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2009 March | Ena Photography

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Aly – The Hair Model?

Has Aly turned into a model? The insider news coming to a blog near you. Lol!

Check back soon!

I just realized how inconsistent I can be with my editing styles. Sigh. Let’s just move on to the story:

It was a casual Wednesday evening at the office when I received a phone call from the bestie. She wondered if I could accompany her to a photoshoot in which she was pulled as the model. “Ha?”, was my reaction. (Why do I feel like I’m writing an essay? Ok. Ignore ignore!) Since when did Aly model for other people other than me, I jokingly said to a friend. (Ok.. I’m definitely writing as if this is a kindergarden story book!). Joking yeah… As far as I remembered, she has only modeled once for a magazine article on reducing the chubbiness of a face using makeup.. and that was back in 2006.

I took my time to freshen myself at home and ate dinner before I made my way to the studio owned by Asfar in Wangsa Maju. Not knowing anyone in the room, I made myself comfortable at the reception area with Aly’s hubby and catch up on what both of us has been up to. Well actually it wasn’t really catching up – it was more of us cracking up on Ikram’s outtakes for the 6 degrees project (I had my laptop with me). 30 minutes passed….1 hour passed…2 hour passed. What the heck is taking the make-up artist (MUA) so long?! So after 2 hours I walked in and there I found the MUA taking her own sweet time to curl Aly’s hair with an iron while blow-drying in between. Did  I mention she refused to apply any hair products? Of course the curls won’t stick! Duh! I swore if Aly didn’t give me her disapproval look, I would have just grabbed the hair iron and curled Aly’s hair myself. And just when I thought the hair styling is over, she attempted to fix the already-old-looking Aly make-up look. *smacks forehead* Ok.. see.. this is what you get when you’re bestfriend is a make-up artist – you tend to be a perfectionist. And while I don’t have the skillful hands of Aly, I know well enough that the MUA was making it worse. She had like..what… 4 or 5 brushes in her hands? Even she herself was confused which one was the washer for the eyelids, the highlighter for the brow bone or the blender (blender? lol. a blending brush is what I mean). I think I was more agitated and annoyed than Aly was. Haha.

Finally the shoot began at 10.45pm (!). Aly’s curl, as expected, has been reduced back to her straight hair (no hair products remember) even on the first frame. Wait, I guess I should remind everyone again that I wasn’t the photographer. The task of shooting for the night goes to Nazim Zafri – a fellow photographer whom I first met through Syahrin during a trip to Indonesia in 2007. I was merely on the sidelines, snapping some pictures with the camera set to a high ISO of 800. I didn’t want to disturb the shoot, so shooting with a trigger is not an option. Hmm. If I can recall, we had 2 soft boxes and 1 hair light, though not all were used at the same time.

Sometime during the shoot, I sneaked in a few shots with Aly as Nazim fixes the lighting. Hehe.. Hey. Once I get a good shot or two, that’s good enough for me. Here I present the 3 photos that I’ve picked and edited. The first one was fairly soft (i.e. not sharp) for beauty editing. Hence you will observe a notable difference in the details between the first picture and the last two photos.

Aly-Hair1 Aly-Hair2 Aly-Hair3

6 Degrees Project – The Results

As mentioned earlier, the past few weeks I’ve been tied up with the 6 Degrees project. Assuming you have read that post, now I will talk about the thought process of the project, the photoshoot and the final results.

I knew I needed a common theme before I began shooting my first sitter. After over-thinking about it for 1 week, I received an advice from a friend who said, “Don’t try to do something that you’re not capable of. Do something familiar, but just make it different this time”. And thus it just dawn upon me that I should just be taking normal portraitures (as that’s what I enjoy) but with a certain twist to it.

The idea of shooting the sitters with an umbrella at out-of-place location came about as I wanted to explore the idea of contradiction. The concept will be tested from two point-of-views, that is from the sitter’s POV and the viewers (of the photo) POV. From the sitter’s perspective, I examined their reaction after being informed on the task of holding an umbrella and from the viewer’s perspective, I intend to have the impact that makes a person go, “But why?”. I believe this idea can be tested with other object, that is not exclusively umbrella. As long as a person is presented with a conflicting idea, he or she will react differently to the situation.

P/S: Pictures are clickable as usual!

First Sitter – Asrif, 25, Business Analyst

First Sitter - Asriff
I was recommended to shoot Asriff after I told my friend that I needed someone interesting as my first sitter. At the back of my head I thought, hey, even if the project fails, at least I get to meet interesting people and make new friends right?

Location: Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) parking lot. I knew for a fact that at least one level of the parking lot should be empty. So we headed down to B2 and sure enough there were no cars to be seen. After a few trial and error shots, I decided to use ambient lighting, as the usage of a flash would cause awful shadows on his face.

Comments by Asriff:
What is your connection to the next sitter?
His father is my second cousin. Which would make him, what? My distant nephew?

What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
I had a good long laugh before I realized that she was serious. At which point I was still quite sure that she’s talking about a photographer from facial treatment or weight loss company. Images of me to be used as the ‘before’ pictures, of course.

How was the photoshoot experience?
It felt like going out on a date with a certain girl, for the first time, you know. Can’t stop wondering if my facial expressions are alright (i.e.nowhere near the look of a pervert).

Second Sitter –  Ikram, 25, Executive

Second Sitter - Ikram
Ikram is the busiest among the six sitters. I couldn’t remember how many times we postponed the shoot due to either a) conflicting work schedules or b) conflicting schedules with hostess location (I’ll explain it below).

Location: The gym at Danau Idaman Condo, Taman Desa. As I needed a gym in which I can bypass the permission-to-shoot ordeal, a friend suggested the gym over at her apartment. The place was just as I had imagined it; there were probably only 3 people at max who were working out at the time of the photoshoot and I could easily set up my lighting equiptment without disturbing their fitness routine.

Comments by Ikram:
What is your connection to the next sitter?
Roomate at UTP in year 2002.

What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
I think it’s gonna be a wonderful experience as I have never gone through any private photoshoot session before.

How was the photoshoot experience?
I’m loving it. It’s addictive.

Third Sitter – Aizuddin, 25, Graduate/Unemployed

Third Sitter - Din
Aizuddin or known as Din to his friends. Not only he was ok with having the photoshoot inside the men’s toilet, he also came up with his own expression and ideas during the shoot. Fun fun.

Location: Men’s toilet at Name Of Building Removed, KL. It was a Sunday and I needed a men’s toilet which was deserted but not run-down to the point that it would be unhygienic or dangerous. What better place than the toilet at my office? Lol.

Comments by Din:
What is your connection to the next sitter?
Friends from University of Melbourne.

What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
This is so cool! Someone want to take a picture of me!

How was the photoshoot experience?
Great, I got to visit an office on Saturday. I heard lots of spooky things around the offices in KL, so I was hoping to see ‘something’, but unfortunately I only saw someone at the office, doing work. Got no life ah?

Fourth Sitter – Ajjie, 22, Graduate/Unemployed

Fourth Sitter - Ajie
For the shoot, Ajjie came accompanied by Din which was great as it can be pretty awkward having to immediately take a photo of someone without getting to know them first. She was the easiest to work with as she was very comfortable with the camera. (Well she couldn’t stop laughing as I had her holding the umbrella in the coffee shop).

Location: Hainan Coffee, Ampang. My initial spot was Old Town Cofffee at Waterfront Ampang. But upon requesting for permission to have the photoshoot, I was rejected with the reasons that I have to write in to their marketing department for approval. Pft. I even said it was for a personal photoshoot and yet they shrugged me off. Oh well, their loss is my advantage as the location we ended up with (Hainan Coffee) had no problems or complaints of me taking photos of Ajjie as she ate her lunch.

Comments by Ajjie:
What is your connection to the next sitter?
We call each other cherry sisters! :) We used to work together in a cherry factory in Victoria. She was friend of a friend initially,we first met at Sarah’s birthday party in 2006. And then we joined Carlton Reds team and compete in Futsal tournamenet together.

What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
Random, very random indeed.

How was the photoshoot experience?
It was funnnn, I remember trying so hard to stop laughing. I must have been slightly embarrassed then to pose in front of new met friends….and the umbrella was not helping either! But that became the fun bit of it.

Fifth Sitter – Wen, 21, Graduate/Unemployed

Fifth Sitter - Wena
Wen had to be the quickest shoot and the most awkward situation (for me) as I had to photograph her in her own bedroom. Imagine you, as a stranger and having to walk into a person’s room (that’s their private space!) to have their picture taken. My apologies Wen if I had made you feel uncomfortable about the situation. It was just as embarrassing for me at the beginning if that’s any comfort. Thankfully though, Wen was very accommodating to my request and my awkwardness was quickly replaced by the usual excitement that I get when I’m shooting portraits.

Location: Wen’s room at her home in Taman Ulu Klang, Ampang. Her room was painted red – really cool! To compliment the shot, she had a nice umbrella/parasol which was also red. My initial idea was to have her jumping on the bed but found it impossible as Wena was tall and unfortunately the ceilings were low.

Comments by Wen:
What is your connection to the next sitter?
Our dad’s were friends when they started working in Citibank probably some 20 over years ago. So technically we’ve known each other since young. but we didnt actually connect and become friends till years later when we went on family holidays in India and Dubai together. And we became closer when we were both in uni in Melbourne.

What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
Heheh she didnt explain much about the project except that it was based on the theme of six degree. i thought that was a pretty cool concept for photography and thought why not.

How was the photoshoot experience?
Interesting experience with the photographer!

Sixth Sitter – Juliana Johan, 24, Copywriter

Sixth Sitter - Julie
Was it coincidental or have I just proven the six degrees of separation theory to be true? I don’t personally know Julie, but as she gave me directions to her home, I thought wait; this sounds familiar. Then it hit me. Like wow, I’ve actually met Julie’s younger sister. It turns out that Julie’s sister is my cousin’s friend in which I had accompanied to the Black Eyed Peas concert when they came down to Malaysia in 2007. Or was it 2008? Yeah.. you can call it babysitting I guess.

Location: Julie’s residence at Bukit Antarabangsa. I was thrilled when Julie agreed to jump into the pool, fully dressed for the shot. (How often can you get someone you just met to do that for you?) As if she had read my mind, she wore a dress which was perfect! We started shooting at the waist level, while she gradually lowered herself till her body was fully submerged under the water leaving just her head propping up. Hehe..too cute!

Comments by Julie:
What did you think when your friend said that a photographer wants to take a picture of you?
That it would be a fun experience.

How was the photoshoot experience?
Pretty awesome.

Well. That was pretty long. I didn’t think it would be necessary but looks like I’ll have to push it to another post to talk about the conclusion and my final views on the project. To my sitters, thank you thank you thank you for making it happen. I couldn’t have succeeded if it wasn’t for each of you.

For anyone who’s interested, the photos above and photos from the photographers who are involved in this project will be up at the KL Design Week exhibition which will begin this Friday, 28 March till 4 April at CapSquare, KL. The KLickr (KL Flickr) section will be located on the first floor, right as you head up the escalators from the entrance next to Starbucks. Hope to see you guys there!

2009 Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

This weekend has been a rather relaxing weekend other than the usual weekend migraine. Saturday was spent walking in Central Market (CM) while stealing short glimpse at the crew who were shooting a movie nearby. I know I should had a camera with me but I fell asleep as early as 11pm on Friday night and I unintentionally had forgotten to charge the batteries. (Wow. And I don’t even sleep at 11pm on weekdays. Guess I was physically and emotionally tired from the whole week). 

Hmm. Ok. So back to the shooting scene at CM. I guess I lied a bit there. It was not short glimpse. I was pretty much there from 4pm till they wrapped up the scene around dusk. I was quite fascinated by the amount of preparation that needs to be done in order to shoot just a single 3-minute footage. The preparation could take as long as half-an-hour! (Yep.. I’m definitely sticking to photography) I was informed by my friend who was part of the crew that they’ve been at the locating since dawn. (Yep… definitely definitely sticking to photography as I starred at his super-tanned skin. LOL). Wait. Why is there so many “I was” in this paragraph? Haish. Moving on…. If you heard a loud explosion and you were around CM around 5.30/6pm on Saturday, then most likely it came from the filming location. No worries, it was part of carefully planned stunt scene – don’t ask me what it was though. I was crouching behind the camera with my ears closed when it happen. All I know is that the effect was suppose to be similar as a bazooka shot. Cool ey?

So anyhow, today was another day of outing but this time to other side of KL, i.e. Putrajaya. So with 3 hours of sleep (in contrast to the err..12 hour of sleep the previous night), I hopped on in the car with Matt and his wifey at 7.20 am. With Matt’s super driving skills (note the sarcasm here), we arrived at the location of 2009 Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta by 7.40am. Bangsar to Putrajaya in 20 mins! We were flying yo! We got there just in time for the organizers to open up the gates for a 30-minute photo op session which are specifically for *cough*photographers*cough only. According to the announcement, anyone with a dSLR is defined as a photographer. So you can imagine the number of “photographers” that was there including yours truly of course. I think there were about …. 100 photographers? No… perhaps more. Ohhh. And get this. dSLR are allowed but phone cameras are not. I’m still baffled by the statement. 

As I walked around the field, I unexpectedly bumped into 7 or 8 KLickr members there; so there were a few quick hello and goodbyes as each of us try to get our shot of the day. Personally I felt very lemas (what’s lemas in English?), I felt very annoyed with the number of photographers that were around. Everyone was trying to find a nice angle including me – but wherever you point the camera, you’ll see another lens in your frame! Bah. Here are a few of my shots.. my personal favorite is actually the very last shot.

Spot the peacock’s butt :P