SingaporeBrides Paris Behind the Scenes


For some odd reasons the frequency of encountering rain is super high when I shoot outdoors whether in Singapore or overseas. It's something a couple of my editors had been commenting on excessively this year, and at one point I was blamed for bringing rain on shopping days upon my touch-down. D:

Right, if I could reeaaaaally make rain... hurhurr.

But frankly, I'm not really one to complain about it.

Rainy days do make shootings more difficult, but I find gloomy skies wonderful.

And when it rains, everything starts to catch light and become reflective, I think that in itself adds a beautiful touch to an image.

I lost a lot of sleep during the stressful 3-4 weeks of planning.

The Parisian model agencies my editor was speaking to were really unresponsive, and I had became skeptical of working with people on first contact out of fear for the unreliability of a new person. It happened too many times when I was in Europe -- hair/makeup/models not turning up, cancelling a day before shoot, etc. We had planned so much with regards to the locations and styling I just couldn't risk it, having limited days in Paris.

Eventually we found a good management from the Netherlands for the model, and I had Andrea Perry-Bevan, whom I worked with in Manchester about half a year prior, to fly in for the hair and makeup.

All this was done whilst preparing for a campaign for Orchard Central, shot on the day I was due to take off. I quite literally went to the studio with my luggage and stuff so I could head for the airport straight after.

I arrived in Paris on a Saturday morning, had a meetup with some local fans from facebook at Six Huit before moving on to drop my luggage off and start the location recceing.

We were scheduled to shoot two days, one on location indoors and one outdoors. To put it simply, it just translates to a hell lot of recce work.

Unfortunately, we didn't accomplish that much in the end on Saturday, with my jet-lag kicking in and being exhausted from the last shoot and all. And the places we went just weren't satisfactory.

We continued on Sunday. Places to places. The final decision for the indoor location was a really old hotel with gothic furniture from the 16th century. It was small, but splendid. I stayed a night in the room after the shoot since it was paid for. :D

It was really funny when I met up with the chief editor of Gothic & Lolita Bible a few days later, to find out that she was staying in that very place during her visit. We two were going on and on about this "awesome gothic hotel" we each knew, and then suddenly someone else asked the name, and we realized it was the very same one! Hahahaha.

Monday we moved on to check out potential outdoor locations. I wanted to cover notable places and we narrowed the list down to: Arc de Triomphe, Pont Alexandre III, Eiffel Tower, Lourve, Sacré Cœur and Notre Dame.

That night Andrea was dropped off at the wrong hotel, we had a huge scare waiting, but she found her way eventually.

With all things in order we were more or less set for the shoot the next two days.

Tuesday morning our model Anne arrived from Amsterdam. The team waited for her at the hotel while Andrea and I went flower shopping. It ate a lot of time from the morning but it's a component I can just never seem leave to someone else to do.

The entire shoot was done with natural light that came in through the windows.

I am fortunate enough in the sense that SingaporeBrides always allows me the maximum freedom in direction, so I can have my own lighting and mood and expression down to the smallest details in each photograph.

Of course I do discuss with the editor on my plans, concepts and directions, but because of how flexible they are while knowing what's acceptable and not for their own direction (many times I think clients don't know what they don't want), I find that I create some of the best editorial images with and for them (aside from maybe Bazaar, which works pretty much the same and similarly the quality of results).

On the second day rain came around mid-day. It wasn't heavy, but enough for us to need umbrellas. I was prepared with a parasol I'd bought from Korea 5 years ago for the very purpose of photo-taking. =D

And so my assistants held makeup items and umbrellas for Andrea and me, and we continued shooting that way in the rain till the end.

There're quite a few outtakes from the shoot I love that couldn't work in the editorial as a set, however, I hope I'd be able to revisit them one day~

I really enjoyed working on this and I hope everyone like the images. Now I shall be off to do my packing for Tokyo. Though actually, I don't have much to pack aside from a kimono for new year's eve, seeing as how I haven't unpacked from Lijiang. Hahahaha.

Backlog photos and stuff

Man. Lugging 2 lights+stands+17"MBP+1Ds MIII around in this weather, alone, is no freaking joke.

So tired my whole body aches so bad.

Thus, instead of heading down to Harajuku on a seemingly gorgeous Saturday, I'm gonna stay at home and emo, so I can rest up enough and repeat the above routine for tomorrow's shoot.

Cuz I'd been updating more on twitter than blogging, here's a random a mix of things from the past few months I'd been meaning to blog about. The pile is ever-growing but here's a start nonetheless.

Wacom Intuos4. Brand new from this trip.

This thing's so freaking gorgeous I wanna put it on display. Like, serously.

The one I'd been using for the past years had been a 9x12 which is just waaaaay too huge to carry around for travel. This new one's medium-sized and is so much easier to bring around. Now I can bring it on shoots to do quick demos on the spot for clients and my team. Yayness. Thou I'd still prefer the 9x12 for long-period usage since it's better for my wrist.

Post-shoot snap with Kokusyoku Sumire in their beautifully decorated cafe, stolen from their blog here.

I super love the figurines in the background. They're made by another Japanese artist who doesn't sell them anymore. /emo

This shoot was for Gothic Lolita Bible Aug issue (I think)

Okay, moving on to end Apr/early May photos:

With my lovely assistant Abby in Kyoto

With Kagetsuki at the Ghibli Museum.

Also, if I may, plug her new awesome fashion blog with Dawn - Monoxious.

More from the Ghibli Museum and cafe~

My X Japan concert guest pass. Shiny stuff *_*

Goban used in The Go Master movie filming. The go-kes here weren't inside, they're just in collection of the person I visited, designed personally by Honinbo Shuei.

Shuei

Ninja Jingna making okonomiyaki in awesome Junya coat. Chris looking very very skinny...

And Gullimer's (sp?) Village for Young People, with nary a soul in sight. With Rick, Chris, and Abby who's cropped off because my self-portrait skills aren't awesome enough. ;_;

Birthday dinner

Paris:

From my meetup~ That huge white book is my portfolio. XD

Gorgeous new Givenchy jacket

Awesome old mag store on rue de Temple

Not forgetting the inevitable stuff that break our banks...

There're a lot of other epicness, recorded in my iPhone, and all lost along with it during the Paris trip. T_T Oh well~ at least I have this:

Awesome food on Singapore Airlines. Hahahha.

Last but not least, a polaroid with Ivory Flame after the Lilith shoot. She's really really super stunning to photograph~

Sorry for the seemingly outdated/bland stuff. I'm working on trying to finding something interesting to blog about but being so busy everything seems like they'd just be too boring for a read. I'm so sorry!! T_T

Heading to Jakarta on Monday!!

Paris Dec Part II

Just a couple photos from the trip that I'd been meaning to post~

I just can't get over how much I love this place. It's just so so grand and beautiful.


Saw this in the home section while at Dior picking up clothes. The small bowls were very tempting, if only they weren't something like 130 euros each.


Opéra de Paris

Lafayette Home

And outside our hotel.

And shopping.

White top from Proenza Schouler, black one's from Ann Demeulemeester.
Sarah Moon's 1 2 3 4 5 is heavy, a bit expensive, but it's worth it.

That's all for Paris, pretty fun this time if not for the luggage incident...~

Paris Dec Part I

We stayed at a hotel that wasn't even done renovating for the first 2 nights. The smell of paint was driving me up the wall. I couldn't believe we were staying in a place that was like that.

But yay we changed to a better place today, and as an apology each one of us received a bottle of champagne. Awesomeness.

Recce photos

and
So fucking beautiful.
I heard when Langlang shot there the rental was 1.5mil rmb for 3 days. *_*

And because yuanyuan was super on about going to Cafe de Flore, we went.
First we saw the son of LVMH's CEO (whom they met during the Dior exhibition opening in Beijing), then realized that we were sitting near Sofia Coppola. Quentin and Yuanyuan couldn't believe that I didn't know who she was. =_=


Went to more awesome places today but I'll leave those pix for next time cuz I wanna sleep now, it's been a long day~~

Paris Day 2-3 + Cosfest

christian-dior-couture-card.jpg

Feels like I can finally breathe after weeks of 24/7 of non-stop working and days out. I really don't like getting out of the house much (my room really).

Long post ahead, catching up a little with the past week. Felt like it's been a long time...

Sat night I packed up before STCC ended to catch my flight to Paris, I only received the confirmation for the job on Friday, so it was really a hell lot of trouble trying to reschedule everything just so I can leave.

Day1 is in the previous entry.

Paris Day2: Christian Dior Fall 2008 Couture

The reason I was there.


The show was set for 2.30pm. We reached musée Rodin at 9.30, targeted time to finish setup was 11am.

There were 4 of us, the photographer, a producer, a photo assistant and myself as an assistant and coordinator. No I don't speak French, it was more for getting things done during the setup and pulling models from their racks and directing them.

The security refused to let us in for a good half an hour, but when we finally went in it's nothing but epicness that greeted us.

44 looks, 44 girls.

While waiting for ladders and similar things to arrive I sneaked around to the makeup area.

Mostly makeup and hair people waiting around for the models to arrive. The looks and Polaroids already pinned up everywhere.

More setup, and more waiting. More photos in between~

Michaela opened the show. During our shoot I saw her up close, this look was so beautiful I would sell my camera to buy it, just that I think 12000 doesn't quite buy me a even a portion of the piece.

Sasha P.

I really looked forward to seeing her and Coco Rocha, but they both gained so much weight I simply can't post the pics I took backstage later on =_=

Just a few, before you get bored with the same pics. XD

Caroline T's. I realllly love this one.

And close-up of some details on a piece that has renewed my love for John Galliano.

And finally our setup complete~! I think that's like, 6 meters. Yeah. *_*

I think this was really funny, but anyway, that's just me.

By the time we finished setting up it was already 12+, the waiting was really painful. Each time we required some sort of technical support it'd take 15-30min to come. =_=

But now that's out of the way, it's time to sneak back to the makeup area again~!! It was sooooo crowded getting around was really a pain. And with all the makeup assistants holding plates with foundation on them you really had to watch you didn't knock into anyone.

Beautiful beautiful beautiful makeup. So flawless I could cry.

Beautiful beautiful hair.

Caroline Trentini chatting with someone.

Ahh so much love. However here ends my little tour, time to get ready as models start streaming into the backstage to change.

Last minute touching up on the garments.

And then it was just a lot of shouting and screaming. People dressing the girls while makeup artists tried to touch up the makeup and nail people tried to touch up the nails and hair stylists tried to spray the hair even more and we tried to not let the camera and tripods fall in the midst of all that madness.

Madnesssssss.

We had 44 girls, we managed to shoot 4 before the show started, about 20 close to 30 as the show ran on while the girls waited for the finale.

And the show was only some 13+ minutes, we had less than 20seconds per girl on average. I'm ultra proud of myself (even though I wasn't the photographer, there were still a hell lot of responsibilities and things to do, I had to shout so much I was really losing my voice).

As we were no longer able to shoot after the girls were called back into their lines for the finale I picked up the camera again.

Nothing but beautiful.

The exit list.

After the girls returned from the finale they walked in front of the curtains between the backstage and the makeup area again for photos for the press. We were just standing there, like celebrities. The others said we should just buy all the fashion mags next month and we'd probably see our faces in there. Lmao.

Ahh even though I didn't get to eat lunch for 2 days and was tired as hell, nothing could match up to the experience which I'm so grateful to have been given.

And on our way out of musée Rodin.

Paris Day3: To Home

Met up with my cousin and walked to Avenue des Champs-Élysées for lunch.

Looks awfully unhealthy huh. Hahahhaa.

We talked about how lazy the French are, and how she felt living in Paris has made her lazy. And about the X Japan concert (she had a friend who really wanted to go), and the Iron Maiden gig they were going to watch that night *jealous*.

After walking around for a while we decided it was way too crowded so she suggested we go to La Défense's mall which was probably not as bad.

Area map at the station.

And La Défense:
So spacey. XD

Well then I shopped for some gifts, I cleared out enough chocolates from Jeff de Bruges for the guy to tell me if I wanted more I could return back next week when they'll stock again. Hahahhaa it was so hilarious.

Ok back to the hotel at 5 because she had to go meet her friend for the concert, and I had retouching to finish to meet deadlines. The timing was so tight I had to time myself in minutes and seconds to divide per picture. And I finished pretty much exactly on the dot. *is proud of herself*

One last look at the hotel lobby while I waited for my taxi to the airport.

And the street right outside.

And from the car.

Well that about sums up the trip.

For the misc after that you may be interested in knowing, I reached back in Singapore on Wednesday around 6 or so. Then headed straight for an outdoor shoot (yes at night) that ended around 11+. Thursday was 8am-6 for one mag and 6pm-11+pm for another. Friday another full day. Sat and Sunday Cosfest.

So I haven't really intentionally disappeared anywhere, it's just been too much, way too much to do. Jet lagging or rest weren't even something to think of, much less the luxury of blogging or updating my (much update-lacking) website.

Cosfest VII

Cosfest's response really exceeded my expectations, thank you so much for the support everyone, and for coming down. ;_;

It really really surprised me that a few of my works sold out since mine are just photographs and not artworks like noah's. *is really really touched*

Thank you thank you thank you.

Back to the event.

For the nth time, my booth faced the wall.

While recollecting the past with Takahan I told him if I face the wall again next year I'm going to protest (toounit had made fun of how unlucky I am, because last year he saw that I was facing the wall with terrible traffic too).

I think I only missed cosfest 1 year out of the 7 (when I was in Milan for competition). Which actually means that I'd been doing this for quite a while *feels old*.

And oh oh. Someone turned up and passed me a photo with me in it from Cosfest 2003. I was cosplaying as Joan from War of Genesis III Part2. It was the only time I ever cosplayed, so unreal man. And oh don't bother trying to dig for the pics, I looked really fugly and totally butchered the character. ^^;

o_o.. that took more than 2 hours to write, it's almost 4 now and I haven't exactly been having much rest so forgive any incoherent lines and bad grammar and vocab usage. I hope you enjoyed the pictures~~ n_n

Paris Day One.

X Japan concert~!!!

Yeah I wish.

Sorry, bad joke. Hahaha.

On the way out of the Charles de Gaulle airport.

The train station.

The first thing I purchased: train ticket into Paris, 8.20euros. :D

And because I'm absolutely clueless to what I should do, I headed to the only place I know that's supposedly near to my hotel:
It was quite surreal, I sat there for a while. Just stoning. 9am in the morning, I don't think I ever get out back home so early in the day ever, to just watch people walk by.

Wonders of having maps at the bus stops. I found the road I'm supposed to head to, it's quite a bit of a distance, but I had ample time.

Along the way:
After some time, as slowly as I'd have had myself walk, I reached my destination. Left my luggage at the reception, it was still only 10.

I figured I might as well check out the neighbourhood.

A little bit down the road is Kenzo with empty mannequins in the windows.

Givenchy with the season's Haute Couture collection pieces.

And YSL.

Then I sat down at a bus stop a bit further down for half an hour. Surfed the net on my iPhone, and decided I was hungry. The cafes behind me looked really good and somewhat affordable, but I thought, maybe I could head back to the hotel and eat something and try sitting there till I can check-in into my room.

Fundamental error.

A cheaper option on the menu but still, I have to admit that this is the most expensive breakfast I'd had to pay for yet. (We might have had more expensive ones in the past, then again those were usually buffets and paid for by the association, but I highly doubt that much were more expensive than this hm)

The list consists of: pretty nice yogurt, cup of cut fruits, so so cappuccino, orange juice that's somehow a bit too bitter, and toasted slices that were so hard I feared about my teeth breaking as I bit down (it's actually not too bad, but, er, oh well).

That's roughly SG$80. -_-

So apparently I started feeling a bit cold, after surfing the net some more and reading a chapter of Sherlock Holmes on my phone, I decided to I try again at the reception around 12+.

Finally at 1.30 or so, I was shown to my room. Mwahahhahaa.

Beautiful isn't it.
Random self portrait~

Bang & Olufsen TV. (When they came later, Quentin and Gigi were totally going all over how cool the remote control was when we turned on the radio haha). B&O, plain awesome.

Slacked around for a while and decided I was too tired - a very hyper boy sat behind me during my flight and was kicking my seat throughout the whole night making it impossible to really sleep. So, comfy bed, comfy pillows = sleep. Hohoho.

Around 6 they sent in chocolates. I was half awake, but hungry. So I ate one, it's so nice I became awake enough to wanna blog about it.

Moments later they also sent in a weather card, tomorrow is partially cloudy, 15-27 degrees. :D

By then I started worrying. I was all alone~! The rest of the team was supposed to touch down at 5+ T__T

I started calling my photographer, it wouldn't go through. I could only pray very very hard that the flight got delayed and I didn't somehow end up in Paris due to some complications and mistake in planning.

Eventually the call came around 9+. The sky was only starting to get dark.

Finally at almost 10pm they reached. Yay.

Tomorrow we shoot! I am an assistant this time round, and I am nervous. Hahahaha.

I actually wanted to talk about how happy I was to be contacted by Ogilvy, but now I probably have to drop it because I'm here. But advertising jobs can come in anytime, chances like this one don't.

And as for STCC, I'm really really sorry for those who went down on Sunday just to see me. The trip came up really last minute T_T

It was great meeting so many people on Saturday, seeing some old faces from the SGMA days was totally unexpected.

Many thanks to Sonny Liew for informing me of the event, Gilamon and SoraWorks for being very very kind in agreeing to share the booths with me, Joyce my dear assistant for helping out at the event both days, Wacom for the collaboration, the guys from IFS for dropping by often, and everyone else for the support~~~

PS: If the print you wanted was sold out or you missed the event, I'll be back in time for Cosfest this weekend with new stock, so fear not. XD