Archive for May, 2011

May 23, 2011

Confirmed: Irma Sabanovic Deceased

It has, unfortunately, been confirmed that the female body found in blue Ford Focus pulled Saturday from the North Branch of the Chicago River was indeed Irma Sabanovic, who modeled under the name Ira Blackbird.

My thoughts are with her family and friends during their time of loss, and I’d like to express my deepest condolences.  I’m sure I speak for many when I say I was hoping for a different outcome–one in which she was found alive and well, after a misunderstanding of sorts.  I hope you all find peace soon.

Details: http://www.suntimes.com/5509522-417/autopsy-confirms-missing-model-found-in-car-in-chicago-river.html

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May 22, 2011

UPDATE: Irma Sabanovic

It appears that Irma Sabanovic’s body has been found inside her car, which was pulled from the North Branch of the Chicago River on Saturday.  At this point, it has not been released that it is her body for sure in the car, but the car matches the description of hers, and the plates match hers.  The area of the river the car was pulled from makes sense with where she last texted a friend from as well.  It is not looking good.

The good news (if you can call it that, with the circumstances) is that there appears to be no foul play involved, and her death seems to have nothing to do with the fact that she was a model.  It seems to have simply been a case of misdirection.  Still, it saddens me to think of how scared she must have been, and how worried her friends and family were.  I truly wish this were not the outcome, and that, like a few of the other missing models I have posted about, this turned out to be a simple misunderstanding on someone’s part, and Irma was alive and well.

My thoughts are with Irma’s friends, family and colleagues during this difficult time, and I hope that they find peace soon.

News articles:

May 18, 2011

Missing Model: Irma Sabonovic/Ira Blackbird

Please help find Irma Sabonovic (a.k.a. Ira Blackbird)!

Police are looking for Irma Sabanovic, a 25-year-old Rogers Park woman who modeled under the name Ira Blackbird.  She was last heard from after getting lost May 12 while heading to Exit, a Near West Side nightclub.

Irma Sabanovic left her home in the 1900 block of West Hood Avenue on May 12, with the intention of going to the Exit nightclub near Elston and North, according to a missing persons alert from Belmont Area Special Victims Unit.

At 2:00AM, she texted a friend that she was lost near Milwaukee and Erie. That was the last communication from Sabanovic.

She was driving a blue four-door Ford Focus with Illinois plate A465569.

Sabanovic is 5-foot-10 and 120 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. She is white with a medium complexion, and has a tattoo that says “Minge” on her right forearm and a tattoo of a star on her back.

Anyone with any information about Irma or her blue Ford Focus should call detectives at (312) 744-8266.

A search party is gathering to look for Irma on Saturday, May 21 at 12 Noon.  They are meeting at Warren Park, located at 6601 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60645.

If you are interested in helping with the search party, please RSVP to this Facebook event to stay in the loop.

More information and photos of Irma:

It is doubtful that Irma’s disappearance has to do with the fact that she is a model, and I have never met her.  I am simply helping spread the word.  I will update this post as more information (if any) becomes available.

May 11, 2011

30 for 30 Remix Challenge

Inspired by blogger Kendi Everyday, I’ve decided to take on a new challenge, in an effort to learn how to expand my wardrobe, improve my styling skills, and wear items of clothing that often get overlooked (on an everyday basis) for the easy skinny jeans, boots, white T and blazer that is my go-to daily look.  Heck, I might even save some money :fingers crossed:

I’ve opted to not include jewelry, scarves, belts, socks or tights as part of my 30 items, and be able to mix and match those items as necessary. I’m more concerned with trying to use 3 items that are either newer, or don’t get worn very often.

So, starting next week, with a few days for planning and reorganizing at home (I plan to put away the bulk of pieces I’m not planning on wearing), I’ll be starting the 30 for 30 remix challenge.  It’s very possible that I’ll deviate a tad from this, and won’t do all 30 outfits in 30 days, but that’s ok.

Here are the 30 items that I’ll be working with (more or less… many of the ones pictured below aren’t exact, but similar enough to pieces I have).  I’ve chosen 10 tops, 1 sweater, 1 jacket, 3 dresses, 1 romper, 4 pairs of shorts, 1 skirt and 6 pairs of shoes.  It will certainly be interesting.

I imagine my biggest challenge will be making some of the pieces I’ve chosen work for work.  I know for a fact that the lacy dress, the romper, all 3 pairs of shorts, and possibly the skirt are not work-friendly.  The tanktops either (at least without something underneath them).  But that’s ok.

May 3, 2011

Getting out of a Creative Block

A photographer on one of the modeling sites, HT Portraits, shared a blog post of his, which discusses some ideas on overcoming a learning plateau in terms of photography.  Given my last entry, and how the team I worked with stepped outside our comfort zone, I thought it would be appropriate to share his blog with you.

Before I do that though, I would like to address it from a modeling standpoint, as quite often a model reaches a creative plateau that can put her in a funk (of sorts) and result in all kinds of issues.  Boring, still poses, the same facial expression over and over, doing the same kind of shoots over and over… you get the idea.  I have definitely been stuck on that plateau before… and it sucks.  So, I’m going to take this blogger’s suggestions for photographers, and write some tips for models.  Here they are… 10 tips for moving past a learning plateau, for models.

  1. Ask questions.  And ask again.  Ask the photographers you work with to explain something about their lighting.  Ask models you know how they practice their poses, or acheive certain expressions.  Ask models and photographers about styling (or drop by your favorite retail store and ask an employee to help style you).  Ask an MUA you’re working with for a quick tip on makeup application.  Ask, ask, ask!  You can’t learn more if you don’t.
  2. Take a risk and try something new.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something you’ve never done before.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to try something you’re totally uncomfortable with (like nudes, or fetish), but try out a genre you’ve never done (pinup or horror, perhaps?) .  Maybe try out a new pose or a new expression (don’t be afraid to be vocal while shooting).  Go through  your closet and find 3 articles of clothing you’ve shot in before, and figure out a way to style each one dramatically different.  You won’t know it won’t work until you try it, and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
  3. Read through forums for an uninterrupted amount of time.  The forums on many modeling sites can be a wealth of information.  And a great source of entertainment.  Spend some time browsing through them and reading posts, looking at the profiles of people who post often, and just absorbing the knowledge that’s there.  If that’s not enough, you can use a site like www.tfp.me to search for posts on a specific subject, and learn more.
  4. Start an inspiration collection.  I’m a huge advocate of this, and have mentioned it before, numerous times.  See an image that inspires you? Save it to a folder on your desktop.  See an ad in a magazine you like?  Tear it out and put it in a binder.  Store window catch your eye?  Snap a pic on your cell phone and email it to yourself to save.  Carry a small notebook with you to write down ideas as they come to you, or even sketch things out.  Inspiration is everywhere, and when you open your mind to it, you’ll be surprised how fast it can come to you.  Especially when in conjunction with #2.
  5. Aim high.  Don’t just look for inspiration in average places.  Look at the best of the best, and see what they’ve done.  Be inspired to be the best, by the best.  Sometimes, though, inspiration can be found in a poorly done image, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Just strive to not only be inspired by what you find, but to do it better.
  6. Find mentors.  Everyone can use a mentor, no matter how experienced you may be.  Look for someone to offer you tips and advice in an area you want to excel in, and then ask questions.  Perhaps see if you can shadow them for a day.  Maybe find a mentor in a different area–a photographer for example, instead of another model–to help teach you about other aspects of your craft.
  7. Take a break.  I’m also an advocate of this, having done it numerous times myself.  The length of the break doesn’t matter–take however much time you need, and don’t let anyone pressure into coming back until you feel you’re ready.  Sometimes, it’s as simple as turning off the computer and putting down the smartphone for a night, or a weekend.  Other times, you have to step away for a few weeks, or even months.  Stepping away from something, no matter how much you enjoy it, can give you a fresh look at things when you come back to it.
  8. Teach others.  Sharing your knowledge can be very rewarding, and you can also learn things from those with whom you’re sharing.  Offer to mentor a new model, or host a workshop for new photographers.  See a question being asked in the forums that you know an answer to?  Answer it!
  9. Get paid.  When you are getting paid, often, more is expected of you.  And quite often, that alone makes you step up your game and work harder.  When you work harder, you learn more, not just about what you’re doing, but about yourself.
  10. Enjoy the journey.  That’s right, enjoy what it is you’re doing along the way to wherever it is you want to be.  Take some time to make art, to shoot what you want to shoot.  Immerse yourself in a concept you’ve been dying to do, or something you’ve never done (see #’s 2 and 4), and while you’re doing it, have fun.  Never, ever forget to have fun.  If you do, once you reach your goal, you’ll look back and find yourself wondering if it was worth it.  You can still work hard, but take some time to enjoy both your work, and the results from your work.
So those are my thoughts on breaking out of a creative funk, or learning plateau, as HT Portraits calls it.  A model’s POV.

Now, take some time to read a photographer’s take on it, for other photographers.  

Though models can learn from HT as well 😉

Beating a Learning Plateau in Photography

May 2, 2011

I love pie. And this team.

Every once in awhile a team gets together and consistently creates great images.  Which is awesome, but sometimes, you all need to step outside your comfort zones and try something new.  That’s what Christian Carlson, Christin C and I did on Saturday.

We started out with a set I’m calling Eyes, Lips.  Christin used her skills as an artist to not only flawlessly do my makeup (and hair), but place an eye on one hand, and a lip on the other.  Christian busted out his gels and we shot a beauty set that was way different for all 3 of us.  Here are my 3 favorite shots from the set.

  

But then things got crazy.

This concept started out in my head just as a wardrobe idea, and was inspired by various people and things (songs, actually).  I made the “Diva” shirt, the earrings, and gathered a bunch of accessories together after getting inspiration from music artists Ke$ha, Dev, and P!nk.  When I sent Christin my wardrobe ideas, she came back with this mask idea, and I managed to find a material that worked for it.  She also had this great shot that involved Silly String, which we decided we wanted to include.  I also found large sequins at Hobby Lobby, and snagged those (glitter would have been way too hard to clean up, and may have just looked like dirt in the shots, which wasn’t what we wanted).  I brought a few empty cans of AMP as well.  The set evolved from just a musically-inspired set to one that evoked thoughts of having been out all night partying.  Which, thinking about who I drew inspiration from when it came to wardrobe, works well too 😉 LOL

Anyway, after the first set, Christin and drew on the mask I’d cut earlier in the week while Christian broke down his backdrop and re-set his lights.  And then we drew on me.  And then we piled on the accessories, tied on the mask, and started shooting.  I’ll just let the resulting shots speak for themselves…

 

  

 

Somehow, we managed to get them to be a little editorial, as well as a little crazy.  I feel like we were channeling a lot of different people here, and it kinda just… came together wonderfully.

This was, quite possibly, one of the most fun shoots I’ve ever done.  I have laughed on shoots before, but never this hard.

I think this conversation we had while reviewing pics sums it all up perfectly:

Christian: Wow… this looks like the set of a porn or something…
Christin: Yea, but it’s so awesome it makes me want to shit rainbows!!
Rachel: Christian, did you ever think you’d hear that about your work?

Check out the team’s Facebook Fan Pages, and LIKE THEM!

Christian G. Photography
Christin C Makeup

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