Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nail Party

!  O O G A    B O O G A  !
  Hi friends!  
  Here are the photos I promised to you from this post.  Pretty sweet times at Nail Party 2012!

  Tea at Intelligentsia.  The tea was delicious (and expensive).  Still not sure what all the fuss is about.  I was just happy to be with my friend.


© 2012 Ava Alamshah

your friend,


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Forever Nostalgic

  Thanks, Ema!  xo

  I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday.  I want to do exactly what she is doing in the image above.  Ema finds the best photos.  When she was in Europe, she bought this album with original (vintage) family photos.  I think she should have it published.  I wish we still lived in an era without instagram, and facebook, and just enjoyed being outside while using real film.  

  Forever nostalgic. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ooga Booga/Madeline Poole

  Last night, I got to hang out with my pal Sasha of The Holy Nail.  It was so lovely to see her and get to hang out for realsies.  It is so nice when the stars align, and I really cherish those moments because they only happen every so often.  Being an adult is hard.
  So back to the evening...

  When I saw that Ooga Booga opened up another pop up, and that Madeline Poole was doing nails, I knew Sasha and I would have to be there!  I've always loved having my nails painted and I have such respect and admiration for women who can keep up the classic look 24/7.  I also love that it has become such an art form and yet another way to express yourself.  
  So I guess Madeline Poole is a big deal in the nail scene and I've been kind of out of the loop, but she is very friendly/down to earth person and makes nails look like jewelry.  It's unbelievable what she can do. I cannot wait to show you photos of her handiwork, and of the event.  If I didn't already end up spending a ton of money on mix tapes, a zine, and a gift, I would have picked up the book in that image above.  There was a short reading of it during the festivities, and it sounded really smart and funny.  Stuff about cults, stealing small items, and friendship....SOLD. 

your friend,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


  William Eggleston has been a huge part of my studies as a photographer.  Before him, I learned about his predecessors, Walker Evans and Robert Frank.  I love their photographs, but it was Eggleston who I was mad about.  THOSE COLORS.  That seriously complicated sounding dye transfer processing.  He could make objects we see every single day look so otherworldly.  I felt such a connection to the way he saw things, I just wanted to emulate the way he photographed.  Of course I was always disappointed with feelings of self loathing because my images would never be as good.  Never.  If you haven't seen William Eggleston in the Real World, I highly recommend it.  You get to observe his process of going out and finding things to photograph.  It happens very organically, which is refreshing.  No studio lighting, no gimmicks, just him, his camera and the sunlight.

  In my last post, I mentioned both William Eggleston and David Lynch in the same sentence.  I just found this gem going down the rabbit hole!  The internet is wild. 

   This scanned image is from my latest issue of Lula Magazine #15 (thanks, Angie!).  This photo spread was my absolute favorite and looks like it was shot in Barstow or Joshua Tree.  I couldn't get the image above out of my head.  See anything familiar?  I wonder if it was a conscious influence for the photographers, or pure coincidence?

your friend,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Old Friends/New Adventures

  This past weekend, I embarked on a short journey up north to see old friends, and shoot some portraits for my series.  It was a weekend filled with so much warmth, nostalgia, and RAIN....plenty of rain.  My dear friend, Rio snapped the polaroid above.  I couldn't get over that car sitting in between those hedges, with that house...unreal.  Straight out of a William Eggleston world, or David Lynch's Blue Velvet.  I could have taken hundreds of photos of the scene behind me (I ended up taking maybe five)....

polaroids © Ava Alamshah

  I'm looking forward to sorting out these memories to share with you.  I already miss my friends.

your friend,


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


  WORK/SHOP was a fantastic and inspiring event.  I had such a pleasure meeting so many lovely people and getting to take their portraits using my make-shift, diy, silly little back drop.  The artist in me felt sick to my stomach and overly critical throughout the process of putting this little back drop together, wishing I had a wider screen, and more fun props, but I got over that really quickly after seeing the joy in people's faces after photographing them.  It was love and positive vibes all around.  I feel grateful I got the chance to do this and to be amongst so many talented artists, like Bianca D'Amico of Chaparral Studio (she creates the most amazing terrariums/ jewelry / ornaments), and Kate Miss of For Me, For You.  I was recently on her site and not only does she make really elegant jewelry ( Angie's fiance, Will, bought her this Kate Miss necklace not too long ago), but her photography puts me in that happy place.  Humbled, dudes. 

  Thank you to all my friends who came to support me, and hang out.  I feel loved  x  a million infinity.....

  Thanks to this kind man above.  He always puts up with my stressful tantrums.  I love you. OOOhhhh, and thank you, Stefani, for my pretty flowers! The irises are starting to bloom!

  Lastly, I wouldn't have been able to do this without the help from my mother.  She rocked it!  xx

polaroids  © Ava Alamshah

  I'm happy with how nostalgic these polaroids look, although they took about 20 minutes to develop completely!  It was a little nerve racking, but also kind of exciting(?) !!!
  You never know what you are going to get from Impossible Project, but I am SO STOKED they exist.  Polaroid Por Vida 

  This weekend I embark on a mini adventure.  Until then...

your friend,




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Merry Merry

  Ema finds the best photos.  The best!   Rita Hayworth, xmas, ornaments in a pool?!!!  AHHH

  I hope to see you all for the holiday festivities this Saturday.  Click  H E R E  for more info.  Now if I could just recreate this scene...pool and all.

your friend,


Friday, November 30, 2012


So, this is happening next Saturday!

  Come hang out and get your holiday portrait taken by yours truly!  I am so excited and humbled to be on board with such a great group of women artists.   Below are some photographs I've collected for inspiration.  Hope to see you there!

M I D   C E N T U R Y   X M A S

Something like this, with the white tree and glass ornaments (sans nudity, of course).  RIP Bettie.

Everything in this photograph is ridiculously amazing!

your friend,


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Sessions

  H E L L O !   I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving with lots of feasting!  I made a butternut squash risotto using this recipe.  So easy, just a little time consuming.  You will feel like you are in The Hamptons, with Ina Garten herself.  Well, one can dream right?  

  Speaking of dreaming big, Ben Lewin is the father of my friend, Alex, and he wrote and directed this film.  It is based on the autobiographical writings of journalist and poet, Mark O'Brien and is getting some buzz and great reviews.  I cannot wait to see it today!  Good job Alex and Ben!  xo

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ooga Booga

  One of my all time favorite stores, Ooga Booga, has a pop up shop in San Francisco that will be ending it's run in the next two weeks!  If you are in town, I suggest you head on over to grab some zines and some records.  November 30th is the last day.  The location is at the Kadist Art Foundation on the corner of 20th and Folsom.

  I first heard about Ooga Booga about six or seven years ago from an article in Nylon Magazine, about the owner, Wendy Yao.  HERE is an article from 2007, about Wendy, her amazing space, and what influenced her to start her business.  Some more recent articles from KCET here and here.  I am happy that I've gotten to meet Wendy and volunteer a couple of times at her shop.  Really glad that her store exists.

 R I O
Mike Kelley's Destroy All Monsters.  RIP

  The shop in San Francisco was great.  I loved the polka dots in the windows.  I happened to be wearing a polka dot dress that day, too.  It's such a happy design.  It felt nice to be the only ones in the store for a while.  We could just hang out and gaze at all the art and zines.  The plant, in the image below, gave me such fuzzy feelings.  Everything is a visual feast, from the potted plant, to the different colored books and zines laying on the wooden surface, to the beautifully woven rug underneath....M A G I C.

Underneath it reads:  Chris Johanson & Jo Jackson, Sic Alps/Awesome, Vistas print, $200

Fruits and Nuts by Laura Owens

your friend,

Images © 2012 Ava Alamshah

Night at the Musee

  Thursday night, we got to check out Musee 16.  My friend, Gabi Mendoza, curated a little show there.  It was a great, intimate setting, with dimmed lighting, cushy chairs, and pizza!  I had two slices.  

Photo of a photo.  Gelatin silver print by Gabi Mendoza.
A photograph of one of my favorite places, Giant Rock.  Work by, Elizabeth DiGiovanni

  I loved these paintings by Elisa Saether.  Loved how she captured the "everyday" Los Angeles.  The markets and the hazy sunsets, and those telephone poles. Beautiful.
Collages by my friend, Marie Mingoia

 The shots I took below are from the gallery's permanent collection. 

Little dogs

They have the tiniest little butts
Me with the curator. Yay, Gabi!  There are palm trees coming out of my head.

your friend,


© 2012 Ava Alamshah