Local photographer Sean Askandari is exploring Houston's eclectic fashion scene like never before: On the street.
Askandari, a fan of established street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Street Peeper, says he first came up with the idea for his Houston-centric blog back in late 2011 when he searched the web for local street style blogs "and literally couldn't find one."
"That's when I said to myself, 'I'm just going to go ahead and start one,' " he says.
In January of 2012, Askandari purchased his camera (one which hardly ever leaves his side) and his blog — aptly named Dress Yo Self — was live by March of that year.
Since then, he's posted more than 450 photos of locals living their everyday lives, capturing something he sees as an oft-overlooked aspect of what defines Houston's style.
"It's my way of showing the world — or the Internet world — that the reality of Houston is way different from what people think."
"One of the reasons I started the blog is that in all of the Houston publications, as far as fashion is concerned, it's always high fashion," Askandari notes. "There's no street style. There's nothing about the normal guy or girl walking down the street."
"There's normal people who know how to put outfits together and that's what I try to highlight."
Not only that, but the 31-year-old photographer feels his photos help express the true character of Houston and what makes the city so unique.
"One of the things I try to highlight on the website is the diversity of the city," he says. "There's so many different types of people. I've always considered Houston to be an international city. It's my way of showing the world — or the Internet world — that the reality of Houston is way different from what people think."
When asked what makes for a great street style photo, Askandari says it depends on a number of factors. "I don't use flash, so lighting is key. The lighting has to be just right, the outfit has to be just right, the background has to be just right," he says. "It's the whole situation.
"I feel like I have to have my camera on me all the time because you never know. It's usually times when I don't have my camera when I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, that's a picture-perfect shot.' "
Although Askandari notes that Houston isn't exactly known as a pedestrian-friendly city, he's located certain areas which are most conducive to his man-on-the-street style.
"I shoot in downtown, Midtown, The Heights, Rice Village, the Galleria area, but I don't limit myself to just those areas," he says. "Recently I was in CityCentre, which is very pedestrian friendly, and found it's a really great spot to shoot."
Askandari isn't exactly sure where his photos will take him yet, but he does have some rather lofty aspirations.
"It's kind of weird to say, but I'd like to become the Scott Schuman of Houston," he says, referring to the noted blogger and street style fashion photographer.