It’s been quite a while since I did a round-up of covetable things and whatnots. I’m making my comeback, and I’m giving you 8 things (mostly from Manila) that you girls need to have to be style-savvy and jolly this summer. Let’s start.
Customized Insta-totes from W.E. Garage - These days, Instagram has literally become the place where everyone puts their best memories. But guess what? W.E. Garage has thought of a better way to showcase them–tadaaa! All you need to do is send them 20 snapshots of your choice and they’ll make a customized Insta-tote out of it for you, all for Php 499.
Rings from Viva La Manika - We heard these ‘wearable art’ pieces are on sale until tomorrow. ATTACK!!!
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color iPhone case from Young Wild Free - Because even your iPhone demands to look pretty. Period.
Intimates from Free People - In this sweltering heat, let’s not deny that we’ve been wearing the skimpiest clothes ever made–I know I have. So, if the world must see our undies, let’s make sure they’re worth looking at.
Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter cupcakes from Sweet Patti Cakes - Hot weather makes for hot tempers. But take a bite of this (my personal favorite from an array of flavors they offer), and you’ll forget you even had a bad day. Heck, you might even forget your name. Head on over to Da.u.de at The Fort and have one with your girlfriends or have a dozen made and delivered right at your doorstep–whichever suits you.
Flower crowns from Moonbeam by Polina - For the slew of upcoming music festivals and hippie events you’re going to attend, don these flower crowns like a true blue flower child. Artfully handcrafted by a friend of mine Pauline Suarez (who is, incidentally, as pretty as the flowers she uses for these things), you can avail of a piece for definitely less than a thousand pesos.
Dress by Porfi Medina - Suddenly, a posh summer party pops up out of nowhere and you must, must, must go. In need of the perfect dress? How about this baby pink number? I almost despise anything pink, but this is just gorgeous.
Short jumper from Zara - Because it’s as cool as it is convenient.
(and the bonus) Marlon Texeira from…Brazil. – I still maintain this Brazilian goodie in any and all of my lists. I mean, why wouldn’t you want him? (cue laughter)
Gather your wits, ladies and gentlemen–after they’ve been monumentally scattered by the release of Thor: The Dark World trailer. We know, we know, it seems like eternity, waiting for this follow-up. Chris Hemsworth resumes his role as the mighty thunder god from Asgard, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest.
And it seems there are a number of interesting things to look forward to in this second installment; Thor teaming up with Loki, a new villain played by Christopher Eccleston, and oh, did you see Sif give Jane the bitch-stay-away-from-Thor-he’s-mine death stare while the three of them walk side by side?
Premiering in October, spot the film’s first trailer up top.
Take two of the most prominent Dutch producers in the EDM industry, Laidback Luke and the DJ Mag’s 6th best DJ in the world, Hardwell, put them together on a track, and you will be sure to get something really goddamn explosive. Well today that track, “Dynamo”, has taken us on a tour de force of progressive house and electro. The track starts with a strong bass beat and a rising synth line, the track kept from being conventional through a few elements: a much calmer break than typical Dutch house tracks towards the end of the song, even a well-placed siren which often can be cheesy but came off strong. Not to mention the DROP , which, as many tracks do today, borrows elements from the Hardstyle genre for an intense assault on your ears. Be sure to check out this upcoming club banger!
It’s been a while since I’ve heard from the hip-hop collective OverDoz. The California-based group decided to release a new record for the 4/20 “holiday”. ‘FSWSAD’, for F*ck-Smoke Weed-And-Sleep-All-Day, is another solid track by the crew as they’ve included LA-based rapper Problem in their lineup. We’re still waiting for information about their upcoming album but in the meantime, we’re not complaining about this new release we have to tie us over. Press play!
A photographer to the industry’s most high-profile models from Sean O’Pry to Francisco Lachowski to Jon Kortajarena, to name a few, and having had photographed for international magazines like Elle and L’Officiel, there is no doubt that Filipino Renie Saliba is living his dream. When the opportunity and the luck to do an ambush interview with the insanely busy photographer over Facebook struck, I knew I had to take it–and ask as many questions I could.
Renie, a native New Yorker since he moved to the big city at seventeen years of age to pursue his dreams, now finds himself living them. With years of passion coupled with hard work, here he is, divulging his story and art to me–and now I’m sharing it to you all.
Renie with some of the male models he has worked with
How did you get started? What inspired you to take photography and how did you get to where you are now? What’s your story?
It was about five years ago when I was working just a regular job in New York City. I picked up a W magazine and flipped through the pages. I fell in love with an editorial by Mert and Marcus. I also wanted to create a story that could be in magazines like that. I went out and bought about 30 disposable cameras, because I couldn’t afford a digital camera then. That was the beginning of it all. Since then I have became more and more familiar with my likes and dislikes, and have become more aware of how I would like my work to be seen as an artist. Nothing happened overnight, but I gradually worked my way up from the smaller publications to the bigger names.
Renie with Tom Ford
Having worked with different high profile clients and models, which shoot do you consider most memorable? Likewise, which would you rather not do again?
I always like to have as much flexibility in my work as possible. I make a lot of in the moment decisions while I’m shooting to make everything come together. As far as clients are concerned, I prefer shooting more editorial jobs because I can be more creative. With the models, I always shoot people who I am really excited and inspired by, big name or not. I really enjoy shooting undiscovered models who I think have great potential. I have no regrets with any of the shoots I have done.
Name one “undiscovered talent” you know you see so much potential in. How does he or she inspire you?
There are so many “undiscovered talents” that I know of at the moment, but I won’t mention any names right now!
How different is the local industry (Philippines) from international in terms of aesthetic, style and work environment?
Since I have began shooting, I have mostly only worked out of the New York and European markets. I am not too familiar with the style or aesthetics of the clients in the Philippines, yet. I would love the opportunity to work with clients in Asia in the future.
Some of Renie’s works with international publications:
I’ve noticed that you work a lot with male models. What is with the male form that you like to capture? Have you worked with female models, too?
I started shooting men from the beginning of my photography career when I was beginning to build my portfolio. It was something that was natural and comfortable for me shooting. I also shoot women, but not as much as men. This year you will see more women and celebrities in my work. I like to be continually challenged. I want to reach the new point in my career.
Are male models like Sean O’Pry really that “perfect”? Are you required from time to time to retouch photos? What is your stand on photo retouching in fashion photography?
I don’t believe anyone is necessarily “perfect.” As least not in everyone’s eyes. Some people may see the same person completely differently, or hold a different opinion. Sean is a great model to work with, not only because of looks, but also because of how he contributes to the mood on set. He is very easy to work with, and knows what angles are best and moves accordingly. I would describe him as a performer as well, than just a model.
I believe there definitely is such thing as “over-retouching” Sure, every photo may get a little retouching if needed, here and there, but I prefer my work to be as natural as possible. I don’t use photo retouchers because of this reason. I like to work on my photos so they look the way I envisioned them to be.
Jon Kortajarena as photographed by Renie
I love your work, not only with Sean, but also with Francisco Lachowski! How was it like working with him?
Working with “Chico” (as I call him) was amazing! The moment he walked on set, I knew he was something special. He is very charismatic, polite, and has so much energy on set .
Mert & Marcus inspired you to pursue photography. Do they happen to be your favorite photographers? Their work couldn’t really be described as something “natural-looking” as these photographers themselves admit to the amount of retouching they do to their photos. How is it that a duo who’s work rely heavily on computer graphics influence you as someone whose style seem to be the polar opposite?
Mert & Marcus are definitely one of my favorite artists. I think they’re great at what they do. People talk of how much retouching these guys are doing, but to be honest I think their retouching is necessary for the type of image they are creating. The first time I came across their work, I knew nothing about retouching. I was inspired by them because of the dark and rich colors they use and the composition of how they shoot their stories.
What is your advice to any young aspiring photographer out there?
Keep doing what you love, Find something that inspires you, set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there, believe in your work, don’t compare your work to other photographers, Try to learn something new everyday, Be the best that you can be! Good luck and I hope you all the best! Happy shooting!