Paige Rodriguez

Paige Rodriguez

i want to know more about the long process of doing self portraits and why you choose to do everything by yourself rather than shoot with other photographers ?what do you do ? what have you studied ? tell me more about your passions and how you’re working towards what you love ?

 

I've  always loved the fashion industry. I adore the art behind it. I adore styling and the art of photography and how a photograph look and makes you feel. My Passion has always been Styling and Creative direction, and that's the title I'd give myself.. I'm a stylist/ Creative director. In School I studied 4 years of photography and  Art. I preferred film photography, grainy and unedited.. Im a bit of an old soul, I used to spend my lunches in the Photography dark room. Although I was really good at them, they weren't my passions. I was a little lost and looking for some way of working among the art..I used to religiously watch Next top model, I was watching an episode of the Australia one where Christine Centenera ( who back then...maybe 2008ish, worked for Harpers Bazaar) I seen what her job role was.. creating and styling a shoot. I knew i wanted to be a stylist!

I finished school and enrolled in a fashion College were I did my diploma of fashion Business.I then got myself an Internship at Vogue Australia, working in the wardrobe. I was around Christine Centenera a few times and I was completely in ore!! But I did not particularly like it there... I didn't feel like there was any growth.. going on a photoshoot was considered a privilege.Which in turn seen my dream of being a stylist  for a Magazine dying... I hated to think that it was... So i got myself an Internship at ELLE Australia... It was very much the same...Totally disheartening.

I then managed to get myself an internship with a Freelance Stylist, Ricky James Flynn. Which was one of the greatest things I've ever done. His work is incredible, his so extremely talented, I still look up to him this day! He taught me so much,  I could never thank him enough. He took me on so many shoots, took me to PR agencies, showed me how the paper work was done... how he created images from start to finish. He made me love styling again.. and made me realize I wanted to be freelance, where there's more variety and freedom in your craft.You know how most people hate there jobs and dread going to work? I still do, working in a bar... But with Ricky I didn't, I loved it!That's why i love styling so much, it doesn't feel like a job! When Ricky moved to the UK, I got myself a job at a pub to save to do the same. I've been working my ass off for the past 2 years saving to move to the UK. I do my own styling work here and there when photographers contact me for collaborations.. But working 6 days a week, I find it extremely hard to find a day to shoot that suits all the collaborators and source clothes... so my work has been very very limited.

The whole idea behind shooting myself came to me when i brought this amazingggg coat I really wanted to shoot! I invision things in my head so clearly, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. Also, I am a very impatient person... When I want something, I want it, and i want it done now. In my head i had no time to wait for the next shoot to happen, and I was DYING to do a styling job. So I put the coat on, did some effortless hair and make up..  set up my phone and shot! I put it on Instagram, just as something gimmicky thinking how embarrassing ill take it down soon! people will realize I shot it myself! I look like such a try hard!.. But, I surprised myself, I had such great feedback!

I kept going. Knowing I have no time to set up shoots with models, makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers every time I have an idea in my head. I thought, I'm going to do it all myself. I found a love in it! I have the background in photography, which is how I can produce a good photo, I'm a stylist, so I can Style the clothes.. I'm fairly decent at doing my own hair and makeup, so I kept shooting! Much like one of my inspirations.. Carine Roitfeld, I LOVE sex and nudity produced into a photo.I find the female body so extremely beautiful and artistic, I love to show it in all my work. I've worked with many many models, make up artists, hair stylists and photographers... although I think they are soooo amazing and sooo talented, we all have our own ideas of how something should look in our heads.

So when collaborating ill have this image in my head of how the model should have her hair and make up and what the image should be shot like and edited and which image should be choosen. But I loose all power over this when working with other artists.The great thing about working with myself... I can make it exactly how I want it, i have complete power! My make up is exactly what I want, My hair is exactly how I want, I'm posed exactly how I want, I'm styled how I want, I choose the location/ backdrop and I pick the final image. And I honestly love doing it! One of my favorite artists is Frida khalo, I've always loved that she was her own muse and had so much strength, power and confidence. After I posted that first image of myself, I scrolled down my feed and seen someone post the quote " I am my own muse, I am the subject i know best. The subject i want to know  better".- Frida Khalo That's honestly when I started taking producing my own images seriously. I don't edit my photos at all, I love rawness in images, flaws, what you see is what you get. The only thing I do use is VCSO cam. I normally add a filter that makes the image look a little more old school and grainy.

I really don't see myself as a model, I don't think I'm beautiful..but its given me so much confidence.Its lets me find an outlet I love and continue my love for styling before I go to my shitty bar job. I know I can create great images. Its honestly like therapy to my soul, I love creating art.. I love putting myself and my work out there for other people to see.And I'm going to keep doing it and excelling myself.