Thursday, May 31, 2012

Portrait of a Painter

not only was i celebrating my birthday in tdot last week, but i scheduled a few shoots with some talented peeps. one shoot in particular was with the brilliant painter John Viljoen. i met John YEARS back as a model for his painting classes. and no i was not nude :) this time around however the roles were reversed and he was my model in this series, Portrait of a Painter. Oh! and his lovely model would be Mina :) gorge!!!
thanks to wedding photography, i've learned the art of documentary photography. yes you can go for that one epic shot, but it's also quite interesting to communicate a story through several shots. John wanted me to do the latter with our session. an image by itself may say very little but the minute you pair it beside another a story begins to develop. it usually takes me some time to choose images that best communicate a'll evolve but here it is so far:
my fav photoshop actions are these by Red Leaf Boutique. i learned photography on an old skool Nikon FE film slr, which is why i'm in LOVE with these actions...they give it that film quality i oh so miss.
with RL actions above, and without below
these actions are a pretty penny for someone as "frugal" as me but they're well worth it. i only wish they had them for Light Room. sad face :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vintage Shopping in Brooklyn

finally some time! i spent my memorial day yesterday sleeping in and biking around the city. i took my under developed muscles and hubby and biked down to Williamsburg.
this bike weighs a ton! great for getting a winter body back into shape :)
we biked through Times Square...gross i know but this was beautiful. i think this was at Toys R Us

i finally checked out Beacon's Closet...i've never been there until yesterday. the place is massive but i couldn't really get into my shopping zone knowing that David was sitting there waiting for me.
i died when i spotted these. mint condition reebok hightops for $10 never been worn!!! size 10 and i'm an 8...BOOOOOO!!! 
shopping with a straight man is just mean...poor him :) David escorted me to Buffalo Exchange (i'm so lucky to have a patient husband) and i scored the cutest sweater ever!!! YAA!!! (i know it's summer but still! too cute) and it was $9 bucks!
and i scored these uber cute glasses...tres tetris-slash-lego. i had spotted them here in the city from the street vendors but passed...i saw them again and had to buy them. $8.50!
i spent under $20 on this kiddy, cute, fun look! woot woot!

Friday, May 25, 2012

the real progress report

wowzers! i'm gonna fall back some. uploading that last video made me realize i need to prioritize my life. making videos every week is killing my personal and work life.  i'm gonna stick to a video every other week as i stated in my very first video, which will allow me to blog more, create stuff, and hopefully i can catch up. since i'll be making a video every other week i hope i can invest more time in filming and editing and delivery fun, quality videos :) so for those that want regular updates in between...ya'll gotta visit me hur! editing and uploading videos when i really should be spending time with family or editing my yeah...i'm still #shameless :)

maybe i'll even get some sleep

i have equated being on the road to being on my laptop...geesh!

lots of fun stuff coming!!! i'm trying really hard to get that video up today but it may be late :(
working on immigration stuff...

Monday, May 21, 2012


well happy belated birthday to me! yesterday i celebrated the epic day with my traditional bowl off and BBQ '80s style!

we bowled at Danforth Bowl...such a nook! this place was the real deal. there are only 6 lanes and you have to keep score on paper. no! the lame part is they're only open Sunday's until 5pm. who goes bowling 2 in the afternoon? me and my cool crew, that who :)
back to my mama's crib for some sun and grilled food!
my brother, Meghan, and Jackie taking in the sun :)

My homies Cat and Jamie embracing their inner 80s...yay to them for living it up!
Thank you guys for making this birthday laid back and fun! The trip back home to be around good family and friends was well worth it.
that would be me channeling my inner late 80s Vanessa Williams-slash-Whitney Houston meet work out gear.

I realize I haven't been on my 10 tweets, 4 blogs, 3 tumbles and IG pics but damn those roaming charges! I'll have to make up for my tardiness when I cross the boarder. I'm hoping I can get that video up tomorrow but there's a possibility that may be late too. EEKS! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

to drive or not to drive?

for the time being my travels have been restricted to roadtrips. i have no clue what brought it on but my left ear has been all jacked for the last several months...doctors are baffled. anyways, that's another blog post...thankfully home is an 8hr drive away.
we started our trek at 5:30am. it's so quiet and beautiful in NYC at this hour :)
somewhere south of Syracuse. 
we're driving the stupid gas guzzler dodge nitro. i'm not big on 4x4's especially this one. 6am and it's cold out and the heat decided to spit out cold a/c air even while it was off...argh!!! and once it got hot outside at around 11am the heat decided to work. not cute!
and the cry baby that is Jackie finally gets to stretch her legs out while breaking the law. 

and yes i hooked me and my girl up with a pretty lilac paint job while David manned the wheel :)

a flight from NY to TO usually cost around $350/person plus $100 each way for the pooch. that would be $900. although the flight is only 1hr, getting to the airport takes another 1hr, and since Toronto is an international flight we have to arrive 2hrs ahead, plus customs, who like to pick on me, plus picking up any checked luggage, plus driving from the airport home...that's about 5hrs. driving directly from NYC is 8hrs..7 if we decide to speed demon it out.  the extra 3hrs and spending $250 on the car rental and around $160 on gas with a grand total of $410 versus $900? yup i'll keep my $490 in my savings account thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the bane of my existence!

editing videos!!!
what a learning curve! i was forced to learn the new Final Cut Pro 10 (fcpx) thanks to iMovie constantly crashing on my little macbook. but what a blessing! i was doing things the long tedious way!!! so now i'm working on the beast of my macbook pro (which i jacked from my husband), trying to take over the world! the entire process of my interview videos take anywhere from 8-15hrs of work. filming takes roughly 2hrs, editing is ridiculous! 6-10hrs since i'm learning as i go along. constant youtube surfing learning how to do the simplest of task. next week better be faster!!! i guess i get to strip my eyes away from this laptop once it's exporting...
i think moving forward i'll do like "study" "interview" videos every other week and fun dinky videos in between.  i totally have to get into the nitty gritty of shameless week!
i plan on revamping to showcase everything in a one-stop, links to my photography, this blog, twitter, instagram, facebook, videos, all things maya :)
it's happening, 48 more weeks to go!
the major plus about this all?! i start editing the trailer for my '80s doc and it doesn't seem so daunting now :)
practice, practice, practice!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's Day all you beautiful mother's out there!
I love my mom more than I can begin to articulate. My mother is my idol and the definition of strength. She instilled in me what it means to love unconditionally, to fight, to survive, to celebrate, to be grateful and most of all, to have faith. I've had my highs and lows with her; she was my best friend as a child, my enemy as a teen, and my best friend now as an adult and wife. Life isn't easy and when i crack and fall apart at the seams she's the one I turn to and helps to keep me together.
She raised me and my brother as a single parent and sacrificed more than I can ever repay her in this life time. I hope to repay her by passing what she's taught me to my kids.
Thank you mom for being wonderful, for being my super hero, for being my mom :)
Oh and now I'm lucky to have a second mom! My mother-in-law! Thank Gad we more than get along. With my mom being back home in Toronto it's good to have a second mother. My NYC mom keeps me fed, healthy, laughing and sane! And funny enough I look more like mama #2! She raised my hubby to be the wonderful man he is today. 
Thank you mother's everywhere! Continue to be strong and transform those demon children into angel's of tomorrow.


Friday, May 11, 2012

second gear

i feel like i got my homework done early! after posting my latest video on YouTube "talk about what?" a flood of ideas came pouring in thanks to my real world and cyber friends. i guess i can't stand talking about me..."get over it maya!" i'll be stalling again this coming week with an inspiring interview with Andrea Lewis from TGAW, but Tuesday, May 22 will be maya's world in full effect. the best thing about this #shameless challenge is the massive support i've been receiving from everyone. i really had no idea so many people were in the same boat as me. so thank you for supporting and encouraging me to get over this nonsense.  i haven't even begun to scrape the surface of #shameless. i'm still not doing a very good job...gotta kick myself into second gear...
lots of fun entertaining things are lined up. my biggest challenge is balancing my personal, career, and creative life. so many diy's i want to do but the time! it'll come...

in terms of this challenge, moving forward i'll be dissecting #shameless with interviews and discussions as well as #shamelessly plugging myself and the fun things it is i do. a still from footage with Andrea Lewis on location at The Highline

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

back to beauty

i'm super excited to be working tomorrow on my first beauty test here in NYC!!! i'll be working with the talented makeup artist Cassi Renee and a gorgeous new face with MuseNYC i go through these phases where i have a love hate relationship with fashion/beauty photography. i was so into fashion photography until i grew up and started to get to know some of these models and how cut throat this industry can be and how it scarred a model's self perception. i also didn't like how fashion photography was perceived as a pedestal and everything else was a "job" to support a photographer's passion for fashion. don't get me wrong i love fashion and beauty but LIFE is beautiful! life is so vast and i appreciate the beauty it has to offer which is why my photography is so broad these days. i guess i just needed to re-explore the beauty life had to offer and capture it in photographs before getting back into fashion/beauty. i'm confident i've found a balance which is now reflected in my work. we can all find beauty or the grotesque in anything...i'm looking forward to seeing the beauty in "beauty" photography. here's my inspiration for tomorrow:
tomorrow's shoot is a combination of beauty and art. my goal is to blow the prints up super large, frame them and hang them on my living room wall. i'm all about supporting artist by buying art, but as of late i'm itching to create my own. wish me luck!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

that's scary

this is a beautiful way to live life.
i'm slowly but surly getting through my fears and that's thanks to facing them head on. and once you tackle them you realize it's not so bad. keep at it and eventually it becomes a thing of the past.
even though i kick myself for doing this 365 day shameless challenge i realize this is a blessing. i can't wait till this "shame" becomes "less" and yesterdays news. thanks for tuning in and supporting ya'll! it really mean a lot! THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

how to annihilate NYC roaches

conversations with a new yorker include anything from fashion to politics to roaches. yes ROACHES! one good reason not to live in this city. for a lady such as myself, who can't stand bugs, this meant war when i first moved here nearly 2 years ago. i remember several dramatic encounters with these scary beings. my very first one...i was visiting NYC for like the second time, walking around at night with my fellow Torontonian friend in the lower east side. the season was fall and the street light was reflecting off the autumn leaves that scattered the sidewalk. being the child i am i started kicking up the leaves. it took me a few seconds to register that these weren't beautifully coloured autumn leaves but in fact giant nyc roaches partying on the side. WTF?!!! that story is pretty dramatic and i have yet to encounter anything as disgusting as this but yeah...GROSS! when i first moved into my apartment these guys were just chilling on counter tops. EFF THAT!!! this meant war. ya'll can crawl up and down the streets but party in my crib?! i tried the roach bombs, sprays, traps...temporary results!
while visiting my 'rents-in-law's home i noticed not one single roach...and they had food out! "what are you doing and tell me now!" my dominican's hooked me up with the only formula that works
pharmacy grade boric acid
white sugar 

my mother-in-law used half of the boric acid bottle (2oz)
6 eggs
keep adding white sugar and mash it up with a folk until it turns into the consistency of play dough
roll them up in balls and shove them in corners of cabinets and closets
keep them away from your pets. when i just got Jackie i didn't puppy proof yet and she accidentally ate one and threw up...eeks!

if you happen to live around dominican's, you might be able to buy it premade but i like knowing the secrets. i guess the idea is the roaches smell the eggs and like the tasty sugar and die from the acid. i remember the first time i put this out i cried! it was like a roach fest, they all came out of hiding and i'm thinking we didn't use enough boric acid and they're just multiplying! a couple days later GONE! those suckers have died somewhere and i am the victor of this battle!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

pants on fiya!

since joggers aren't exactly making a fashion statement i'm looking for something comfy and fashionable. i love, love, love these wide, printed floral pants! it doesn't get better than this!
i found me some beautiful printed silk fabric for $15/yard that i plan on transforming into something similar to the top right. now if i can just find the time this weekend...
isn't this gorgeous?! i'll share my findings...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

get yo nails did!

i'm such a casual-boheem-joggers-hair out nail polish, no lipstick,  just basics. but all these photos on instagram are making me envy these fun designs. so now i'm officially addicted to nail polish and nail art. i usually only get my nails done when i'm hanging out with my homie Dahlia, but me and miss Andrea Lewis got our nails done at the salon over a week ago and i'm looking at the nail tech like, "give me that nail polish and let me do it". she free handed a black french manicure and it wasn't as clean as i would have liked it. however, it was a nice treat having someone hook me up especially my toes. but as you all know i'm about saving my pennies. this look i did at home cost under $5. i already had black and pink nail polish which i bought for $1 each on 125th in Harlem. i just got those stickers for french manicures for $2 and instead flipped them upside down. i love how black nail polish looks as an accent but you can use any colour combination. make sure the base color is DRY! i put the sticker on too soon and it ended up peeling off the pink. but can do so many designs if you play around and get creative.
even Jackie's upping her style game :)
you do realize nail art on dogs would be a sensation...especially here in nyc

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let's Talk About It

Video #2 is posted!!!
i can't tell you how scary this project is. not knowing what you're doing and revealing how clueless and shameless i'm trying to be, is pretty cray-cray. this took me FOREVER to edit. mainly because i interviewed my friend and we kept rambling for a good 45mins. that along with my own video and chopping off as much fat as possible to condense a somewhat coherent story into 3-4mins is pretty hard for me, compounded with technical difficulties, AND i've also been sick, yet again and knocking in and out of consciousness. i imagine it'll get easier.  this experiment is pretty interesting. for now it's an idea/discussion, but i have so much more to go! i have to really get into the shamelessness of it all and i'm still only skimming the surface. any who...check out the vid: