Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MODELING 2017 (#returntothesupermodel ...please)

The model arrives. (usually late).
They come through the door (with phone in hand).
They sit down (with phone still in hand).
I ask for their portfolio. the model goes to their packback and pull out and ipad or tablet.
They go to their photo gallery on their phone.
I make small talk... ask them questions about themselves... trying to get to know them.
They give me short answers (never looking away from the phone in their hand).
I start telling them about myself but if they seem completely disinterested, I just stop talking.
I walk over to the shooting area and say okay lets get this done and over with....
The model walks over and brings the phone with them so they can see it when it lights up.
They put on the 1st look and stand facing toward me with both arms to their side waiting for instructions.
I'd turn on the  music and  proceed to give direction.
Their phone lights up or makes a buzzing noise.... they run over and pick it up, text a response, and return it to the table. They'd  return to the  x on the  floor and  resume their "Rolodex" of posing.
They put on the second look and repeat everything that happened in the first look.
We're done!
I act like  it was  a great shoot and pretend like i love the pictures.
They grab their phone and their bag and proceed to walk out the door with a half-ass thank you and  goodbye.
I lie down on the couch and listen to them walk down the stairs and think "That photoshoot felt like bad sex....blah and not worth mentioning...blah!."

Shooting models use to be fun.
I love working with new people and getting to know them and allowing them to get to know me. Models would come through the door with all this great energy and I would immediately understand why they were in demand. They were familiar with my work and  excited to see the #realmagic we'd create together. It was a collaboration where we shared ideas and shooting was an experience for everyone involved. It was an opportunity to build, connect, and create unforgettable images that would last beyond all of our careers.

When I worked with models before, it was very personal for me. I'd get a chance  to try new ideas and  techniques. They model would get to see themselves in a  different way and  have images that helped them stand out at castings. I was sharing my gifts and artistic talent with people who would become my friends. In 2017, shooting models feel like they are placing a fast food order at a drive thru window. They want images that look like other models  or images that reinforce the way people see them already. Its become very impersonal.

Its not always like this...but i'm experiencing  more shoots like this and i am trying to adjust to this new way the fashion world is operating but its not easy for me. Its  hard to create inspiring work with people  who don't seem inspired.
Can we #returnofthesupermodel .....please? they loved being in front of the  camera or at least made the  photographer and  the  team love being around  them. They were connected and engaging. Models today are more involved with their phones than whats  happening around  them. They arent interested in befriending  the photographer and the  team... they just wanna be in and out as quickly as possible. I'll never forget what top model/ actor Toby Sandeman from Soul Artist management said  to me. "its  not about booking jobs, its about REBOOKING jobs. Its about connecting with the  team to make them want to work with you more and more and more..."
Its impossible to do that when the model has their face buried in their phones.

Friday, April 28, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gladys Love Edwards (my granny)

me and my granny on her birthday April 28, 2016 (last year)

My granny's birthday is April 28th, my little brother's birthday is April 30th, and mines is May 2nd. there is a day in between our birthdays and every year I try to go back to Memphis to be with my granny for our birthdays.. My brother passed away back in 1991 and my grandmother finally passed away this year on March 17th. This is the first time I wont be going home to celebrate our birthdays together.
 Today I take a moment to reflect on how important my granny is to me and how thankful and  blessed i am to have had her in my life. Both of my grandparents  have been the key supporters of my artistic endeavors  from the moment i was able to hold a crayon and draw on paper.

She gave me space to be me. I don't know anyone else's family that supported anything myself and my peers to the extremes my granny did. My Granny taught me how to sew when I expressed an interest in fashion design. She gave me this antique sewing machine...it seemed like the 1st portable sewing machine. Grandpa bought me my first camera. They helped me convert my room in their house into a photo studio. She would let me hang wet photos to dry all over the house. She  would  walk through the  house admiring them like  she was in a museum.They never complained about the model traffic at all times of the day and night. I would do shoots at 2/3am after I got off work from the late shift at FedEx and  before class at The University of Memphis in the mornings. She would let models from out of town stay at her house and treated them like they were family. She loved taking care of people and would cook for them.

Whenever I was doing a photo shoot in my room, she would wait until my door open and she would offer us kool-aid and a plate of whatever she was cooking (usually fried chicken). When the models would leave she would get one of her bar stool chairs and come in my room and sit next to me in front of my computer to look at the images with me.

Anything I was  involved in, she made sure she was there. When I use to direct fashion shows in college she was front row center, clapping and cheering for every model on the runway. I tried to get her to sit quietly but she told me that shes clapping because those kids need to know that someone in the audience is there for them and proud of what they are doing. It brought her great joy to be there for us.....

Every person I brought through the front door of her house instantly became an addition to our family. Her support of me was extended to the support of all of us.

A lot of my friends and models who passed thru my Granny's house to work sent me condolences but the text I got from my friend Lisa Jacobs the morning of my Granny's funeral hit the hardest.....
It was the  moment that I realized she was their supporter too... for many of them, her home was the only place they could nurture their artistic side.

Before she became ill, we talked on the phone every week and every conversation ended with her letting me  know  how proud she  was of me being in New York pursuing my dreams in fashion.

I miss those phone calls and hearing her voice... her great words of wisdom and I miss coming home on her birthday and getting my "granny hugs."

Monday, January 23, 2017

introducing TOBY SANDEMAN in E! The Royals

model: Toby Sandeman - @todysandeman_
(Soul Artist Mgmt NYC)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove

Congratulation to my boy, Toby Sandeman, recently joining the cast of E! The Royals staring Elizabeth Hurley. He plays Sabastien, a Moroccan prince with a hidden agenda. 

check him out on season 3 of The Royals on E! 

Tody is a London native (so the  English accent is  real). Before becoming an international supermodel, Toby had an illustrious career as a sprinter -- he won gold at the UK Athletics national championships in 2009 and a further two gold medals at the European Athletics U23 Championships. Now he's diving into his passion for acting and  film making. I'm so excited for him and I can't wait to see what's next up his sleeves. 
 model: Toby Sandeman - @todysandeman_
(Soul Artist Mgmt NYC)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

black boys look blue in MOONLIGHT...

model: Rashad Irvin - @rashadirvin
(Whilhelmina NYC)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove


Moonlight is directed by filmmaker Barry Jenkins—was a breakout winner at the recent Golden Globes for Best Picture. It is based on In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man's struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own identity and sexuality. This is the first time I saw a film that has tackled issues of bullying, poverty, sexuality, drug abuse, and racial strife in a way I connected to my own personal life experiences.

From writer/director Barry Jenkins and starring Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, and Mahershala Ali. MOONLIGHT – Now Playing.

RELEASE DATE: October 21, 2016
CAST: Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, and Mahershala Ali

Visit the Moonlight WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/MoonlightFilm
Like Moonlight on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/MoonlightFB
Follow Moonlight on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/MoonlightTW

Set in Liberty City, Miami in the late 1980s and '90s, the film chronicles the coming-of-age of a black boy in the  hood—Chiron ("shy-rone")—as he struggles with his sexuality, peer pressure, and a drug-addicted single mother (Naomi Harris). Over the course of the film, he is taken under the wing of a sympathetic local drug dealer (Mahershala Ali), and he finds, loses, and finally reconnects with his first love, Kevin. The action unfolds in three acts—each one a different stage in the life of Chiron, whose conflicted teenage persona is captured beautifully by Ashton Sanders. Overall, the film is a moving reflection on black masculinity and human vulnerability.

model: Rashad Irvin - @rashadirvin
(Whilhelmina NYC)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove

Sitting in the theater watching this film unfolding in front of me was the first time I felt it in my heart. Most people focused on the sexuality identity issues in the movie. I connected more with the relationship the  main character, Chiron, had with  his  mother, Paula. It was the hardest to watch because it mirrored my relationship with my own mother. 

I grew up in poverty stricken South Memphis in the late 80's and 90's with a teen mother trying to make it with 2 sons and struggling with her own personal issues... The challenges we faced being black in the south during the '80's were tough...the odds were stacked against us. As a child, I watch my family first hand be ravished by the crack epidemic of the 80's. I was very shy because I was I embarrassed by my momma's downfall. Her transition into drugs played out in front of our entire community. I figured if I got good grades and presented myself like the "perfect" good son and stayed out of trouble that no one would know what was going on in my house. When other kids came over, I told them she was my aunt because I was embarassed and ashamed and I felt I was alone. I didnt know anyone else who's momma was like mine. Like Chiron, I was fortunate to have a place to escape to where I could find love and support and that was with my grandparents. I also had art.

Despite everything that happened, I know she loves me and I always showed her respect. I am thankful to have a restored relationship with her today. All the scenes with Chiron and his momma were tough to watch but the scene when Adult Chiron went to visit his mom at the rehab place was intense and gut-wrinching. It was the most real for me.

When I left the movie theater that night, the feelings I had stayed with me. I couldnt stop thinking about the amazing cinematography and beautiful music. The music perfectly filled up all the quiet moments of  the film. I came home and told my roommates about the movie and encouraged them to go and see the movie. It was the first time I ever connected to a film like this.

model: Rashad Irvin - @rashadirvin
(Whilhelmina NYC)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove

Monday, January 2, 2017


model: Raelia Lewis - @raelialewis
(Base - South Africa *** Mp Mega-Miami)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove
styling: Tarrice Love

Many people may recognize Raelia from the hit TV show “America’s Next Top Model” that premiered in 2014. A finalist during Cycle 21, Raelia stole the hearts of many as she fought her hardest to win the competition. She was instantly memorable  for me because she was hella sexy and handled every situation in a laid back manner.

Raelia Lewis from tarrice love on Vimeo.

After the show, Raelia went on to open shows for New York Fashion week, Miami swim week, and LA style week. She has worked internationally in South Africa and South Korea. Raelia starred in two commercials and she is featured in over 10 publications worldwide. 

I reached out to Raelia through instagram. I wasn't expecting a response but she hit me back right away. I've worked with ANTM contestants before but it was always through a third party connection , Usually when I hit up people from that show directly, they respond in a dismissive manner. Raelia was the first (and only) person from that show that worked with me directly.

model: Raelia Lewis - @raelialewis
(Base - South Africa *** Mp Mega-Miami)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove
styling: Tarrice Love

Raelia arrived (on time) and open to any idea I had. She's tall as hell and her body is a-maz-ing, reminiscent  of the supermodels of the 80's and 90's. After looking through her portfolio, I decided to do images that referenced 80's looks from Janet Jackson and my favorite style icon Lisa Bonet. I wanted to do images that felt more "New York" than the swimwear stuff that dominated her book.

I was also inspired by this wonderful dress by my favorite designer ,Azzedine Alaia. All the supermodels love Alaia, so my supermodel for the day had to have a "Alaia-ques" moment. I did a quick sketck and took yards of black fabric and draped it into a dress that looked similar.

I also created a headdress similar to the one Diana Ross wore in the movie Mahogany. Mahogomy is one of many movie I love referencing when I shoot women.

model: Raelia Lewis - @raelialewis
(Base - South Africa *** Mp Mega-Miami)
ph. Tarrice Love - @bytarricelove
styling: Tarrice Love

Raelia has released her first book entitled Thrust Your Journey: Tools For Making Your Dreams Come True. It tales her ups and downs about making it in the fashion industry. she hoops her story can help inspire and motivate others  to pursue their dreams.