I’ve been doing a minimal number of shoots this year —— mostly because I’ve been spending most of my time adapting to my new, (then) unfamiliar lifestyle and learning how to manage a good work-life balance —— and I thought it was time I actually got back in the game and explored my creativity once again, developing new techniques and improving old ones whilst working with the photographers I’ve established a connection and relationship with, as well as meeting and networking with new ones (and other creatives) to collaborate with in the future.
Last week, I finally forayed back and did a studio shoot with Joe Low and Luke Ding, both of whom when combined, turned out to be one of the most interesting and engaging teams I’ve ever worked with so far. And to top it off, they’re brilliant at what they do. I handled my own hair and make-up this time around —— a bit of a challenge (but I love a challenge), considering how I’m not entirely big on make-up in my day-to-day life —— and selected four different looks to work with for the day and shoot, which took close to seven hours to wrap up altogether. We were a small team, but we were driven towards productivity.
Something worth highlighting about this shoot was the music that was constantly playing throughout, courtesy of the carefully-tailored playlist in my iPhone —— four differing themes to go hand in hand with the four different looks, handpicked to suit the overall intent and concept we were going for as I discovered I worked best with (the right) music. I was much more fluid, and ultimately, much more confident, which suited the audacious character I had to play even more.
(I should start using the DSLR once more instead of constantly relying on my iPhone all the time, which compromises the quality of my pictures to such an extent.)
Admittedly, it’s quite challenging to model with a 5’2″ frame, which is considered petite (or heaven forbid, short) even for commercial and print modelling. Petite models, generally ranging from 5’4″ to 5’7″ —— as per Asian standards —— already face a bit of a challenge when it comes to getting a good shot, as compared to mainstream heights of 5’8″ and above. Taking away an additional two inches from what is deemed ‘acceptable’ under petite standards is a very significant thing. It’s always a challenge to make yourself look a lot taller than you actually are, and angles are by far your secret weapon. Furthermore, my physique isn’t the slimmest around (I do love my curves though), so it’s about learning and mastering how to angle those as well.
Digressing a little, I’m happy to say I’m now back to being a glass half-full, and even more at that. After all, it’s all about pushing limits and crossing boundaries, expanding horizons and embracing possibilities each and every day, surpassing expectations and going beyond your initial ability and potential in order to soar to even greater heights.
This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over-analysing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities come only once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream, and wear your passion.
—— The Holstee Manifesto
A behind-the-scenes capture by Joe whilst Luke was in action. Definitely a team I’d love to work with again in the near future.