DMO (Digitally Modified Organisms)

Oh, hello it’s been a while!

Excited to share with you hands down one of my favorite shoots to date!

Whenever Karlo and I get together, every shoot is better than the last and I love the constant progression! Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I’m thinking, late 80s-90s, vintage, pixelated, analog feel….

Karlo: Say no more fam.

On a more serious note, I’ve been really thinking lately about the contrived, fabricated nature of social media especially when it comes to Instagram. Always touted as a highlight reel, somehow when we scroll through the explore pages of fabulous bodies, beautiful faces, and clear skin, we still get jealous, angry, and depressed about ourselves because we don’t look like Instagram models (you hear how crazy that sounds?)

Instagram is like a mythical dimension where people are always happy, photogenic, really fit, clear skinned, and teeth gratingly successful. To put it bluntly, sometimes it’s just fake news. For this shoot, I intentionally decided what I wanted you all to see. I thought about what photos I wanted, conveyed the type of editing I wanted, curated the photos, and slapped it up on the media space.

And while I love to produce impeccable work, you and I both have to realize that the image of me serving a look is like 10% of my life. 90% of the time, my head is buried in a book, writing a paper, with a bonnet neatly wrapped around my head to protect these curls. But for some reason, we aren’t inclined to think about that first.

My favorite aspect about this shoot is the fact that angles are manipulated to make it seem like I am larger than life– ethereal almost. And these shots were done purposefully because I want to remind you that if you stood in front of me during the shot, I’d look just as normal as you–maybe even a little funny.  There were plenty of passerbys that day giving me quizzical stares while I contorted my body to get a good photo. But the end result looks effortless! In the same way, behind those amazing selfies on Instagram is a killer filter and studio lights that are approximately the same cost of a Verizon cell phone bill. Meaning it’s not as expensive as you think (the studio lights, not the bill, lol) and ANYBODY can get their hands on equipment to make their content look extremely editorial.

If you’re anything like me, I don’t spend my time comparing myself to celebrities. They are on a different wavelength altogether, and I don’t think the issue really lies there–at least when it comes to Instagram. I think the issue is that everyday people like you and me now have the ability to appear untouchable, and we compare/judge ourselves on a harder curve because of it. I haven’t quite found a solution to stop that, except for not spending copious amounts of time on social media. And maybe, that’s just what we have to do.

However, this is not a post condemning the highlight reel itself. I understand the concept of wanting to put your best work, rather than the vulnerable parts of your life out there to the public. You can have a reel, so long as you don’t perpetuate or present it as authentic, real life. It doesn’t do anybody, including you, any good.

Shot & Edited By: Karlo Morcilla

Styling & Creative Direction: Me

*Clothes are thrifted. Boots are from Zara*




2 thoughts on “DMO (Digitally Modified Organisms)

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