Archive for the ‘Crossdressing’ Category

Review: Some Like It Hot

March 24, 2012

This month we’ll look at one of the best comedy films of all time. “Some Like it Hot” was released in 1959. The screenplay is by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, based on the French film “Fanfare d’Amour.” It’s set in 1929, the age of prohibition and pre-Depression millionaires.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play two jazz musicians with almost supernaturally bad luck. They start the film working in a speakeasy run by the infamous gangster Spats Columbo. The speakeasy is raided, and they finally get another job 100 miles away. When they go to borrow a car, there’s Spats Columbo again, gunning down a rival gang in Valentine’s Day massacre style. They flee to the same seaside resort in Florida where you guessed it, Spats Columbo is headed for an annual gangsters convention.

Of course the movie isn’t really about gangsters, it’s about gender and roleplaying and romance. There are three distinct parts to the film, the Chicago segment, the train, and the Florida segment. While the Chicago scenes have a lot of action and funny lines, they basically exist to set up the rest of the movie, where Jerry and Joe are forced to disguise themselves as women and leave town with an all-girl band. The scenes in the train are probably the funniest in the film, where our friends attempt to blend in with the girls, and both are sorely tempted by Sugar Cane, the band’s vocalist.

So much has been made of Marilyn Monroe’s temperament and unprofessionalism during the filming, but it’s usually not mentioned that she was pregnant at the time. Reportedly, she needed 47 takes to get one of her lines right. The line was, “It’s me, Sugar.” Supposedly Tony Curtis joked with the crew that kissing Marilyn “was like kissing Hitler,” a joke that spread like wildfire. Curtis denied ever saying it, but admits in his biography that he did. Either way, Marilyn’s behavior led to a lot of tension on the set. Still, I think her screen performance is great. Her sleeper car scene with Lemmon is wonderful, and doesn’t rely on a lot of close ups to cover for flubbed lines.

Casting Marilyn for this role was brilliant. In many ways, Sugar is Marilyn, from her sneak drinking to her many failed relationships. The scene where she talks about her fear of being thrown off the train if she’s caught drinking again has such a ring of truth to it. It’s said Marilyn was not invited to the wrap party at the end of filming.

Tony Curtis had many of his lines dubbed because he had trouble keeping his voice at a believable pitch while playing “Josephine.” His Cary Grant impersonation is good, but I never really understood the point of it. But, Joe is not really a very likable character. He steals Beinstock’s eyeglasses and suitcase, steals Osgood’s flowers, threatens a little kid on the beach, and impersonates a millionaire so he can get a hot date with Sugar. He supposedly redeems himself in the end by giving Sugar a diamond bracelet, as long as you are willing to forget that he swiped the bracelet too. However, he does have one of the greatest lines of the film: “It’s not how long you wait, it’s who you’re waiting for.”


The third segment of the film, set in Florida resort, are where the romances and comedy really start cooking. Joe and Jerry often appear in a combination of genders, for example the scene with Joe in a bathtub wearing a wig and pretending to be Josephine, while fully dressed as a man under the soap suds. Or Jerry “forgetting” to remove his high heels while impersonating a bellhop. Joe E. Brown appears as a Osgood Fielding III, a lovable millionaire smitten by Jerry, and their courtship leads to some really funny and touching scenes. The closing line “Nobody’s perfect,” spoken by Osgood, is simultaneously hilarious and very romantic.

An unforgettable line, but there are so many other great scenes in this part of the film. There’s George Raft, sending up old gangster cliches like flipping a coin repeatedly, or picking up a grapefruit half as if to squash it in the face of one of his henchmen. There’s Jerry playing on the beach in a girl’s swimsuit. There’s the horny little bellhop who promises Joe, “Never mind leaving your door open, I’ve got a pass key!” There’s Joe and Jerry climbing down the side of the hotel in drag, carrying the bass. There’s the totally over-the-top scene with a hitman with a tommygun popping out of a birthday cake to wipe out the South Side gangsters. There’s the tango with Osgood and Jerry. There’s Joe kissing Sugar while he’s dressed in drag. Marilyn’s facial expression changes so many times in that sequence, as she puts together the pieces of the puzzle.


My favorite lines:

Waiter: Sorry sir we only serve coffee.
Mulligan: Coffee?
Waiter: Scotch coffee, Canadian coffee, sourmash coffee.
Mulligan: Scotch! Make it a demitasse, soda on the side.

Joe: Jerry boy, why do you have to paint everything so black? Suppose you got hit by a truck? Suppose the stock market crashes? Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks? Suppose the Dodgers leave Brooklyn?

Jerry: I feel like everybody’s staring at me!
Joe: With those legs? Are you crazy?

Sugar: I come from this musical family. My mother is a piano teacher, my father was a conductor.
Joe: Where did he conduct?
Sugar: On the Baltimore-and-Ohio.

Osgood: Which of these instruments do you play?
Jerry: Bull fiddle!
Osgood: Fascinating! Do you use a bow or just pluck it?
Jerry: Most of the time, I slap it.
Osgood: You must be quite a girl.
Jerry: Want to bet?

Sweet Sue: Every girl in my band is a virtuoso, and I intend to keep it that way.

Sugar: What a beautiful fish!
Joe: I caught him off Cape Hatteras.
Sugar: What is it?
Joe: It’s … a member of the herring family.
Sugar: A herring? Isn’t it amazing how they get those big fish into those little glass jars?
Joe: They shrink when they’re marinated.

Joe: What happened?
Jerry: I’m engaged!
Joe: Congratulations, who’s the lucky girl?
Jerry: I am.

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Sadler’s Wells Cinderella

February 12, 2007

Sunday I had the chance to watch a wonderful ballet from 1957 – the Sadler’s Wells Ballet production of Cinderella.

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This made-for-television production was made back in the days when television broadcasts were not considered any more permanent than anything done on stage. A copy was made of the broadcast, but it wasn’t a very good copy and it wasn’t treated with the sort of archival care that we all wish it had received. Almost 50 years later, the print is hard to look at, and if it weren’t for the wonderful performances of Dame Margot Fonteyn and the Royal Ballet, the flickering, washed-out images would have been too annoying to sit through. After awhile, you can force yourself to ignore the print and watch the ballet, as if watching it through the frame of an impressionist painting. But I wouldn’t recommend watching it on a widescreen tv. A small laptop would be a better choice.

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Margot Fonteyn was 38 when this broadcast aired, but she still conveys the childlike grace, energy and wonder of a young girl. There is no evil stepmother in this production, making the story less sinister and more comic. The stepsisters are vain and mean to each other, but they’re so hilariously clumsy you can’t imagine them being too much of a threat to Cinderella.
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The creator of the Cinderella ballet, Sir Frederick Ashton, plays one of the stepsisters. What some men are willing to suffer for their art! (rolls eyes)

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That’s Sir Frederick with the bride of Frankstein hair. The sister with the Princess Leia hair is Kenneth MacMillan.

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The stepsisters prepare for the ball.

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Cinderella has fun trying on her big sister’s wrap, and one of their wigs.

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Cinderella’s fairy godmother first appears as a lame beggar, but soon reveals her true form. This fairy godmother has four helpers, named Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

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Dame Merle Park’s dance is one of the hardest parts of the ballet to see. ChromaKey was really primitive in those days. Spring’s gift to Cinderella is a beautiful tiara.

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Summer’s gift to Cinderella is a robe to wear over her dress.

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I couldn’t get a good screenshot of Autumn, but she does a memorable dance where she leaps out of a pile of fallen leaves and gives Cinderella a pair of glass slippers.

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Fairy Godmother summons Winter.

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I love the icicles on Winter’s costume. Winter gives Cinderella a beautiful diamond necklace.

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This coach was originally a pumpkin. Now that’s magic!

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The “theatrical” special effects like this hanging clockpiece, tend to work so much better than the “video” special effects like ChromaKey. Maybe because this particular effect is so integral to the storyline – the ominous warning of the limitations of magic.

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The ballroom scene is so delightfully different from any ballroom scene I can remember. The stepsisters and their screwball slapstick are front and center.

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The prince is usually upstaged by other characters in the story, but since when was the prince upstaged by a court jester?

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Cinderella arrives with a full entourage.

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In the most magical part of the ballet, Cinderella enters the ballroom and glides en pointe to center stage.

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The four seasons seem to have received invitations as well.

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What makes this ballet fun is when the romantic and the comic elements juxtapose, like this wonderful moment of raw jealousy.

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Fonteyn is more than a remarkable dancer. She also has a beautifully expressive face.

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Cinderella gives one of her sisters an enormous apple, which her other sister quickly snatches away.

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What’s that sound? Is it Y2K already?

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Worse! It’s midnight!

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Act Three opens with some lighthearted play between the sisters.

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It’s interesting to notice how many admiring glances the “ugly” sisters receive from the ladies in the company.

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After the usual slapstick with the slipper, the prince discovers his princess, to the stepsisters’ dismay.

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The fairy godmother serves as minister for the wedding.

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And they lived happily every after.

To my amazement, the “DVD extras” have nothing to do with Sadler’s Wells or Sir Ashton’s choreography or Fonteyn’s career, but the commercials that originally aired with the broadcast.

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I’m hesitant to tell you to run out and buy this DVD. Prolonged watching could be bad for your eyesight. But definitely rent it if you can, if you want to see Margot Fonteyn’s astonishing grace and Frederick Ashton’s comical take of this classic fairy tale.

Jane’s Revenge

September 13, 2006

My boyfriend was going out with me and another girl at the same time, except, we each thought we were the only ones. Then, we ended up working at the same place and discovered his cheating. We set him up for a bet he lost and had to show up at a ladies party dressed as a woman with a girlish hair-do (he has quite long hair!). He did not know that me and my girlfriend were going to be there. At the right time, our girlfriends at the party surprised him with coconut cream pies in the face and hair! Then, the two of us came out of hiding to help shampoo his long hair with pie and hit him (now her!) with more pies.. sweet revenge!!!

Video here!


Pink Sugar and Ginger

August 16, 2006

Mistress Savannah loves to play with me. About a week ago, she made me buy a special perfume she likes … it’s called Pink Sugar and you can get it at Sephora. They also have perfumed bubble bath “sugar cubes,” so I bought those too. It smells like spicy cotton candy – very girlish and yummy.

“You are to go strip,” Ms. Savannah told me, “And take a twenty minute bubble bath with the pink sugar. When you are done, you are to put on a little tank, and the leopard print ruffled panties, and open a vial of pink sugar, and dot your pulse points, plus everywhere in between. And I want you to have something yummy from a champagne glass *if you have one* during your bath. My precious prancing ruffled panty wearing princess!”

Right before I went to do her assignment, she told me to soak for twenty minutes, and use two sugar cubes in my bath!

I emerged from the bath smelling like a sugarplum fairy. I opened the pink sugar bottle and touched it to my wrists and inside elbows, behind my knees and by my neck. Then I dressed in the lingerie she specified and returned to send her an instant message.

“Do you have any Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies?” Mistress asked.

I told her I had Top Hat.

“I want you to put on your tutu, and your tiara. And you are to watch Top Hat, and dance with them.”

So last night I enjoyed a great old Fred and Ginger movie, and probably bothered the heck out of my downstairs neighbors. In fact, that’s how Fred meets Ginger in the movie … he’s tap dancing in the room above Ginger’s.

After the movie, I had a nice long chat with Mistress.

SHE: and now you have something to write about in your lovely blog
ME: (blushes)
ME: but then, everyone will know that you made me wear a tutu and perfume
SHE: big grin I know….ain’t it grand??
ME: (curtseys)
ME: I love it when you boss me around
SHE: *wags finger and giggles at you*
ME: Ginger had so many beautiful gowns
ME: in the end scene she had a gorgeous one with sequins
SHE: yes…did I show you the bumper sticker i found?
SHE: about ginger and fred
SHE: it’s on the northernsun site……”Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except she did it in heels and backwards”
ME: giggle
ME: I’ve seen that one
ME: and it’s true, she is very underrated
SHE: yes she was
ME: she was a very gifted actress too
SHE: when she danced I got all teary
SHE: *loves dancing as much as pancakes*
ME: oh I really cant dance my way out of a paper bag
SHE: but do you have fun dancing the way you do now?
ME: yes Maam
ME: 🙂
SHE: then who cares how well you dance?….just have fun doing it
SHE: I took lessons for years….and I had more fun getting out on the floor and acting like a plum fool
ME: giggle

Top Hat

Initiation

August 11, 2006

Three more from the forum at Sissy School

August 9, 2006

Grizzly Adams buys a facial masque

(March 24, 2006)

Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed, I had a zillion top-priority things to do, and I was already behind schedule and had to rush out without shaving. By the time evening rolled around, I was looking pretty rough, but I happened to be going past one of the stores in the area that sells Origins products. Mistress Reese had highly recommended a charcoal facial masque from Origins, so I walked into Macy’s Herald Square to have a look for it.

The first floor of that store is like a cosmetics circus – every major beauty manufacturer has a large area set aside with beautiful, well trained cosmetics professionals, eager to demonstrate their latest powders and potions on the faces of any prospective customers. And here I am, looking (and smelling) like Grizzly Adams.

I found the Origins area easily. There were three lovely salesgirls clustered behind one counter, and the rest of the area was wide open. I scanned the shelf but couldn’t see what I was looking for. “May I help you?” the prettiest of the salesgirls had come around from the counter and approached me. She was small and had long dark hair and the nicest skin you’ve ever seen. I told her that a friend had recommended the charcoal facial masque for me.

When I said “for me,” I suppose she knew she had a live one. She got the tube from another shelf and then said, “If you’re interested in a masque then you probably are interested in other skin care products too – do you have a problem with oily skin, or clogged pores or blackheads?”

I didn’t know what to answer or where to look. Obviously she was trying to assess my face but it wasn’t easy with all that stubble. She looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t be scared!”

Then she showed me this huge sink in front of the counter. Oh my God, this cute babe was going to wash me?

“Would you like to try this exfoliant cream?” I agreed, and she took my hand and gently rubbed the exfoliant in, then washed it in the basin. It did make my skin feel really smooth and noticeably brighter, but it was $35 for a jar!

“Maybe next time,” I told her, and paid for the masque. She gave me a brochure of their products and I thanked her by name (she had on a nametag).

I can’t tell you how it felt to have this tiny girl half my age telling me “Don’t be afraid.” If you flip through the pages of the Gospels you’ll find those words repeated over and over. Lots of stories of people getting washed, too. I can say it was a spiritual experience for this sissy.

***

Love Spell Sissy

(April 7, 2006)

Yesterday I completed Mistress Reese’s latest assignment. Wow!

Two weeks ago I had told her that I had misled one of the salesclerks in Bath & Body Works by suggesting that the body spray I was buying was for a female friend. As soon as I admitted this to Ms. Reese, she assigned me to go to Victoria’s Secret and buy the Love Spell body lotion and spray and tell the saleslady that my Mistress had instructed me to buy it for myself.

She gave me until April 15 to complete the assignment, but I decided that doing it early might please her more, also I suspect more assignments are on the way and I don’t want to get caught in the crunch.

I drank too much coffee before I went. I was nervous as a cat. I think I could have picked up the required items without a lot of worry, but the additional assignment of telling the saleslady that my Mistress instructed me to buy them for myself! Let’s just say I was not eagerly looking forward to that part.

I’ve never been inside a Victoria’s Secret store before. I was a little short of cash so I decided I’d go to the bank while I was out. I wasn’t sure when the store closed, though, so I decided to do my assignment first, then walk across the mall to where my bank ATM is.

I walked into Victoria’s Secret, really, really nervous. There were about seven, eight, nine, ten females in the beauty section looking at products. I came across the Love Spell section just as a salesgirl came up behind me and asked, “Can I help you?”

She was a pretty young hispanic girl, probably Puerto Rican. “Do you have Love Spell?” I asked her and she pointed directly at the counter where I was looking.

“Which product do you want? The body lotion?” she asked.

“Yes, and the body splash as well. And the body scrub. A friend told me I should get them … for me.”

“Ohhh,” she said softly. “Well you can get three for 24 dollars, but you really should get six for $30.”

I smiled. It’s interesting how salesgirls get more assertive when they know you are buying for yourself. I like assertive females. “Is that what you recommend?” I asked.

“Yes.”

I was already holding the lotion, the splash and the scrub. She gave me this huge black bag that was like a purse. “Here, put those in there. This body butter is really good, would you like to sample some?”

“Yes.”

She opened the jar of body butter and I smoothed a tiny bit on my finger. It smelled like peach ice cream! “Mmm! That is really nice!” I said enthusiastically.

God knows what you use body butter for. Hopefully Mistress will explain.

I also bought the hand and body cream. For the sixth item, the salesgirl was pushing me toward the shower gel or shower cream, but I saw they had bubble bath, so I got that instead.

“Ohhh, you take bubble baths?” asked the girl.

“Well, yeah,” I answered, which clearly amused her. Then I went for it.

“My Mistress instructed me to buy these for myself.” I said it very matter-of-factly but not too seriously. As if I admitted such things to strangers all the time.

“Ohh, really?” it seemed she wasn’t quite sure what I meant but I think she only wanted to take our conversation in one direction. “Is that it? Do you need anything else? Are you sure?”

“That’s it, nothing else, not this time,” I said with a smile, “Thank you very much — oh, do you need this purse back?”

“No, just bring it up to the girl at the register and she’ll take it.”

I knew other women in the store were looking at me, and I had used up all the courage in my reserve, so it was time to get going. I had to stop short to let past one young lady who was looking at underwear and then almost collided with another who didn’t realize I was next on line. Then I handed my purse to the young lady at the register.

There was a sign at the register explaining why they ask for phone numbers – to give you special offers, but the young lady didn’t ask for mine. She did ask me something like if I was satisfied with my shopping experience this evening or somesuch, to which I replied yes yes. They were displaying catalogs behind the counter and I asked for one but she replied, “They’re three dollars.” So for some reason buying thirty bucks worth of stuff doesn’t rate me a catalog.

She gave me back the wrong change, so the total price was $27.20.

I was totally unprepared for the cute pink stripey bag with the bright pink wrapping paper sticking out of it. I just hadn’t thought this part through — was I expecting a grocery sack? This one says Victoria’s Secret in silver letters on all four sides and GIVE ME SEXY in silver on the inside.

Anyway I was too nervous to walk across the mall to the bank dangling this cute pink bag, so I turned tail and went home. Luckily I didn’t bump into any of my neighbors when I got in. Being a sissy takes a lot of nerve.

There’s a phone number on the bottom of the receipt where you can do a telephone survey in exchange for a $10 gift card. Of course I did the survey, after all, ten bucks is ten bucks and it may come in handy for a future assignment. They asked if I got a bra fitting two or three times in the survey. I don’t know if the Victoria’s Secret ladies would be able to handle that, they’d probably expect me to be nice and flat up top, until I opened my shirt.

Ms. Reese was so pleased with my progress that she gave me an even more embarrassing and complicated shopping assignment. But that’s another story.

***

Day One in a Five-Hoop Skirt

(April 11, 2006)

This was all Mistress Reese’s idea. Well, actually, it was all my idea, but it was Mistress Reese’s idea to make my idea more than just an idea.

I had mentioned how the sound of her voice made me think she was going to put me into a Scarlet O’Hara dress. I think she really liked that. The next evening she showed me a link for a hoop skirt. “Get one,” she told me. “They have two-hoops skirts up to five — and I want a five on YOU,” Mistress said.

By the way, opening up a box with a hoop skirt in it is like pulling the cord on an inflatable raft. Just so you know.

The next time I called Mistress, she made me put the hoop skirt on while we were talking. She told me I will be Scarlett O’Hara for this Halloween, and she wants photos of me in a pretty southern belle dress and a bonnet and gloves with a drawstring bag and a parasol. Then she told me I will have to wear the hoop skirt once a week for her.

“Once a week? For how long, Ma’am?” I asked uncomfortably. “All day,” she answered simply. “But how will I clean it?” “In your sink of course.” “But this hoopskirt is bigger than my bathroom!” “You may take it to the dry cleaners, then.” It’s always a pleasure to hear Mistress Reese giggle, and she did a lot of giggling during that phone call.

So this is day one in my new hoop skirt. It’s tricky getting around in one of these, but I suppose by Halloween that I’ll be quite adept at it. That is obviously my Mistress’ plan.

At first I thought, “There’s some things I just won’t do today,” but I decided, the point is to learn how to do things with the hoopskirt on. It would be different if I was really Miss Scarlet and had a household of people doing things for me. But here, I’m the one washing the dishes and putting away the ironing board and folding my freshly laundered undies. It is possible to sit down in a hoopskirt, even in my big chair with the armrests. You just need to have the hoops all in the right place. Going to the bathroom is mostly unmanageable, especially for someone who drinks as much water as I do. You have to take the thing off, and put it right back on when you get done.

I think this hoopskirt is probably the sissiest thing in my entire wardrobe, and that is saying a lot. But Ms. Reese says I personify all things sissy and girlie and sweet. And I’m learning, the Sissifier’s protege does not get to spend a lot of time in boxers and button down shirts.

Lessons learned today:

* Don’t sit on the hoops. It’s uncomfortable and can send the skirt flying up to scratch the ceiling.

* You can do the twist in a hoop skirt, and it’s fun.

* I don’t think you could go through a metal detector in one of these.

* Think twice before giving Mistress Reese any more bright ideas.

* Panty shields don’t really hold on satiny bloomers too well. Better to wear panties underneath.

* Love Spell from Victoria’s Secret makes you smell just like a Georgia peach.

When you take pictures of yourself

July 24, 2006

hoops ahoy

When you take pictures of yourself, things happen. It’s hard to look pretty, cause you’re busy dinking around with getting the camera to line up properly and you want everything to look just so, but if you don’t look pretty there’s not much point in taking pictures of yourself. So it’s, like, a challenge.

Invariably I find myself having to tidy up my apartment in the middle of shooting photos of myself, and it’s tricky to tidy when you’re in ruffle butt panties and a tiara, so you have to be sure your tiara’s still straight when you’re done, otherwise it doesn’t matter how tidy your place looks.

Unlike me, you should be totally familiar with all your camera’s features and how to use them. Autofocus can be your friend, but it probably will be more like a yapping little chihuahua that your neighbor owns for years and it always wakes you up at five in the morning. Make sure you can setup and operate all the switches and things on your camera no matter how long your nails are. Or wear little lace gloves (see above). Little lace gloves are just perfect when you’re trying to deal with an ornery self-timing switch and an autofocus from hell.

Be sure to take test shots beforehand. A test shot is when you take a shot and it turns out all wrong. If it looks good, then it wasn’t a test shot, it was a real shot.

Keep a mirror handy to check your make up, hair and outfit. Suck in your gut, especially if you’re doing a lingerie shoot. Remember your posture. You don’t have to have the body of a pin-up girl, but if you can imitate her poise and presence, you can create a masterpiece.

Invariably, you will get tired during the course of a photo shoot. This is perfectly okay, as long as you don’t look tired in your photos. It’s important to have fun while you’re doing all this, if you’re not having fun it will show up in your photo.

Don’t expect everything to go smoothly the first time out. Just consider it a learning experience, and in no time you will find your skills improving. (I mean your skills in having fun, not necessarily your photography skills).

For some unknown reason, we crossdressers take a lot of photos of ourselves just standing there, often in the hallway or by the front door. This can be interesting … however it almost never is. My advice is, once you’ve got fifty or sixty pics of yourself just standing there, consider taking some where you’re actually doing something. If you’re dressed as a showgirl, maybe you can be dancing, or if you’re in your maid uniform, you could be cleaning. If you spend a few minutes thinking of a situation or an activity, you can truly make your photos unique and memorable.

For crossdressers, outdoor photographs will always be more interesting, but they do require a bit more daring and are certainly more complicated to set up. And that chihuahua will invariably hop the fence and shred your favorite flamenco dress. But outdoor photos definitely put you in a different class, and in my opinion are worth the risk.

Don’t be too critical of your photos, but don’t be too uncritical either. Look at them objectively and ask yourself how you can make your next batch more fresh and interesting. Don’t get bogged down in perfectionism – everything is a process, and the way to improve is by putting one foot in front of the other. Never forget to have fun along the way.

If you have more ideas for taking better photos, please put them in the comments section. Thanks! 🙂