My name is Diana Elizabeth. My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I'm a journalist who went from writing about fashion and reporting off the LA red carpet to a photographer and FORD model. When I'm not behind or in front of a camera, I enjoy blogging about my home projects, and the things that make me happy with camera in hand.
I appreciate old homes, love adding fruit trees to our yard, and I firmly believe making a house a home is a wonderfully fun ongoing project. I'm bravely jumping into the domestic life hoping one day I will bake a homemade pie so I earn my badge. This is a glimpse into my life and work.
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Maybe the only thing that could make it better if it were my birthday month.
It’s been adorably, preciously sweet to get tagged and text photos from my friends who are excited to see me now that the PHOENIX magazine Asian Food Guide is now out on newsstands. I’m even more happy when they pose with me, haha! I am pretty sure Mr. Wonderful is searching for it at every store that sells magazines just to make sure it’s there.
If you see it, please pick it up to support my favorite magazine. If you download the digital edition on the iPad it’s pretty fun – there’s music with a little screen shots of the different cover options.
Diana Elizabeth had to rip one apart to put the shots it in her modeling book and Mr. Wonderful was horrified. He then grabbed the remaining issues he bought and took them away to his office so he could keep them.
I know this is a weird post. But here’s the thing – I get asked this question on where to buy good lingerie all the time because my friends are brides or wedding planners who are asking on behalf of their brides for their upcoming special occasion or boudoir shoot.
In Paris, there is an entire floor at the mall that is dedicated to lingerie. It’s an absolute dream, each line has their own section and you can float from one area to another. I begged the sales ladies to tell me if they had a website or sold in the US and most said no and told me it’s because we have Victoria’s Secret. Well, let’s be real, VS is for our every day and while it’s great quality, it has nothing on French lingerie.
You can’t go wrong with these investments, some are French, others are US. Some links aren’t official, I just googled and found them.
Here are my favorites found online:
Diana Elizabeth recently bought the diamond shape drawer organizers for all of her pretty things. She read somewhere that most of us don’t need as much as we have. She also read that sets should stay together, so try these.
Well, this was a surprise.
May issue of PHOENIX magazine.
Usually when PHOENIX magazine contacts me, it’s to cover an assignment. But this time, when I missed calls from PHOENIX magazine and my agents at FORD Models, I thought it was either my lucky day for employment, or it was for the same project.
I was thrilled to be asked to model for their upcoming May issue. PHOENIX magazine is so near and dear to my heart, they took a chance on me early in my career to shoot assignments for them and they were a bulk of my survival my first year of self-employment. I couldn’t think of any other magazine I’d want to be on the cover of – if the opportunity ever came, although the thought honestly has never even crossed my mind.
The awesome Brandon Sullivan was the photographer - check out his portfolio, I feel so honored to have been photographed by him. He’s so good that my agents were pretty excited too. Brian of PHOENIX magazine joked that he’s never really hired someone based on race before in which I assured him that I rarely get hired for Caucasian roles – let’s be real.
The dress belongs to my great grandmother who I unfortunately never had the chance to meet. Nevermind that this dress is all high water on me, I’m 5’8″ and the dress was quite snug. I’m not typical little Chinese lady measurements. I drank a lot of milk and I slept a lot, and my younger brother is over 6′ tall. We’re a tall Chinese family.
Thanks to my good friend and my wedding makeup artist, Lizzy Marsh for taking these behind the scene pictures and doing my hair and makeup for this shoot! Lizzy knows me and my face so well, I always recommend her for every job or need I have.
Other dresses below were other options, Lizzy’s tools for beautifying me and some of the dishes I held.
Digital gives instant gratification. This was just a few frames to test the lighting. I look so subservient in that pose.
What a fun day! Make sure you pick up the May issue of PHOENIX magazine. Out on newsstands soon!
Diana Elizabeth can now say she has not only shot the cover of PHOENIX magazine in her lifetime, but now appeared on the cover.
Earlier this week I had the privilege of modeling at a women’s ministry event and hanging out with Alex Evjen of AVE Styles. Alex is a talented stylist in Phoenix who has worked with magazines (currently the fashion editor at Emma magazine and styled me for the shoot I modeled for here) and branding companies for their campaigns and photoshoots, and works with modeling agencies in the Valley. I adore her for many more reasons aside from her sweet personality and it was fun to let her rummage through my closet to ensure I had the closet staples.
My favorite message from Alex as she presented at her lab was, “Style is expression, NOT consumption.” I love her philosophy and she told me earlier she didn’t want to promote consumerism, but instead encourage that having a few key pieces you could easily walk away with almost two weeks worth of wardrobe.
I wanted to share the basics that she selected from my closet that she mixed and matched that evening in addition of a few links to items in every budget – the expensive stuff I share because I loved the style but you can easily find a comparable like within your budget. Alex and I do love bargains but we also agreed that some staples are absolutely worth the splurge for the closet longevity.
Visit Alex’s AVE Styles website and see her original list here. Alex is also available for a hourly fee of $40 to help you go through your closet, and decide what you need and gives you a list of what to buy. She’ll even go shopping with you if you need help!
Diana Elizabeth likes the quote by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, choose well.”
I debated if I should even talk about this since I’m supposed to be a photography blogger. Sometimes though, I have to say, I get tired of blogging about photography. I just want to write and let’s face it – I’m pretty sure, you, my readers are just like me, girly and you just want to look at pretty things and talk about girl things.
So there, it’s justified.
I have a ton of clothes, in a tiny space, in our lovely and cozy 1952 home.
There’s this new app I discovered called Poshmark after googling, “How to sell clothes online.” I made $175 clearing a quarter of my closet in the first week, and a total of $500 within a month!
How to decide what to sell on Poshmark:
How to actually sell items:
How to get more followers:
Diana Elizabeth sure has a thin closet now. Mr. Wonderful said, “Ut oh, now this doesn’t mean you need to fill it up quickly.” She most now absolutely love every item that goes back in.
Remember that gorgeous gal Rachelle McCray that was recently on my blog? Here’s a clip of the video she produced and hosted at the FORD Models 25th anniversary party at the W Hotel. Watch for me and my chevron print dress again, and meet my agents at the very fun party. Oh, SLP also produced my video you see embedded at the top of my blog that features Mr. Wonderful.
Diana Elizabeth will totally let you know when her infomercial is out. She’s already been checking.
If you see Cheryl Tiegs on your screen late at night, don’t change the channel, I’m in that infomercial. All day with a smile I drank Nopalea, a wellness drink and it was so much fun! From working with a great staff of people and other actors, it reminded me why I enjoy acting – aside from the nice paycheck. Many thanks to Trivita for directly booking me, and thanks to my agents at FORD for working so hard. I’ll be sure to share a video as soon as I see it, but I was told it should be on almost every station late at night. Maybe after the PajamaJean’s infomercial?
Diana Elizabeth thinks it’s so neat to watch other people do their job so well, everything from the lighting guy to the director. She was amazed at their expertise.
Last week FORD/RBA had their 25th Anniversary celebration at the W Hotel in Scottsdale and all talent and clients were invited. Thanks to Lizzy Marsh for doing my makeup for the night! It was the latest Mr. Wonderful and I have stayed out in like, forever. Actually, probably the first that we’ve ever stayed out late, ever. We had a blast because some of my bests are signed with FORD as well – I’m on the print and acting board, and their husbands/boyfriends attended which made Mr. Wonderful very happy. I was also happy to see my fellow colleagues who I work with in the past, known for many years, and new ones that I have recently photographed as well.
So here’s my background of being a model and actress and probably the only time I’ll ever reference it for a while. As a teen, like most girls, I wanted to model. I went to model searches (which I do not recommend) and “modeling schools” (which I also do not recommend), but my mom who was a professional model and singer overseas was convinced I shouldn’t have to pay to be a model. So, then went to college to move on with life.
In college during my sophomore year, I signed with a SAG/AFTRA licensed agency (that’s an agency that is union licensed) in Phoenix, while I attended The University of Arizona in Tucson. I had no experience whatsoever other than a few test shots (that means free) by a San Francisco photographer. I remember getting the call for the meeting when my future agent said, “I’m not signing you because of this (as she showed my pathetic resume of experience), I’m signing you because of this (as she pointed at my photos).” And she took a chance on me and as a college student, I worked quite a bit between classes. I took no acting classes at the time but learned as I auditioned and did improv which was super scary at first, but then you just don’t care and just act to get the job.
Then I moved to LA with my college degree to work in the television industry and before I got my job at E! as a reporter (see I did use my journalism degree), I tried to find an agency to represent me. I figured being 5’8″ and full Chinese it’d be easy. That wasn’t the case since LA is saturated with 10,000 people who look like you. “I have another girl who looks just like you,” was my constant response as I got shut down over and over again. Then finally, it took one agency to come back and say, “I have another Asian girl, but you look nothing like her,” and I was signed. I still traveled back to Phoenix with my other agency for jobs (you can have more than one agency represent you in different states. In California however, you can have many agencies represent you but from different counties).
Then after 10 years with the agency who represented me since I was 20, I decided to move to another agency just for business reasons – I wanted to do more print work in addition to my acting and join my friends Rachelle and Brenna (in the photos above) who were at FORD/RBA. I already had so many friends at this agency and working with them as I photographed them for PHOENIX magazine has been so wonderful. I am honestly part of a family that I love.
Speaking of modeling and acting, I have two jobs coming up, one involves an infomercial and a classic cars calendar – always tasteful, come on.
So with all of this said, guess the modeling experience that I have and having friends in the industry has most definitely helped me when it comes to photographing my clients. The poses, the expressions, it took practice and I’m still learning as I go, but it’s definitely been advantageous! I’ll write another blog post about how to get into modeling for those who are interested later this month. xx
Diana Elizabeth was worried some one else would show up in her chevron print dress. Funny, she had also said she’d never wear chevron. Many things that she said she would never do, she has done. Never say never.
I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a lover of photography, flea markets, gardening, and God. Follow me as I explore the domestic life.
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