Motherland Chronicles #12 - Winter's Rose

Motherland Chronicles #12 - Winterland Fairytales II

Photography: Zhang Jingna

Makeup: Viktorija Bowers

Model: Lily Olsen-Ecker

Photo Assistant: Ngoc Vu

I'm terrible at keeping up once I travel. :( Meant to include some behind the scenes for this post and thus the delay, but never got around to them in the end T_T

Retouched the shot on the plane during my 26-hour trip from NY to Vietnam. I don't enjoy the cramped space for laptop and wacom but managed somehow anyway :D Really love the photo. Thank you team for the wonderful work and Savage Paper for the backdrop! ♥

Motherland Chronicles #2 - Winterland Fairytales

Motherland Chronicles #2 - Winterland Fairytales

Photography/Model: Zhang Jingna
Headpiece by Julee M Clark

I love the headpiece so much~ Makes me feel like a princess :D

Wall of text for behind the scenes instead of photos coming up, recent updates can be found at bottom of post. Enjoy! 

Man, I don't know why, but I let Toby talk me into going into the snow storm that started on Friday for a self portrait.

I did it on the rooftop of my new apartment building, and dude, climbing the ladder in a long skirt with camera bag and backpack while trying to balance a choker used as headpiece on my forehead was not easy. Upon reaching the top, when I opened the latch to get up, it freaking slammed back onto my head because, woah, wind, not forgiving.

After wrestling with all of that for a while I was finally on the roof and properly getting hailed on, I figured I'd make it quick since it was about 15 minutes to sunset anyway.

So I set up, trying to find an angle, but just as I was getting into position the wind freaking blew my tripod over! With my camera on it!!! I was in such shock and so numbed from the cold that I didn't even feel a response at that time besides trying to stop it from rolling and falling off the rooftop. Cuz dude, that's my baby.

I didn't even get to consider that my camera would break because just, no, it couldn't be allowed happen. Thank god it seemed to be ok. And because I was half freezing to death without any jackets whatsoever, I simply strapped my camera bag to one of the tripod legs to weigh that setup down, and continued shooting and prayed very very hard that it was enough to hold.

Truthfully speaking, I was doubtful about whether I could get a usable shot at all. My hair covered my face half the time, and besides disentangling the stray hair from the headpiece, I had to sort out my dress and scarf but still make it look cool. And of course once I was done the wind would ruin it all over again. So it was no surprise that when I finally figured out a pose that I thought would work with the clothing and composition, my camera refused to take any more pictures. Outright refused to respond to anything.

I attempted to brush off ice from the camera and wipe the lens, and tried taking a couple shots again, but nope, no response at all. So sigh, dejected, it was pack up time. 

On the way down, I may or may not have torn the seam of my dress a little, I was cold enough to not care, but woah, when I finally made it back to my room, shivering, it dawned on me finally just how dangerous my little expedition was.

A little bit more and my camera could have flown off the roof, or it could simply have fallen over a second time and the lens completely shatter, or [insert a handful other terrible terrible but very likely scenarios]... Yeah.

It's probably just unreasonable to think I could have dealt with so many aspects of setting up for a self portrait in such extreme weather with almost no time, entirely on my own. I really should have had an assistant. -_-

But oh well, at least everything turned out okay in the end and I have a photo I like, which I even processed in the same evening! Score. I don't think I've processed a photo from a shoot on the same day since my first year, so it's a really awesome feeling actually.

And that's week 2! I hope you enjoyed my little story and sorry for the wall of text. If anything I hope it'd let you think twice about doing on location self portraits without assistance, or just try not to be too impulsive like I was. Haha. :D 

A quick update on the past week:

Moved into my new place with roommates the weekend before! Very nice space, I can't wait to start fitting it out for shooting.

Did an interview and was asked to talk about Motherland Chronicles, it put me in a good mood throughout, makes me super happy that the project is picking up some interest. :D

I'm also starting to receive new jewelry and props from collaborators, some specifically designed for MLC, so I'm very excited about the upcoming weeks' shoots.

And NYFW! Was fun. Bumped into familiar faces and enjoyed myself, hope I'll get to go to more of the major shows next season.

But those very same days! LUNA SEA was in Singapore! The whole week my Facebook feed was flooded with updates about them and I was so sad I couldn't be there. Sugizo said the band loved Singapore though, so maybe they would return in the future, or I can just wait for them to come to thhe US again? :D

I've got a big meeting coming up this week! Wish me luck please.  
Last but not least I'd like to wish everyone a super duper Happy Lunar New Year! Have a good one and enjoy! I miss my pineapple tarts and nian gao and lo hei and all that awesomesauce mandarin oranges. But I do have some homemade dumplings from grandma to tide me over, and Gundam Night today! Time to build me some Master Grade Wing Zeroes.


The view outside my windows when it snowed today.

The whole pavement is completely covered in white now, I feel as if I spent the whole day just watching the snow fall. It's really beautiful. 

I was looking forward to the snow on my way back to Toronto, but it stopped when I returned. It's nice to actually be able to work and finally watch it happen just outside, so quiet.  
Tokyo was wonderful, I felt so happy being back there. I didn't get to go back as much in 2010 as compared to 2009, I'd missed my friends so much. There's something very cozy about our get-togethers that I love, it always gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling that I can't quite put into words, really really sweet. :)
Luna Sea was beyond my imagination, their performance spectacular. I met all the members, and everyone was so nice and down-to-earth it was touching. I'll definitely talk about it a bit more when I can share the photographs, the experience was so amazing.  
There had been a lot going on the past weeks, it's so draining dealing with everything. But hey, I made it through another year at the very least, for that I'm glad, and extremely grateful for the support you've all given me. So thank you everyone, here's to a happy and amazing new year~~ <3