Rosie and Sequan <3

I recently had the honor of shooting not only my first engagement shoot, but also Rosie and Sequan’s first engagement shoot! I guess the latter was a given, huh.

Let me start out by saying, this was very nerve-racking. This was a supremely important shoot to  nail and I felt the pressure. I must have checked my camera bag ten times before leaving the house and another five after I parked at the Harbor. Keep in mind I parked in an illegal area at first and had to move my car about two times. Boo limited parking.

As you can see from the photos, Rosie and Sequan were an absolute dream to work with. They were adorable, connected and, simply, in love with each other. Every picture shows just how much they adore one another. They won’t be getting married for a little while so, it is fantastic that they got these photos done now so that they can send them off on announcements and such. I’m so excited for them and their big day! It will be the most lovey-dovey event of the year, I am sure of it.

Just look at how stunning they are as a couple!

This is a short blog entry to commemorate a milestone in my photographic journey. This is also to commemorate a milestone that most relationships don’t make it to! Thank you all for sharing in this moment with me and for sharing in Rosie and Sequan’s joy! Join me in wishing them nothing but a super happy future!

❤ XOXO Neeks

What is an Event Planner or a Wedding Planner? Let this dummy explain.

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For the LONGEST time I assumed that there was absolutely no reason for a person to outsource the details and duties of their wedding, social or corporate event to someone paid to be there. It made absolutely no sense to me why someone could not plan their own wedding or their own child’s birthday party– then I got older.

While I may get an extreme type-A personality boner from planning things out, most people do not. Planning can be very stressful on a person when they have five million other things to worry about besides where Aunt Josephine is going to sit. A ton of people get anxiety when you ask them if they want eggshell or ivory tablecloths. I have seen people go into a fit of rage over why gravity chooses to make their banner specifically slouch an inch too far in the middle. Yes, their banner and yes, it’s them against gravity. When I finally started to realize that people hated planning and I loved planning to an almost unhealthy degree, it started to make sense as to how the wedding planning and event planning industries have been thriving for forever. I almost feel dumb for not realizing it sooner. Almost.

When it came to weddings, I was especially put off. It’s MY big day, why would I have someone else making decisions for me. Again, that’s the type-A coming out. When I was younger, if my mother did not get everything 100% for my birthday, I would silently pout and think of all the ways my five year old self could have done better with my measly piggy bank savings and my young wits. Now, I am not married, but if you’re reading this and think I don’t already have a road map for that day then, you have not been reading very closely. Here is why, I’m 90% certain I will be hiring a wedding planner when my time comes. The unaccounted 10% is for if I go into a random fit of rage or something. Anything can happen.

  1. A Wedding Planner provides fresh eyes and a level head. This will be totally necessary for me because my affinity for planning does not ever factor in my tendency to dream big. If I say I want 12 white stallions to pull me from my house to the church steps while Childish Gambino sings to me, the wedding planner will point out every reason why that is just not going to happen. This is important.
  2. A Wedding Planner’s job is to help you stay in the realm of reality (based on your budget and the laws of physics) and to get you the best deals with wedding vendors. Wedding Vendors meaning: bridal hair, makeup and nail salons, wedding dress sellers, tux sellers, flower sellers, table rentals, venues, decor, so on and so forth. They often have people in their roster who will offer exclusive deals when you book through that planner. Remember, they want to get paid so, they are going to help you save the most you can elsewhere.
  3. A Wedding Planner’s reputation is everything to them. This is not a job where they show up, give you advice and go on their merry way. They will spend hours and days behind the scenes getting things ready for you. They will research the absolute best vendors for what you want, they will be there when you have a mental breakdown three weeks before the big event and they will be doing all of this with a smile on their face. There are way too many professions out there where if someone does a terribad job, they still get paid and they will still get business because people just do not care. This is not one of them. A wedding planner can be made or broken by one B.B.F (bride bitch fit) and, in understanding that as a very real danger, they do their best every single time.
  4. When you look crazy, they have your back. This one is pretty self-explanatory but, once you start grilling the florist on why they don’t have a flower in this specific shade of purple, your wedding planner is going to be the reason you get the shade or at least a close approximation.
  5. On the day of, you can enjoy being a bride/groom instead of worrying if everything is setup. This is so important. I cannot imagine seeing anything worse than a bride, half primped, running around setting up tables and ushering people to their seats when she should be getting ready for her grand moment. Having your planner there to coordinate the day of is so necessary! Honestly it’s amazing to me that more people do not think of this.
  6. They will take care of clean up most of the time. Let’s be real, some planner packages may not include cleanup. The one’s that do, however, are invaluable! Think about it, you’ve said “I do,” had the reception, your groom carries you to the limo and… you guys get back out because you need to clean up and/or supervise cleanup. Nah. That is not happening to me.

In short, I have seen the errors of my past thoughts. A wedding or an event planner is completely necessary and entirely legitimate and I want to say sorry for all the times I doubted you all. I was extremely naive!

 

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Disclaimer: I do work for a super excellent wedding and event planner now. This is not an attempt at butt-kissery, but merely a way to show people that I too knew nothing like Jon Snow. 

Hugs and Kisses XO – Neeks

Model Lessons from Neeks

Over the course of my modeling adventures I’ve had fabulous experiences. There are photographers that I am absolutely in love with for the vision and skill and there are models that is totally love to work with or work with again. It’s been a great chance to get creative and a great chance to get out there. That being said, I’ve had some rough experiences and met some really, let’s say, high-strung model’s. 

This is all meant to shed some light for new models and to, hopefully, get a laugh out of some veteran models. I will not use names mostly because I do not want traffic generated to anyone’s page that surely does not deserve it. Without further adieu, Neeks’ ever growing list of model advice and my person tales of woe.

1. Always have foundation in your color available whether a makeup artist is available or not. I’ve never experienced a MUA not having a foundation in my skin tone but, I’ve heard horror stories. It’s best to just be prepared in the event of anything. In fact, always have a small makeup kit on you that you can use to make multiple looks. Just in case. 

2. Always have staple clothing items. Bodysuits, lingerie, tights or thigh highs, extra heels in style that could flatter any outfit. Even if a stylist is there and clothing is provided NEVER assume they’ll get everything right for YOU. I went to a shoot a while ago where the clothing was to be provided and none of the clothes were flattering on their own. I knew it, the photographer knew it and the stylist knew it. Apparently the issue was that I was far more busty than anticipated. So, how did we fix the situation? We used one of the bodysuits I came with, a skirt that the stylist came with and made it work. Those pictures never got returned to me but, we’ll talk about that later.

3. Always have some neato accessories with you. Same as above, you just never know when you’ll need to spice up a look.

4. If you’re shooting TFP (or even if your shooting full contract) get it in writing that you will receive your photos in a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable meaning two weeks to six weeks tops. I cannot tell you how annoying it is to work really hard on a shoot, have a great time and never see the photos. This has happened to me twice and I WISH someone had told me to always get a relative time frame in writing. Photographers are far more likely to stick to a written agreement than a spoken one. 

As a photographer as well, I like to think that I can see both sides relatively well. In short, photographer that don’t give back photos are crap. 

4. If a photographer is choosing photos for you, it is PROFESSIONAL to tell them that you do not agree with their choice. Tell them, don’t post all over social media. It’s so imparitive that model’s understand this crucial fact: not all photographers will send you the raw files of your photos. When it happens, great. They are blatantly saying that they trust you to do as you please with the photos. However, if they do not give you the raw files, don’t get mad. It takes a ton of time to pick out good ones, edit them and get them to you. If they ask you to pick, even better.

Again, I have been on both sides of this and it’s best just to communicate rather than argue or bad mouth for both parties. 

5. If you shoot with other models, please be understanding of the fact that they are modeling for their portfolios as well. This has not happened to me but I’ve heard tales of model’s fighting for camera time. There is no need to be petty on set. If you feel like someone is blocking you from the camera or even getting more camera time, voice your concerns calmly. It could simply be a case of the model not realizing they were doing anything untoward. Everyone gets into the zone on set.

6. There will be people you never want to work with, let alone see again. That’s fine. Out of my entire adventure as a model and as a photographer I’ve only come across one or two people I’d never work with again. I had my moment of extremely petty behavior and got over it. You should too. Professionalism is often what people look at when thinking about booking you for the first time or for the fifth time. That being said, if you don’t want to work with someone again, be professional about that as well. 

“Fuck no!” Can easily be turned into “I wish you the best, but no.” See. Easy. 

“You’re a syohilis ridden piece of dick cheese festering on a hot day,” can easily turn into. “No thank you.” Trust me, your conscious will thank you. 

7. Be flexible. Physically, emotionally, mentally and of course creatively. You have to.be able to roll with the punches sometimes. You have to tweak what your image might have been for the shoot to what actually is possible. Be ready to understand when something goes wrong like the photographer is five minutes late. Be flexible with yourself as well. Again, maybe you’re just having an off day. You just never know what is going to happen the day of, during or the day after a shoot. 

8. Know when to walk away. Photographers, representation and businesses come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing you should never compromise on is respect. If someone insults you, belittles you or simple does not respect your time and worth, walk away. 


This guy was a complete asshat and I did my best to remain professional and cordial through his insinuations of prostitution and the like. He begged for hours for me to go have a meeting with him and I simply refused based on his inability to have a professional exchange. Walk away. 

There are so many more lessons I’ve learned from being in front of the camera and behind the camera. Mostly I’ve learned that people are people. Stuff happens. 

If you’ve found this helpful and would like to know more about my personal journey into modeling and photography, let me know! I’m more than happy to share. 

Should you want to check me out elsewhere, see the following:

FACEBOOK

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TWITTER

Until next time! 

💋Neeks