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  • Suzanne Kelly Polito


Updated: Jul 14, 2021

STAND OUT in the crowd and do not conform to what or who people think you should be…

I am often asked why Flamingos? What's my obsession with the Red Flamingo and why would I pose with a million Flamingo objects for my Birthday and branding photos... Well, my photography business is REDBIRD PHOTOGRAPHY as the Cardinal has special meaning to me, so why not carry the theme over into my digital platform and Blog. “BE A FLAMINGO AMONGST A SEA OF SWAN“ is my motto, my mantra of late. STAND OUT in the crowd and do not conform to what or who people think you should be… Hence the platform A RED FLAMINGO.

Nothing could be more true and fitting than my experience last week in Miami for the first post-covid MIAMI SWIM WEEK 2021. A good friend of mine asked once if I always wore Black jumpers and outfits to photograph my editorials or runway experiences and I quickly replied yes.. Due to color casting and not wanting to distract the models walking the runway. He said I should reconsider my wardrobe choice and just be ME, authentic ME, and wear whatever I am inspired by. Considering I shoot mainly fashion and have a love of arts, I took his advice this trip and packed my suitcase for Miami with what I wanted to feel sassy and fashionable in. I chose beautiful silk sarong made by an African designer based in Charlotte, a gold Italian dress that I purchased in a Miami boutique, a super cute vintage black dress with pink Flamingo print from Unique Vintage online, and a pair of leather shorts with a mesh top. We will revisit those shorts in a minute!

My first encounter at Miami Swim was not my first encounter shooting runway, but it was my first time shooting in Miami so I did not know what to expect. I partnered with CLICK MAGAZINE NYC, MAX FLORES and THE FASHION HISTORIAN for what was to become an epic adventure. As I knew from past experiences, I would be one of very few, if not only, female RUNWAY PRESS photographers and I was correct. The Men in Black as I like to refer to the Press Pit was a bit different this time when I strolled in... I saw many familiar faces form previous NYFW shows, exchanged greetings, and staked my claim as you must at the end of the runway. I was a FLAMINGO in a Sea of Swan... BLACK SWANS! My silk sarong kept me cool, but also helped me stand out in the crowd. By the fourth trip back to the Paraiso Tent for the shows, the Security addressed me as Queen! Some said “She’s good, I’ve seen her here before“ and some asked if I were a guest at the event LOL!

I started to feel more comfortable in my decision to be ME, and wear whatever inspired me. My friend captured this photo of me sitting on my camera box. I usually stand on it to get a better perspective since I’m only 5’6” and am one of few, if not only, females in the pit carrying a huge 70-200 Tamron lens on my NIKON D780 camera. It got me thinking... I really am a FLAMINGO… and I love it! Why fit in and conform when you can stand out and do you?

When I first arrived to the pre party hosted by Ink Entertainment, Paraiso, and NEXT Models, I noticed a fabulous man in a pair of black leather shorts and a black mesh top. I stopped him and told him how much I loved his outfit and that I packed the same thing to wear but after seeing him all fashionable in his, I was reconsidering wearing mine. He said “ Honey, I think you should totally rock it and DO YOU!“ Thank you Timur Tugberk, because that is exactly what I did! I pulled it out for the private closing party of The Blonds and showed up with a huge smile when I saw he was there. I told him I am going to post a “ who wore it better “ photo side by side with the one I captured of him in his LOL!

The point is that I am learning to embrace my differences, my authenticity, my appreciation for tattoos and piercing at 50 Years of age! Age is truly just a number and my absolute love of all things fashion, art, and culture increases by the day!

This Red Flamingo took flight in MIAMI, avoided ELSA and had a memorable experience… Lots more to share, more to expose and more photos of some amazing Fashion and People you won’t want to miss..




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