Archive for the ‘Persona’ Category

Tashia Senn’s bridal shower, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” style

31 Jul

by Yulia Mikhalchuk

Fabulous “blue and pearls” bridal shower was hosted for successful local designer Tashia Senn. Congratulations Tashia, many wonderful years to your marriage!

Enjoy the pictures and don’t forget to visit whole gallery.

Tashia Senn (center) with her firnds and attendees

Read the rest of this entry »


The Zusmans – zoomed in

06 Apr

Questions and Photography by Yulia Mikhalchuk

Make up and hair style for Ashley – Valentina Gretsova

Photographers are mostly hidden behind the cameras… But today we are going to reveal one and have the lens (and ears) aimed at him and his family. Please give a warm welcome to Moshe and Ashley Zusman, their son Noah and cat Baba.

DressHopper: Please tell me about your lives before you met, and how it changed when you did.

Moshe, Ashley: We actually met on the Jewish dating site  We used to be embarrassed to admit this, but we actually have a ton of friends that have met their spouses on JDate, Match, etc. so but the stigma is
wearing off.

Our lives completely changed after we met.  I (Ashley) was in graduate school at American University at the time. Moshe had just moved here from Israel after spending some time in LA, and we were both smitten with one another and literally after our first date, we were inseparable. I was living with my roommate in Bethesda, and Moshe had
just found a place to live in Germantown, and let’s just say we put a lot of mileage on our car that year, driving back and forth to see each other.

DH: Moshe, was photography always your passion or it came on the way? What was your first camera? First experience – were you happy with the results? First models? First wedding? First paid job?

M: No, it wasn’t my first passion, but once I started taking pictures, I couldn’t stop!  I used to take photos of my dog, and I wanted more performance out of my point-and-shoot, which led me to buy my first DSLR. As soon as I bought it, Istarted taking nightlife photos at some of the local clubs in my hometown of Haifa.  Then I started second shooting weddings with a photographer I admired. I was hooked. When I decided to move to the U.S., I knew that I wanted to pursue photography, but photographing full-time felt like a pipe dream! My first paid job in the U.S. was second shooting with a photographer friend.

My 1st pro camera was an Olympus C4000.

DH: Moshe, what qualities, do you think, are the most important for professional photographer? Is it technical knowledge or artistic vision?

M: These days I think that you need to have both in order to really be a talented photographer. You need to not only have an artistic eye, but you also need to understand the fundamentals of photography before you can then be creative.

I believe the most important quality is to be a professional human being before being a professional photographer.

DH: Ashley, is it difficult to be Moshe’s model? Does he “set” a lot or just let you be yourself?

A: I actually hate to be photographed so I’m very rarely on the other side of the lens. Now that we have Noah, I’m definitely in my share of photos, but I’m okay with that since people aren’t even looking at me – they’re smiling at Noah (note from DH: yes she is also modest as well as beautiful)

DH: Moshe, how your hectic schedule weaves into more stable family schedule, and how do you work it out?  ………. Ashley, now tell your side of the story.

M: I’m not going to lie – it’s a challenge, but one that we’re figuring out. Given my irregular schedule, I’m not always there for typical family time, but we make adjustments. Plus, I try to schedule around the important things – the doctor trips, the birthday parties, and I always try to be around for dinner. I’ve never been much of a morning person, but Noah loves climbing around in the early hours, so my personal clock is adjusting.

A: I’m used to the hectic and irregular hours by now, but we still do manage to schedule the day so that we spend a good amount of time together.  Now if only Moshe wouldn’t go to bed so late, we could get up an have breakfast together in the morning.

DH: Ashley, tell us about your work?

A: I’ve been the communications managers for the the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization based in DC for the past 4+ years. I manage media relations, PR efforts, communications, etc. Since returning from maternity leave, I’ve been much better about not being as glued to my Blackberry, which makes a work/life balance much more achievable.

DH: Moshe, Ashley, have you ever worked on a project together? Not meaning Noah, of course! What kind of project was that?

A: The photography business is our ongoing project together – we both play a part. Of course Moshe plays the major role, I do support in many ways, especially with the opening of the new studio.

DH: Moshe, you see so many families being started… Madly in love, romantically, beautifully getting married… However, according to the statistics, about 40% of couples end up divorced in the US. Would you happen to have an advice for couples, how to preserve love in marriage (which you seem to have at great level in your family?)

M: Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.

DH: Moshe, have you ever had the same client  hiring you again?
M: Yes, I’ve had many wedding clients that have invited me in their life many times post-wedding — for maternity photos, family portraits and events, etc. I even have clients that Ashley & I have maintained as good friends!

DH: Moshe, what is the most common mistake among emerging photographers? Why, do you think, many of them “deflate” and give up, saying it is a “bad business and it is impossible to make a living out of it”? Didn’t they push hard enough, are they just unlucky or what?

M: Sometimes, photographers jump in head first and call themselves professional photographers before they master the craft and know how to run a business.  You  really need to train as an assistant for a long time and not  immediately jump into making photography your full-time career.

DH: How strong is religious aspect in your family? Will you teach Noah the same?

M,A: We’re both connected to our faith, and we will definitely teach Noah to be the same.

DH: Does photographer’s family get enough photographer’s attention? I mean, are you being photographed a lot? Sometimes, I know, families miss that attention since “they are not going anywhere, next time, next time…”
M, A: Not nearly enough!

DH: Have you ever been involved in charity and what kind?
M: Yes, I try to donate my services when I can. Washington Humane Society, Got Your Back Network,  Chris4Life. This year I’m an official sponsor for Fashion For Paws.

DH: Ashley, tell us some secret about Moshe that you (and him) don’t mind to share?
A: He watches an episode of Seinfeld on his laptop each night before bed.

DH: What is your favorite entertainment? You like to stay in or go out?
M, A: We love going out to the movies, concerts, restaurants and just exploring the neighborhood!

DH: How you want to expand your business, what are your plans and dreams?


M: The opening of the studio in DC will hopefully help expand the business.  We’ve already begun renting the studio to the professional community and offering workshops – something I never would have been able to do if I had continued working from home.


Whole gallery of pictures is HERE

Make up and hair style for Ashley were kindly provided by

Valentina Gretsova


Fashion BS – don’t be too serious!

11 Jan

by Yulia Mikhalchuk

I hate saying “peas and carrots”, so maybe I’d use “coffee and biscotti” describing what a great team they make together. Elaine Mensah and James Cornwell allied not so long time ago to create Fashion BS radio and since then you can hear their inseparable voices broadcasting beautifully!

We met for an interview in December on a day of snow! So many meetings and events were canceled, but we did it! Nothing went according to plan, it went better. That is the thing about them – they are sparkly, bubbly, unpredictable… anything but serious and boring. Watch out, guys, they will go far!

Enjoy the video interview, as well as some photos,  which we managed to do despite all the snow emergency and traffic and mayhem.


DeeJay Neekola – music and beyond

10 Dec

by Yulia Mikhalchuk

Who does not know her? Neekola is a definition of DJ in DC area (and, she is spreading her wings Nationally and Internationally, too!).  Those who love clubbing know her face and her music, and today we get the chance to actually talk to her, which seems to be quiet a rare chance…

Q: How did it all start? (meaning when did you first think of becoming a DJ, how it grew… etc.)
A: I’ve always loved the sound of electronic music, from being a child listening to Herbie Hancock, MARS, Technotronic, Kraftwerk, etc.  I never really understood electronic music however until I moved to Germany.  There I realized that electronic music is appreciated by lots of people, especially overseas, and I really felt at home all of a sudden the first time I walked into a disco blasting electronic music.  I knew I had a place in the industry, but I wasn’t exactly sure – so I dabbled with production, and failed miserably.  Once I had moved back to the USA, I had invited my girlfriends to a party in DC (I was living in Richmond at the time), because I heard Christopher Lawrence would be DJing there.  I was very into trance music and I knew he was a DJ and a producer, so I was very interested in hearing him at this party (it was at Fur nightclub).  Because we were a group of girls, we were invited to meet the DJ, so I had asked him in person what the difference between a DJ and producer was, because I wanted to produce, and he told me – I need to learn to DJ first.  I never thought about Djing before this, but after he had told me, I signed up immediately for a few classes in NYC scratch academy, and learned the basics of DJing on 2 hip hop records.  My friend Tyke back in Richmond gave me a mixer and some old trance records, and I began to practice the technics diligently at home.  I soon became addicted, started collecting my own vinyl, and soon started DJing out, and have never stopped since.

read more text and see more pictures