We went to Thailand! First, lets rewind to how it all began. Its the end of 2017 and Kathy, my mom’s friend, sends my mom this Travel + Leisure photo contest where the winner gets a trip to Chiang Mai and a stay at the resort they ranked #1 in Thailand. My mom then sends the contest to me. Spoiler alert, I won the contest.
Fast forward to January 30, 2019. We left Chicago on one of the coldest days in history, -50 with the wind chill. We arrived in Bangkok 24 hours later to 95 and sunny, I’ll take it. Our trip was unforgettable.
Bangkok —> Krabi —> Chiang Mai
Each place had its own vibe and personality that made it feel brand new for each leg of the trip.
Bangkok was action packed. People everywhere which meant traffic everywhere. A mix of street food, bars and massage parlors. Shopping malls that make the Mall of America look modest, beautiful temples and street markets. Lots of street markets! Tuk Tuk’s, motor bikes, cars and packs of tourists stuffed in vans. All zipping around in a chaotic harmony of traffic.
Krabi was our beach getaway. The perfect segway from a hectic, fast paced, Bangkok. Krabi put on a show of some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Swimming in blue waters amongst the massive rock formations that remind you that you’re definitely on the other side of the world.
Chiang Mai was the perfect balance of a big city Bangkok feeling and a warm home-y small town. The New City was an architecturally impressive, modern, street art-filled hipster part of town with The Old City, just a short walk away, offering the beautifully preserved temples and raw life of locals. And about an hour outside of Chiang Mai was the elephant sanctuaries! Hanging out with a group elephants all day was definitely one of the coolest experiences. All the while ending the trip at the top ranked resort, 137 Pillars House. It was the most beautiful and luxurious stay ever…ever, ever!
Finally, as traveling always seems to do it opened me up to a place and people I have never seen before. Embracing us into their culture, connecting to it and seeing how others live. It made me feel insignificant, in the best way possible. It made me thankful for where I was born and the opportunities I have had simply because of where I was born. Ultimately, it made me yearn to travel even more.
I’ve never been very good with crafting words. I’m more the visuals guy, but where I lack, I love to pull from other people and tap into incredible talents. So with that idea always in mind I asked a friend, George (@gee_o) who happens to be an amazingly talented writer and storyteller, if he would use 4 photos, that I shot, and write about what comes to mind when he looks at them. He came back to me with 4 poems that gave me chills. So direct and vivid and painterly.
Just as my photos can stand alone, George’s brilliant poems can too. But hopefully there is a certain power and harmony in them being together, side by side. We’re super excited to be unleashing a collaborative, @bettercheckyourtone x @gee_o series. Enjoy!
Model: Diana Karvelis
Make-up: Laoise Rubio
There is something very special about a handwritten note. Every letter written, whether it’s with the staccato rhythm of print or the continuous flow of cursive, allows each word to embody its writer. A loved one’s penmanship brings comforting familiarity; it allows you to hear their voice no matter how far away they are. A stranger’s handwriting can spark a feeling of connection before you’ve even met. The intrinsic personality that comes with one’s handwriting turns a piece of paper into something more precious — a tangible artifact of someone’s feelings. By pairing each subject with their handwriting, I hope to create more wholistic portraits that no camera can capture on its own.
Thank you to everyone who opened up and wrote something special for this very personal project.
Model: Sarah Chledowski
Make-up: Laoise Rubio
Retoucher: Ruben Ortiz
For centuries, The Seven Deadly Sins have served as a warning to humankind.
Pride. Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy.
From our earliest understanding of right and wrong, we’re taught to resist these temptations; to choose good and turn away from evil. But we all have our vices.
The images you’ll see here dive head-first into depravity. Seduced by the siren call of The Sins, we attempted to capture the essence of immorality in seven distinct makeup looks.
With each representation, let yourself turn a little further from goodness and embrace the beauty that dwells in the darkness.
They say a little bit of makeup can hide a multitude of sins. Turns out, just a little more can unleash them.
Seven Deadly Sins
Photographer& Videographer: Stan Nalewski
Makeup Artist: Laoise Rubio
Model: Claire Randall
Retoucher: Ruben Ortiz
Producer: Sarah Corapi
I write this as I listen to 2pac - Keep Ya Head Up. Unfortunately, still a relevant song and a fitting anthem.
Today, 250,000 people came out in support, flooding the streets and taking over Michigan Ave. And although the problems stem from frustration and anger it was a day of raising women up. All love to the compassionate, smart, strong women. What a powerful day.
Keep ya head up. Ooh child, things are gonna get easier. Ooh child, things'll brighter.