Fashion Editorial for Nylon Singapore

I was brought into to this digital photography era on a weird path. Been on board lots of interesting projects that I just couldn’t believe I was making money doing this and that with my camera. For me, I had never really been part of the hipster central Flickr community but I recall signing up at one point and immediately canceling when I discovered it was filled with just a bunch of…well, you know. Groupies. Trendsetters. Trolls. Super cool people. Cool people that know everything in the world about photography.

I feel fortunate to have such types of friends who had been working in photography for 20+ years which I could turn to with my ridiculous newbie questions about ISO’s, shutter speeds or how to trigger a hotshoe flash wirelessly without a cable being connected from my camera to the flash. Those were the days...

With all things being digital and the whole Internet era today, has made me the type of photographer to just shoot it and move on to the next. No time to think of a perfect shoot idea or waiting for the precise light and wind to fall through the subject’s face. You wait, you lost. That client will find someone that will shoot the job faster and cheaper than you. I don’t consider myself great at shooting just one particular type of thing but rather I’ve developed a good working ethic that requires flexibility, vision, accuracy and finishing the job under pressure. Similar characteristics that you’d find with a magazine or news photographer I’d say. Yes, my digital library is somewhat of a nightmare. About a 14 terabyte nightmare of folders within folders and some images with their default camera filenames. I’m promising myself to get this sorted someday soon though.

One shoot that I managed to resurrect from the clutter of my digital archive was this Han Ahn Soon fashion editorial for Nylon Singapore. Shot a few months back, I had to burry this shoot folder deep within so I wouldn’t be tempted to post any of the images anywhere until the images were ran. Keeping your promises with your publishing clients will make that relationship much stronger. Trust me.


Believe it or not but our entire pre-production meeting was done over email and at the day of the shoot, was actually the first time I met in person with the hair and make-up artist, model and fashion designer. Sometimes it just goes likes this and you kinda just figure things out along the way.


We shot everything in the streets of Tokyo. Mainly in the small back alleys where there wouldn’t be much people unconsciously walking into my pictures.


Photographing model Alex Terris Thomas in Han Ahn Soon's designs brought somewhat of a good little creative spark into actually making this shoot exciting, partly because she's originally from the West Coast just like me and she has the type of look that isn't so commonly seen in Japan. Being in Tokyo for many years and traveling overseas quite frequently, you really begin to see that everything in Tokyo is more or less the same. There's just a whole lot of sameness and not enough of variety to choose from.

If you're wondering how we got the dress to look like we had the perfect wind hitting Alex, we actually had the hair and make-up artist Hyun K. Son physically shake the bottom of the dress and quickly let go as I fire off multiple frames on the Canon 6D. No fancy wind machines just pure hard work. Took a lot of trial and error but we eventually got enough shots to choose from.


On the bridge shot with the 50mm 1.4. No lights, reflectors or any fancy photographic tools to improve quality of the picture. Moving fast and light making the image straight from the camera.


By all means, I don't consider myself just a "fashion photographer" although I've shot a lot of this stuff over the years. Some I blogged about and some I kept shut behind the doors. What's nice from time-to-time though, is that I could step into fashion photographer mode and know what I'm doing (or don't!).


As I shoot the majority of my work on location, background is too important. All of these locations have been selected by me which I think gives a good reflection of Han Ahn Soon's patterns in her designs.

Lastly, I gotta thank the crew Hyun K. Son, Alex Terris Thomas, and Han Ahn Soon for making this shoot possible.

All images were shot with the Canon 6D, 24-70mm F2.8L and 50mm F1.4 lenses.

And now on to the next...