We were at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to render our corporate and editorial portraiture photography services for one of their many teams within their Singapore office.
We had a challenging request to shoot the people as who they are in Anglo American. The brief was to capture a tight candid headshot of each and everyone for the company to transform the end-product into a huge photo montage of all of them in one big print, showing a big happy family.
After giving it some thoughts, we went about organizing them into small groups of 3 to 4 pax and have them sit around, either in the lounge or meeting room with a nice view. We then had them relaxing and engaging each other in a 3 to 4 way conversation, talking about anything and everything else but work. As they start to get immersed in their small, it is our turn to start to work as we move around, trying our best to capture as candidly as possible the expressions and personality that oozes and flows.
We must admit this was no easy task, even for seasoned shooters like us. Though shooting with a long lens helped, but many of them were still quite conscious of the camera pointing at them and tends to hold back. This was really a time consuming process as it takes time to get each group and individuals warmed up and slightly forget our presence before the good shots came rolling in. You can see some of the photos here. Hope we didn’t disappoint.
Overall, it was a different approach and process from how we usually shoot but we brought something back with us from this experience, which we look forward to revisit and improve upon the next time, definitely.
We were back in Deloitte again in 2013 for another round of corporate portrait sessions done in an editorial style for more than 100 pax of their staffs over several days.
While the techniques and concept of projection photography (where an image or pattern is projected on to a subject and photographing it) is not new, we have decided to take the concept a step further by merging it with street photography for a fashion shoot. The idea here is to show the contrast and juxtaposition of the modern city life against the old and rustic New York city.
Known as “The city that never sleeps”, what’s more suitable to show underneath the Big Apple’s jagged skyscraper skyline than its nostalgic street scenes, ethnic flavor and infrastructure of the 1960s projected against the bustling icon of the modern city’s working fashion.
The selection of the projection image plays an important role as it sets the story for the scene. However, there are some projected photos that just won’t work (due to its tones and composition), no matter how strong graphically it is. Guess it all boils down to experimentation and trying out.
We experimented with and without the use of strobes for complementary lighting. What you see in the first 2 photos are solely lit by the projector’s lighting (you can tell by seeing parts of the scenes projected on the model’s clothes). For the last 2 photos, a strobe light was used on the model to remove the “overlapping” scenes of the projection from her, giving a cleaner look and a different feel.
And lastly, conversion to black and white completes the transformation. And so this is how it is done, without the need for a time machine.
Model: Charlott (Red Carpet Invite), Makeup: Fiona Teo
One of our more interesting projects recently is the collaboration with another design agency for the annual report of the Singapore Police Force. For this project, we were to conceptualise, art direct and shoot the “divider spread” for each section of the annual report. Timeline was almost impossible to meet, with a mere two weeks to brainstorm and propose our ideas, get the client’s approval, recce for locations, shoot, do post production work and deliver the final images. That is the usual challenge when you work with a sub-par design agency, along with the many “surprises” that comes with it.
Our concept was to come up with a common element or theme that strings and links all the 5 divider images together. We draw our inspiration from the many “first person shooter” type of games that we have laid our hands on before, that is to shoot each and every scene from a police officer’s “point of view” (POV), as though the camera are his eyes. We feel that this wold be a rather interesting idea as we hope each image can bring the viewer into the “shoes” of a police officer in their different daily roles.
Execution was another challenge and we have to experiment with the camera’s focal length and lens perspective in order to incorporate the “officer’s hands” and his equipment seamlessly into each scene so that it looks real. There are also many restrictions on what we can do or portray by the Singapore Police Force, which further limits the amount of creative space we have. But with hard work and perseverance we still made it through and completed all the scenes on time.
This is a concept we would definitely love to revisit again for future projects with a more comfortable timeline. Building on this first experience gained from of POV shooting, we are sure it would help us refine our thoughts and execution in our next try.
The refreshed Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) ENVision Gallery, a one-stop showcase of Singapore’s environmental story, was completed after a six-month renovation. We were down to capture the interior as well as lifestyle images for the various “zones” of the gallery designed with a specific theme each.
The challenge this time was how to effectively combine and integrate the ambience lightings with our own creative lighting techniques for each of the 7 uniquely designed zones to bring out the mood and feel for each. It took us a full day work just for that!
The gallery is also equipped with engaging and interactive exhibits that aims to provide an immersive experience for visitors to learn more about Singapore’s environment and water resources. After which, the gallery was officially opened by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
With good feedback from the previous years, we were invited to provide the photography coverage for the “French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (FCCS) Annual Gala Dinner 2013″ again this year.
This year, FCCS organised La Piste aux Etoiles, en route for an evening of French Style to celebrate the friendship between France and Singapore. The Singaporean and French business communities jointly enjoyed the evening under the patronage of guests of honour Senior Minister of State, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, and HE Mr Olivier Caron, Ambassador of France in Singapore.
The guests enjoyed Trio Freedom’s & Mickael Bellemene’s amazing acrobatic performances and the night ended with the “On Aura Tout Vu” Couture Fashion Show as a grand finale.
Check out some of the event highlights in the gallery below:
Assisting NSRCC (National Service Resort and Country Club) in photo taking for their revamped facilities.
Our recent photography session for the newly designed Laura Mercier cosmetic counter at CK TANG, one of the major retail mall in Orchard road, right smack in the shopping belt of Singapore.
The challenge was that we had to complete our photo shoot within 2 hours and “evacuate” the premises before the mall opens and starts its operation for the day, thus it was quite a race against time. With 2 of us shooting simultaneously, glad we did still managed to infuse individual lighting setup into each scene, capture the view from several angles and a few close ups to wrap up the morning with.
Fresh from the press:
The Revelation : “The new is not revealed to those whose eyes are fastened in worship upon the old.”
From one of our latest shoot with fashion designer Josiah Chua. His collection REVELATION is inspired by the experimental spirit of japanese street style of opposing elements and clashing hues and puts light on the Egyptian God’s belief in the renewal of mankind.
Based on the roots of his design, we decided to shoot the collection against a black and white checkered setting which gives a sense of distortion of perspective and yet is able to make the collection stand out. In our art direction, we merged levitation photography (made popular by Natsumi Hayashi) into our concept, to resurrect the divinity of these Egyptian gods and reincarnating them in a fashionable and surrealistic way.
Wardrobe: Josiah Chua Label | Model: Erika Tan | Make-up: Valencia Selestina