Conceptual Photo Shoot - Ivy Tan
When I first proposed to Ivy about shooting at the cemetery, I was actually only "half serious" about it. I always wanted to do such theme but this time was simply a dare for her to make her say "no" - I didn't expect her to be totally excited about it. We were, however, unable to decide on the exact location and thus we dragged the shoot for a while. Alas, we decided on Bukit Brown.
There were some difficulties that were troubling me initially:
- locating the exact place
- sensitivity / open-mindedness of viewers
- the inconvenience to setup the equipment at location
- uneasiness/fears of the model
- ways to not disrespect the residents
We eventually decided on Bukit Brown after doing intensive researches. Since it was a heritage place that government had decided to remove partially to build the new expressway, I thought it was a good idea to showcase it, as part of my plan to explore Singapore to highlight places. I predicted that the rest of the tombs would be removed soon in years to come due to the lack of land in Singapore.
Working with a HMUA-model was a big advantage; it solved lots of logistic problems. At least, we didn't have to arrange for the HMUA and model to meet up early before sunrise to do the styling - Ivy could do it on her own before setting off to the venue directly. Besides, it was easier to finalise the shooting date and time since there were only two people's schedules to accommodate to.
Ivy was a woman of her words. She actually went to scout the place with her friend the night before. It helped a lot to have a rough idea of the location or at least we would not be getting lost during the actual shoot. She also bought some roses to be used as props. She showed great enthusiasm.
There were some delays on the actual day and I was panicked more than frustrated, because of the rising sun. Nevertheless, we were lucky that it was a cloudy day and the clouds blessed us for longer than half of the shoot. It was a warm day and setting up the equipment helped to make me healthier through perspiring. I was then worried about Ivy's makeup being faded off by her sweat even though I knew she was using one of the top products. Despite having stayed up the entire night without catching a wink, I remained energetic.
For a moment, I regretted bringing along my softbox for it required more space and time to setup but Ivy was very patient and thus eliminated my anxiety. After all, it was the kind of lighting effect I had planned for.
At the first spot, it was actually difficult to find good compositions. The challenge was to find a good angle that would either not show the carving of the tomb stones or I would simply create greater bokeh effect (smaller depth of field) in order to show respect for the residents. At times, the sun did come out to create unwanted drama effect.
It was Ivy's first solo photoshoot and her performance was remarkably good. Her easygoingness helped us to nail the shoot and she was even willing to lie down on the ground. As the mosquitoes gathered to have a feast on her, I felt bad but could only offer her more insect repellent spray. As she blushed on her neck and legs due to the lovebites, I could predict more Photoshop work to be done, which was inevitable.
As we switched to the second spot nearer to the main road, I was further impressed by Ivy's understanding and patience for me to even set up a second simple light to act as the filled light. For sure, not many girls would want to stay at the site longer and I had really bad experience of being hurried to end the shoot due to excessive love from the mosquitoes. Ivy was a gem.
As we ended the shoot, Ivy called for a Grabcar while we sat on my picnic mat to wait. Across the small road was a construction site and I guessed it used to be part of the cemetery, and it made me wonder if heritage or development of the city was more important. When our saviour arrived, I felt dumb for camping at the top of the slope instead of waiting nearer to the road. I recalled about our joke that no driver might want to go into the cemetery and was amazed because the driver was a lady. She was rather alert and caught us waving from the top before her car went pass us.
Looking through the artsy photographs gave me a sense of achievement to the extent that the mosquito bites and cut by the cover of the car boot were worthwhile.
|Makeup Artist (MUA):||Ivy Tan|
|Lens:||Canon 24-70mm F2.8L II|
|Strobe:||Cononmark i6, Yongnuo 560 Ex-III|
|Venue:||Bukit Brown cemetery|
|Date:||20 October, 2017|
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