Sunday, December 30, 2012

Familiar Faces

I photographed these girls, Lisa Ziven and Dakota Solt, a while ago not knowing who they were at all. They were nice girls with great style that I found hanging around Sunset Junction. Now, these two are popping up randomly. First, Dakota is part of The Tappan Collective, which my sister's best friend/roommate is also part of. And secondly, I just opened up the October edition of Nylon (a bit late, I know) to see an article written about them and their clothing line/artist collective, Crybaby Presents. Who knows where they will pop up next!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Earlier this year my grandma shared some information that made quite the impact on me - whatever happens on your birthday will be a reflection of your year. So if you have a crappy birthday, you'll have a crappy year. If you have a great birthday, you'll have a great year. Andddddd I kind of believe that. For the past two or three birthdays, things didn't turn out so well or were a mess (because my birthday is the day after Christmas) and maybe that really did affect my year?! I don't know if that's true or not, but I went into this birthday with an open mind and realized that yeah, having my birthday the day after Christmas will always be kind of tough and I just need to accept that.

And I had a great day! Breakfast at Toast on West Third, a beautiful hike in Temescal Canyon, finally seeing Silver Linings Playbook, dinner at The Churchill, and drinks at Harvard and Stone. I don't think I have ever done that much on my birthday before. Thank you so much to Tianna and Dion for making my day amazing.

Winter-y Street Style Shots

New article on Refinery29 featuring street style pics I've been taking for about the past month. Check it out here!

Susie Homemaker

Although I love photography and I am a photo intern for Refinery29, I didn't want anything photo-related for Christmas. Not one thing. I know photography has kind of been defining who I am lately, but I just have gotten sick of all the camera accessories and lenses and flashes that I've had to get lately.

As you can tell I love desserts and I love baking desserts even more so, so I got a bunch of baking-themed presents this year. Adorable measuring cups, jars to hold sugar/spices/etc., a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine all from my sister; a Cuisinart ice cream maker to add fuel to the fire with my addiction to ice cream - from my mom; and a KitchenAid stand mixer from my dad! I've wanted the last gift for years - any time I was ever in a department store with my mom, I would find myself admiring all the pretty KitchenAid mixers in different colors, but I always said I would want a silver one because it would match any kitchen.

So apparently, turning 23 (on December 26th) was actually like turning 60. I have become an old lady and I will bake all day and talk to my cats while I do it. Fine by me!

Christmas Eve

For Christmas Eve this year, we had a pretty big dinner with a handful of our friends in attendance. I have a really small family, so inviting friends over for Christmas has become a tradition. SO MUCH food was made... including our Czech pork dish (I have no idea how to spell it, but it's the Czech version of wienerschnitzel). I was in charge of the desserts, so I made fudge, cookies, and a spice cake from a recipe that has been in our family for a while. I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but here are some:

The outfit I wore - a random dress I found at Crossroads and Zara heels

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Street Style, Bo

Street Style, Joy

This is how southern Californians do 'winter'

Holiday Window Displays

Here's the article on holiday window displays around LA. Rodeo Drive around Christmas time is stunning and if it weren't so damn windy the night I went (we're talking Chicago-windy style: the worst!) I would have stayed in the area much longer just to window shop. I'm a sucker for Christmas decorations so I loved this assignment. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Street Style, Danielle

Street Style, Rebecca

LA's Coolest Coffee Shops

Last week, I was given the assignment to shoot a handful of coffee shops around LA. Out of the 12 coffee shops on the list, I only needed to shoot 5 because the others provided their own pictures, but I was a good little photographer and shot 9 of them. All of the coffee shops I trekked to were really freaking cool: the employees/managers of these places were really great; each place had unique and beautiful d├ęcor; and obviously, all (or the three I tried) had delicious (and strong) coffee/espresso drinks. The article (here) went up today and it looks amazing. Take a look, or better yet, go visit these places!

Bourgeois Pig
I was excited to go to this place because I thought it was the same as the Bourgeois Pig in Chicago (a favorite of mine), but alas, it wasn't. The cool thing about this coffee shop is that it is open until 2am. I went here when it was raining like crazy last week, so that was rough, and it took me 30 minutes to find parking. 

The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa
The Conservatory is right down the street from my sister's house in Culver City so getting there was very convenient, but it was SO crowded in the little coffee shop that I had to squeeze by the line to get in and there wasn't much room for me to get a lot of pictures. Nevertheless, I liked it and will go again when it's less crowded (if that's possible). 

Bourbon Street Cafe
Located in Koreatown, I found Bourbon Street Cafe tucked away in a little outdoor mall/plaza. The coffee shop was beautiful and very cozy, and I absolutely loved the bar seating area. As part of the assignment, I had to order a drink from 3-5 places to photograph it, and so I chose to get the chocolate chip affogato (chocolate chip ice cream with espresso poured over it). Because it was 10 in the morning, I was a brat and didn't try it, BUT it looked good. Sorry for being a wimp. 


Bricks & Scones
Loved, loved, LOVED this place. From the beautiful chandelier in the main room, to the winding staircase leading to the upstairs seating area equipped with a library, to the chalkboard menu, to the delicious scones... this place won me over. I ordered a latte and a blueberry scone and just wanted to stay there for the rest of the day. I can't wait to go back. Oh yeah and Anthony, the guy who served me was super friendly and made the experience that much better.

Stir Crazy Coffee Shop
All I have to say about this place: funniest manager and owner ever. Oh, and great orange juice. And very cozy and small. But still, funniest guys. 

Graffiti Sublime Coffee
White + black + and a hint of red = a very chic coffee shop. The guys who worked there were very cool and made me their specialty drink, Sister Midnight (espresso, milk, and ganache chocolate over ice... YUM). The space was enormous and just beautiful to look.

Muse on 8th

Paper or Plastik
This was my 2nd favorite of the bunch (Bricks & Scones reigning supreme, of course)... but I loved it based only on aesthetics - I didn't try the coffee! 

Espresso Profeta
Espresso Profeta, located in Westwood, was my last stop on the coffee shop journey. Since my dad works so close I invited him along, and it was nice for him to finally see me in my element. Here, I ordered a flat white, which is similar to a latte, but it was SO strong. The guys working there were messing around with me and jokingly wouldn't let me leave until I actually tried it, so I did, and let's just say I felt pretty jittery after it - I only had 2 sips!