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note from the editors: jackie luo and jackie fu
hello, readers! we present our first issue of ache magazine.
jackie luo, editor girl in love with taking pictures, writing, and living.
jackie fu, editor
dancer and dreamer with a passion for art and fashion.
w r i t ing twins, they call us
short story by sixteenyear-old ann he.
collapse into the cosmos
collection of thoughts by fifteen-year-old bree mcwilliams.
short story by fifteenyear-old carrie jiang.
collection of thoughts by seventeen-yearold carolyn foerster.
collection of poems and thoughts by fifteen-year-old yashi dixit.
JANUARY 201 1 09 31 41 63 73 81
fashi o n george downing
we spoke to george downing, seventeenyear-old photographer from melbourne, australia.
days are fading
everything you’ll need to buy for this coming spring season. sixteen-year-old baohien ngo shoots a fashion editorial with model lindsey lugrin. interview with katrin braga, eighteen-yearold icelandic fashion photographer.
young & wild
fashion editorial containing work by jessica milan, twentyfour-year-old fashion photographer from toronto, canada.
interview with holly broomhall, nineteenyear-old photographer from new zealand.
p h o t o g r aphy hana haley
interview with a twenty-year-old film photographer from oregon.
interview with nineteen-year-old stefany alves from the uk.
interview with canadian photographer yuli sato, age twenty.
interview with sixteenyear-old baohien ngo from texas.
what we’re listening to: winter
what we’re listening to: party hard
our playlist for winter, featuring artists like bon iver, fleet foxes, toro y moi, and more.
if you’re throwing a party anytime soon, check out this playlist for music suggestions!
C R E DI T S
cover pic ture by ann he â€œp aranoidâ€? font by ke v in y uen k it lo pic ture (p. 1 and 2) and pic ture (ab ove) by j a ck ie luo a sp e ci a l t han ks to a l l t he fe ature d ar t ists!
welc ome to t he f irst issu e of ACH E mag a z i ne ! e x p e c t fashion, photog raphy, music, ar t, and more in our ne w qu ar terly mag a z i ne. we w i l l br ing you b e aut if u l t hings cre ate d by wonder f u l p e oplewe w i l l i nt ro duc e you to you ng ar t ists around t he world w ho are chang ing e ve r y t h i ng . w he n you we re a chi ld, w hat was your dre am ? may b e you wante d to ow n your ow n bus ine ss, or anchor for a ne w s show, or b e come a holly wo o d c elebr it y, or w hate ve r. wel l, t a ke a t ip f rom p e ople w ho are liv ing out t he i r dre ams , r ig ht now, b efore t he y â€™re e ven lega l ly considere d a du lts . we are on a s e arch for qu a lit y f rom a l l cor ners of t he world. on t hat note, subm it s omet hing to t he magazine; we ne e d ar t ists, musici ans, d ancers, w r ite rs , desig ners, and w hate ver els e you c an imag ine. yout h, cre at iv it y, and in novat ion are our buzzwords. to submit, s end us your f u l l name, age, cit y and st ate/count r y, and any ot he r in for mat ion we m ig ht ne e d, a long w it h your work.
we are a c h emag azin e @ g mai l. c om w it hout f ur t he r ado, we hop e you a dore issue #1 of ACHE maga zine.
jacki e & jacki e
H E LLO ... my na me i s jacki e lu o, a n d i a m newly sixteen, a world ful l of possibilities emerg i n g be f o re m e . so m e t h in g t h at you sh ould know about m e is th at i have always n e e de d t o c re at e so m e t h ing of m y own- poetry, art, m usic , any thi n g . now, w i t h AC H E , we b e g i n s o m ething fresh and new. so many things have chan g e d i n p ast ye a rs t h at i c a n hard l y keep up, and it is wond erf ul to have some t h i n g t o d o p u r e l y o u t o f l ove, without obligations or expectations. i have p u t m y s o u l i nt o t a ki n g p ictures, writing, and piecing together this magaz i n e , a n d it fe e l s l ike n o t h ing el se. i n t h e f u tu r e , t h e re w il l b e m o re of m e in th is sec tion of AC HE, but f or now, an i ntr o du cti o n w il l su ffic e . in t h is f irst issue, a num ber of bril l iant yo u ng ar t ists a r e f e at u re d , a n d it h a s b een f antastic working with everyone to make t hi s h a p p e n . i h o p e t h at yo u w il l al l c ontinue to read th e m agaz ine as we evolve i nto s o m e t h in g b ig g e r.
â€œthey danced down the street like dingledodies, and i shambled after as iâ€™ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn...â€? on the road, jack kerouac
i â€™ m jacki e f u, a sixteen-ye ar-o l d g i rl w ho ha s f ant a s t ic al a s p i r at io n s o f helping others notice the be au t y i n p ho t o g r ap h y, w r it i n g , f a s h io n , e ve rythin g. t his mag azine i s o ur firs t o ut let ; o ur firs t gat eway t o i n tro duc in g inspirational arti sts o f different medium s . wo rk ing o n A CH E ha s been nothing short of wonde r fu l ; wo r k i n g o n it o n my ow n t e r m s has be en no thing short of l i b erat ing. w it h that said, i hope that you w i l l j o i n u s a s we c o nt i n ue t o re fi ne an d e xp an d our mag azine.
b as e d in melb our ne, ge orge j oins a g row ing p o ol of immens ely t a lente d young ar t ists emerg ing f rom aust ra li a. at s e vente en, he is inspire d by e ver yt hing around him, t a k ing pic tures of a dre amy, lush world dif f us e d in color and lig ht.
model i s lauren mcharg // photog raphy by george dow ning // makeup by caroline ros e // styling by george dow ning and caroline ros e
model s are (f rom lef t) shannon br ig g s, lauren mcharg, james hawke, eloi s e oâ€™ br ien, s ara webber // photog raphy by george dow ning // makeup by shelle y liu // styling by george dow ning
Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? George Downing: I like to tell stories through my photos like everyone else. I make them up sometimes, and other times I shoot- whatever I’m feeling always seems to come through in the photos. It’s weird because sometimes I don’t even plan it, but my emotions always come through, and I realize it a few days later. It’s a little creepy, actually. And that’s why I photograph- it helps me let things out. Also, I shoot for the fun of it- I love it! AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started? GD: I’ve been shooting for a little over a year. I guess it’s changed because I try to put more meaning into each photograph. Also, when I started, I was only shooting film butnow I shoot digital most of the time... although I am slowly going back to film. AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer? GD: I’m extremely outgoing with close friends, but with others, I’m really shy and get embarrassed easily.... As a photographer, I like to make my models feel comfortable, and I like making friends with the people I work with. The people in this industry are incredibly nice. AM: Who or what inspires you? GD: I’m inspired by a number of photographers: Nirrimi Hakanson, Natasha Frank, Ann He, Mariah Jelena, and Tim Walker. And Sally Mann. Also, I’m inspired by everything in life. I was inspired by the pattern on my carpet once.
model i s f i macrae // photog raphy by george dow ning // makeup by caroline ros e // styling by george dow ning
model i s george @ g iant // photog raphy by george dow ning // makeup by caroline ros e // styling by george dow ning and caroline ros e
model i s eloi s e oâ€™ br ien // photog raphy by george dow ning // styling by george dow ning
model s are anna denton and catalina welling ton // photog raphy by george dow ning // makeup by caroline ros e // styling by meg meldr um and george dow ning
AM: Digital or film? Why? GD: Both. Digital for the crispness and the fun of Photoshop, as well as the large file sizes, and film for the grain and the excitement of receiving the developed photos, along with the fact that there’s no need to postprocess as much. AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work? GD: My favourite photographer is Tim Walker. I love the huge sets that he uses and the fact that his photos are taken mostly on film. AM: Imagine you’ve been commissioned for an editorial for a fashion magazine. For which publication (i.e. Vogue, Nylon, etc.) would you most like to shoot? Why? GD: I love Dazed and Confused. I’d love to do an editorial for them because their editorials are always so out there and different that I think it would be a good challenge. AM: How does fashion play into your work? GD: The clothes in my shoots always add to the theme. I think fashion is an important part of any portrait photographer’s job, even if he or she isn’t focused on the clothes. AM: What have you achieved so far in your photography, and what would you like to achieve? GD: I think I have improved a lot since the start- especially in the technological side of things (my camera and Photoshop). I always shoot manual and have done so ever since I first got my DSLR, even though I had no idea what I was doing. It’s all about that, though- trial and error. I’d like to achieve deeper and more challenging images with more meaning than what I have taken so far. I just want to improve.
v i sit george’s por tfolio at georgedow ning.com
T w i ns, they c I The word leukemia lingers in the air like a bad aftertaste, rank and dull-metal, long after it leaves your doctor’s mouth. I feel only a little more calm at heart. I’m standing next to your bundled eggshell form, still and silent, with plastic vines branching out from your arms. Try, try I do- but, really, I lack the power to stop myself from taking sick, twisted satisfaction in picturing your peach-bleach skin rotting to puke yellow and your long nymph tresses falling out in clumps with the chemo. “So,” you whisper, through cracked lips and swollen eyes, “you’ve won, huh?” And Yes, I think. Finally, finally, I have. Because It was as if all mein kampf, every morning I’d pulled myself out of sweet, narcotic numbness to face another day with you- living only on the promise that I’d ultimately redeem myself- were not for loss. And now, now by morbid karma (because you took what was mine), you will crumble to a pile of bones- a pile of bones, and nothing more. II It was only the first cold breath of an autumn five years ago, and green, oozing acrimony had already begun its cancerous growth on my lungs. Twelve years young- and five years too old, we’d built a fairy fort of chairs and stale sheets. And in all our bright-eyed nostalgia, we’d strung it with rainbow Christmas lights, and called it a castle. Your icy toes tickled me on the gritty attic floor, where we sat cross-legged, whispering things past, and to come. Placing one trembling foot in front of the other, we tightrope walked the threshold of adolescence. Oh, we were nearly there- so close we could feel it, shuddering through our bones. “When I grow up,” I declared, naïve and arrogant, “I’m going to be brilliant- unquestionably brilliant. I’m going to drink wine in Paris and win a Nobel Prize and leave the world reeling in my wake.” I was chasing after gleaming Gatsby
steps and literary immortality. With fantasies glorious and drunk, I yearned to run ten miles ahead of everyone just to glance back and drink in their awe. “When I grow up,” you said, “I’m going to fall helplessly in love with a gorgeous boy. I’m going to bleed my heart into lyrics and poems, and we’re going to live in a little log cabin in the woods of Alaska-and when I’m not busy loving him, I’ll be an avant-garde painter and a ballerina, too.” I watched you in the muted pink glow, wearing a lopsided paper crown, gangly limbs wrapped tight around your stuffed snow leopard. Perhaps it was inevitable, with the way you would spin through sunlit grass- electrifying essence singing from the tips of your toes. Perhaps it was, with the way you watched the stars fall like tears and cried your own meteor showers to rival in beauty. Maybe it was because I knew, that I insisted “Luce, you’ll never be better than me. You know you’re not as smart, not as quick, or strong, or as competent a dancer, for that matter- you’ll never match me in grand jetés.” “Of course,” you said, “I was never meant for those silver-laced flights of fancy.” You never needed to outdo me. III A year later, Mom was brushing your hair in that doting way before driving you to your gosees and photo shoots. It was almost like some exalted ritual, with you sitting cross-legged next to the French windows so that the sun would catch and ignite each strand brilliant liquid aureate. And she would hum folk songs as she treaded her fingers through the fluid gold, letting the hot, glistening streams drip into her palms. She used to have hair like yours, they all said. That summer we turned fourteen, I watched you grow out of your awkward angles. Like a snake shedding skin, you discarded your gawky ears and knobby knees and slithered out with a quiet self-assuredness. All the while, I grew weak in the stomach and sick in the heart. Do you remember that August afternoon you came home- glowing- after opening a local fashion show? It was a sweltering dog day I’d
ca l l us spent in front of the fan reading Plath and sucking on a cherry popsicle, but mostly letting it melt sticky and artificial-red all over my hands. I was still upstairs locked in our room when you and mom got home, but I heard all of it. A natural- such overwhelming potential! That’s what they said, and asked if you would fly to London, to Milan, to Paris, to walk the real deal. I remember that night I laid awake in the cicada-ringing dark, tracing my fingers over the jagged, hollow topography my body had eroded to. Somehow, I’d let my pants grow baggy around the sharp canyon peaks of my hip bones, and my limbs lifeless from the self-imposed starvation. And so I was lying there, and my eyes ached from staring into the black, and my breath tasted sour, and all I could think about was how they just loved you. How you were beautiful in that perfect waif-girl way. ...hair like yours, they all said. Then I was standing over your sleeping form, holding scissors in trembling fingers. Oh, I was going to do it- my ears were pounding with hot blood, the pure illogical desperation making my palms damp and my breaths urgent. I had a slip of golden silk wedged between the metal blades when you let out a sigh, still dreaming, and I couldn’t do it anymore. All at once I put away the scissors and lay down on the floor. I started counting sit-ups and after a while the only thing I felt was the cold hard wood slapping my back in familiar rhythm. IV By March of our sophomore year, the wormwood resentment had found its way around my ribcage and thoroughly tore through my chest. I stood in the dark, in the curtains. And though it was suffocating me, I stood unable to tear my eyes away from you on stage. I was watching you under silver spotlight gleam, weaving effortlessly, fluidly, between notes hung quivering in the air. You let the music inject itself into your veins like heroin through a needle, fervent, lost. You pulsed, you flowed, you soared. I was watching you, and it was driving
Ann He, 16 (D a l l as, T X)
knives through my arteries. I was bleeding, bleeding, bleeding. I could only think of how you stole it from right under my nose. I could only think of how it was supposed to be my solo, me who was pulsing, flowing, soaring. In the end, it didn’t matter that my fouettés were mathematically flawless. (No, you never did match me in grand jetés either.) They said you danced with some tantalizing frenzy- some aching, throbbing emotion. You had something I lacked. Isn’t that always how it is? But all I really needed was for you to trip, to stumble, to fall over the notes. Would youcould you, just once? -No, no you couldn’t. You could only move from one adagio to the next with liquescent velocity. You could only lace endless limbs to the oscillating rise and fall of rhythm in perfect, synchronizing transcendence. You could only defy my silent, screaming gravity. I could only hate you for it. In the end, though, the only thing I couldn’t figure out was how you danced a better dying swan, when- clearly- I was the broken, flightless one. V Do you remember that Tommy Demeuleester? Probably not well- you were gone in New York (it was closer home than Paris) most of that winter, recklessly dazzling the city. He was the pale spindly boy who stuffed pens into his pockets, always scribbling haphazard words onto the back of receipts when there was no one around to share his wild, labyrinthine speculations. He was the boy whose eyes glazed over with nebular sheen in the absence of light, who serenaded me from empty streets, by yellow tungsten. With Bob Dylan hair and a tendency to quote Sartre, he was unexpected and unequivocal, and nothing short of brilliant. He was beautiful, so I was infatuated. He wanted to save me; I was blinded. I’d spent the first day of holiday break at his house, listening to the Stones (he loathed the Beatles) from a vinyl player. He was tangled amidst a pile of college admissions to Princeton, Williams, and Yale (the parentals insisted), when
the only place that mattered was Oxford. I was in between re-rereading Harry Potter, but mostly fogging up the glass with breaths and tracing my fingers through to write silly, half-baked notes to him. You know, people are like horcruxes, in a sense. “In a sense that God is Voldemort?” Oh? “Well, as some fancy, each person is a vessel carrying a part of God within himself. And if all the horcruxes were annihilated in nuclear war, per se, then ‘Voldemort’ would cease to exist.” Would He cease to exist? “I don’t know. I don’t believe in God- it’s just hypothetical.” What isn’t? “You, that you are unimaginably beautiful.” When he kissed me I could only count the days until he realized he’s been fatally deceived. Until he realized that I’m only tangled barb wire and dirt-beneath-the-nails, and not beautiful- how could anyone say I was beautiful? How could anyone, when there was you? And there I pushed him away, because everything was crashing down in chunks of white hot lava, and I could only watch myself being dragged into the scorching abyss. VI Twins, they call us, with an emphasis on fraternal. Sometimes I’ll think about us, seventeen years ago, as two little heartbeats enveloped in the amber warmth of a womb. I’ll imagine us curled next to each other, oriented like a north (you- I was born first) and south pole (me). Maybe it was because you were nearer her heart, her lungs. Do you remember when we painted the neighbors’ poodle bright blue and it nearly gave mom a heart attack? She shook her head at us and chided “Even when I was pregnant, I’d already known how much trouble you two would be- always kicking and shoving through all those sleepless nights.” By ‘you two’ she meant me. The kicking, the restlessness- I’m sure that was all me. And so I’d think about us, two fetuses growing with each vital surge of blood, when there was only room for one. Twelve years out of that womb, I cultivated ambitions in groves of bloated, overripe citrus.
The stars were the limit, and even those were light years away. So, brazenly, candidly, I fancied to grow ten feet tall. Somehow, though, between fairy forts and dying swans, the stars fell blazing, and you became the obstruction. Each day I would watch you take on the world so dauntlessly, so sure. And each day I would see the world fall in love with you, and that leeching, gangrene growth would swell, branching out in boiling ulcers until my insides were all consumed. Somehow, in all these years, it became not about erecting my Gatsby ideals, not about my Eiffel-bound escapisms, but about desperately wishing to tear up all that you had. Oh, Luce, we have been terribly mistaken. I have not won. Blinded and consumed, I’ve merely lost myself.
h ana Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? Hana Haley: Sensation, beauty, and objective. I don’t want to take a picture if one of those things is missing. There are too many ugly and generic things surrounding me, so I like to pick out the nice parts, like sunlight and raging colors and my cat and my backyard and things from my closet. My photography is rather vain. I photograph so people can see things how I see them for a moment. AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started? HH: I’ve been shooting for two years this winter. My photographic style is changing right before my eyes, every day, and I like that. In the beginning, I shot a lot of nature and my friends in Goodwill dresses. I had no objective. Now I am a teensy more selective. I prefer photographing strangers to friends, and I always have a reason. AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer? HH: I think I have some storytelling disease. I am uncomfortable with the idea of making my life about selling cars, or architecture, or cleaning people’s teeth. I’ve got an undying need to make my life about stories - mothering my own, listening to others’. I refuse to spend my time doing anything else. I am a person who wants to create. I get funny about calling myself a photographer, probably because it was never my
intention. My photos are mostly cryptic personal scenes from my imagination, paired with a vintage dress. AM: Who or what inspires you? HH: Music makes me want to photograph. I’ve never understood why, but it’s what inspires me most. AM: Why do you use film? HH: Digital tends to look ugly and fake in the wrong hands. I like film because it makes me more alert and attentive to what I’m doing. Digital makes me lazy. I started out with digital but edited all my photos to look like film anyways, so I didn’t see the point of continuing. I also love doing my homework in my car outside Walgreens, waiting for my photos to develop! AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work? HH: This person always changes, but currently it’s Neil Krug. His videos are beautiful, and his photos make me want to go to the desert in a stolen car. AM: What have you achieved so far in your photography, and what would you like to achieve? HH: I was lucky enough to have an exhibition last spring. I remember finding my photo on a postcard for the gallery in an antique store somewhere in Portland; I could have done a string of cartwheels in the street, it was so nice. I would like to be more experimental with my photography, travel, and meet other lovely photographers!
t his t went y-ye ar-old photog rapher f rom p or t l and, oregon s ays, “I’m another one of thos e g irl s w ith an eighties SLR camera she found in a thr if t store. But I do what I can w ith the thing. I am in love w ith dancing, theater, f ilm, w r iting, lang uage, mu sic, and fashion. Photog raphy ju st happens to be the thing I’m most public about. I’m a theater ar ts and foreig n lang uage major, but I can’t stop taking pic tures. I won’t, won’t, won’t stop.”
â€œmy photographic style is changing right before my eyes, every day, and i like that.â€?
v ie w hanaâ€™s f lickr at f lickr. com /photos/hone y uck
f re e bird yes, we know that itâ€™s technically still winter... but who says that that means we canâ€™t start shopping for spring? embrace the coming season with gorgeous new clothes and accessories!
by j a ck ie luo
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Stef any A lve s , 19 L ond on , Un ite d Kingdom
stefany alves produces whimsical, sentimental portraits of everyday life. Ache Magazine: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you have started? Stefany Alves: I used to shoot with a pointand-shoot camera when I was younger, but my real motivation and interest for photography started in 2008. And it has changed a lot; I think I have improved, and my style has changed, too. AM: Who or what inspires you? SA: Everything from photographers to films! I love Andre Kertesz, Keith Arnatt, August Sander, Anna Fox- oh, my list could go on forever. AM: What influences your photography? SA: Nothing and everything at the same time. It depends on my mood, so I could say [my pictures] are a reflection of my mood. AM: Why do you love film? SA: I like film more than digital, mainly because of its texture, the grain, and scratches you cannot get shooting digital. AM: What do you try to convey through your work? SA: Inspiration. I feel so happy when people tell me how they can get so much inspiration to go out and shoot when they look at my photos. I think that is really, really cool. AM: What is your favorite emotion to photograph, and why? SA: This might sound weird but I think “sadness.” I like when a picture conveys melancholiness, but that’s another aspect that depends on my mood.
v ie w stefanyâ€™s f lickr at f lickr.com/ photos / londonoway
collapse i nto the c o smos Bre e Mc Wi l li ams, 15 (C a lifor ni a )
The stars glow like seeds of light in the sky. They want to fall from the heavens, hit my tongue, and dissolve in a puff of winter fog. They want to be swallowed by my empty mouth and chewedchewedchewed until they crunch down into glitterdust, small enough to digest. Not a single one descends. My gravity is not strong enough, I am not strong enough. I tilt my head back, my gaze returning to outer space again. The stars remain suspended, as if to fall all at once, making a clattering commotion as each one strikes the ground and shatters into a million little crystals. Do stars sound like rain, when they fall to earth? I sink deeper into my coat, my busy mind burning a quiet hole in the midnight. I am left alone. Here is a girl, lost in contemplation. This girl is immersed in thoughts of life, and death, and what is to happen when neither heaven nor hell has any need for a heart like hers. My thoughts braid into dreams as I disappear behind a blanket of frosty smoke. Each exhale expelling my nicotine breath and droplets of wintergreen ice, much too small for the eye to see.
i can feel my pulse in my stomach, i can hear the beat of my heart synching with each breath i take. winter voices whisper secret spells in my head while i drift away to sleep. they tell me to go just one more day: ignore the urge keep going don’t cave beautiful beautiful beautiful. i will be lovely, if i keep listening. “in due time,” they say, “patience.” my bones creak beneath my mistakes; the shallow pit between my ribs grows deeper and deeper. i can almost feel my soul now. not much longer until i become transparent, until i disappear. winter brings this feeling. winter’s incantations plant rotten seeds in my brain that blossom into bad ideas. soon enough, i’ll have a garden of disappointments and a field worthy of raising everyone’s concern. to them, i am nothing. i am the girl they try to conceal, bones, blood, and scars. i am the shadows in back of the room, shivering and dancing like candlelight. i am your secrets, the ones you keep locked in a silver box in the back of your mind; throw away the key. i am the dust, floating in the air. dreams melting through your skull, and tangling in your hair. the stars in the sky shift ever-so-slightly to the tune of trillions of beating hearts, every being in the universe becoming one as each pulse synchronizes to the next. speeding cars slow to pace as their operators, frantic and hurried, cease their chaos while entranced in the moment. humans pause mid-stride in the crosswalks to gaze into the sky before them. suns set and moons rise, all at once, everywhere. when you’re told it’s the last sound you’ll ever hear, all of it is music. Winter of last year: I was hungry. Really, really hungry. The kind of hunger that buries itself inside your ribs and simmers down to a rotten seed, waiting for someone to dig it out and plant it again. I drowned myself in rainstorms and cups of coffee that would burn my tongue and melt my soul, on purpose. I thought that maybe I’d catch on fire if I tried hard enough. I froze instead. This kind of hunger boils your self-worth and drinks it through a straw, never to be seen again. There are certain things that it does to you, things that turn you mad, things that make you absolutely despise everything you once loved. It eats you alive until finally, you want out. You want to unzip your skin and climb into the ground; go to sleep forever in a pretty wooden box beneath a statue with your name on it. “It’s all for you, selfish little girl, look what you’ve done.” It repeats itself, keeps going until you are the product of some crafty conspiracy, thought up in your own head by the monster living inside you. Suddenly, you are not the shapes in the clouds, your imaginary friends, or your first love. You are not your thoughts, your dreams, or your actions. You are the number on the scale, you are the spiderweb veins beneath your skin. You are the red canyons, dug into your flesh with quiet precision; you get what you deserve. Even when you think you’ve had enough, when you have been condensed into the least amount of person you could possibly be, you still cannot shake this feeling. No matter how hard you try, it’s not something that can be destroyed. No amount of brainwashing or therapy or pills can numb it for good. They say it gets easier, that you can recover. “One day, you’ll forget it was even there.” It’s not that simple, it is not the quintessential “change your mind, change your habits.” It kills you, however slowly. You are peeled away in pieces until it reaches the core. This kind of murder kills slowly, starting in your brain and working its way outside. The poison spreads like wildfire; you can see it in the eyes of someone like me. I am contagious; the hunger is contagious. There is no cure.
days are fad photog raphe d by b a ohien ngo st y l e d by linds e y lug r in mo del is linds e y lug r in
bust ier // amer ic an app arel sk ir t // urb an out f itters bl azer // vant age p oint v int age
bust ier // amer ic an app arel sk ir t // urb an out f itters bl azer // vant age p oint v int age
bust i er // amer ic an app arel sk ir t // urb an out f itters bl azer // vant age p oint v int age
shir t // v int age s c ar f // amer ic an app arel sk ir t // urb an out f itters sho es // urb an out f itters
BIG ECHO Ca rrie J ia ng, 15 (Houston, TX)
Two years ago, the world was beautiful. It was a spinning ball of cosmic grandeur, poised in space, daring the universe for a challenge. Two years ago, I was vivacious. I had big dreams of becoming unimaginably famous, revolutionizing the world with my art. But I was blinded by the beauty of the world. I grew so despairingly dependent of this beauty, abusing it with every stroke of my paintbrush. And because of this, my vision was seized, slowly but surely, away from me. My dreams shattered. This receding sight meant I would never splatter a palette of colors onto a blank canvas again, that I would never see my work of art hung on a vast wall of an august gallery. Without my vision, I was only the ghost of an artist. Without my vision, I was nothing. I dropped out of university and stayed in the confinements of my dilapidated apartment. Every day, I sat at the kitchen table, staring blankly ahead as I waited for the boy I was going to marry to come home.
He always did.
The front door creaked open. I stood abruptly from my seat in the kitchen.
“Hello?” I called out into the darkness.
“I’m here,” he replied gruffly. I followed the sound of his voice to the door, only to be greeted by the bitter air. I heard the sounds of his rough footsteps thumping down the narrow hall.
“What are you doing?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, all I heard were the sounds of him rummaging through drawers. Dumping a heavy load on the surface of the bed. Shuffling around the room. Zipping up a suitcase.
“What are you doing?”
My voice was more urgent now. Desperate. Wild, even. He couldn’t be leaving, he couldn’t.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he said, gently rubbing my arm- his touch was warm, so warm- “but I
can’t do this anymore.” He pushed past me, towards the front door. I ran after the whisper of his presence, stumbling and falling along the way. The door slammed shut, and he was gone. Collapsed on the floor, crying out his name over and over again until my voice ran dry, I was completely and utterly defeated. Every night, I cried from the eyes that refused to function as I lay in an empty bed. And every day, I sat at the kitchen table, staring blankly ahead as I waited for the boy I thought I was going to marry to come home.
He never did.
It took me weeks before I could even leave the apartment. I asked Herbert to help me, to lead me. We went downstairs, together, to the brutal New York City streets. I could feel him tugging on the other end of the leash, and I was submissive, going wherever he wanted me to go. And then I heard the most beautiful music coming from inside a store. Against the will of Herbert, who padded straight ahead with a heavy pant, I followed the hysterically lovely sounds and walked inside. “Excuse me, ma’am, no pets allowed- oh. I’m sorry.” I stepped toward the rusty vinyl player, the music louder and louder with the lessening distance between us, and I listened. Sing me to sleep, and then leave me alone. Don’t try to wake me up in the morning ’cause I will be gone. I could hear the scratches- the imperfections- of the vinyl, and it was so ravishingly aesthetic. The music had leapt off of the record and had come alive right before my unseeing eyes.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
I turned my head toward the stranger’s voice. “It is. It’s…”
Morrissey crooned on, singing his heart
out. “You know,” he said, “most of the people that listen to this song don’t fully appreciate its meaning.”
“Isn’t that how it always is?”
I heard a smile in his voice as he spoke. “That’s true.” Pause. “You can’t see me, can you?”
I shook my head.
He took my hand and placed it gently on his face. I felt the soft skin of his nose, of his cheeks, of his jaw, of his lips. I felt his eyes. They were marvelous things, his eyes. They were built perfectly, the iris and the retina and the cornea all adding up to a final product that provided him with the magic of sight, of beholding the wonders of the world. I felt my own eyes. They were the same, yet so radically different. I had the iris, the retina, the cornea, but there was a glitch in the systema computational error that blocked images from loading properly into my brain. I felt his chest, his heart. It beat rhythmically, a constant badoom badoom badoom. I felt my own heart. It beat in the same rhythm, but again, it was different. My heartbeats were smaller, weaker- broken. I began talking to this stranger everyday. He replaced the boy I thought I’d marry. He became my guide- he held my hand as he led me through the streets, describing anything and everything he saw along the way.
“Can you feel the wind?”
Of course I could. It was flying through my hair, creating a splash of tresses on my face.
“Where are we?” I asked.
We’d taken an elevator, I knew that much. It was a long and seemingly endless ride as I felt the lift climb higher and higher beneath my feet. Then, I felt a biting breath of wind as he escorted me out of the elevator and into the sky. “We’re at the Empire State Building,” he laughed. He grasped my fingers and walked me to the edge. “From here, you can see all of New York. It’s a sea of skyscrapers.” I imagined the view he had painted. A succession of towers against a setting sun was splayed out before me; it was breathtaking.
He came to be my conduit to the world.
He described everyday miracles that he saw, and I listened hungrily. And he described the miracle he saw in me- an indescribable beauty- and I grew to love him.
We were married by the end of the year.
We bought a cozy house at the top of a valley. “It’s beautiful,” he assured me. “It’s the perfect place for us to grow old together.” The first months at our new home were wondrous. He bought the same vinyl player we had listened to so long ago, and we only played the most beautiful songs. But it wasn’t enough. I found myself longing for art, for beauty- and this kind of beauty did not exist in darkness. So he brought me clay. He told me to sculpt him. I ran my fingers greedily over his chiseled face and molded every detail of his features into the clay. I forged the face that I loved so madly into art, relentlessly patting and pinching the clay to perfection. I didn’t stop until my creation replicated reality perfectly. My dreams, I realized, were not completely destroyed. Every day, as he worked in his four-by -four cubicle, I made sculptures of anything and everything I could grasp. I feared the day that he would tire of me and leave forever, but he always came back to my arms, always smiling, always loving.
For the first time, I was infinitely happy.
As my husband- a word I was still getting used to- left for work, I wandered outside on my own. I stumbled my way through the unkempt garden and towards the sloping hill of the valley. I stood at the top of the hill. I was so high, I could feel it. I knew that if I took one step- just one step- I would tumble into the depths of the valley and into a different kind of perpetual darkness. But I stood tall. I was the queen of the valley. I couldn’t see my subjects- but I knew they stood below me, awaiting my command. I could see the lush fields by the sound of the merciless wind rustling through the tall grass. I could see the glittering river by the sound of the rushing current crashing against the riverbanks. I shouted out loud for the whole valley to hear my powerful cry. I could see the world by the sound of the big echo.
yuli s at o yuli sat o i s a t we nt y - ye a r - o l d p h o t o g r a p h e r f r o m mont re a l, ca na da . h er wo r k o f t en d ea l s w i t h g i r l s who d e s i r e t o e s c a p e t h e i r b a n a l r e a l i t i e s a s we l l a s turn e ve r y d ay m o m e nt s i nt o s o m e t h i n g w h i m s i c al and et h e r e a l . w i t h a f e m i n i n e e ye , s h e u s e s f i l m t o soften t h e s u b j e c t , c r e at i n g a s e n s e o f n o s t a l g i a a n d childhood .
Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? Yuli Sato: I try to convey a sense of dreaminess or nostalgia through my work that allows the viewer to reminisce about his or her past memories or childhood. I photograph because I have a desire to capture a sense of beauty in the world. AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started? YS: When I was thirteen years old, I went to Japan and brought along two Minolta film cameras, and it all started from there! My photography is continually evolving along with my interests, but I feel as though I have developed a consistent aesthetic with which I’m happy at the moment. AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer? YS: I used to be very shy and self-conscious. Photography has really helped me deal with this.... Behind the camera, I feel a lot more relaxed, and I am able to connect with people in a better way. I’ve met a lot of interesting people through photography, and it’s my way of starting a relationship with someone. In terms of actually photographing, I am laidback and let the environment inspire me in the moment. AM: Who or what inspires you? YS: I think light really inspires me- different times of the day produce different effects, which I find really interesting. I love shooting at sunrise and sunset as well as in weird and beautiful landscapes. I think it all goes back to my interest in escapism.... By photographing in quiet, secluded landscapes, the subject and I are able to escape from reality for just a small moment. AM: Why do you use film? YS: There are many reasons why I use film.
Firstly, I think I can produce better work with it, and it seems to capture the mood that I’m going for. There’s something beautiful about film and its flaws.... I love grain, scratches, dust, everything. There’s a sense of physicality that I find really important. However, I’m not against digital in any way, I just think that my niche is in film. However, I’m planning on experimenting with digital, and I’d love to use the Canon 5D Mark II! AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work? YS: I don’t really have an all-time favorite photographer. I’m inspired by so many different photographers for many different reasons. But I like Marlene Marino, Jody Rogac, Jackson Eaton, Margaret Durow... the list goes on forever! I think the photographers in whom I’m really interested at the moment are the ones who capture their real lives- i.e., photos of their surroundings, people they have met, etc.. AM: What have you achieved so far in your photography, and what would you like to achieve? YS: I think I have achieved more than I thought I would, to be honest (laughs). It feels good to have publications, credits, and stuff like that, but I still have this feeling of discontent with my work. I think I want to try to photograph real situations more- the weird things that can happen in our lives and the people we’ve met. I still like creating made-up situations; however, I want to try to move into a new direction.... At some point, everyone does. AM: What mood do you love to capture in your work? Why? YS: A sense of nostalgia or childhood, as well as the beautification of banal environments. People don’t realize how insane the world is, how mystical and weird it is. I like to remind people that there are beautiful things all around them.
“ There’s s omething beautif ul about f ilm and it s f laws... . I love g rain , s c ratches , du st, e ve r y thing.”
v ie w y uliâ€™s por tfolio at y uli s ato.com
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:
WINT ER we don’t know about you, but our ipods play more than just christmas carols during the season of winter! so here’s our playlist, complete with twelve songs that will give you goosebumps and chills just by listening to them.
ANTHEM Emancipator WHITE WINTER HYMNAL Fleet Foxes WHEN I GROW UP First Aid Kit ROSLYN (feat. st. vincent) Bon Iver SILVER SOUL Beach House BRACKETT, WI Bon Iver TIME FLIES Lykke Li INNOCENT SON Fleet Foxes HERE BEFORE Vashti Bunyan NUDE Radiohead NO ONE’S GONNA LOVE YOU Band of Horses SKIN OF THE NIGHT M83 NORTHWESTERN GIRLS Say Hi To Your Mom VANISHED Crystal Castles ICARUS White Hinterland
i want someone to bury their head in my neck, wrap their arms around my ribcage, and hold me together because i can’t seem to remember where i left the rest of my atoms. i’m not falling apart, i’m just forgetting, forgetting, forgetting myself and where i’ve been and mornings in february where the light cuts through me, and the streets in portland where the people hold doors. my friend patricia taught me how to read the grounds left over the in the bottom of a cup of turkish coffee yesterday, and now that i’ve seen the future i’ve forgotten my past. i’m pretty sure that means i don’t deserve tomorrow, if i’m ungrateful enough to forget today. today, when i realized that my grandmother and i have the same hands. today, when gratitude was born as a bastard in my kitchen and i stared out the window wishing for the dusk to swallow me. today. to days, to arms, to war; from home. always from home, from heart. i am either a blissful desert or the faithful arctic. so, please, wrap your arms around me, and don’t shudder when you feel my ribs. i’m so thin because i have to be able to blow away someday. i have to be able to go home. i have to be able to remember home. i want flour in my hair, gravel smarting in my knees, and dirt wedged beneath my fingernails. fiendish, filthy beauty, contested but never conquered. i want quiet fury to marshall around and about me, the purest form of aggression to set free as i see fit. i find some odd strength in the way my voice quavers when i’m singing, vehemence clouding my windpipe but sharpening my vision. i know that, luxuriating beneath this contempt, is true fear; the fear that i will never escape, that i shall never be released. for now, i wait, wondering if my strength is fermenting or decaying. twenty five days. his eyes change color with the months, mine fade in turn with the clouds. boy of ochre and patience, girl of lapis lazuli and vengeance; we reflect light beautifully. his stitches are uneven, shining beneath his skin of spun sugar, cardboard, and mercury glass. his mother worries about him, she worries about me. she has gone blind reading maps of the places she will never be. her pulse throbs along to her thought of, “be safe, be safe, be safe.” he hums under his breath sometimes, not songs, but stories about his family. he tells me about the dog with the grizzled muzzle who bit him because she loved him too much. he mutters his way through epic poems, pronouncing only the vowels that fit comfortably against his teeth. sometimes our voices mesh together, melding in some rumbling harmony that we can’t quite understand. when i sing, my voice is clear. he only hears the buzzing in my chest. i tell him about the time i danced down the stairs, but my feet fell out of rhythm and i missed six steps. i’ve stumbled, i’ve tripped, i’ve collapsed, and he’s always been on the ground before i registered it’s existence. he kisses my broken arm. i tell him about the water in upstate new york, how it tastes like the air in oregon. we will go, and we will make our home there, where the highways are wrought with roses and homeless men command me to smile. they have nicknames for us. we forgot our real names long ago. we will go and we will make our home there, always dashing away, always feeling free, always returning; we will never be happy, but we will be alive. she told me to sleep, her mask of sympathy slipping and one of alarm glaring through to me. i’ve been doing that too much lately, i’ve been concerning people i don’t converse with, there are always questions. foggy days and graceless nights, that is who i am now. i’ll change my hair, i’ll wear a jacket, i’ll profess greed, promiscuity, and lawlessness because that is who i am supposed to be. i won’t sleep, though, not out of spite but out of self preservation. exhaustion is preferable to extinction. the sidewalks wail and the cars purr, and if i stood in the intersection, i’m sure the tanker wouldn’t see me in time. there’s too much buzzing in my brain i have to deal with, mental acrobats to catch and relinquish. you can’t feel pain on the surface of your brain, did you know that? it seems so ironic. there’s nothing that could hurt more than the knowledge that you could be somewhere else, but that you would never leave. miles are bulwarks, i’m surrounded by smoke. fog of the ages. i will never sleep. so much emphasis on letters and numbers, symbols and signs. on crimes, and bloodlines, the snake’s trail under your skin. but you are not your father, no matter how much he drank. you are not your mother, no matter how beautiful she was, and how grotesque she is now. you are not the cause of the tides, and you are not a catalyst. you say you need to find yourself; what’s wrong with the skin you’ve already found? we’ve all got space between our atoms, love, clumsily collected into temporary cans. we’ve all got gaps between our sentences, and sometimes we wake up just a little too late. and sometimes, we fall apart. and then we are not “we,” anymore.
di a ry
C aroly n Fo erster, 17 (C onne c t ic ut)
in between classes, my spine starts to bend. i start to falter, to waver, i’m sure my outline must shimmer and flicker. i’m not so well defined, my limbs aren’t delineated as they should be. if my feet find purchase, i marvel offhandedly at their talent. i don’t feel much these days. i don’t eat. i don’t really sleep. i’m not very good at repairing myself, you see. i think it’s because all i have to build with is chewing gum and the invisible thread my mother uses to sew the buttons back onto my beaten green coat. so, in those five minutes when i waft from russian literature to lunch, i hide out in the bathroom to give myself some time to recover. i prop myself against one of the comfortingly bland walls and cover my face with my hands, fingers splayed as best to block the light. then i feel human. there’s something so natural about that position for me, as my chin tilts up and my hands rush to shield my eyes. i just stand there, trying to feel everything and nothing at all. i can’t understand people now. i might be foreign or they might be displaced, but either way we still don’t have any common ground over which to war. so i embrace the noise thundering through my head, the shouts of ancestors and girls at their first concerts. i close my eyes. today, i woke up and the light didn’t slice right through me. it found purchase in the folds beneath my eyes, yes, but it just lay there, illuminating more than blinding. i still ache when i think of portland, when i think of going home. this desperation can hardly be healthy. anxiety keeps finding new footholds, new tendrils of fear keep sprouting from my amygdala. still, i’ve been taping supports to my spine, identifying the most fallible of my defenses and replacing them with steel and silk thread. my stumbling was more graceful today, yes, ballerinas are beautiful even when they’re breaking their own bones. i imbibed massive amounts of coffee and read about the rituals of gallic tribes. i discussed the circles of hell and the emeutes of the french revolution. the beautiful boy who protects me too much, who i will never love, played velvet underground with a particular indescribable beauty and i hummed along, trying to be make enough noise to be heard without disturbing my own ears. hope is as daring as it is elusive, and today, i think i’ve caught it again. i recognize that i cannot hold it, i cannot keep it, but i can respect it. that will have to be enough for now. i wore my grandmother’s blouse today, cream and lace surrounding my throat. the sleeves were too short, the bones in my wrist protruded grotesquely. i was proud of my hands, though. they’ve carried me this far. i clasped my coffee cup and i kept myself calm, and then my mother and i drove because that is what we do when it is november in new england. we clung to the hudson river valley today, traveling upstream, against the current, against the wind. the road doesn’t so meander as it doubles back, tracing its own curves with a flick of asphalt and the scent of neglect. “the people here look lost,” i said to her, as we found ourselves in a town on the side of a nameless mountain. she nodded, added, “just a bit lost. they’ll find their way.” it was comforting, even though the cities keep on getting smaller, and then they are towns, then hamlets, then houses, then nothing. i suppose we are just a bit lost. we will find our way. we found our way to some historic house, anyway. the hudson sprawled beneath us, beckoning, up towards the adirondacks and down towards the city. our tour guide could have lived in the house, so wrinkled was her skin and so hushed her speech. still, we examined our reflections in mirrors that used to hold the images of women who birthed fifteen children before dying of typhoid at age 57, and we pursed our lips in dismay when she told us how the family fortune had been squandered. and then we were done, expelled out onto the grounds, and back into our car. we found a diner where the waitress brought me coffee in a cup the size of a thimble, and a man with black eyes looked at me too kindly. he looked like he wanted to say something, like he wanted to tell me it would be alright because already the panic was building. and now i find myself sitting on my bed, while the wind tries to divest me of my preconceived notions about peace, and about boys with grey eyes. things are very heavy. not bad, mind you, they just weigh on my shoulders and sit in my lungs. sometimes they keep me from breathing. but not now. now, i will be okay.
Katrin Braga “I’m an eig hte en-ye ar-old photog rapher f rom R e y kj av í k, Ic el and w ho loves prett y t hings in life.”
Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? Katrin Bragadottir: I photograph because I love storytelling and capturing beautiful moments. And I love when people get inspired by my work.
KB: There are so many! But Alison Scarpulla stays at the top. Her dreamy photographs influence me to try new things and experiment.
AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started?
AM: Imagine you’ve been commissioned for an editorial for a fashion magazine. For which publication (i.e. Vogue, Nylon, etc.) would you most like to shoot? Why?
KB: I’ve been shooting for less than two years now. My photography has become edgier and more evolved in so many ways.
KB: Pop Magazine, no doubt about it. It has been my favorite magazine for a while now.
AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer?
AM: How does fashion play into your work? KB: Everything becomes a bit more interesting when fashion is involved.
KB: I would describe myself as a confusing person. I can’t keep my feet on the ground. I’m always up in the clouds- dreaming. AM: Who or what inspires you? KB: Many things inspire me. Music is my main inspiration now; I can’t be without it. AM: Digital or film? Why? KB: Film. Because you have to make an effort and think about every single detail when you are shooting. AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work?
AM: Who are some of your favorite models (either models you’ve shot or models you’d like to shoot)? KB: My closest friend, Brynja, and Lindsey Wixson. AM: We’ve seen your video work, and we love it! Why did you start shooting video? How is it different from photography? KB: I‘ve been fascinated by movies and short films ever since I was a little girl. I started experimenting and it just came naturally. It‘s so different, I can‘t describe it!
“I can’t keep my feet on the ground. I’m always up in the clouds- dreaming.” 66
v ie w katr inâ€™s por tfolio at f lickr. com /photos/ katr inbragad
in l ove with sorrow s i xt h se n se you wanted to buy me a house on the coast of some foreign country next to the sea, close enough for me to smell it in the air, hear it in the waves, crashing against the rocks like music. but you didn’t know I wanted to be alone like a hermit, sealed away in my misery. and I locked you out from the inside. that was the only survival tip I ever learned. well, maybe I’m clairvoyant because I had a dream, and the dog was dead, and it was outside, the carcass rotting in the weeds, the flies and worms and every detestable insect building a home beneath the fur. and you told me, “sometimes dreams do come true.” well, sometimes they don’t.
ra m b l in g s Right now it is four a.m. and you are breathing softly, your head against my chest and your arms splayed at awkward angles. The image is comforting, your quiet inhalation filling my ears like music. In these early hours of the day, I am yours. You don’t know this, but I dread the moment you open your eyes. There is fear in my heart of rejection; like a child, I want it to stay this way forever: me waking up in your arms, watching as you dream of holding better women but knowing that I could be wrong, and that you want this as much as I do. The first thing I will look for when you wake is the inevitable disappointment, for I will not be the same woman I was last night, all charm and confidence. You will turn from my flaws, so evident in the morning light. You will not be able to look past my weaknesses. But right now, your eyes are closed and peaceful. I do not know for sure what will happen, if you will choose to stay for coffee or if you’ll decide that the heart encased in these bones is too fragile, or the color of my eyes too dull, or the fear within me too evident on my skin. For now, I will rest knowing that it is me you’re sleeping next to, and let myself breathe in sync with you, both of us so insignificant in the quiet hours of morning.
She’s been sitting in the same chair all day. Like yesterday, and the week before, and the month before that. I want to tell her to stop because she’s only hurting herself (and maybe hurting me a bit or a lot). She’s been smoking the same cigarette, tears have been falling into the same cold, tasteless cup, and she’s been whispering (hoping) about how maybe her heart will just stop, just stop beating, ticking away like a bomb, and maybe she will explode into a million pieces of heartbreak and nothingness.
sea af f airs I am having a love affair with the Sea. I have not yet been embraced by her vastness, but the aching does not go away. I can feel my pulse race as I envision her. I used to hear her beckon in my dreams, until they became restless nights, a damned existence spent waiting for one chance, to sleep in the bed of blue. she needs me, I think, another soul to sweep away, another body to break with her waves, to claim another heart as her own. oh, my mistress, Sea, she loves me, Sea is a monster, beautiful and ruthless and coldhearted, she is a killer, she is here to take me to other lands and back and drag me across her depths until I am cold and blue like her.
w h at l ove f eel s l ike I’m sitting here, freezing my ass off, eyes dead from lack of sleep, and the fucking blinds are open. I don’t want to get out of my bed because my bones are aching and I just know, I am positive, that they will unhinge if I take a step out of this sanctuary. It’s possibly two in the morning, or maybe it’s still nine at night because these drugs are making my room blurry, and I can’t tell whether it’s dark or not. Or maybe it’s your possible presence next to me which is making me dizzy and giddy and terribly depressed and how many times did I vomit and what, exactly, happened? I want to wake you but my hands seem to be numb and I can’t feel them anymore and I’m too scared to hurt you because that’s what I do, I make everyone cry because I’m bad and I don’t think about anyone else. I touch your cheek but then I bring my hands back because I don’t want to take you away from the beautiful dreams you could be having, or maybe you’re having nightmares and maybe you want to wake up and are just helpless and I want to reach out and hold you but It just doesn’t work that way, you’ll say, I can just imagine the words spilling out of your mouth and breaking my heart again. I guess I’ll leave the blinds open because I can see the moon from here, a glowing and unwavering hope, and maybe it is the only beautiful thing left in the world.
S ta r d u st d r ea ms
Yashi Dixit, 15 (Phi l a delphi a, PA)
wh at my mo t h e r t o l d m e it’s love in the superficial way; her neck perfectly encased in that space of his neck that used to be reserved for me. no, I’m not disgusted... too much. mostly just disillusioned and disenchanted like cinderella after she came down from her high and realized that she was imagining things. well, that’s how my mother told it. yes, my lines were uneven, but you could’ve read between them still. was I too complicated,
too hard to understand, too bright sometimes, then rapidly fading to black? were you drowning, suffocating? a tragic incident, oh, an overdose of color, what a shame. you’re hollywood when you’re with her but it’s low-budget, obscure, fucked up beyond david lynch if it’s me. I thought train wrecks were beautiful, too oh, but that’s just what my mother told me.
YOUNG & WILD by j e ss i c a m i l an t we nt y- fou r- ye ar- old photog rapher f rom toronto, ont ar io, c anad a, j e ssic a has b e en sho ot ing for just ove r a ye ar. she is inspire d by kate b el lm , b e aut if u l g irls, and g re at st y le.
model i s mar ie @ elite toronto // photog raphy by jessica milan // hair and makeup by oz z andiyeh // styling by odess a paloma parke r
â€œa s a p h o t o g r a pher, i d e f i n i t el y l i k e t o k eep it li gh t a n d f u n on s et . â€?
model i s alina @ v iva berlin // photog raphy by jessica milan // styling by olga zmiejko
â€œ i wo u l d r e a l ly like to do s o m e t h i n g fo r oyster or i l o ve fa k e. t h ey both have su c h a c o o l , f u n aes thet ic. â€?
model i s julia kiecks ee // photog raphy by jessica milan
joelle @ v iva berlin // photo g raphy by j essica milan // styling by olga zmiejko
b r i l l i a nt yo u n g photographers always s e e m t o e m e rge from unusual places. m e e t h o l l y b r o omhal l, nineteen-year-old g i r l fr o m a uc k l a nd, new z eal and...
ly oomhall 82
“i’ve always been driven by my passions and dreams.”
Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? Holly Broomhall: It was a little over three years ago when I discovered the beauty of photography and how through the lens, I could create any world I wanted. Capturing enchanting moments and feelings is what I would call it. That single frame, when looking closer, you’ve managed to get a glimpse into something unreal, a hint of a fairytale or a spark from a world you’ve forgotten from when you were a child. I am now nineteen, and this is what I plunge all my passion into, it’s who I am. I began working with models, my friends, exploring romantic and soft beauty, trying to capture this beauty through my eyes. I used to do a lot of painting and drawing- particularly of landscape and nature- and that is definitely something that strongly influences the way I shoot. When shooting a model, I try to capture a soft, natural beauty, using natural light to expose the landscape and environment within the image. Capturing the richness of the tones, the beauty of the light, or expression on a model’s face. That organic natural spark that comes from using natural light within an exposed landscape or environment. All of these things working together in one image are something I see as pure magic. The main reason I photograph? Because I love it! AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started? HB: I’ve always been artistic and passionate about art, but it was only a few years ago during high school when I picked up a camera for the first time and fell in love with what I could express through images. I could show my view of the natural beauty of landscapes, nature, and people, in a way that sparked a feeling of magic. I’m now nineteen and have moved home seven hours up the country to a bigger, more exciting city where I can really begin making a career out of what I love. I started test shooting with modeling agencies earlier this year (around April 2010), building contacts and relationships, meeting and working with amazing people, and building my portfolio. Within eight months i’ve achieved so much with the progression of my work and skill, and I’ve also made some amazing connections with very talented people. I’m now beginning to submit some of my fashion editorials and shoots to fashion magazines and planning a move overseas. AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer? HB: I grew up in a small city, venting my hopes and passion into the idea that I could become someone great, someone who inspires. I’ve always been driven by my passion and dreams, long before a camera was in my hands. I suppose I’m one of those annoying high achievers... but it’s good to continuously aim high, keep setting more goals. There’s always room for improvement! As a photographer, I’m pretty relaxed; I love having fun on shoots with the team involved and creating a connection with the model before shooting. That way, they are comfortable, and I can connect visually with them through my camera, capturing the raw beauty and softness of their expression or body language.
AM: Who or what inspires you? HB: Many things- music, people, art- inspiration can come from the simplest things that I find beautiful or interesting. My main source of inspiration is nature and landscape. I’ve always loved the beauty of natural light and the way it hits a particular landscape or element of nature. Before photography, I did a lot of landscape oil painting, which has become a big influence on the way I photograph- in a very paintlike style. And of course photographers, the young and fresh talent- Lara Jade Coton, Nirrimi Hakanson, Damon Baker, and some current superstars like Greg Kadel, Tim Walker, Mario Testino... the list goes on! AM: Digital or film? Why? HB: I suppose if I had done more work with film when I first started learning a bit about photography, I would love both, but digital was what I plunged into. Obviously part of the attraction is the instant results you get with digital, and I love that I can see what I’m doing through every shot, change ideas when I need to, see whats working, and achieve a lot more over a short space of time than if I were shooting with film. With digital photography also comes post processing software such as Photoshop, which is definitely an art form in itself. I’m not ashamed to say that every final image I use isn’t finished until it has been through Photoshop! It’s a way to further define my style as a photographer, creating rich tones or some sort of mood through the way I develop color. Some people think that digital photography is cheating or lazy, but whether you are working with digital or film, it still takes skill and a sharp eye to capture well-composed photographs that are dynamic and interesting to the eye. You still need to have good knowledge of what works and how to create something that makes someone stop and say wow. AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work? HB: There are too many amazingly talented people out there to just pick one! I love the work of top dogs such as Tim Walker for his amazing use of surreal atmosphere and extravagant
creative sets, Greg Kadel for his ability to capture light in a way that is magical, and David Bellemere, who also uses beautiful natural light and captures personality in his models. Also, a young fresh talent who is making her way to the top- Lara Jade Coton, who is absolutely amazing with the way she captures her subjects, so beautifully and naturally, and the richness of the tones in her images is wonderful. All of these creative elements are things I aim to acheive in my own work, through my love of natural light, beautiful environments, and soft femininity. AM: Imagine you’ve been commissioned for an editorial for a fashion magazine. For which publication (i.e. Vogue, Nylon, etc.) would you most like to shoot? Why? HB: Vogue! Do I really need to explain why? (laughs) I love the way Vogue expresses fashion and photography as an art form rather than just commercial and “to the point” fashion. The shoots are always so beautifully put-together and creative, with rich atmospheres and a hint of fantasy. And to be a part of one of the biggest creative fashion magazines in the world would be a dream. AM: How does fashion play into your work? HB: Fashion is simply art in which we live our lives- it’s everywhere you look. Shooting within the fashion industry allows me to work with some incredibly talented people who all share the same underlying artistic strength and creativity. Fashion editorials, for me, are another way of combining nature with creative style. I love capturing rich textures of different fabrics that are enhanced by a particular location I may be shooting at, or the natural light that affects the look of the clothing. However, I try not to sway to far towards the fashion side of things. My work is still about capturing the organic beauty of a landscape and nature while mixing it with the raw beauty of a model and her personality. With my fashion editorial work, I am displaying the styling to the fashion crowd, yet also exposing the landscape and environment to achieve a soft-yet-powerful atmosphere. I guess you could call me a fashion hippie!
AM: What have you achieved so far in your photography, and what would you like to achieve? HB: I’ve definitely improved greatly in skill since moving to my new big city and working in the fashion industry. Being self-taught, I’ve worked through trial and error and shooting for the love of it without getting too stressed about the rules and technicalities of commercial work. Keeping things natural with a creative base is how I want my fashion work to progress. Without living in Auckland very long and not having any idea about the fashion industry or working with professionals, in teight months I’ve already shot international models, worked with so many amazing people (photographers and other industry creatives), worked with magazines, and begun to get some published fashion work out there for the world to see. I’ve still got a long way to go, but things are going in a great direction! I’m hoping to move to London next year and work my way into the industry from there. Another leap, this time to a completely different
country, which will be a bit scary- but for the opportunity and the wealth of creativity, talent, and fashion, it’s a big leap forward! AM: Any advice for ambitious would-be photographers? HB: It was a big step for me, moving out of home for the first time and relocating to a city ten times larger where I didn’t know a single person. But it’s good to throw yourself in the deep end and just go for it. Don’t hold anything back when it comes to your passion and what you love- you just have to put yourself out there and take every opportunity! Aim high, and never doubt that you can’t do anything you set your mind to. My hopes of shooting for top fashion magazines one day is in my mind and in my sight... it just takes determination, passion, and belief in yourself for these dreams to become a reality. As I take more steps forward, I hope to inspire and share my work with the world.
v ie w holly’s por tfolio at hollybroomhall.com
“don’t hold anythi w hen i t co mes t o yo s i o n an d w ha t yo u
in g back ou r pa s u lo ve.â€?
Baohie Ache Magazine: What do you try to convey through your work? Why do you photograph? Baohien Ngo: I try to convey that no matter where you are or who you are with, you have the ability to create. If no one will model or pose for you, take candid shots. If there’s no one there when you lift up your camera to take a shot, take a landscape photo. You hold the power to create something beautiful that’s uniquely yours in any situation. I work with what I have even when I don’t have much to work with, and anyone else can do the same. I photograph to document. I’ve never been good with words, so this is my diary. I record my memories, thoughts, and imagination with my camera. AM: How long have you been shooting? How has your photography changed since you started?
BN: My memories inspire me and the thought of going through life and seeing the rest of the world inspires me. I always think about how big the world is. There are so many places to go and people to meet. I know that if I don’t like my photos at one point, there are so many others that I can take. The endless possibilities inspire me. AM: Why do you use film? BN: I use film because I believe that its qualities are classic, and the way that it records light seems much more true to the eye as opposed to digital. When I look at one of my film photographs from the past, I see what I saw during that fraction of a second, and all of the memories rush back to me. The grain and scratches from the scans make the moments seem more imperfect, thus more tangible.
BN: I’ve been shooting for about two years now. About a year into taking photographs, I made a gradual change to shooting analog rather than digital. I could never buy any equipment of my own, so it was not until I was given my first film camera almost a year after using digital that I made the progression. At first, I carefully planned concepts for every shoot that I did. Eventually, I got tired of meticulous planning and the disappointment of not receiving the outcomes that I had expected, so I started taking more spontaneous and candid photographs.
AM: Who is your favorite photographer, and how have you been influenced by his/her work?
AM: How would you describe yourself as a person and as a photographer?
AM: What have you achieved so far in your photography, and what would you like to achieve?
BN: As a person, I can be careless, clumsy, and impatient. When I take photos, I’m usually the opposite of that. I have to try to be as careful as I can with every exposure because I like for each one to be sentimental. Sometimes I sit and wait for a bit for just the right frame before hitting my shutter. I have to be patient. When I’m holding a camera, I don’t feel like it’s forced. It brings out another side of me that otherwise never comes out. AM: Who or what inspires you?
BN: I have several that I’ve drawn inspiration from lately, but at the moment, my absolute favorite is Wai Lin Tse. She successfully photographs the two genres that I am in love with. She takes fashion and travel shots, the two kinds that I have been trying to improve on in the last two years. I don’t do anything too complex or elaborate often because her photographs influence me to keep things simple, whether I’m photographing faces or documenting a trip.
BN: I’ve met so many talented artists and wonderful people who support me, and I am thankful for that. I feel as though my biggest accomplishments so far have been meeting everyone I’ve met and the overall journey that this has taken me through. Other than that, I don’t think I have achieved much else in terms of getting published, making it into galleries, etc., but it’s alright. It really is. I’d like to get my work out there a little more, in hopes of perhaps inspiring others. That’s my only goal right now.
B a ohien Ngo, 1 6 Houston, T X
v i sit baohie nâ€™s por tfolio at baohienng o. com
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:
PARTY HARD it’s time for a party! a new year has started, and the season for throwing parties is upon us. birthdays, proms, graduations... and if there isn’t an occasion, why not make one yourself? for every good party, you’ll need a fantastic playlist, and we think we have just what you need to have a great time.
ALL I ASK OF YOU (myndset remix) Skrillex & Penny BASS DOWN LOW (feat. dev) The Cataracs D.A.N.C.E. (mstrkrft remix) Justice BACK FOR THE FIRST TIME Caspa CRIMINAL INTENT Robyn JE VEUX TE VOIR Yelle BAPTISM Crystal Castles ELECTRIC FEEL (justice remix) MGMT GHOSTS ‘N’ STUFF (feat. rob swire) Deadmau5 BOYS & GIRLS (feat. dragonette) [laidback luke remix) Martin Solveig GIFTED (feat. kanye west, santigold, lykke li) [flirtphonic remix] N.A.S.A. ON TO THE NEXT ONE (feat. swizz beats) Jay-Z SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ACID WITH YOU Neon Indian MOMMY COMPLEX Peaches GOT YOUR NUMBER Nadia Oh
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