Wednesday, August 19, 2020


a rush, a glance 
a touch, a dance 

look in somebody's eyes 
to light up the skies 
to open the world and send it reeling 

a voice that says, "I'll be here" 
and you'll be alright 

Last week, Jayden sent me a message for a work stint, and y'all know your girl has to always be hustling so I said yes. He owns a production studio and was being filmed for a docuseries for CNA (it's the Asian version of CNN) and needed a model for a photoshoot. When you're the model for a shoot, they call you a talent, although I needed no talent at all. I was just born with the looks they needed. 

The inspiration for my makeup was 60's Twiggy, and my makeup artist was Benji. I loved his work on my face and hair. Honestly, I wonder why they don't call the makeup artists the talents instead, because they are way more talented with what they do. There are few things more luxurious than going for a shoot and having yourself prepped by a makeup artist and fashion stylist.

That's Josiah the stylist. It was my second time working with him, and we had so much more fun this time, maybe because I was the only model and we had more chances for interaction. I really like working with Jayden and Josiah. I think they're very conscious of cultural connotations, and every time Josiah wanted to put something on me, he'd verify whether I had ethnic ties to the accessory (like a nose ring and chain, for example). If they were taking photos of me with a cloth on my head, if it looked like a hijab, they'd style it differently, because despite being a Malay, I do not identify as a Muslim. 

In this shoot, we had three different shots and concepts, but with three different things raining on me. The first one was sparks, so Josiah stood overhead behind a partition and held sparklers that sparked down on me. I was super happy that happened, because I'd missed Singapore's National Day fireworks the previous week, but now I had my own personal ones raining down on me, and the shots looked fucking ace.

The second one was glitter confetti. It was a retro vibey concept, and for a couple of the shots, the confetti actually caught the glint of the camera flash and fell at the perfect angle near my outreached palm, to look like a diamond sparkling in the photo. The moment the snapped photo was reflected on the monitor, we all looked at it and it really looked like the photo had already been DI'ed (agency speak for editing with Illustrator). 

For shots of things raining on you, they obviously do it more than once, just to get the best option. Josiah and Xuan (the other makeup artist) collected the confetti once it had fallen onto the floor, to drop them on me once again. As the confetti was glittering like diamonds, Josiah encouraged me by saying it was a vision of my future, with riches and luxuries raining down on me.

Jayden was directing my poses while taking the photos, because if you've forgotten, I'm not actually a model. He kept saying "broken wrist, soft fingers" and one of the producers, Ami also kept saying the same thing and flicking her wrist up and down, and honestly, everything was hilarious and I had to keep from laughing just so they would get some useable shots. When she sent me the release form, Ami signed off her email with broken wrist, soft fingers, and I LIVE FOR IT!!!!!!

The last shot was with water, and they played Rihanna's Umbrella.

In between one of the shots, we were filming scenes for the B-roll, which is just extra scenes they can intersperse with regular footage, just in case of shortage. Jayden and Josiah were styling my outfit while I just stood there like a dummy, but then Josiah felt a tiny scroll-like thing in one of my blouse's sleeves, so he said it could have been a message from a child worker in India, saying "please save me" and from that point on, I could not stop laughing at the idea. I ruined the entire B-roll, they were always trying to have a conversation and I burst into laughter at the thought of it. 

Also, they used a sliding camera to pan in and out while filming the photoshoot (how fucking meta is that), and I had to glance right into the filming camera, and right there and then, I felt it. It was my Taylor Swift moment. I WAS BASICALLY TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!!!!

Josiah sent me a message yesterday to tell me that it was just a piece of a broken hanger that had fallen into the blouse. Dang. I thought we could go on a rescue mission to save a child worker. Or perhaps it's better that no child workers were involved in the making of our shoot. 

The entire lights, camera, action of it all made me think of La La Land. I cannot wait till the shots are ready. They are honestly fantastic, without even needing to be touched up. The concepts and planning were stunning. Back to regular programming. Remember, when you're taking photos: it's all in the broken wrist and soft fingers. 

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