I put out another Ask Me Anything call and you guys sent so many questions, I love it! Some of them were answered in DMs or in my first Ask Me Anything blog post but most of them will be answered here in this post. These are my favorite questions you guys asked! By the way, I'm always accepting questions, so go ahead and ask. You can email me on my contact page, DM me, tweet at me, or FB message me.
When did you know you wanted to be an online influencer/Instagram star?
Am I either of these things? I have no idea how to answer that!
Who did you vote for in the 2016 Presidential Election?
I voted for Hillary. I knew she was not perfect and I knew that she was not Bernie but I believed (and still do) that she was a better choice than Trump.
What is your favorite place to shop?
Honestly, I still love Nasty Gal! I was skeptical after Sophie Amoroso sold her brand to Boohoo but since the relaunch, her vibe is still alive and well and I'm very happy about it. I will continue to shop there in the future.
I want to be a model. What is the difference between editorial and commercial modeling?
Questions about modeling were the most asked this time around so I'll break it down like this. Professional models fall into two different categories: editorial and commercial.
Editorial models are the famous supermodels you hear of like Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss. They have unusual, stronger and often edgier looks rather than "classic" good looks. They are often booked for magazine editorials that tell a story or have a theme. One of the main requirements to get signed with the top agencies as an editorial model is being really tall (the exception is Kate Moss). Editorial is considered more prestigious than commercial modeling but the downside is that it's not very financially lucrative nor is it a long-lasting career (again, the exception is Kate Moss). Another requirement for editorial modeling is that you have to be really young. Normally models at the top agencies start in their teens, some as young as 14 or 15. In editorial modeling, it's a winner-takes-all economic structure. While the top models can make millions of dollars per year, majority of editorial models make little to no money at all.
Commercial models are essentially models that look like normal, everyday people and are advertising products such as food and household items, pharmaceuticals, travel destinations, sporting equipment and more. They have a more "classic" look than editorial models. The height, weight and age requirements are much less strict for commercial models and they can enjoy a longer career and a more stable paycheck than in editorial. It's not prestigious nor will you become famous like the top supermodels. Nowadays all ages are cast for commercial shoots since "classic" or "timeless" models (mature models over 24) are also in demand as not all brands market their products to the younger generation.
I love Emma Watson! Can you do a Beauty and the Beast-inspired editorial for your blog?
What is your favorite color?
To wear? It depends on my hair color, honestly. When I have blonde hair, I like to wear brighter colors like yellow, bright blue and greens. When my hair is dark, I like to wear red, camel or pink. If you mean a color that I just love, I've never been able to pick just one. I'm usually torn between pink or gold.
What do you consider your biggest limitations as a photographer?
The weather here in Baltimore. I spent two years shooting in a studio-like setting and got really bored so I started venturing on-location and fell in love with natural light and more dynamic environments. But the weather in Baltimore from October all the way to May is so unpredictable. Even when it's clear outside, so much of our natural environment is dead and ugly. I feel like we only have a couple of good months of shooting weather when it's warm and sunny and everything is beautiful and lush.
What books are on your bedside table right now?
Mohsin Hahmid's new book, Exit West. I've read all of his other books and they were fantastic so I can't wait to read this one. For the past few years, I've been making a concerted effort to read books by Asian authors. I also have China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan which I haven't started yet.
I was so surprised to find out that you are in PR as well. Is it your primary career or is photography more important?
I am the Public Relations Officer for The Katipunan, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing social and education programs that promote Filipino culture in Maryland as well as providing philanthropic opportunities to support charitable causes in both our state and the Philippines. My job there is managing the organization's social media presence as well as reaching out to new and existing members. I also help plan and promote our events such as the annual Filipino Festival, Cultural School and Easter Egg Hunt.
Both The Katipunan and my photography/blogging jobs are extremely important to me so I could never place one above the other. They each fulfill a different part of my identity.
Any tips for shooting moving objects without sacrificing its clarity?
Make sure you're shooting in manual mode and increase your shutter speed to at least 1/250. You'll "freeze" the motion without any blur. If you want the blur, then decrease the shutter speed to about 1/60.
How do you scout your models?
Instagram. I will occasionally put out model calls in my Instagram Stories. I used to use Model Mayhem back in the day but that site got all creepy and so many of the girls I reached out to were unreliable or turned out to be no-shows. With Instagram, most of the models I find are already fans of Aesthetic Distance so I've got that built-in connection with them and they're familiar with my work.
Tell us something that we don't know about you.
I LOVE movie spoilers! I will Google the spoilers for a movie before watching it that way I can concentrate on the visual storytelling elements of the film while I'm watching. Anticipation is great but when I'm concentrating too much on the plot, I miss a lot of the nuances in the film, which are my favorite parts. In fact, the more I know about a movie before I watch it, the more I like it. If I don't have the option of finding out spoilers before watching and I enjoy the movie, then I'll watch it again. I always get more out of it the second time around. Also, I always read the book before watching the movie. Never the other way around.
What is something you will never blog about?
Recipes, fitness and weddings. I love food but don't want to write about it. My exercise consists of rollerskating several times per week but I don't want to write about that either. And I hate the wedding industry.
What's a good full-coverage foundation that still looks like skin?
It's more about technique. If you want your foundation to look like skin, use a damp Beauty Blender and build your coverage in thin, sheer layers. The Beauty Blender is my favorite way to get that skin-like finish. And don't forget to use moisturizer and primer before applying your foundation. Never apply on top of dry skin. If you do, you will look like you're 490 years old.
If I buy a beret, do you think I'll still be able to wear it in the summer?
Yes. Wear it with some Wayfarer-style or round sunglasses (no Aviators with berets, please) and then a sleeveless muscle tee tucked into high-waisted, cropped flares or skinnies. Keep the jewelry minimal and skip the belt.
What got you started in photography?
I've been taking pictures since I was a kid. My mother was really into photography and my parents bought me my first camera when I was in elementary school. It was a film camera and she taught me about different kinds of film, how to load film and how to shoot while keeping in mind the lighting and composition. I used to do fake fashion shoots with my friends where we would dress up and take pictures like we were models in a magazine. When my parents bought me my own polaroid camera, I would take a ton of selfies and pictures of our family dog. Then I studied art in college and learned how to develop my own film in the darkroom. Later, in graduate school, I got really into shooting portraits, fashion and documentary style photos. So it's been a lifelong passion of mine.
If you wear a vintage band tee, do you need to be a fan of the band?
I would say yes, you should be. If you're not a fan, then at least listen to a few songs so you have something to say if someone asks you about the band you're wearing. If you listen to a couple of songs and decide you don't like the band, then don't buy the tee shirt.
If your question wasn't answered here, it may have already been answered in my last Ask me Anything post. Be sure to check out the first Ask Me Anything blog post.