we used the wrong side because it had a nicer sheen to it). The skirt has 13 panels in it to give it that wide, flowing look. The black material is actually a polyurethane psuedo-leather skirt from the 80s we hacked up for the vest-like piece. On the shoulder, we put in a brass zipper from Hobby Lobby, pulled apart with separate strands on each shoulder.

Necklace and cuff: Forever 21

Tights: DKNY

Shoes: Aldo

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Picture 1: Brownlee of RBC Image (https://www.facebook.com/RBCIMAGE)
Pictures 2-6: Kyle McLaughlin (http://www.studiokgm.com/)