Category Archives: Event Photography

Couture Fashion Week 2013

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I know this might be late (I know, I know), but I am going to talk about my experiences as a press photographer for this year’s Couture Fashion Week held at the New Yorker Hotel on February 16th. I was able to make it to only one of the days because the designers I was interested in viewing their work were showcasing the same day. From Pearl Naidoo of South Africa to Alphadi of Nigeria, I am always rooting for international fashion designers to take both New York Fashion Week and Couture Fashion by storm and hopefully get to work with many more international designers. I had the wonderful pleasure in working with both Dakar Boutique from Senegal (there will be a future blog) and Sai Suman Couture from India. Nonetheless, I find the outfits were even more impressive and eloquent than ever before. From Alphadi’s beautiful dresses (My favorite was the woman in the brilliant pink) to Pearl Naidoo’s spunky male model of Indian descent and Marlene’s amazing wedding dresses, I am anxious to see if this would be something in the markets quite soon. I have also improved significantly in my sharpness, color balance, and lighting of my shots than the last couture fashion week, with the same old Canon 60D camera and kit lens. I can’t complain, I am still working on acquiring new lenses for my 60D. I would not get rid of my camera in a million years! Sure, I wished I moved to the front of the press pit to get the over the head runway shots you see in magazines, but the press photographers I have encountered were extremely vicious! I was one of the first ones, but I am not doing it for a magazine or a particular designer. Next time I do Couture Fashion Week, I will get more snarly to get the absolute best shots! Who knows, I might become a New York Times Photographer. The sky is the limit, our world is small. I am here to experience it all. Wait, why did I end with a rhyme? Until the end of time, I get the shots that is…ok, im done.

Advertisements

Ashton Michael Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection-“Black Heart”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hi everyone,

Since I have been hiatus for a while, I will leave you guys with one last post. And yes, its New York Fashion Week related for all those fashionstas out there. I’m actually uber excited writing this post as we speak since I have the utmost pleasure in covering an Ashton Michael show. You may seen some of his work (notably his jackets) with a few celebrities including Will i Am, Azealia Banks, and Waka Flocka Flame. Unlike the Micheal Kuluva- I Crave You collection, a show of flashy, hearts, and “Dripping in Gold” features, Black Heart is a huge contrast! The show adorns with each model sporting a gold nose-rings like long horn bulls, Gothic/metal leather jackets, unusual models (eg., a stocky man with a crazy beard, albino models, and the famous Zombie Boy.) The show is absolutely my favorite fashion show to date, not because of clothes I could see myself wearing (if I have the money), but a memorable one that I consider one of the scariest and perhaps controversial show of the season. Nonetheless, check out Zombie Boy and Ashton Michael’s line! You wont be disappointed. Unless you are very conservative in fashion, which can be boring! Cheers!

Please check out Ashton Michael at:http://www.ashtonmichael.com/home.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashtonmichaella

Tumbler and Tipsy-I Crave You! Fall 2013 Collection

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hello everyone,

2012 has been quite an impressive year for me as I plan to make 2013 even bigger. This is officially my first post of the year and what better way to start off by talking about New York Fashion Week for the Fall Collection. I was honored to find out that the post that I wrote about last year’s Tumbler and Tipsy’s show landed me an official invite to attend the Tumbler and Tipsy- I Crave You! Fall 2013 collection as press. I never really expect my blogging can lead to more opportunities to network, but nonetheless I get to attend another Tumbler and Tipsy show!  Michael Kuluva is a LA based designer and owner of the Tumbler and Tipsy fashion line. The show was held on February 12, 2013 at STYLE360 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City. Sponsored by Harmon/Kardon and Conair style, the show is set to impress once more.

Stars that attended the red carpet include Lily Halpern, Camen Electra, and Wynter Gordon as the show opened up with a live performance by pop singer Colette Carr with the hit song “F16”. Her military style baggy pants forecast what is to come for the rest of the show. The majority of models sported in plaid and or military like attire such as studded jackets and combat boots. However, since Valentine’s Day was near, the show had interesting Valentine themed accessories such as the makeup of the female models’ lips painted in heart shaped pouts, in tribute to Betty Boop. The show have alot of flashy and glittery aesthetics in the dresses and gear. but the most remembered among the collection was the official “Dripping in Gold” black sweatshirt worn by a model. Micheal Kuluva wore this shirt for the event. The show concluded with each model holding a red heart-shaped balloon. Overall, great show and perhaps Valentine’s Day Gift for those who attended!

P.S. I met Micheal Kuluva after the show was over! Best Valentine’s Day gift ever.

Please check out Tumbler and Tipsy at:  http://www.tumblerandtipsy.com/index2.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TumblerandTipsy

Expect the Unexpected, you will appreciate it. (Part I)

Hi everyone,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So there were several events I participated this year, but due to Hurricane Sandy and the lack of a stable laptop, I was left discouraged to post everything that has happened to me recently. Not to mention, I can not remember every event  I have been to in detail. So, I dedicate these two posts for these three events, Hurricane Sandy, New York Comic Con, and the 2012 PDN Expo. I start with New York Comic Con and Anime festival since it came first. I was blessed to receive my second press pass this year as the show was much more bigger than I expected. I was overwhelmed of where to start, which booths or exhibitions to look at, and how much time should I photograph various events. Not to mention, the attendees from this year is higher in number than 2010’s expo (I heard the number was over 110,000 as tickets were sold out before the show.) I can not tell you as much in detail of my experiences this year since I came unprepared, tired, and overwhelmed, solely the reason that I spent more of my time with Cos-players than attending some of the events. Although, I did spent some time in the show floor. I must say that seeing New York streets flooded with superheros, zombies, monsters, and villains has clearly made me feel at home for I am quite the anime/video game fan myself. I didn’t expect that the cos-players were the highlight of my time at the show, but I surely appreciated the interactions I had with them. Here are some pics I took from the event! Enjoy!

She’s The Way Summit at Columbia

Hi guys,

IMG_6760

So sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Having been affected by Hurricane Sandy with a run down laptop has completely slowed down my blogging. And thus, I waited awhile to think about more things to write about. Thanks to Sony, I am able to obtain a Vaio laptop and other multimedia gear. So I am going to start with the latest photography experience I have. I attended the She’s The Way Summit at Columbia University this past weekend. She’s the Way Summit is a global movement promoting, mentoring, and educating young women of Africa, especially from marginalized and oppressed locations. I was really excited that it was a multitude of seminars and discussions about inspirational women of color tell their stories to other women of color in hopes that inspiration will follow. Not to mention that the event was sponsored by Dark and Lovely which provided amazing gift bags and hair makeovers to the women that participated. Among the events I attended this year, it was definitely something I am not used too (considering that I do more fashion and music events) but definitely gained a lot of contacts and self-awareness. I just have to fight harder to continue telling the stories of others through the power of film and photography.

Couture Fashion Week 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking back at my previous blog about my goals for September, I am glad to say I have come a long way. I have photographed many large scale events in New York, got the attention of models, designers, and CEOs for my photography, and still managed to write about it. Couture Fashion Week was absolutely the best show I have taken pictures of to date and learned so much about producing magazine worthy pics without fancy equipment. I also networked with different fashion designers and photographers. I must tell you, its definitely not as easy as bringing your camera and sitting down to take pictures. A fashion show as big as Couture is really intense, especially as press photographer. You need great seating to take amazing pics; be expected to arrive at least two (2) hours before the first show. Not to mention, expect great competition for the seats as well. Both experienced and average photographers alike are very snappy when someone (even photographers hired from the fashion designers) are in the way. However, I still managed to take wonderful pics for you guys to share and also posted on my website.

The venue for Couture Fashion Week is in Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City as the show includes world class entertainment (amazing singers such as Veronica Iovan) and exhibits of art and luxury products and services from different places from around the world, including China, the Philippines, and Nigeria. Although I do admit that my knowledge of fashion is limited, I am glad to gain more world class fashion from the event. The designers that came out are not limited to European designers, but also included India and Vietnam. Couture Fashion Week is definitely the last stretch of fashion week in New York since its separate from New York Fashion Week. My favorite designers this year falls with Andres Aquino, Wendy Luzon, Sai Suman, and Zizi Cardow. I leave you guys with amazing pictures of this year’s show. Enjoy!

Tumbler And Tipsy And Just Dance 4 NYFW

I didn’t expect to write a post about New York Fashion Week stuff since this is my first time doing the show. However, yesterday was perhaps the coolest day of this month. Not only did I got invited by an amazing model, but it was quite the star studded event. Michael Kuluva, a LA based designer shown his fashion line, Tumbler and Tipsy at STYLE360 at the Metropolitan Pavilion South. Sponsored by major brands such as Monster Energy Drink, Monster Beats, and Stoli, its quite the expectation when you have a popular video game dance party, lots of freebies, and tons of A-list celebrities. I took pictures of the Red carpet and met people from different outlets such as Signature Hits and amazing freelancers. The only two people I was familiar with was Nina Sky and Jojo. I was super lucky to grab a pic with Nina Sky, which is shared at the bottom of this blog below. I may not grab a pic of Jojo and I together, but telling her how much I love her music and the warming smile she responded was just as good enough for me.

It was quite overwhelming for me at first, but I remember how well I take those pictures and just let me laid-back self take care the rest. I got the best seat in the house to take the runaway shots of the models, including Olympian Alex Morgan. Among the audience members were Kris Jenner and Lance Bass of NSYNC. Never in a million years that I find Lance Bass or Kardashian in the same room as me. Nor, to have Ms. Jenner ran full body contact with me by mistake (she apologized) and to get a hug from my favorite NSYNC band member. Overall, my whole experience was amazing. From a male model rocking out a long black tutu, a random busty runway model, hanging out with G4, to even learning that I will suck at Just Dance 4 super hard, it was all quite unsuspectingly awesomeness!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

http://chiomaozuzu.smugmug.com/Events/Tumbler-and-Tipsys-Just-Dance/25343445_v9HsP3#!i=2083978808&k=b9q6PB6

http://chiomaozuzu.smugmug.com/Events/Just-Dance-4-Red-Carpet/25342950_w7Sg7H#!i=2083967207&k=x85dWBj

Hanging out with Straight Line Stitch

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Life is often unpredictable. It can be to our advantage or disadvantage as we venture into its adventures. I am still in awe of this year’s Afro Punk this past weekend.  Not only I photographed two amazing events, but the relationships I built are memorable. I met a CEO and the lead singer of a band I admire in a single weekend. Its a blessing to go with your gut and let life/God/fate take the wheel, hopefully for the best. I am going to share you a story which is going to start another series in my blog to add to “Memory Lane”, “Celebrities I met”. Later on, I will share of my experiences meeting celebs including Stan Lee, The Roots, and Juelz Santana, some of the most humble people I have met. Let’s start with Straight Line Stitch. After my fan-girl self photographed their performance and got an exclusive SLS guitar pick, the band mentioned after their show they will be hanging out with the public for a bit. I rarely see a band willing to hang out with the public after a show. Nonetheless, I know that they can not stay for long since they have tours and stuff. I spent over 90 minutes looking for the band. I actually wanted an autograph. I stocked up on Vitamin-water and Granola Bars since I lost some energy.

Luckily for me, one of the security guards in black suits was a good friend of mine. I asked if Straight Line Stitch left and he told me that they mostly likely did since he saw most of them packing their stuff into the van. I was glad to ran into my friend because the manager of the band had just passed me. I remembered him because he was the one that gave me the SLS guitar pick. I left my friend and rushed to catch up with him. I got his attention by mentioning that I was huge fan of the band and wanted to meet them. He agreed and I walked alongside him. He told me that some of them were getting their gear into the van  in order to hit the road. At the time, I did not see the lead singer. However, I did ran into the drummer of the band and another metal band called “Blessthefall”. The drummer was SLS was very humble and chill. He actually signed one of his drumsticks and gave it to me. The manager gave me another cool guitar pick, bringing my total to two. As I talked to the drummer and his experiences,  I learned he has been playing the drums since he was 3 years old and played for 27 years. Suddenly,Janelle Monae rushed inside the media check-in station. I took a picture of her by mistake and I was the only photographer their at the time. I am still thinking whether to publish the picture or not.

After the crowd waiting to get into the festival wildly cheered, I actually realized that I have quite a winning picture. I showed the pic to the drummer and recommended that I should give it to the press or something. I also realized that the lead singer was in the van too. I boldly walked over to the passenger side of the van and met Alexis of SLS. Again, I was blown away of how humble and kind she was, despite the killer metal vocals she possesses. Not only metal bands are scary, lol. I went inside of the van and hanged out with her and the manager. They have a long road ahead of them because they are on tour from Tennessee. I learned alot about Tennesse and more about the band in person, such as their backgrounds, band life, and other details. I asked Alexis for an autograph and I was so happy to tell her in person how Straight Line Stitch was the main reason I came out to Afro Punk. She was really humbled to hear my story as she saw my DSLR around my neck, complementing my Afro Punk press badges. I told her that I was a photographer and asked to see some of my pics. I gave her my camera to view the pics and she was actually quite impressed. Not only the pics were good but she was surprised that I got great pics of her face showing.

She  never met a photographer that actually can get good pics of her face showing because her long hair is often in the way from all that headbanging. She asked if she can post some of the pics of the band so I can get photo credit. I had a surreal moment; I am sitting inside the van of the band I came out to see and now they asked to post my pics on their site and for me to get credit. This is beyond my expectation of Afro Punk, this is heaven! I definitely agreed to it and hope that some of my pics are of good use for the band’s promotion. Unfortunately, I had to run to photograph Janelle Monae’s performance. I gave Alexis my card and exchange contact information to ensure she will get a hold of the pics. I gave her a big hug before I rushed off.  I rushed off to the last Afro Punk performance with three details in my head: 1) I exchanged contact information with a band I listen to 2) I gave Alexis a big hug 3) They love the pics!  I may not got the best pics of Janelle Monae at Afro Punk, but I never forget the experience of hanging out with Straight Line Stitch and the relationships built. Not to mention, the cool text message she sent me about how nice meeting each other and the pics! Once again Afro Punk, you never ceased to amaze me! Take care folks.

Afro Punk 2012

I admit, this past weekend was the highlight of my summer! I can not complain that I could not go to Afro Punk on the Saturday part of the festival due to photographing ABA Tryouts, but I was stoked that I still made it to the Sunday edition. I entered Brooklyn with a beautiful sight of many people of color in punk/indie/hipster attire at the Barry Commodore Park. Memory lane moment, I had a punk/rocker stage during my high school and early college years. I knew about Afro Punk since I was 17 and always dreamed of attending the festival since Afro Punk released a movie before having the festival. I was also 17 went I started listening to Straight Line Stitch since the lead singer was black. 5 years later, I was blessed to have a press pass and finally be surrounded with wonderful punk rockers, hipsters, non-label, non-conformists people like myself for a day. Heaven. Sponsored by Nike and Vitamin water, the festival was free to the general public. I was fortunate to have some of my close friends attend the festival with me. One was press and the others were volunteers. Having more access than the general public made things easier. At first I was very overwhelmed of what sites to photograph first, but I realized it was best for me to start with the bands performing, then move around. Thank god there were samples of vitamin water and awesome granola bars I forgot the name of. It helped me survived the festival without much of a budget to spend on outside food, especially fighting my temptation of buying tacos. I love tacos.

I took pictures of performers including Tess, Phony people, Janelle Monae (I am guilty that I wish I knew more about her since she is so famous, bad Chioma) and Straight Line Stitch, which is actually the main reason why I wanted to come out to Afro Punk! I love the energy of each of the performers and had some amazing shots from each performance.  I also took pictures of the BMX competition as this was also my  first time taking action photography. I got amazing bikes in mid-air shots of the contestants. Afro Punk also featured a motorcycle show and I had the pleasure of talking to one of the owners.  I have two highlights from Afro Punk before I close, one is actually going to be  featured in a future post (too much detail to fit in this  post) and one is quite obvious. Janelle Monae and Straight Line Stitch. I actually got an exclusive picture of Janelle Monae entering the festival and I took shots of her performance. However, the real highlight of the festival for me was the Straight Line Stitch show. Not only they are the only heavy metal band for the festival, but they actually stay true to the “Afro Punk” nature.    I was so blessed in not only get front row taking pictures of their 28 minute set and got an exclusive SLS  guitar pic, but I actually met the band and hanged out with them! Writing details about my experience soon! OVERALL, AFRO PUNK IS SOOOOO WORTH IT! I even met fashion designers such as Coco and Breezy and networked alot! Take care my friends.

P.S. Sorry guys, I may have Afro Punk pics posted on my website, but locked them for strong reasons. I will unlock the album soon!

Check out chiomaozuzu.smugmug.com for more pics!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Worth the fight, worth the struggle.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Haven’t wrote a blog for a few days now, so I rather reflect on things close to home than report on some events I have in store for August. While I am thrilled to get press for New York Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week, Afro Punk, and American Basketball Association launch, I still have a ultra long way to go before I actually get there. I often hyperventilate on little things that questions both  my photography/videography skills. Photographers, ever been told that you have amazing photography, but mentally you are not yet satisfied of your current level? Are you only doing wedding photography because you are very good in this section of photography, but deep down someday you always wanted to do fashion photography? That, you want to breathe the same air as models who traveled to Paris, London, and Tokyo? You want to surround yourself with people that only talk about Coco Channel, Audrey Hepburn, and Twiggy, but I am quite sure that your yearnings for these conversations are deemed unfit for the most important day of someone’s life. I am very familiar with Event photography, but I hope to someday do Action, Fashion, and Photojournalism. I see myself practicing Martial Arts such as Muay Thai and Shotokan Karate (or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) as well as both re-speaking Japanese and learning Portuguese to go to both Brazil and Japan.

However, being buried in extensive college loans heavily drown my thoughts constantly. Not to mention, 2012 is perhaps the most difficult year I have ever experience. The pain of getting robbed twice in a year, getting my heart kicked the shit around all my last college semester, a sick grandmother, and hyperventilating that not having a full time job and following a photographer(s) who specializes in Action, Fashion, Photojournalism is quite a mind- fuck. That is not even all in my bucket list that 2012 is quite difficult for me. However, giving up isn’t something I hardly do. And you should not either.  The women in my family (excluding my sisters) are perhaps the most bulletproof people I know. To have a Nigerian-born mom working 16 hours workdays at least 6 days a week and still have time to raise and advise seven children is absolutely amazing. My grandmother is a step  above my mom, who also raised seven kids during the Biafran war. God knows how much mentally she went through since most people experienced the war like Biafra often go mentally ill. My grandma is the sweetest old lady I know. Her smile often makes you forget about the horrors, whether her horrors or yours. In fact, writing this post at this moment shows how lucky I am, to be fully alive, have a place to stay at home, and a camera to continue being a photographer, and hopefully the photographer I want to be.