I was honored to shoot behind the scenes at Vev Studios in Portland, OR. Gia Goodrich is a beautiful soul, she took me under her wing for a couple of days while I visited her studio. She shoots everyday women (and men) to empower them in every aspect and she makes them feel comfortable in their own skin. Gia works with various artists (MUAs/hair stylists/wardrobe stylists) to achieve her clients' desired look and feel for their photoshoot. I loved every moment of my experience at Vev Studios.
I was recently interviewed by a local magazine, VoyageLA, and we got to discuss what brought me to where I am today and my struggles within the creative industry.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Afsoon Zizia.
Afsoon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was studying illustration at Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) and grew incredibly lonesome and isolated from the world from working in the studio all day. I had to shoot my own work to paint/draw my pieces. The more I was behind the camera and having deep conversations with my models, the more I felt this is what I wanted to do. I put down the paint brushes and picked up a Canon. I figured that makeup and painting portraits were in the same ballpark which led me to do makeup for my own shoots. It’s been a fun journey discovering how things go hand in hand and leading me to endless possibilities. The best part of my job is getting to meet awesome creative people that want to make cool work with me.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing in life is easy and getting to where I am today wasn’t a piece of cake. It took a lot of hard work and perseverance to overcome many struggles. Not everyone supported my transition into photography and makeup, let alone pursue art. It got financially tough at times, but I just kept working hard trying to see past the temporary state I was in. I was (and am) lucky to have my extremely talented boyfriend be there every step of the way and constantly motivate me to work harder and be better at the tasks at hand. If you have a goal in mind, nothing should get in your way to achieving it.
How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
Growing up, I was always into art and creative things. I was lucky enough that my mom encouraged me to explore and push the boundaries of working in a fun and imaginative environment. Although I thought I’d be a doctor, in the long run, the artistic part of me was too strong so I pursued it.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Funny enough my favorite memory was making mini volcanos at home with chalky dish soap, watercolor pencils, glitter, and toilet paper. I was obsessed with making things, whether they be beautiful, explosive (literally), or weird. Little did I know all this would lead up to making images on the daily.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
It’s always hard for me to think of what I’ll be doing in the future because I just go with the flow of things. I believe every project leads to a better and an even more inspiring assignment. I never stop learning and I constantly look for techniques to improve my work. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting more creatives in the industry and listening to their stories of how they got to where they are today. It’s all about hustle and keeping a good humble head on your shoulders.
You can see the full interview here. Thank you Mike Bhand for the feature!
Joe and I celebrated our six year anniversary in Seattle, WA back in July. This rainy city quickly became one of my favorite places to visit! I love the big buildings, array of fun interactive museums, chaotic streets, and the cool weather. Seattle is like a hybrid of Portland and San Francisco, the best of both cities packed into a small part of Washington. I can't wait to go back again!
A few snaps on the ride back down to LA from Portland.
While in Portland I was fortunate enough to climb some incredible hills and mountains to see some gorgeous waterfalls and/or views. Here's a variety of places I saw.
Earlier this year we went to Hawaii for a friend's wedding and it was absolutely stunning. We never wanted to leave the island! Thank you Dale and Michelle for sharing your special day with us!
I know it's been a minute since I updated this thing, but I'm back! To catch up, I have moved back to Los Angeles from living in Portland, OR after two years (!!!). As much as I loved the cooler weather up north, nothing compares to the laid back LA vibes and the variety of cultural colors this city has to offer. It's so good to be home.
In the mean time, I'm excited to be collaborating with a bunch of different photographers to create beautiful new content and push my comfort zone. I can't wait to share new work with you! I'll be updating my blog with past and current experiences and hopefully not neglect this thing again!
Our friends David and Andrew came up to visit us the following week Jane and Archi left. These two cats are a riot! My cheeks were in constant pain from laughing so much throughout their visit. Their stay was filled with facing fears, grubbing on Asian cuisine ( +ice cream!), and exploring areas of Portland that Joe and I haven't seen. I think the photos below will sum up their five day stay (not long enough!). We can't wait to be back in our hometown to visit them and the rest of our friends and family.
In the past couple of weeks Joe and I were lucky enough that our friends from LA came up to visit and stay with us for a few days. It was so refreshing to be around the chill LA vibes and culture, it was truly missed. Jane and Archi enjoyed site seeing and exploring the lush areas of the town. We ate A LOT, stayed up late catching up with life, and watched reruns of The Walking Dead. Our place felt empty when they left, but that just means we have to do a LA visit soon!
I thought I'd start a new blog edition called "On Her Face" where I'll list the products that I've used on clients/friends/myself. Of course if I'm working with a male it'll be "On His Face" :P If you have any questions leave a comment below (or send me an email at hello[at]afsoonzizia[dot]com) and let me know if you'd like to see any tutorials in the future!
I had so much fun working with my friend Ayumi, who's a fine artist and jewelry designer (make sure to check out her work). Her skin is naturally glossy and clear with minimal pigmentation so it was incredibly easy to work with plus she is filled with adventurous stories that can keep anyone entertained for hours.
Ayumi brought over some new facial products she got from her recent trip to Korea and I used them under the primer.
Primer | Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer, Balance
Foundation | Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
& Revlon ColorStay Makeup Normal/Dry
Concealer | RCMA Foundation/Concealer Palette
Powder | Graftobian 12 Color Dual Finish Foundation Powder Palette
Bronzer | Smashbox Bronze Lights, Suntan Matte
Blush | Mehron Cheek Powder 8 Color Palette, Just Peachy
Highlighter | Nars Highlighting Blush, Albatross
Brows | Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow
Eye Primer | MAC Paint Pot, Soft Ochre
Lid | TKB Mica Powder, Copper
Crease | Stila In The Know Palette, Fire
Makeup Forever 650 Cookie
Outer Corner | Makeup Forever 636 Cappuccino
Bottom Lid | Stila In The Know Palette, Fire
Makeup Forever 650 Cookie
Makeup Forever 636 Cappuccino
Liner | Ingot AMC Eyeliner Gel, 77
Waterline | Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner, Bare
Mascara | Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies, Waterproof
Lashes | Red Cherry #41
Lipliner | NYX Slim Pencil, Natural
Lipstick | MAC Velvet Teddy
Gloss | Revlon Super Natural
I do have to admit that aside from the constant rain and persistent cold days, Portland is a beautiful city. I recently went to Wahclella Falls and Cannon Beach and got to experience an abundance of nature. I never knew that I'd be so happy for the weather to turn 60°F!
It's been a while since I've updated this baby, but so much has been going on that I sadly neglected my little blog. Joe and I moved to Portland, OR back in October 2014 because my man got a job at Nike! As beautiful as it is here in the rainy city, I haven't taken my camera out for a spin too much. I was working at Laura Mercier as an on call makeup artist for a bit, but I felt it was time to move on and see what else I could do with my talents. I'm currently on the hunt for something that will stimulate my creative senses, so wish me luck! In the mean time here are a handful of photos that I'd like share with you :)
After a much awaited vacation we finally managed to squeeze in a mini one around Joe's birthday. We stayed three days and two nights in Sequoia with our good friends Jane and Archi. The air was crisp but unfortunately it was pretty darn hot; we managed to keep cool by visiting some nearby creeks and the pool at the hotel. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by such enormous trees and go deep into the Crystal Cave where temperatures were as low as 50˚F. This trip definitely made me want to travel more and take more epic shots around the world! The travel bug has bit me pretty bad and that's a good thing :)
New website, new blog! Graduation is not too far away and we are stressing, but not much longer till we walk the stage!