Make it work
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
With her Polaroid camera in hand, she scrutinizes every aspect of the scene before her. Each shot costs $5; she has to make every photographic moment count. Her future depends on it.
Originally Chauncey Glenn attended UB as a business major, but after participating in an internship at House of Success, a public relations firm in Harlem, N.Y., she changed career paths to something with more style.
Glenn, a junior communication major, choreographs her own photo shoots to highlight her aesthetic. She uses Polaroid photos to capture the essence of her style. Glenn hopes be known for her high fashion and unique flair.
Glenn’s passion for fashion stems from her days in high school when she would window shop with her friends after school.
“I’m just a teenage girl who is from the city, and I buy what I can afford and I wear what I want according to my budget,” Glenn said. “Style has no price; it’s about how you wear your clothes.”
She describes her personal style as comfortable, yet fashionable. In her opinion, everyone has his or her own style.
“You could wear T-shirts and sweatpants and still have your own style,” Glenn said. “It’s all about your attitude with it.”
For her first photo shoot, Glenn made a deal with Urban Outfitters to borrow their clothes. After the first shoot, she had difficulty pulling acquiring brand name clothes. She quickly learned that until she makes a name for herself as a professional stylist, nobody would be willing to simply hand her expensive outfits.
As an unknown college student on a budget, Glenn has learned to manage her future profession on her own. From buying the clothes to finding the models to taking the pictures, Glenn is a one-woman show.
“When you’re young and broke and trying to build a name for yourself, you need to learn to be self-sufficient,” Glenn said. “I’m not going to pay someone else to do something that I could do. I borrowed a camera from a friend and learned from there.”
She has the same philosophy when it comes to the models she uses. Instead of paying someone, she uses UB students. She doesn’t pay them for their participation because she thinks of it as a two-way street. While they help out her styling career, she helps them with their modeling career.
Frank Fonseca, a junior mechanical engineering major, was approached by one of Glenn’s friends while walking through The Commons.
At first he was skeptical of modeling. He had been told he should try to break into the field to earn some extra money by his friends and family, but he never took them seriously. That is until the opportunity to model for Glenn was presented to him.
Now after five photo shoots with Glenn, he has experience in the field of modeling. Glenn has agreed to work with him to put together his headshots because of his assistance with her career. He is excited for her career because he thinks her style is unique and will be successful in the high fashion world.
“I’ve always liked all the looks she has put together,” Fonseca said. “They would be considered closer to high fashion and high style, so it’s not something you would typically see every day. They are calculated, not convenient.”
Since the first photo shoot, Glenn and Fonseca have become great friends. To Glenn, it’s important to be close with her models. She is able to know what clothing they possess in their closets and what they are comfortable wearing.
She uses these aspects as inspiration for her style.
“She will ask me about various looks because I do have an interest in fashion,” Fonseca said. “I try to stay up to date by watching shows and things like that, so she will ask my opinion, or we’ll go and look for pieces for her next look together.”
The model and stylist differ on a few aspects of the shoots. While Glenn loves using only her Polaroid camera, Fonseca thinks it would be wise of her to get a regular digital camera so she could be more liberal with her film.
He thinks even though there is a market of people who will appreciate the unique Polaroid style, it would be wise of her to branch out to different aesthetics as well.
“[My pictures are] not the best quality, but I feel like as styling goes, I don’t want to be like every other stylist,” Glenn said. “I feel like with my polaroids, it’s the overall aesthetic, the whole picture. It doesn’t matter what the model has on. It doesn’t matter who made his shirt. I feel like the overall aesthetic and the way I style the look is what matters. Quality isn’t that great, but overall the picture is visually stimulating. You feel something when you look at it and that’s what matters to me.”
Polaroid pictures don’t offer high resolution, so most of the time it’s hard to identify the clothing her models are wearing. Glenn doesn’t care. In her mind, it’s about the overall feeling the viewer gets when looking at the image rather than the shoes, shirts or jeans she has picked out.
Instead of posing her models against a white wall, like many other stylists, Glenn goes to real places to shoot her pictures. She puts her models in real-life situations and waits until they aren’t paying attention to capture the perfect moment on film.
“I feel like the best photos capture movement and what’s really going on in the moment naturally,” Glenn said. “It comes out worse when it’s posed because you could just tell that the moment isn’t real.”
Glenn hopes her talents will take her to graduate school to earn a degree in fashion marketing. Ultimately, she would like to become a stylist for celebrities, movies or television, but she knows she will end up in the field that offers her the most money.