Friday, September 19, 2014


Kelsea Kosko: photographer

Photographed with Canon EOS Rebel T5i camera at a Bushwick thrift store. 

(Kelsea shot with smartphone)

(Kelsea shot with Canon Rebel XTi)

I am beyond excited to give you an inside, up close and personal glimpse at how I've been photographing all of these years for NATALIE OFF DUTY. And truth be told, I'm a huge Canon fan, and have used a good ol' Canon my entire life. Here, I'm showing all that Canon Optics has to offer. Comparing it to instagram, and our constant use of cellphones to snap our latest eats, outfits, and my grandpa once said "i'm glad to see you with a real camera." I remember he would never put his camera down. Maybe that's where I got the picture-taking bug from. So yes, through the last 5 years, I've gradually grown at photography. Starting in my very own backyard with a point-and-shoot, I remember picking up the Canon Rebel for the very first time. That is, before I got a 6d to really kick my photography up a notch. But the Rebel is what taught me everything I needed to know, making a professional camera so much less intimidating. The shutter speed, the aperture. I've taken my baby from Israel to Morocco to London and back. So this post is dedicated to the Canon Rebel XTi. Newer, and better than ever. With a DIGIC5 processor, continuous shooting (yes, we're talking 5 photos a second!),  hybrid video, and a flip-out viewfinder, it's one badboy of a camera. Everything you need in one. Taking it to the streets of New York City to capture the life and vibrancy of the creative and talented people around me, all of which I can call my best friends. 

Nothing compares to the crisp-ness you see captured from a Canon camera, compared to a smartphone. With the Canon, I get to control the settings and capture a moment that looks so real, so you could just step back into that frame you took 2 seconds ago... or even, 2 years ago. That's what I wish a smartphone could do. It's hard on a phone when you don't get those special settings. I always want to continue to take images that feel as if they are still right in front of your very own eyes. It all comes down to lighting and movement that really shows the difference. Your shadow at sunset. The flip of your hair while dancing. All of these really do look better on my camera, than when I'm on a smartphone. Giving me the ability to really take control of an image, allowing me to show my own creative point-of-view. As a fly on the wall, or right in front of you. It's all about experimenting.

All of these images are shot with the new Canon EOS Rebel T5i and EF 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM wide-angle lens as well as my smartphone to showcase what difference Canon optics can make. In my camera bag, I also have the Canon EOS 6D and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. My secrets revealed in magic making!

(Dylana shot with smartphone)

(Dylana shot with Canon Rebel XTi

Dylana Suarez: stylist, photographer, and blogger 

 Photographed with Canon Rebel XTi, dancing with the salmon painted walls of Brooklyn. Compared to my smartphone, the colors are crisp and clear, capturing the textures of the backround, and the movement of her skirt and killer leaps. For this, I used the "5 frames a second." So quick, I could get every move in one second. The higher resolution with the Canon gives each image a more professional look, compared to the smartphone.

(Dylana shot with smartphone) 

Photographed with a Canon Rebel XTI camera, looking for bookshelves and new reads for her new abode. I've been playing around with the wide-angle lens more and more. And in such close corners as the isles of this thrift shop, the EF 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM wide-angle lens lets me stand in close spaces, and capture everything in front of me. With the smartphone, you don't see as much in the frame. I'm currently addicted to anything wide-angle. 

(shot with smartphone)

BUSHWICK NOOKS shot with my Canon Rebel XTi. With the 10-18mm lens, I can shoot inside small places, like this teeny tiny cafe, showing every inch of the humble atmosphere...oh, and Dylana's gorgeous jewels. The smartphone images didn't bring in as much light, so rather than upping the exposure, I used the Canon to manually capture beautiful bright homes and decor instantly.

(Colin & Sabrina shot by smartphone) 

Colin King: designer + Sabrina Jetli: model

Photographed with my Canon Rebel XTi at their Brooklyn design studio. Their studio brings in tons of light, and I love a good backlit photo. Dreamy, just like this gorgeous couple. Colin and his muse, hard at work. The bright sunlight coming from behind them washed them out on the smartphone images. With the Canon, I was able to brighten the room in my settings, and automatically focus on Colin and Sabrina. Letting them shine through the lens.

(Kiara shot with smartphone)

(Kiara shot with Canon Rebel XTi)

Kiara Schwartz, fashion blogger TobruckAve

One of my very best friends is Kiara, and I LOVE snapping her photos. It could be for her blog, or just for fun... I always am laughing with this one. Her style is very bohemian, eclectic, and a whole lot of CALIFORNICATION. Shot here with the Canon Rebel, I caught her in Chinatown. Her fringed jacket blowing in the wind, and the colorful walls popping behind her.  The smartphone images didn't show the colors so vividly. That yellowish tone went away the moment I picked up the Canon. The real colors shined through even shooting on AV or Manual settings.

(selfie images by smartphone)

(selfie images by Canon Rebel XTi)

The flip-out view finder is best when you really just want a group shot of your friends. SELFIE TIME. Just simply flip out the view finder to face you, and you can see exactly what you've just shot, right in front of you. It's exactly what your smartphone does, but of course, has a more artistic approach depending on your lens (the wide-angle lens is amazing for this) and absolute clarity. Unforgettable selfies, all the time. 

And THAT'S A WRAP! I loved getting to photograph all the wonderful people that inspire me daily, to keep going, and to keep shooting. I love getting to be behind the lens.

You can browse Canon’s amazing lenses lineup HERE

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Emporio Armani // Simplicity is Key

More often times than not, going the simple route really is the cure to all our problems. Relationships, what you eat, where you live, your wardrobe. A minimalist outlook on life can be the freshest breath of air. And I love the times when I can take this approach to the fashion side of my life. Baring down the pieces of my outfit to just it's quality, structure and fit, and nothing else. This idea of dressing always brings me to thinking of one of my favorite style icons, Audrey Hepburn. She had such a classic taste and dressed for the ballerina lines of her body. Accentuating the waist, but never too body-con. Boyish but always extremely tasteful. Never too over-the-top with the frill. She dressed in a way that complemented her outgoing personality and confidence, and neither worked to outshine the other. She was just perfect. This is how I feel in this simple Emporio Armani look that is so low-key, yet so statement making. 

// Emporio Armani sweater, black trousers, and hobo bag // 

SHOELINE.COM | Hello Serge

// campaign featuring Kork-Ease boots //

Here is another sneak peek inside my campaign! We went with the ICON, Jane Birkin, as our inspiration and immediately, I pulled out the patchwork denim trench and classic black bootie by Kork-Ease. Yes, I am diggin' their whole new boots collection. I spruced up this super simple look with a bit of shimmer with the sequin short, and statement sunglasses. Easy, and made for nights out on the town with the beau in the East Village! Helloooo Serge! I can't wait for our next upcoming campaign shoot. Stay tuned loves.

Follow Natalieoffduty on Twitter
Follow Natalie Off Duty

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | City Drizzle

// campaign featuring Kork-Ease wedges //

Rainy days in the city call for nautical stripes, a trench, tights and some chunky wedges that will keep me from slipping on the slicked streets. The fabulous Kork-Ease wedges that I wore for my latest campaign do just the thing when I have a busy yet rainy day ahead of me. 

Follow Natalieoffduty on Twitter
Follow Natalie Off Duty

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


You'll find me off St. Marks toying with the trinkets or tucked in the back of The Bowery Hotel in my favorite ripped pair of jeans and boots. Lately, I've been all about the Sorel Out n' About lace-up boot. They're made for a weekend adventuring, playing tourist in my own home. Hopping on citibike to citibike, racing down Freedman's Alley with the boys.

Take a spin around my neighborhood, and how it's inspired my looks now on NYMAG'S The Cut.

Monday, September 15, 2014


These last two months for me have been filled with traveling! After Stockholm Fashion Week, Dylana and I hopped on a quick flight to BERLIN, Germany and we quickly fell in love with this incredible, vibrant city. I've never seen so much artwork and graffiti splashed on the city's grey walls. Little messages from the city's people always here and there wherever you go. I like to say Berlin is like Williamsburg on crack. There's more food and beer drinking than anywhere else I've ever been. Yes, you can double fist and walk down the street without anyone giving you a second glance. Cheers! Who said you can't have beer with your morning egg and bagel?! Morning and night, Dylana and I mapped our days. We have an incredible CITY GUIDE with Forever 21 coming your way super soon. So you too, can explore this crazy city, and drink unlimited glasses of wine (for 2 euros...I'll tell you where soon enough!)  My suitcase surprisingly underweight by about 4 pounds, and I managed to have enough looks for our 10 day European extravaganza. I went with endless layers, and of course many LEATHER JACKETS. Rock tees, crochet vests, and killer cardigans. We topped it up with destroyed denim jeans, and perfect black boots. This city really doesn't sleep, and that's what I love most. The city has beauty, and it has grit. That's what adds to it's charm. We went into hidden techno bars that honestly didn't start until 3am...where you could party and read a book in the library, or sit in a bed in a nearby room. Berlin is about enjoying life to the max, one cup of coffee at a time.  And if you're up for those 24 hour sleepless days, go to Berlin.

// Forever 21 crochet vest, VEDA light pink leather jacket, AG jeans, Modern Vice boots, Worth & Worth hat, Sabrina SL choker //

// Forever 21 Icona Pop tee, VEDA navy leather jacket, Cameo denim jeans //

Follow Natalieoffduty on Twitter
Follow Natalie Off Duty