5.30.2012

My FAVORITE photographer :: Melanie Acevedo!

52WEEKS photo by Melanie Acevedo

I don't know about you but I am ALWAYS inspired by my friends, they are just the type of company I like to keep! Some inspire you to cook, some inspire you to look good and put yourself together (even when all you want to wear is sweatpants and a t-shirt), some inspire you to grow a garden or take on a chicken coop (still thinking about that one...) but you see how it goes... they ALL inspire you in some way to be more interesting and do bigger things! One of my favorite friends in this respect is Melanie Acevedo, I met her when she photographed our house for Domino Magazine. Her work is SO gorgeous and voluptuous that she made our home look amazing! Which is usual for her if you look at all her work... (website here) and I can always tell her images when I see them in magazines and books, they are just RADIANT!

52WEEKS photo by Melanie Acevedo

52WEEKS photo by Melanie Acevedo

Recently she started a blog called 52WEEKS, where she shares her home life - the 52 weeks in a year on a daily basis. "I wanted my children to see how I saw them, since memories fade my images will be a part of their memories, my gift to them. The everyday moments of our lives together" and that's what they are in rich, Melanie Acevedo style. Melanie is an upfront, life is too short so I'm gonna do everything, kind of person, she lives her life by her own rules and with her family firmly attached to that life.

52WEEKS photo by Melanie Acevedo

52WEEKS photo by Melanie Acevedo

Just so that you get to know this inspiring person just a bit for yourself, I thought we could have a little Q&A so here we go:

Carina: You recently moved out of the city, how do you like the 'country' life!?

Melanie: I really LOVE it!! I had spent almost 30years in the city! I ADORE NYC! Always will, but I had "DONE IT", you know? There really is something so wonderful about pulling up in my driveway and having like 5 kids come spilling out the front door, down the stairs, and onto the front lawn! laughing and screaming all the way! You really don't get that in NYC! And besides, I'm in the city everyday when I'm not away on location somewhere else!The air is so fresh here too, the move has really helped me feel calmer and much more centered.


photos by Melanie Acevedo

C: Your photography packs such a PUNCH for me... is that intentional?

M: I'm flattered you of all people would say that! You being such an AMAZING artist/writer/photographer yourself! I just try to capture the "MOMENT", whatever it may be at the time. If my work does "Pack a PUNCH", then I'm so very happy! Perhaps I actually have captured something real and relate-able then!

C: In your new blog '52WEEKS' you are chronicling they days in the life with your kids - tell us about that, how were you inspired? Will we see a book in the future on this!? (say YES!)

M: Well, I have been talking about a book actually!  I'm still trying to formulate what kind of broader appeal 52WEEKS may or may not have, and I feel like that's important. There are so many photographic books out there now that have no real relevance to other people besides those in the photographic community. I'd like to do something that does, so I'm still exploring the issue.
I started this project because I felt like I wanted to challenge myself to do something that actually meant something to me on a deeper level than my commercial work, and I wanted to approach it in a completely different way than I do my "professional" work. What i realized was that the subject that was really the most compelling to me was one that I saw and really truly experienced everyday, my children. The things that i would see them doing were always so intriguing to me. I also LOVE just picking up the camera and shooting. Not worrying about anything at all about the styling or the clothes, but to truly just shoot snapshots and watch the evolution of how I saw my kids through the camera and to what extent this part of my photography would influence the other parts.
photos by Melanie Acevedo

photos by Melanie Acevedo
C: Do you see yourself as an Art photographer or Journalistic photographer - what do you like to do BEST?
M: I definitely do NOT see myself as an ART Photographer, or a Journalistic photographer either. I actually see myself as pretty much of a hack! I actually just really like taking pictures, and I like taking pictures of all kinds of things, I don't really like any one thing better than the other.
(-I have to interject here... that you could get a slightly bigger head Melanie.. you are FAR from a hack and at the top of a mountain of photographers, with a pretty good view! - that's MY opinion!)

available at Erica Tanov

C: I love UNDECORATE I think it's really your thing.. what do you like about the book? or what was your input for the book (I have a feeling it was more than photos?)
M:  Well, Thanks, I like it very much myself. I actually did get to contribute quite a lot to the project, mostly because of Christiane Lemieux's  incredible generosity and interest in collaboration. Some of the subjects in the book are actually personal friends of mine, and people I had photographed in the past that I thought would be welcome additions to the mix of subjects. It was a very fluid experience, and we really were able to go in and let the voice of the individual houses and owners shine through. I really enjoyed being able to just go in and take pictures and not have to spend 20 mins moving a vase around a table to "get it right"! What the subjects already had going on was just fine!
C:  One of the things I remember from our shoot together was that you wouldn't let me really fix up ANYTHING you wanted it how it was.. even my clothing... I thought that was incredible insight from you and a way I think your images always look like you want to be there and NOT like a museum! This comes through in 52 Weeks.. it's how it REALLY IS!

photos by Melanie Acevedo

C: I know you are an INSANELY busy person (anyone else would be ragged with the schedule you keep!) how do you juggle it all... any TIPS?
M: I sleep ALOT!!!!!! HAH! No really, I do, it's so important. I go to bed super early almost every night. I also have a great support group around me. My husband is really instrumental in me being able to do the things I do. I really don't think he's ever asked me not to go on a trip or do a job.When I am in town and not traveling, I very rarely go out, I much prefer staying at home and doing things with my family. I also really have a hard time keeping it all together, like any working mother.One of the things I've also learned is that it's OK to ask for help when you need it.

C: Do you like to cook? are you cooking more now in the 'country'?
M: I do like to cook very much! I don't have much time to do it, even outside of the city. I do try to cook on the weekends as much as possible, and we really like having people over for meals. I like to say that I can't do very much that well, but the 2 things I CAN do well, are take pictures and roast a chicken!
C: You have probably been just about everywhere in the world for your work but if you could live anywhere, where would you be?
M: I would be on a beach, in a little house with a fireplace. Maybe in Anguiila, or out at the end on Montauk.
photos by Melanie Acevedo
C: Who's house was your favorite to photograph or favorite assignment?
M:  I loved photographing Christian Loubutain's house in Egypt for HOuse and Garden. I was pregnant with my daughter at the time, it was really an amazing trip, and I will never forget it!
C: Your kids are so involved in your energy and your life, is that important to you?
M: I used to think that what made me happy and what was important were things like fancy hotels, first class travel, the right couch, the right silverware, etc, etc. But after a lot of living, and loosing, and learning, I've realized that these thing may work for alot of people, but not for me. My family is my heart, my soul,my life. All my best ideas come from them, and being around them. Without them, the rest is meaningless.

C: For the 'woman on the GO' what are some of your favorite products for a busy lifestyle?
reid.damnit handbag
M: I love the IPhone of course,  Chapstick-strawberry or cherry, my REID.DAMNIT army green canvas bag that my friend Christina gave me, Patricia Wexler skin products, my mac lap top.
C: my readers always like to know about any new 'obsessions' be it food, clothing, exercise... whatever.. what are yours!?

shop rodney yee here

M: Well, I lOVE Rodney Yee's yoga DVD's so much!  You can do them ANYWHERE! He has one that is a 5 day, 20 min practice to do in the morning that really is wonderful! I give it to people ALL the time cause it really can help you feel terrific! And I know I was late getting on the boat, but I just started eating at SHAKE SHACK, and I can NOT stop thinking about the cheeseburgers there! I am obsessed with them and can't get enough!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Melanie for spending so much time with us... and visit 52 Weeks for more images!
some more images... just because you deserve it!

photos by Melanie Acevedo

photos by Melanie Acevedo

photos by Melanie Acevedo

photos by Melanie Acevedo

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