Tag Archives: Port Huron

Meeting the community

Hey all, it’s been a while since my last post. Since October I’ve been keeping busy living the dream, doing freelance work and meeting some incredible people along the way. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to!

In October I had the honor of taking engagement photos for an old coworker of my fiance’s, in Port Huron, Michigan.

Erick and I actually met in Port Huron. It was really great not only being home, but getting to work with wonderful people in the place I love. Even though it was raining heavily that day, nothing could dampen Liz and Brennan’s spirits and we got some amazing shots at the Blue Water Bridge, Lighthouse Beach, and The Citadel Stage.

Per usual, Nori just waiting for me to finish editing engagement photos so that we can play.

Spanish teacher encourages language retention through communication

Later that month I was tasked with working on a story about a successful Spanish program at Sacred Heart Academy in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Nagazi is a band of brothers bonded by metal

I also got to cover a local metal band who were pursuing their dreams of making it big. They recently unleashed their third album and went on tour in November.

My sweet girl trying to stay up with me when I’m working late.

With a focus on research, Central Michigan University, is putting its stamp on the scientific world

I’ve always loved science, but it’s never been my strong suit. So when I was assigned to meet with and do a story on multiple researchers doing brilliant work at Central Michigan University I was excited, but admittedly also nervous. I was worried that some of the information I received in the interview would too technical and I wouldn’t have a full grasp on the concepts and therefore would have to ask a lot of additional questions to clarify. I was worried about looking like an idiot. Luckily, the researchers I met with spoke in layman’s terms and my fears were unnecessary.

Janet Strickler is driven by community

Janet Strickler, co-chair of the Mount Pleasant Women’s Initiative during its ‘Look Who’s Talking’ luncheon, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, which drew a record crowd of 450 attendees. The Mount Pleasant Women’s Initiative is an endowed fund of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation.

I first met Janet Strickler just before graduation when I had to do a story and a video with narration (link here). The nonprofit center in town was having an open house so that members of the public to get a closer look at the organizations housed at the center. Additionally, it was to formally launch the campaign to purchase the nonprofit center from Victory Church, from which it currently rents. Strickler made a lead contribution in honor of her late husband and she spoke at the open house. I remembered her specifically because she had me teary eyed when she spoke about her husband. She is truly a powerhouse with her involvement and philanthropic efforts and is such an asset to the community.

Jazzy Girl: Alfie Jean, Jazz Singer and Pin Up Model teaches vintage style

Red lipstick, puffy dresses, garter belts, and victory rolls. Such is the life of a pin up girl.

25-year-old Port Huron resident Alyssa Ferri is living the vintage dream.

Ferri is the founder of Alfie Jean’s Pin Up Charm School where she teaches women to embrace themselves and how to do proper pin up and style ranging from makeup, hair and dress to posing and pin up etiquette.

She is also the lead singer of Fifth Avenue, a jazz band created by her and her boyfriend of three years Jack Wellington.

“She is so into that scene of high class and pin ups and stuff like that, that she came up with Fifth Avenue,” Wellington said who plays bass in Fifth Avenue. “There used to be an old saying, ‘Oh that’s so Fifth Avenue,’ referring to someone being really classy. We chose that.”

Fifth Avenue started off doing free shows to gain recognition and is now being paid for their work.

The group has traveled all over Michigan from Traverse City to Grand Rapids, but Ferri says she would love to see the band travel out of state.

Ferri, who also goes by pin up name Alfie Jean, credits her love for pin up with her love for jazz.

Controlled Chaos Magazine lists Alfie Jean as number four of the top seven pin up models in Michigan.

“When there’s something you really like you want to learn more about it,” Ferri said.

So she explored and practiced, eventually starting the charm school to help other women begin.

“There were all these questions, all the time, just questions about pin up and I wanted to help people,” Ferri said. “I worked really hard to know the things I know. The wardrobe, the hair, the makeup, the shoes, the prop pieces; everything has to be researched and made sure it’s era appropriate.”

Ferri didn’t always have the appreciation for vintage that she does today.

“I grew up kind of poor, so I was wearing thrift store finds that my mom would get,” Ferri said. “At that time, I would get teased for it, bullied, because I was the poor thrifted kid. It didn’t feel good, like it was horrible to be wearing vintage.”

During college Ferri was in an abusive relationship.

“It was about five years of just like abuse if every way you can imagine. That person just kind of beats it out of you, who you are. When that finally ended and I moved to town, I didn’t know who I was anymore,” Ferri said.

It wasn’t until after when she started seeing Wellington that Ferri said she started accepting who she is.

Ferri said she originally thought pin up modeling was going to be a hobby, but just fell in love with it.

“It’s so good, and so empowering. You can embrace your femininity. It’s powerful to me. Once that all happened, I knew this is for me,” Ferri said. “I thought it was going for fun, but it became this full time feel good job.”

She began the charm school to help women who are interested in learning have an easier time than she did starting when she had no help.

Ferri said she worked with a student that hated her smile.

“She expressed to me that the reason she doesn’t like to smile is that someone had made a very rude comment about her teeth and ever since then she just stopped,” Ferri said. “We just talked about it, and at the shoot I actually got her to smile. That meant a lot to me. When she saw the pictures, she actually cried. That’s so amazing to me. If that’s what doing the charm school is about, that is so worth it.”

No prior experience or knowledge is necessary to take the classes.

“You don’t have to be a pin up, you don’t have to know anything, or you can know stuff and want to know more,” Ferri said. “I’ve had girls that have never modeled before in their lives that don’t even know how to put on makeup, to girls that actually do pin up with me.”

All of the charm school classes end in a photo session with RSII Photography owned by Ray Smith.

Ferri hopes to eventually get a location for the charm school. Right now, she is teaching out of her apartment.

“You don’t know who’s coming to your apartment a lot of times,” Ferri said. “A lot of these girls, I’ve never met before in my life. They just sign up and come to my home. That can be kind of unsettling sometimes. You don’t know what could happen.”

But Ferri says the risk is worth it so see the result.

“I will do it for 20 years and if I only get 10 girls, then at least I changed 10 girls’ lives,” Ferri said.

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