I had the wonderful experience of going to the Let’s Shoot Boston and Recollective Vintage portrait meet! It was a great opportunity to connect with some incredible women, both photographers and models.
Recollective Vintage is a tucked away gem in the Allston/Boston area. Owners, Kate Straley Marx and Hthaiwon Layne, have some interesting fashion eyes when it comes to the vintage pieces! I would highly recommend anyone in the Boston area to take a trip to Recollective to find some unique pieces. I liked the variety within the store, yet it didn’t feel overwhelming. I think Recollective has found that happy medium, so shoppers can enjoy their experience yet there are endless options. I asked Kate and Hthaiwon a few questions about their personal style, and their opinions of the event:
Furthermore, I want to share the photos as well as showcase the AMAZING photographers and their work:
Anusha Rameshbabu and I immediately connected (literally, it took seconds)and it was destiny that we were supposed to meet! This bright and smiley spirit knocked my socks off with her talent, and I am glad our friendship has blossomed. We have to shoutout our dear friend, Adarsh, for facilitating this, and I love how Anusha captured the drama and vintage feel.
Hometown: Bangalore, India
3 Fun Facts:
1. I have never lived in a house for more than 2 years
2. I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan!
3. Less known fun fact about me: I’m also a writer. Currently my work is for a photography magazine at Northeastern University called PIXEL for their photography club called NUPic. I also write poetry for my own photography every now and then.
Allie Dee is a photographic genius! This was my second time shooting with Allie, and I was equally impressed with the outcome. Definitely check out her work because she is a super star!
Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ
3 Fun Facts:
1. I studied/majored in Philosophy of Law & Ethics at Northeastern
2. I want to design my own tiny house
3. My dream trip is to trek to Machu Picchu and travel around the rest of Peru.
Audria Hadikusumo and I met towards the end of the event with her friend, Caroline. It was super fun shooting with both of them especially when they were both inside of the store, and I was posing outside! I felt like a movie star! (PS, her Instagram handle is hilarious – so check it out).
Hometown: Surabaya, Indonesia
3 Fun Facts:
1. I’m a film major, but I hate making films.
2. I have an unreasonable fear of aquariums
3. I’m a technologically challenged Millennial
Caroline Wirawan is a sweet photographer! Shooting with her and Audria was a treat at the end of the LSB event! I am hoping to see them again and collaborate in the future!
Hometown: Surabaya, Indonesia
3 Fun Facts:
1. I was born and raised in Indonesia, but I have spoken English for most of my life.
2. I started loving portrait photography when I was 13
3. I am a shopaholic!
Pooja Natarajan is a lovely soul! (Another shoutout to our mutual friend, Adarsh!) It was fun when we used some different accessories like some fun sunglasses, and I loved paring them up with the vintage outfit from Recollective!
Hometown: Mumbai, India
3 Fun Facts:
1. I am an avid reader
2. I love animals…dogs take an extra special spot
3. I’ve never been to a Thanksgiving dinner!
Keyla Blanco Gomez and I started out the LSB meet, and I am so glad we did! Keyla has a kind smile, and superb photography skills. We walked all around the neighborhood finding run spots to take some shots. I really loved when we switched roles, and I was taking pictures of her and they turned out really nice!
Hometown: Long Island, New York
3 Fun Facts:
1. Graduated from BU – majoring in Psychology and minoring in Anthropology.
2. I’m saving up to travel to Iceland
3. My current favorite recipe is Tyler Crew’s Mack and Jeezy
Meryl Prendergast and I ended up modeling together more than taking photos, so this was a treat! (We bonded over furry coats as you do!) We did get a nice shot with the fabulous vintage fur coat from Recollective!
Hometown: Canton, Massachusetts
3 Fun Facts:
1. I’m studying Theatre at Northeastern
2. I love art museums and thrifting!
3. I’ve been a photographer for 2 years.
Kermen T and I had a bit of time together, and I LOVE her work. The brightness of the photos is just stunning. She is also a wedding photographer, and her Instagram is so on point.
Let’s Shoot Boston was started by two interesting women, Lauren and Hannah. I wanted to know more about Let’s Shoot Boston through the voices of the creators:
1. What is the mission of LSB?
HANNAH O: Let’s Shoot: Boston is a collective of WOMXN who collaborate at monthly social events focused on photography, fashion and art. Our mission is to create a safe space for photographers, models, stylists, and creatives to network and collaborate. We aim to empower the womxn of our community to create, to give back, and to have each others’ backs. Our photo meets are a place for womxn to express themselves, to work toward a common cause, and to form new relationships.
LAUREN: LSB is an inclusive womxn-only space, and our intention is to create an open atmosphere where womxn can practice their skills free of judgment. Our events are primarily photoshoot based and can be very personal, so we ask that our members trust and recognize each other for their artistic abilities and individual voices. Womxn’s groups have always been questioned, receiving scrutiny for being “sexist” in their exclusion of men, and LSB is no different. Many times, the LSB mods have been prescribed to run our events “regardless of gender”. We find these comments problematic, especially concerning recent media coverage of scandal in the industry and the cases surrounding Terry Richardson and Harvey Weinstein. We want our community to know that LSB won’t be backing down from our mission and that we stand strong with members of sexual assault.
2. What is your vision for LSB, and what is in store for the future of LSB?
HANNAH O: Historically, the photography and modeling industries have used womxn and their bodies as tools of artistic expression. We feel that it’s time to change this narrative and disrupt the industry with our strong perspective. LSB is a platform for our community to share a united message: that we are diverse in our backgrounds, skin tones, body shapes, religions, sexual orientations and so much more.
LAUREN: Due to this, it should come as no surprise that we lead this group with a heavy nod to intersectional feminism, and this is very intentional. By hosting these events, LSB stands in active protest against putting womxn “in a box” and our individual members stand against the limitation of their creative voices by society.
HANNAH O: When we think about the future of LSB, we think a lot about giving back to the community. We feature a new charity each month, directing all proceeds from our ticket sales directly to the organization. We have raised donations in the name of Black Lives Matter – Charlottesville, Mira Coalition, Dress For Success, and Community Servings. We will continue to position this community around giving back, and we hope to support more womxn-focused charitable causes in the future.
LAUREN: Recently, we also started partnering with womxn owned businesses in order to promote their products, which in turn promotes our community members and builds their portfolios. Our November event with Recollective Vintage was a huge hit, and we aim to offer opportunities like this to our community as often as possible. We have a few tricks up our sleeves, so stay tuned for upcoming event invitations featuring more local businesses. If you’re a small business owner in Boston, please reach out to partner with us. We’d love to hear from you!
3. How has LSB empowered you both?
HANNAH O: LSB has empowered me greatly this past year not only as a photographer but as a feminist. We are tasked with operating this community from a place of trust and respect, and I feel that we uphold this to the highest degree. It means a lot that our members come back each month to collaborate in the space we have created, and that feels so powerful.
LAUREN: To me, LSB is proof that a small idea can become so much more through the supporting arms of your community. Our first meet was in August, and since then we have grown to over 1100 followers on Instagram and 250 active community members who purchase tickets to our events, share their images, and promote our creatives. There is power in the group and in what we are doing, and it’s been amazing to see it grow.
4. Where is your favorite place to take photos in Boston?
HANNAH O: I’m happiest when I’m wandering around and exploring new places. Nothing makes me happier than setting foot at a new location and having my camera right by my side. Because of this, I don’t really have a favorite spot I like to shoot in Boston. Instead, I like to create a feeling wherever I go and take that space for that it is, experimenting along the way.
LAUREN: When I shoot, I like to be surrounded by positivity and other forms of artistic inspiration. I love finding new murals, busy areas in town with a lot of motion, and places that feel have electricity or a “spark” about them. I’m also very drawn to water and the elements, so shooting in nature is always a plus. My favorite place to shoot is in a collaborative space where artists can be truly open with one another and respect each others’ visions. I think that being able to find that balance is important.
5. About the mods:
HANNAH O: I’m originally from Northampton, MA and I’m currently studying at Northeastern University here in Boston. When I graduate my goal is to become an international portrait photographer. Three fun facts about me:
I’m currently on co-op as a photography assistant at Elevin Studios
I work for a photo booth company @poseyphotos that specializes in custom design photo booths
My dog’s name is Big Papi
LAUREN: I’m a creative at heart with major entrepreneurial passions. In addition to working at a startup in Boston, I host LSB events with Hannah, model actively, and am also an avid cook and baker. Three fun facts about me:
In my spare time I have been doing creative production for a food zine (@sundayisforbrunch), with the first issue slated to be released in January 2018!
Tyra Banks once posted my selfie on her feed and said I had #WhatItTakes to be on ANTM!
I have a black cat named Icarus who I call my familiar