Monday 2 January 2012

Supermodel Me? Behind the scenes of my modeling debut

As I looked into the lights and heard the instructions from the photographer, I realized quite how surreal this whole thing was.

I’ve never really harboured any dreams of being any kind of model, but here I was, just a few months after arriving in Singapore doing my very first shoot.

When Elaine Pang from ATGAB first asked me if I’d be interested in doing a shoot for their lookbook, I thought she was joking. But here I was, hair teased into place, male model beside me and a whole cast and crew trying to make me look beautiful.

So what did I learn? Well…

Working it for the camera wasn't that easy... but certainly tons of fun!

Despite not being camera-shy, I realized taking photos in real life or for my blog is totally different than doing it professionally. Being a naturally smiley person (I never really worried about that smile line!) it took me few shots to adjust and get into the role the shoot was meant to portray which is not a  look-into-the-camera-and-say-cheese kind of look but more look-into-the-distance-and-part-your-lips-a-little.

It wasn’t easy to get the poses right but towards the end it became easier. The trick was thinking of it as acting and feeling the confidence that you can do it which took a while to kick in, in my head.

Whether the shots looked as ‘ethereal’ as Elaine had imagined them, it remains to be seen once the final pictures are out!

While modeling was the hardest part, the best part was getting ready! We had 3 make up looks, 4 hair styles and about 10 outfits for the whole shoot. But I doubt it was as fun for the hair stylist and the make-up artist as well!!

Hair-wise, the first two looks required my hair to be off my face, slightly to the side while still a little frizzy and unkept. I wasn’t that happy with the look but I understand (and I guess as a model you learn to) that the focus shouldn’t be on me or my hair in this case but rather on the accessories I’m modeling.

Beauty time, starting with my hair...

You can tell I wasn't very happy with the first look lol!

The third look was my favourite! With my hair let down on one side and some cute hair pins decorating it, it felt more like me. The fourth look was the sleekest with my hair tied in a bun to suit the black and white theme of the last few shots (no pics of these looks I'm afraid... you'll have to wait for the final ones!)

As for make-up, it started with a more natural look, then a colourful one and ended with a dramatic smokey eyes look. I can see the make-up artist struggling with two things: hiding my visible dark circles, and making my thin lips look plumped up for the pictures. I guess one of the main reasons I could never be a real model is having a narrow face and thin lips which although I’m happy with, is everything opposite to what people look for in models. Oh and I have no cheekbones as well!

The first make up look was more natural colours...

Then more colourful for the 2nd look.

Some (or a lot of) lip enhancement using the lip liner...

But as I said earlier, this shoot wasn’t about me but rather about ATGAB’s new collection of recycled accessories which looked amazing! From the cute hairbands and pins to the sexy bowties and stunning necklaces, I genuinely loved every piece I was modeling and it reminded me why I accepted to do this in the first place. I love the concept of ATGAB and how Elaine is using old material and turning them into beautiful things so it was definitely great to feel part of it.

Getting some massage from the shoot stylist Chee Sau Fen... and practicing
my pose at the same time :-)

It certainly was lots of fun!!!

Back to work: Everybody is serious on the set...

Some last minute touches...

And I'm ready!

How does it look?

And not just the accessories were great, but also all the outfits I put on for the shoot which were picked from one of the coolest boutiques in town, Soon Lee. The clothes were all so beautiful but my favourite were a chiffon yellow dress and a golden tones skirt and top which I felt like Audrey Hepburn in…

My favourite look was this beautiful golden ensemble and sleek hair... felt so chic!

Elaine giving instructions and picking the shots.

All in all, I have to say that despite 7 hours of hard work in the studio it was definitely a lot of fun. I got to see how it’s like to be in front of the camera, take instructions and learn a little about what models go through. Now I can’t wait to see the final pictures (once they finish retouching them!).
And just so you know, if I get offered to do it again… I would take it in a heartbeat!

And finally I let my hair down at the end of the shoot!!!