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Saturday, July 23, 2011


Dubageddon Euro Car Show Model Meet and Shoot

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Have you been stuck in a cubicle talking pleasantries to that annoying guy who insists you’re his buddy, but all you want to do is stuff his mouth with putty?  Maybe your hands are wrecked from digging into that leather seat of your road raging girlfriend’s friend’s cousin’s car after you insulted your mate’s sense of direction.  It could be worst.  You could be so out of it that you’ve been watching a dating show all week where people are competing for a “master date,” as if they don’t get the corn-filled innuendo.  Yeah, we all have our bad weeks.  That doesn’t mean we have to get used to it.  You look for that picker upper, something that sounds like it will be the end-all and be-all of everything you can possibly do in seven days, a judgment day for your armageddon to all that mumbo jumbo.  For me and maybe for you too, that calls for an awesome outdoor event.  I’m not talking about a picnic though.  I’m talking about hundreds of cars rolling on dubs!  I admit that my enthusiasm is more aimed towards the understanding that when there are hot cars rolling on dubs, there’s often some very lovely and interesting women nearby to meet and introduce to you, the Model Vanity fans.  So, yeah, dubs!  When you put these seemingly dissimilar subjects of dubs and Armageddon together, you get a boost of adrenaline like the one I got when I found a flyer for this latest event.

The fourth annual Dubageddon Euro Car Show Meet and Greet was held on July 10, 2011 at Puddingstone Park in San Dimas, California.  It was only fitting that the show was a straight shot down the I-210 for me.  Get it?  Two tens equal twenty.  Dubs can refer to twenty-inch rims or amounts of twenty.  Yeah, I catch things like that.  Anyway, it was pleasant hitting San Dimas driving through fine neighborhoods on the way to the winding and climbing Puddingstone Drive.  You can take a gander at the bluest of summer skies before you level off just enough to find the peaceful park grounds a slope away.  Upon entering, I found myself a bit early for the festivities.  But I didn’t really mind.  The aged tree lines and beautiful lake backdrop just gave me all the more inspiration for some great photography later in the day.  After catching a little zen under the shade, I pumped myself up for the event, as a steady stream of vehicles made its way toward the vast southern lakeside lot.  The cars lined up.  The girls came out.  Everything was well on its way.

There really isn’t anything better than having Roxanne Catarina come at you with her enthusiasm and arms wide open in welcome as you enter a show.  I first met her at a Sideway Sundays event in Irwindale and found her again shortly after working the stage at So-Cal Import Nights earlier this year.  Her embracing amicability toward press and fans alike made her a focal point of the live events.  If that wasn’t enough, she’s also amazing to capture in photography.  Roxanne can exhibit some of the most powerful displays of sensuality supported by a great awareness and control of movement and poise.  I say “supported” only because of the bold confidence she has in her eyes and expression, both economic and subtle, which hijack your senses and direct a photographer to create some great work.  Now, taking all of this marketability and beauty together, it’s no wonder why this girl is going to be starring in a new radio talk show.  That’s right.  You’ll be hearing more from Roxanne through the airwaves on The Heat 365 about her ideas on fashion, art, modeling, and entertainment on a program appropriately named F.A.M.E.  Keep an eye out for it.  Meanwhile, keep the other one on this…

(Roxanne Catarina photo)

Crystal Miranda Park was pretty popular on the show grounds.  I took her around the event briefly to take a few shots, and every car owner was asking her to take a picture with their car.  It’s not that hard to see why.  In photography, you get something very bare bones and honest with her, which is compelling and refreshing.  Talking with her, I learned more of her thoughts on creativity.  In regards to modeling, she expressed her wish to shoot something in the future that spoke of the power and artistry of the urban lifestyle.  She appreciates the grit, but I guess you can’t take out the Brit.  Yeah, I caught her doing some perfect lyrical renditions of some tunes that were blasting out of some show cars.  I teased her that she probably has an itch to do karaoke, which she quickly denied.  But if she had to choose an artist to emulate, it would be Britney Spears.  I guess that fits perfectly with her passion for dancing and performing.  Dance until the world ends, right?  Anyway, hope you enjoyed a glimpse into some of Crystal’s many facets.

(Crystal Miranda Park photo)

Ever since I met Soniya Lei at Wekfest, I’ve always been intrigued by her presence in front of the camera.  She has a unique ability to generate an undeniable fervor within you through beaming confidence and hypnotizing allure that entices and mesmerizes.  Plainly and simply, she seduces you through the lens.  Witnessing a charming arsenal of the most delicate of expressions that shouts strong themes of passion, you tend to develop tunnel vision as you fall under her spell.  Soon enough, you’re bewitched in body and soul just like that dude from “Pride and Prejudice.”  Well, scratch the old English garb and add a few electric guitars and smoke machines.  Yeah, you’ll get the picture when you see this…

(Soniya Lei photo)

Diem Tran came into Dubageddon as a newbie to the automotive event scene.  She had never attended any of these shindigs before.  However she was right at home with my camera.   Her inherent ability to inspire emotions in front of a camera in an unknown environment speaks much of her professionalism.  But when you take a gander at her artistry, you’re all the more enamored.  Diem exudes something pure, immaculate and ordered that surrounds each shot with an aura of elegance.  It’s as if the calmness and tranquility in her demeanor can soothe your mind into a flow similar to the fine elements of a contemporary dance performance, where you find that balance you need to get through that stressful day.  I mean, if you’re in a mall trying to clear your head, wouldn’t you feel like seizing the day with Diem Tran sporting the latest fashion at some store window?  Ladies, you’d want to have what she’s having.  And guys, you’ll be thinking about how you can get your lady friends back to that happier and more content constitution after that stunt you pulled that last weekend.  You know you’ll buy that harmony Diem is selling on that display window too.

(Diem Tran photo)

There is a lot to be said about the talent within Haliy Nicole.  During my time shooting with her, Haliy displayed an uncanny skill to project piercing sensuality in the maintenance of statuesque sophistication.  The resulting consistency in the quality of shot with minimal direction leads me to conclude that she has an innate ability to grab on to that element which we each consider glamorous, even though definitions of such a term tends to vary from person to person.  It doesn’t matter, since she is able to encapsulate all those emotions and themes in each individual shot, leaving the rest to the viewer’s point of view or vision.  This emotive versatility she is able to deliver matched with a fashionable and slender form is exactly what style magazines look for to capture imaginations by the masses.  I think the world better watch out for her as she progresses in this industry.

(Haliy Nicole photo)

Then, from out of nowhere, a voice called out with the familiarity of a summer number one hit chorus, “Hey, stalker!”  Who could it be but Michelle Yee?  She had just arrived at the event pulling up to the space behind me, as I was finishing up with Haliy.  What do you guys think?  From my perspective, I arrived first this time.  That means she was stalking me.  Am I right?  Anyway, Michelle has proven her ability in the past to take in any atmosphere and turn it into her own, whether she’s shooting dolled up in a dress at a warehouse car meet or wearing the sporty elegance of a grid girl crown.  From a photographer’s perspective, her transformative brand of beauty makes you enjoy experimenting with different themes with her, witnessing how she infuses each scene with intoxicating glamour and style.  I guess this time we were going for the jungle princess motif.  Well, not really on purpose, since the heat during this point of the day was pulling all the ladies into the shade.  It was convenient that Michelle decided to go with gleaming gold for this event, as well as feathers in her hair.  It really worked for the scene.  She said the feathers were the new “it” thing.  Well, if it wasn’t already, maybe it will be now…

(Michelle Yee photo)

Cati Scavel is one of the newer talent at this show I was really interested of meeting in person.  To my understanding, she had just started modeling when she arrived for this event, and I’ve only seen a few examples of her past work.  If you saw her in action like I did, you’d know what I know, and you’d love what she has to offer.  Cati shows this aura of demureness that pleasantly seeps into your psyche.  There’s just this dainty fluidity in her demeanor that harkens back to those gentlest of human experiences such as that star struck gaze you got from that girl on the other side of a crowded room at some club.  Her images tend to be like visual oases to something very innocent, delicate, and intriguingly uplifting.

(Cati Scavel photo).

Diana Ochoa delivers the heat every time.  It’s interesting and surprising at times, since she is often the most sweetest and soft-spoken personality at a show.  However, if you remember her from Model Vanity’s past coverage of XDC/Remix in Irwindale and the Los Angeles stop of the DUB Show Tour, all you’d notice is that fiery, mind-penetrating energy she presents for the camera.  She blasts forth this unabashed femininity in both her expression and posture that is pleasantly intimidating and beguiling to the final flash.  It’s just amazing to witness the ease in which she operates and how she communes with the camera.  Maybe you’ll get the message through this example…

(Diana Ochoa photo)

Eh Vang brought “it” to Dubageddon.  What I’m referring to is how she presents this casual radiance to the camera that is appealingly hip and young, which matches the fun, adventurous summer beach culture.  She’s the head-turner beside that coastal bike lane.  She’s that friend of your sister you really want to meet though you feel she could out perform you on the surf, but you like that.  It’s this active and vibrant vibe you get from her efficient and natural projection of self that makes her potentially relatable to a mass audience.  Anybody have an exciting and energetic ad campaign that needs a go-to girl?  Miss Vang might be who you’re looking for…

(Eh Vang photo)

In the later show hours, the models where on the move greeting fans and taking pictures.  You can imagine the crowds a group of beautiful models could create.  So, when I had an opportunity, I took Nicole Jeantrelle aside for a brief period of shooting (I look out for you guys.  You know that.).  Anyway, Nicole Jeantrelle is what I would call pure bombshell.  She’s able to express a single powerful emotion sharply and directly, which in turn creates emotive clarity.  In effect, she tends to drown out the background noise and offers focus to the composition.  That focus is whatever she wants you to feel or react to, put forth by an inviting gaze that can spark an irresistible storm of euphoria.  This ability to capture a viewer’s eye makes her a dynamic subject of photography.

(Nicole Jeantrelle photo)

What can I say about Kayla Rae?  I could say, “Wow…”  I might even spell out, “OMG.”  Forget about it.  I don’t care who you are.  You’re singing one of those 90’s love ballads on some soft rock station belted out by some guy in a mullet.  That’s how bad it can get when you look at Kayla Rae’s work for too long.  I think that all originates from a keen sense of expressional definition, through which she can overload your senses in her adjustments between shots.  To clarify, you as a viewer can feel something intrinsically different and distinct in one shot versus the next because she is able to adjust her emotional output and character like the white balance on a camera.  I don’t know if it happens as purposefully for her and her modeling as it does for a photographer and his camera, but her capability of running through a full spectrum of emotional levels (heart-warmingly sweet to chic seduction), while keeping the audience believing, can influence the creation of some very well appreciated and thought provoking pieces of art.

(Kayla Rae photo)

The lovely Jerrose Pugoy was also on hand for the event, but I wasn’t able to shoot with her one-on-one because of the time constraints of her schedule.  But I was able to talk to her, at least, about her passion for dancing and her continuation as a student of that art, ever excited about expanding her horizons…literally.  Remember that Grammy performance of “Glitter in the Air” by Pink with the aerial acrobatics with the hammock and cloth.  Yeah, that’s pretty much what she’s going for.  I don’t think I’d have the guts to do that though.  I’m a bit clumsy.  Anyway, Model Vanity would love to wish her luck in her ambitions.  Here’s Jerrose (center) with her other fellow models during the event.

( Group)

And so the end of the event came and so did the cops…What?  Oh, crap!  I have to hide my stash.  Of course, my stash was a backpack filled with Arrowhead bottles, but I could have still been taken in for littering, if I did, which I was pretty sure I didn’t.  That’s what the backpack was for afterall.  When the officer parked his ride in the middle of the lot, the girls knew there was no point in resisting.  They thought it wise to assume the position immediately.  Soon, it was apparent that the event was going to end in quite an arresting development, and it wasn’t the cops that were arresting…

( “girls assuming the position”)

Note:  No models were patted down in the making of this article....

So MODELS, if you see Model Vanity in your neck of the woods, don’t be shy.  We just want to know you and introduce you to all your fans here.  Because in this business, it’s all about the vanity…Model Vanity…by Nate Long

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