2017 In Review & Plans For 2018

Hi everyone!

My apologies for taking so long to upload this. January has not been kind to me. I’ve been extremely ill twice, and two of my pets have passed away so I have been very depressed. I’ve finally had the time and energy to finish this post. This is just going to be a quick summary of my 2017, and my plans for 2018.

January

January was pretty slow – I just worked, and wrote my last exam for my degree.

February

I went to Red Room with Juan, and teased my hair really big. I really loved this look!

I also got this incredible drawing of myself from Trevor Schuster. Here’s a side by side comparison of the drawing and the photo he used!

I did a shoot with Wasabi Foto that is very different from my usual style, but I love the result!

March

I handed in my leather bound research report on the 3rd!

I won an award for Trevor at Ink & Iron for best half back colour tattoo! Excuse the sunburn! Here’s my tattoo as well, for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I went to a cosplay picnic in my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock! I had some awesome photos taken there. This one is my favourite.

My husband and I got engaged! We waited to announce it when we got the ring though, as we decided to have a ring custom made.

I also convinced my non-Goth friends to go to Attrition! Look at how gorgeous they looked!

April

I had a stall at Fantasy Fayre and made this skirt so that I could wear a viking inspired outfit!

I went to visit my beautiful friend Neko in Clarens for the weekend and had so much fun! I wish she didn’t live so far.

I had a photoshoot with Taikutsuna Majo, where two of my beloved pets modeled with me. Sadly they are both no longer with us.

At Pagan Freedom Day I shot with a bow for the first time in years!

May

I graduated my Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication!

Unfortunately just a few days after my graduation, my dog, Layla, had to be put down. I was heartbroken and it took me months to recover.

I got new synthetic dreads that I put in for a week. I loved this look I did for Geekfest! I had a stall there and it went really well!

I had a lovely day out with my friend Krisne where we went vintage shopping and drank lots of tea! We even stopped by a charity shop that is also a cat sanctuary and I made a new friend!

June

I was very busy with my jewellery business this month! I had 3 stalls and worked very hard to create stock.

I went to ICON to support my fellow stallholders, and got to fight a knight! Look at how ridiculous I look in the armour! It was lots of fun though!

July

I started working at the company I work at!

I also attended the last ever Dark Noise party with Juan. I’m so sad that I don’t have any more Dark Noise parties to look forward to. They were always so much fun.

August

I was very busy with stalls again this month.

We finally had our engagement photos taken! Thank you to Derek Whitton Photography for the beautiful photos.

My grandfather passed away and we went to his funeral.

September

I visited Neko in Clarens for a week to de-stress and have time to make jewellery stock for my biggest market for the year.

I had a stall at a Harry Potter festival and it was extremely busy! Luckily towards the end of the day I managed to take photos with Simone at the photobooth!

It was my birthday and my mother and I went to watch the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra perform Disney songs. It was such a fantastic show!

October

It was my biggest market for the year – rAge. I was extremely over-worked but it was worth it. I wore my Little Sister cosplay again and even found a splicer!

November

I had a stall at Discworld Day! I dressed up as Adora Belle Dearheart from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Unfortunately it was extremely hot and I was unable to manage my stall for the majority of the day. Luckily some kind stallholders looked after me and even drove home with me to make sure that I was safe.

It was my kitchen tea and we went to the botanical gardens. I just love the look on my face in this photo. It was the exact moment that I realised that the lingerie I had just opened was from my mother!

We got married! The day did not go according to plan because it was pouring with rain the whole day, but it was still perfect! Thank you to Swallow-Tail Photography for our amazing photos and my beautiful makeup.

The next day we left on honeymoon, which was absolutely incredible. We went to Paris, Venice and Rome! I’ll write a post all about the wedding and honeymoon! I don’t want to spoil too much, but my absolute favourite place we went to was the Paris Catacombs. Here’s my favourite photo I took there:

December

We got back from honeymoon on the 7th December and I was back at work the next day.

I had 2 amazing photoshoots to end off the year. One with Dark Arts Society:

And one with Shyne Photo:

I worked until the 22nd of December and didn’t do much in my time off. Hardly any of the plans I made worked out unfortunately. But I did have a Harry Potter marathon with Bree!

Sadly one our rats, Dovahkiin passed away suddenly around Christmas, followed by my rabbit, Frodo and one of our other rats, Eddie, in the first week of January. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the year didn’t start off well for me, but I hope that it gets better.

 

Plans For 2018

This year is going to be a busy one for me.

As I’m now working full time, I have less time for Ayame Designs and for modeling. Because of this, my jewellery business will take preference over modeling. I am going to focus most of my free time on growing Ayame Designs, especially internationally. I have some very exciting new product ranges coming up this year that I will be working on whenever I can. I will no longer be doing smaller markets, as they are not worth my time. The only exception is when it’s an alternative market and it’s not too far to travel. I am also travelling to Cape Town to have a stall at FanCon! This is the first time that I am travelling outside of Pretoria and Johannesburg for a stall so it’s very exciting!

As for my modeling, I will only be taking on work that will result in something amazing and different. I am much more selective about who I work with, and will only be shooting interesting concepts. Unfortunately all the alternative and goth magazines I would like to be published in don’t have themes I would like to shoot, so I will probably only be submitting to open themed issues or magazines this year.

I have just become permanent at my job! This means that I will also be taking on new responsibilities and I am excited to grow in the company. I’ll also be working much harder than perviously, and therefore won’t have as much free time.

I want to commit to writing a blog post at least once every 2 weeks. I am working on a few new posts right now, and also have some ideas for future posts saved. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time as I’d like to film YouTube videos, so I will be focusing on blogging, as I can write little bits at a time when I can, but don’t often have multiple hours free to film and edit videos.

This year I have also decided to cut all negative things out of my life. Whether it’s people who drag me down or things I let happen. I am done letting people or circumstances affect my happiness. I will make more time for people and things that make me happy.

 

I know this is quite a long post! Congrats on making it to the end! PS – My post about my wedding will be up next week, followed by one on my honeymoon.

 

 

J

xx

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My Favourite Pictures and Memories from July

Hi everyone!

 

Here’s another post that’s part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month July swap on Swap-Bot.

 

So at at the end of June I got a 2 week contract for an office job as a content uploader. 7th July was my last day, and I took home the smiley face balloon that was tied to my chair. I took this photo after I got home on my last day.

 

The first thing I did when I got paid for the job was to buy a new cage for Frodo, my rabbit. He still refuses to climb up to the other levels, but I will have to somehow train him do it is as he needs exercise.

 

I had a really stunning Moon Goddess shoot with Taikutsuna Majo at my house on the 9th of July and this is my favourite photo from the shoot. She made the awesome headpiece!

 

This next one is a selfie we took after a really fun photoshoot on the 15th July. I wanted to insert the video we took, but it seems that I don’t have the ability to upload videos directly to the blog.

 

And here’s my favourite photo taken on that day. This might possibly be my favourite photo ever taken of me! The photographer is Xpressio – Photo Artistry. Take a look at her other work! We have been working together quite a lot.

 

One day, I came home from work and my mother surprised me with these awesome Pikachu slippers that I have been looking for for months! I love them so much!

 

And last but not least, on the 29th July I went to the Dark_Noise 10th & final Birthday Bash with my best friend Juan. It has a masquerade ball theme so these were our masks! It’s so sad that it was the last event. We had so much fun.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my month!

 

J

xx

A rant about the modeling industry…

It seems like every second girl is a “model” these days – with their bad photos that look like they were taken with their phone or a point-and-shoot camera and their dreadful posing, makeup and styling. I’m sorry but if you want to call yourself a model, the least you could do is groom yourself properly for a shoot, practise poses, get a makeup artist (even if you think you are good with makeup, if you aren’t amazing, get a makeup artist!) and get a decent photographer. My mentor once told me – if you can’t sell the photos, they shouldn’t be in your portfolio. Don’t waste your time on those dreaded GWC’s (Guys With Cameras – aka the guy who just bought a camera and thinks he’s a photographer, which is another issue on its own).

I have been modeling since 2011 and while I know I am not the best model, the first thing I did when I wanted to start modeling was to pay a professional photographer to get a decent portfolio to start with – before I even told anyone I was a model. That is how it should be done (unless you were scouted by an agency which unfortunately is highly unlikely), not by getting your best friend to take photos with your digital camera in a park and call it a photoshoot. Yes I did shoot with some bad photographers, but you won’t see any of those photos on my social media or portfolios anywhere anymore. I’ve learned that one photo can destroy your entire career. Whether it’s a dodgy concept you shot, a bad photographer you worked with, or just a highly unflattering photo of you. You should set a standard and stick to it. Don’t shoot with photographers who don’t meet your standards, even if they are your friends or are paying you. It’s not worth destroying your reputation as a model.

Another thing that gets on my nerve these days is that every second model is a “professional model”.

Do you do this for a living?
No.
Then you are not a professional. You may have a professional attitude, but unless this is what you do for a living, you are not a professional. Even if you do some paid shoots once or twice a month, it is still a hobby, not a profession.

I mostly do paid work, but give allowance for one or two TFCD (Time For CD – aka free) shoots a month, depending on the quality of the photographer’s work. Even though I get paid for 3 or 4 shoots a month, I still would not be able to quit my job and do it for a living, so I am not a professional and I don’t pretend to be.

Stop calling yourself something you are not. Work to achieve that goal but do not lie to people if you are not a model or professional model yet. You are giving the rest of us who are working our arses off to be successful a bad name.

Rant over.

Yes, I know this was harsh, but unfortunately someone has to tell it like it is.

I hope that some people in the industry will share this so that people can see and hopefully change their attitude to try to be a good model.

J
xx