February: Slow Short Cold Month – Model, Cover, and Other Photography – Irish Visit, Xolos Game, and Work Ahead

February was a slow short month. I didn’t do nearly as much work as I should have.

And I’ve been sick for the past three days.

Still sick right now.

My nose and lips are so fucking dry. My head still hurts a bit. And I get cough attacks.

It’s near the end of it I think… I hope.

Because I have gigs to take care off that I haven’t taken care off as of yet.


Cough.


Winter came back heavily. February was really cold in general. It’s going to be cold for the next week or so.

And by cold, I mean California cold. Which is a surprising low 40s and high 60s. Should be at least 10 degrees warmer by now.

The cold is not helping.


Goals were not remotely accomplished. I was going to play more guitar… and I stopped.

I was going to write more…

I didn’t.

I was going to take more pictures…

I sort of did.


That’s how February started. I met with a friend of mine who wants to try modeling more and I want to do more pictures.

The first session was bad. But I learned a lot from my mistakes. I’m so used to doing paparazzi-style shots, long exposures, or food pictures.

I thought taking pictures of pretty girls was going to be easy. I’ve seen a lot of other photographers doing it. It should be easy, right?

It wasn’t.

Here are two pics from the first session:

She didn’t really like that pic. And I understand why. I liked it at first, but the more I look at it, the more I know how it could be way better. The 24mm is not good for portraits. It’s not good for much. Actually, from a set of over 500 pictures… she only really like done. I ended up choosing like 80 and ended up with under a dozen that I liked. Not a good ratio.

This is the one she actually liked.

And to do that, I actually had to employ some paparazzi techniques from back in the day. I let her walk in front of me and then told her to turn around over the shoulder.

A favorite of my brother to do with celebrities.

Something that works really well with models.

Here’s the model’s Instagram if curious.

That she wasn’t happy with the pictures sort of brought me down. Maybe I’m not supposed to be trying this shit and I should do what I really know what to do… and I’m not sure what that really is.


Then. A picture of my cat.

Pet photography is also tough, but Bisho is photogenic.


Next… I had another friend that also wanted to do some modeling, for personal stuff.

And why not? I’m taking all sorts of models that want to pose. That’s the idea.


These are some of the pictures I liked the best.

With her, I was way more comfortable. She did yoga poses and sort of played around more with posing than the other model. Even though she was also doing this as a complete noob.

It was sexier and I found myself directing way more. Step that way. Hold this pose. Do this. Do that. And it worked out.

I took over 300 pictures and she was happy with my edit of over 40. So if she’s happy. I’m happy. Compared to the first model who wasn’t really happy with the results.

This was one of the best pics, and it happened while she was changing.

As the gentleman that I try to be, she was changing to different outfits next to me, and I looked away or look at the frames that I had so far.

I asked her if that was going to be the outfit, and I took pics while she was changing… and it worked out. That was one of the best pics. It has some American Apparel feel to it. And that’s sort of what I like.

I don’t really want to do much dirty/boudoir stuff, but more like sexy fashion contrasting with abandoned places or creepy alleys, interesting spots, run-down buildings… Not sure why, but I like that.

This is her Instagram. She uploaded different photos with different edits.


Of course, more pics of my cat.

And did some basic street photography for why not.

Clowns make you happy in the way that you think to yourself “at least I’m not that clown.” Thanks, clown. Your sadness takes a bit of my sadness away.


And I met with the same model again. She wanted to try again. And I learned so much just from shooting two different models. The need to direct.

So… we met again. And this time it was way more comfortable. And we both did better.


It started on my balcony.

That pic is a bit soft… But I like when hair covers one eye.

They say that the first couple dozen pictures are a waste. So to waste pictures, we started at my apartment.

Turns out that she even like the first pictures.


We climbed to the roof, same than with the other model. And it also went great.

I took over 500 pictures and edit down to over 100.

This time, she liked a lot of them. Like a lot. Around 60 of them. She’s uploaded two into her account, but she sent me a screencap of all the ones she actually saved on her phone.

SO YES!

It went way better. This is one of the ones she posted. That’s on my roof (and she didn’t credit me har har har).

I’m learning how to play with sunlight instead of expecting magic hour to be great, learning how to play with shadows. It’s fun.


The apartment manager is here fixing up the cleaning room in my kitchen.

My apartment has changed so much. I’ll get to that in a second.


Oh shit. So much to tell and I’m almost at 1k words.


OK MODEL MODEL MODEL.

It went way better. We went around town. We found pretty walls with pretty colors and shit, that turned out great.

I found out where my brother’s studio lights are in Los Angeles and I should pick them up soon.

Here are the other pics.

Solid bright walls make for great pictures.

And no.

Those aren’t my jeans. The model has three brothers so she is tomboyish and likes to wear very baggy clothes.

She also wanted a picture at the liquor store. So we did this.

She doesn’t like the way I edit, so she uploaded a different version on her IG.

I popped up the shadows, she diminished them. That is basically the difference.

And holy shit.

INSTAGRAM DESTROYS QUALITY.

If you are not looking on a small device or zooming in, they look great. But uploading them to my blog… not so much.

But again, I don’t have space on my wordpress account to be uploading pictures and I don’t want to pay anymore.


After playing with the camera and ignoring work that pays me… I went to work on a story.

A sad one.

A whole neighborhood collapsed. I went with a reported friend for Letras Cualquiera to take pictures and do some interviews. He did the same but with a video report.

I started working on that article on February 8th. Almost 20 days later and I’m not done with it. I was waiting for more reporting to come out, but my editor did tell me to go for it. So I have to finish that before February ends. Which gives me a couple of days.

I already did all the legwork. I already wrote the intro (that took me a while). All I have to do now is finish the report…

I could have done it forever ago, but then slow February turned to really busy February.


February 11th and 12th I had a Tijuana Adventure that wasn’t quite the usual adventure.

I’ve taken reporters before, and I did it once again. This time from Ireland. It’s actually the first time I have people from Ireland in Tijuana.

They wanted to talk about migrants, deportees, and what not. Like always, I wanted it to make it about Tijuana.


I took them to see Trump’s border prototypes. I’ve never gone before but I had a rough idea of where they were. I borrowed my SIL’s car and off we went.

They did the report, I took pictures.

From that border to the other end of the border… Playas de Tijuana.

People were crossing the border no problem. Tossing the football over the wall. I haven’t seen Border Patrol that relaxed about people stepping in forever. The Irish were lucky. The luck of the Irish.

Whatever.

Point is, they got great material. I set up an interview that went fairly alright, and that interview gave way to one of the better interviews they got.


The Irish reporters, like good reporters that they are, had a bunch of interviews set up for the following day.

I basically just helped them out to get to the interviews and general translations.

Sunday was shots of the border. Monday was more interviews. Then they left to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

I’m still waiting for their report to come out. Shots that we got are supposed to broadcast all over Europe. So yeah… I’m excited.

And I made some money.

Not only through my Tijuana Adventure services, but I told my editor what I was up to and he told me to write about it.

That article is HERE.

He wanted me to talk about the Irish experience, but I did not want to jump too much into their story. I wanted to write more about the prototypes and how to get there. So the article ended up being a mix of both.


I also did some other work for the magazine.

They had me taking pictures for the art issue. The cover was a simple cover that wasn’t mine (it’s a contest for people to draw their own cover). But the inside spread was this colorful mural with my friend Stephanie touching it.

A couple other pics also made it. Like this one.

HAH. That photo booth thing wasn’t working properly. I asked them if I could get their pic and they didn’t mind. Told them to pretend like I wasn’t there. It worked out.

(f)ARTS ISSUE HERE.


After that, I did have a cover mission. It looked like this.

That’s the first time they use multiple pictures int he cover. I liked it. They also used tons of pictures on the inside. I like that neighborhood. City Heights. I would live there. If it wasn’t for Tijuana.

READ IT HERE.


After that, I had more cover stories to take care off… but things got weird. One of the writers had personal issues and didn’t get back to us. Things moved around and what not…

So… next cover comes out in two days… and it’s NOT MY COVER.

SAD.

It’s Andy’s. The guy that gave me the job that he used to do. But all the inside pictures are mine. So I have that going for me. And I’ll get paid.


And I have a cover to take care tomorrow. And I’m still sick… but I’ll  be fine for tomorrow.


I also wanted to go to Mexicali and I haven’t been able too. My friends from Minnesota visit in two weeks. Hopefully, I can escape one of these weekends to go to Mexicali. I told my editor and he told me to write a story there. So I’m excited to go.


That was February.

It started really slow. Then it got jammed pack busy in the middle. Then it ended up slow and sick. And that’s where I am now.

February was cold, slow, and somewhat shitty but it was manageable and got some work done. Not enough as I wanted too. Not enough guitar. Not enough writing. Not enough pictures.

The past two days I’ve been playing Mario RPG and Super Mario Bros.

That’s all I’ve been doing. Not even leaving my apartment. Not drinking. Just sick on the couch playing video games and watching documentaries.


Oh.

I also went to a Xolos game.

That was fantastic.

The dad and little sister of a friend came to Tijuana and they had extra palco tickets. And holy shit they were nice tickets.

It included all you can eat and drink. Food was super shitty, but can’t complain when it’s free. Drinks were cheap beer and nice liquor bottles. I had a couple beers and a big glass of Black Label. While watching the game from prime seats.

It was amazing.

And then the little sister wanted to party. I was fucking tired. But it’s rare to see her over here and they gave me awesome Xolos tickets. And she’s like a little sister to me.

So I took her around the city and we partied until almost 3:00 a.m.

Crazy Tijuana times.


And…

Finally.

My mom has finally moved into my apartment. She actually hasn’t even spent a night here, but all her stuff is here. Her room is looking good. The living room has way too much furniture. And the kitchen changed. It looks like a real kitchen. It’s all her stuff.

So for the next few months, I’ll be living with mom. Or more like my mom will be living with me.

New adventures await.

Much work to do.

Tomorrow pictures. Today text. More pictures through the week. And finding more writing work because I need money to pay rent.


Haven’t been drinking, and for the first time in a long time, I don’t have a desire to do so. Probably because I’m still sick. Let’s see what happens when I recover. I have a living room fridge now, and that is filled with beer.


Until next month blog and whoever stumbles upon all the crap I write.


OH SHIT!

Speaking of writing.

I forgot.

I’ve been writing my book. Almost 100 pages done. I want to finish it before March ends… so I have another month of work ahead. And so much writing to do.


Having a job would be so much easier. But hey.

Write write write and make money is not that bad. I wish I had the self-discipline and the talent to do it more.


Alright. Now for sure. Until next month blog!

 

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