Real (Coffee) Talk

I want to be real. This post is something I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks now, because a series of reoccurring events have been pushing me to address it. I’ve been reminded of some really important qualities that I find lacking in “creative individuals” nowadays.                                  

 Authenticity

Originality

Honesty

Ownership

@shoes_and_sashimi is not groundbreaking. At all. I’m not the first one to post a photo of a moody portrait or a shot of latte art. I don’t have the biggest following, but you don’t see me buying spam or cheating my numbers. What I post is 100 percent mine. What starts from something in my head inevitably ends up into jpeg. My ideas are executed either by my hand alone and professional shooters Rachel Radcliffe or Julia O. When they aren’t shooting, @Twelfthknight helps fill that gap, and I give him a lot of credit.

Editing is also 100% mine, unless it’s agreed upon by Rachel or Julia, since they are very different shooters. I respect both of them and their work, that’s what a solid working relationship is based upon. Respect. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for others.

img_0615img_0646img_4924

If there is anything that was engrained in our heads (and hands) in design school, it is protect yourself and your work. Protect your ideas. If you’re a creative, entrepreneur, a photographer, whatever you are: Constantly push yourself. Don’t get too comfortable.

I am very transparent on Instagram and SF is a tiny city. The shoes I wear and products I post are all public. The brands I work with, those too are public knowledge. I have had  “creators” in the same city  whom I have spent some time with go after the same exact products…in the same color…poach the same brands and post shot for shot, pose for pose…. It feels like a big F U. And yea, how could you not take it personally?

img_4845It’s a big space. There are plenty of opportunities out there, people aren’t willing to work for it. In order to be successful in anything, you need to be original. Say thank you to those who have helped you (when they didn’t have to) and have some ounce of humility. Authenticity is so important and there is a lack of it.

img_4913img_4836img_0619img_4855

This rainy day at Home Cafe in SF, I shot with a newly full time photographer named Juila O. She’s quick and she’s hungry. Julia has a beautiful eye for lighting. Home Cafe is the new cool kid on the block, slinging really great coffee concoctions. Have you had a Birthday Cake ombre latte before? I think not. Or a Cookie Monster Latte full of crumbled cookies? I like that they’re different, I like that they’re unique.

I hope you all can find this post somewhat interesting or relatable. If you do or if you don’t, please comment because I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re in the creative field like me, or you’re self employed it’s a good reminder to you all: Be you and only you. Why would you want to be a second string version of someone else?

All photos shot by Julia O Photography

Home Cafe, San Francisco

The Sunshine Award x Life Before Shoes & Sashimi

I’d like to give a big thank you to Elizabeth from Clothes to You for nominating me for the Sunshine Award, it makes me incredibly happy to know that my blog is getting enough momentum that people are willing to share with the world. So thank you Elizabeth!

IMG_7307

I really liked Elizabeth’s questions, I think you’ll learn a lot more about me, prior to Shoes and Sashimi :)

  1. What did you aspire to be when you were younger?

Believe it or not, from a young age I wanted to be a Costume Designer. “Little me” grew up watching films, TV, and being enthralled with pop culture and music. I loved fashion, movies, and the idea of being part of the behind the scenes excitement if you will. So I thought hmm…”if I combined all my favorite things together I’d have my dream job.” And so I did. I graduated from the prestigious California Inst. of the Arts in 2009 with a BFA in Costume Design and I’ve been designing and wardrobe styling in LA since then. It’s not all glamorous though, it’s a dog eat dog world the entertainment and PR life. They say it’s tough, it’s probably 10x tougher than anyone thinks, but it’s sure exhilarating when you get to do what you love to do for a living.

on set in 90210 with AT&T
On set in the 90210 with AT&T
My favorite studio to work out of, Slickforce Studio.
My favorite studio to work out of, Slickforce Studio.
Wong Fu Productions
Wong Fu Productions on call.

2. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?

That’s a tough question, because quite frankly I feel like I haven’t achieved all that much. I know, I know, maybe I’m being too hard on myself, but really I don’t think I can answer that one. I’ve had a good highlight reel, that’s for sure. I’ve had some terribly disappointing ones too. If I had to pick some proud moments throughout the years though, I think it would come down to these: Not having any debt, that’s something I’m really proud of. Also being able to move as often as I did and hustle in between shoots when there are bills to be paid and things to get done. Lastly, as I look through my portfolio I remember that I’ve had some really good moments in time and I’m proud of my work. I can firmly say that.

Rob Ryu shot by Sheri Angeles.
Actor & Model Rob Ryu shot by Sheri Angeles.
Recording Artist Jason D Chen shot by Melly Lee
Recording Artist Jason D Chen shot by Melly Lee
Wong Fu Productions shot by Melly Lee
Wong Fu Productions shot by Melly Lee
Actress Ciara Hannah. Catch her as the Yellow Ranger on Nickelodean's Power Rangers Megaforce.
Actress Ciara Hannah. Catch her as the Yellow Ranger on Nickelodean’s Power Rangers Megaforce.
Q Modeling Agency Test Shoots in Palm Desert. Shot by Sheri Angeles.
Q Modeling Agency Test Shoots in Palm Desert. Shot by Sheri Angeles.

3. Who takes the majority of your photos?

I’ve had a lot of great photographers over the year, Melissa de Mata (SF) and Erich Chen (LA) for starters. But as momentum  builds with the blog, it’s becoming increasingly harder to shoot a full set when you’re not with a photographer day and night. This is where @TwelfthKnight comes in. He’s my rock, our fur baby’s papa, and man of the hour. I am fully spoken for and am happily living in the Bay Area this year, having best of both worlds :D He’s not a photographer, but we’re becoming a tag team in this blogging venture together and we’re learning along the way. It’s trial and error, and we’re having a lot of fun with that.

:D
:D
Playing around with the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. What are your preferences when it comes to cameras?
Playing around with the Canon EOS Rebel T4i. What are your preferences when it comes to cameras?

4. What would you say is the biggest challenge about blogging?

Where do I start…being consistent with content. It’s even harder when you’re part time or full time elsewhere. There’s just not enough time in the day or should I say light in the day to drive the blog further. And if you’re like me, you’re not going to settle for poor lighting just for the sake of content, am I right? Right. How do we maneuver around this lighting challenge and time crunch? On the weekends we like to go out for day trips and you’ll probably find me changing outfits somewhere, creating different looks along the way in the hopes that they make enough content for the week to come :D Quick changes, I’m a professional. Literally.

IMG_7081

5. How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is pretty casual currently. Jeans, a dress shirt, shorts, and a sweater (It’s pretty cool and casual here in the Bay Area.) If you met me in LA though, you’d see me more on the dressier side every day, even going to set and especially on the weekends. I would be buying for multiple shoots at a time so I’d really have fun pulling and putting things together. Wasteland on Ventura or Melrose has some fun things, I’ve found amazing discounted designer finds there including Philip Lim and Givenchy. My secret weapon for my own shopping fix is going directly to the warehouses in DTLA for the samples. I’d swing by Lovers & Friends, For Love and Lemons, Joie, you name it. I sure miss those times, I’ll be back down soon for my next big wave of raiding hopefully.

Neutrals are the building blocks to a wardrobe, male or female. If you have cream, navy, black, and white, you can mix and match and look like a million bucks.
Neutrals are the building blocks to a wardrobe, male or female. If you have cream, navy, black, and white, you can mix and match and look like a million bucks.
Boo is neutral year round, unless he has a sweater on. We all should dress more like Boo :)
Boo is neutral year round, unless he has a sweater on. We all should dress more like Boo :)

6. Is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you? If so, who is this style icon, and why do they inspire you?

I’ve tracked Monica Rose‘s work as a stylist for some time now, and after chatting with her at her trunk show at Dash this year you could imagine my respect for her went up ten fold. She is incredibly chic, she dresses the Kardashians for Christ’s sake. But what’s really nice and refreshing is that she’s humble, a mom of 2 little ones, a wife, and she seemingly does it all in heels. Our mutual friend and owner of Slickforce Studio, Nick Saglimbeni was saying that a career is all about timing no matter how hard you hustle. I couldn’t agree more. Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I applaud her work ethic, and I wish her the best, truly.

The one and only Monica Rose.
The one and only Monica Rose.

7. What would you say is the greatest satisfaction about being a blogger?

There’s a lot of satisfaction that I get simply from penning my thoughts on a virtual paper, private or not. I like the idea that I might have an interesting story to tell when others have gone a linear path. I like that the blogging community is so supportive. I’ve gotten more love from strangers in different parts of the world than I have from people I know personally. That speaks volumes, so thank you for the undying support, near and far!

To keep the support flowing I nominate fellow bloggers:

Elizabeth Lee from Stylewich.com

Alecz from Forsevenseasons

Carolyn from HeyPrettyThing

Sanika from Simply Sanika

Trou from The Peculiar Trouth

Thank you for reading. As always you can keep up with me daily on Instagram

IG @shoes_and_sashimi

All the best,

Lauren