Archive for May, 2016

May 27, 2016

It was such a pleasure to meet Ann. When she enquired about the shoot I always ask a bit of information about themselves. And Ann told me she loves the color red. So immediately we knew we had to incorporate this color. During the shoot we played the song Rood/red from Marco Borsato. I LOVE that song. So powerful.

She explained that she wanted to have ‘fier’ portraits of herself. I am such an advocate for that. She said that it looks like a “light” is switch on in the women that I photograph. And we will print some of these portraits quite big. To celebrate life, to celebrate the now.

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May 19, 2016

We often meet in church. She usually sits behind us or in front of us. Sometimes she wears these beautiful african colourful clothes. Which reminds me of my KLM days. I was a flight attendant for seven years, in what sometimes feels, a previous life. After the first service she usually helps with the children’s group. One day I had the courage to tell her that I would love to photograph her. I asked her to think about it. And I was very happy that she app-ed me that she would love to do it.

Loise told me she is from Kenya. With KLM I have visited Nairobi in Kenya a few times. I love the golden light that they get there. We spoke about having 12 siblings. What brought her to Dubai and what her dreams are. She wants to open a beauty business one day. And I am sure that day will come.

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May 19, 2016

So one of the Personal Styling home assignments is to take a picture of yourself in underwear or a bikini. And not only to take A picture but one of the front, one of the side (do you hold your belly a bit inwards or not, was the first question that came to mind?), one of the back and one with your arms wide.

I understand why these images can be extremely helpful. You can see the shape of the body, you can see if you have long legs or not, or a longer upper body etc. So of course I would agree with it….. but I was procrastinating doing them.

Thoughts that went trough my mind were, what underwear to wear? Should I go for something fancy? But then, what about the one from the back? And what would Oli think, that I wear beautiful lingerie all the time? Which I do not as it is not always so flattering under clothes due to lace etc. Should I put on my more daily underwear? Or should I go for a bikini. But if I go for a bikini, I feel I chicken out.

And then who should take the pictures? My husband is traveling this week and I am not sure if I would want him to take them anyhow. This is a project. So I causually tried my eldest daughter. Sweetie, would you mind taking some pictures of me in my underwear. Ehhh WHAT? Well you know, I told you about this styling project. Yeah, but do you need naked pictures for that? NO I was talking about images in my underwear so Oli can see the shape of my body. Are you ok with that she said?

Interesting question. I had to think about it. Why was I procrastinating? Was it because of the image I wanted to create? Was it about being perfect, or wanting to be perfect? Or was it about what would Oli think of me? I felt vulnerable in my underwear. Vulnerable: body wise and mind wise.

I made the decision to go for it. After all, I tell my children that you have to listen to your own voice in your head and that you should not give away that control to someone else. Life is not about how you think other people (might) think of you.


So I went on and took the images with a remote setting on my camera. I took the images by myself and I did it in the underwear that I put on that morning when I got dressed. And I send them off. Done. Lesson learned.


May 15, 2016

I met Oli Beer at a photography workshop in Paris, last April. We are both photographers and our goal is to make every person look good in front of the camera. So while talking about that process I came to know she is also a certified stylist. She claims style is knowledge and a skill, with other words you can learn it.

Please look up: You Are Stunning Style on Facebook

After spending almost 10+ years in the tropics. I have to find my winter me. I almost always wear dresses. And dresses are easy for me. I had such a hard time in Moscow. No idea who I was in winter clothes or not in a dress. Needless to say bought a lot and I did not like it.. So I decided to sign up. I will learn that shoes, accessories, bags, make-up, hair, nails, phone covers – it all counts, it all plays a role to define your style. I don’t like shopping, so it will a real challenge. Till now I have two favourite shops where I go to. Especially Els helps (read: dresses) me really well, so no need to spend too much time. However I would like to learn more about it.

HIlde van der SterrenOli explained to me it will be a time commitment. Prob an hour a day or a day once a week. As any new skill it doesnt stick if not practiced. So she makes her clients (me ;-)) try every single piece of clothing they have in their wardrobe, take selfies, go to the store and try certain things on, search for that ideal item. This way at the end she knows that the money is not wasted, that the clients know now how to do it and that our goals are met. Yess!!

Also, clothes are emotional (just as food), so the process is a rollercoaster where people make discoveries about themselves, are sometimes down, sometimes up, sometimes exhausted, sometimes uplifted.


The styling that she offers with lasting results is a process. Usually around 2-3 months (around 8 chats), in person or over skype with tons of homework in between.

Oli says; I don’t dress people, I teach them how to dress for their body and their lifestyle. I also don’t push my aesthetics on others – we all have different tastes. So we figure out how the person “dreams of looking” (sounds familiar?, we do the same thing with photography) and what is most flattering for them, what kind of message the person wants to send, how they want to be perceived and then develop a style based on their aesthetics. Also, of course, we solve “the wardrobe is full, but I have nothing to wear” thing and make a quick and functional wardrobe where its easy to throw together an outfit that fits in any situation without having to think too much about it.

 So…long story short. Today we had our first consultation. We spoke about how you would like to be seen? Like, if you would have a magic stick, what words would people use to describe you, based on your clothing style. I think approachable, kind, friendly, positive. And who are famous people you admire, and why? I love people with a passion and people who stand for something, like Madonna, Angelina Joli. Style icons are more Jacky Kennedy, Funny enough Oli made the first observation that I admire bold statements but in my daily clothing I might choose something more quiet.

Now I am off to do my home work:

–  go through a catalog of images and putting them in different categories, love, like but not for me, don’t like

–  searching for every day images of me in the past (Hello Facebook, you come in handy)

–  and eh…. photographing me in my undies front, sideways and back (might leave that one till tomorrow….LOL) and no I will not share these ;-).


May 04, 2016

Domique is a wife and a mom to two lovely girls. She moved to Dubai last summer. Her mom had her own flower shop and she enjoys working with flowers herself. Do can chat 100 miles per hour and I love that about her. She has a positive spirit.