Fashion Portfolio Shoot + Instagram Talk

Over the weekend was with Elaine Liew and Sharine Loh and assisted by Fuad Hassim and Serene Xin for a weekend fashion shoot. The weather for the past week was pretty unpredictable with heavy rain in the afternoon and am still cracking head on where to shoot in case of wet weather.

And then came Santo Thie of Instagram SG asking me if I would want to do a Instagram talk over at the newly opened W Hotel Singapore.

And the next thing is that we got ourselves a venue while having fun with people using Instagram popping shots all over the hotel.

Yes the hotel is a very beautiful place indeed and perfect for some simple shots. There are art installation around that gives that contemporary art space look that all of us would hope to have for our very own home.

Good thing is that the interior has a lighter touch than those in Hard Rock Hotel Singapore so the whole place has a very welcoming, homely feel.  I would heartedly recommend this place as a staycation destination!

The gang of Instagrammers. Don’t be too square peeps!

Now back to the shoot. I was watching a B&H video on how Joel Grimmes, who shot super dramatic portraitures using just 3 lights and I was thinking if I should do the same for the shoot with Elaine.  Joel did give some great tips and most of the part is he convincing us to just do our thing and learn Photoshop. Hah! A lot of my students would be thinking, “Is Wilson back peddling here?”

No, I am not. Simply because Joel would still have to use his photography skills first to capture backgrounds, to find what would work as background and then using the lights and controlling them with the camera to come out with usable images for him to do composites. Ultimately vision is important but there are too many people just relying too much on Photoshop and too little to think about subjects, lighting, source, distance, model direction etc that can never be replicated effectively via Photoshop.

I guess for Joel to say he is an artist is to avoid that old argument of photographer versus digital imager and we got to respect him for that.

But as  a photography group, I would want my club to have more photography skills, pictures that tell stories rather than relying on special knock-out visual effects to get eye-balls.  The Photoshop part will come later and then you will realise that once the photography skills are well honed, the time spent in front of the computer to get your vision can be that much quicker.

So in fact I did not say Photoshop is bad. We just have to make sure not to equate Photoshop skills with photography skills.

You can watch the 2 hour video here:

So what I did for Elaine is just a simple two flash set up with a reflector. Sometimes I would sandwich, sometimes I would just use a flash with the Octo-softbox and a reflector. The main aim is to make sure the details of the clothes she is selling (her blogshop: or can be seen and allow potential buyers to make a purchasing decision.  Shot with Nikon D300 with Samyang 85mm F1.4 and  Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 35mm Prime.

More can be seen here:

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