As mentioned in one of my previous posts, my job as a Marketing Manager in a vibrant city like Bangkok brings out some unusual requests. From Rap Video Shootings to Interview Requests, we had it all. This time MiA contacted us and asked for help. MiA is a free digital magazine showcasing the best stars in the fashion industry, from models and photographers to designers and makeup artists. It is a collaborative institution, meaning everything they do for the magazine is a result of professionals who volunteer. They were looking for a rooftop location for a fashion shooting in Bangkok.
Ironically, in Bangkok, a hub of picturesque and vibrant photo settings, it can be very difficult to find a location for a fashion photography shoot. And if you’re planning a fashion shoot, with multiple clothing changes, a makeup artist, and a bit more hoopla, that problem can be compounded. There are various reasons for this. Depending on where you’re shooting, you may need a film permit. If you plan to “assert exclusive use of government property” or you’re using equipment or vehicles, instead of just handheld cameras and tripods, you may need to have an extra permit and insurance. Also, in busy areas, you run the risk of individual and groups of photo “bombers” destroying your perfectly planned shot. And, if your subject is going to change clothing, or you’re shooting for a couple hours, you’ll need access to a bathroom. A lot to think about..
After a few emails we decided to give them a chance and provided our rooftop as the location – in return for some free advertisement. Our rooftop was indeed exactly what they needed: multiple interesting backgrounds, but also lots of light, privacy, and a separate area for clothing changes.
The shooting was planned with 6 models: 3 male and 3 females. My favorite ones were the three below: Pablo from Argentina, Kate from Czech Republic and my fav Kim, half Thai and half Swedish. On top of the 6 models, there were 2 stylists, 1 make-up artist and hairstylist, 1 photographer and 1 producer. Overall 11 people plus 1 security officer from our hotel and me.
The myths about modelling
Shoots are not always as glamorous as the photos portray. There is often a lot more going on behind a photo shoot than the finished picture presents. The models had to work on a hot day wearing completely the wrong type of clothes for the season, have had several outfit changes or had to pose in (sometimes) really uncomfortable positions to get the shots. Also, getting changed in the restroom is not the idealistic model life you’d expect. There is a lot of standing around in the heat in not too comfortable clothing.
Modelling can also involve a lot of time spent waiting around; whether that’s waiting to get the hair or makeup done, waiting for the photographer to set up, waiting to get your photos back, waiting to start or waiting for the stylist. I often saw the models with an iPhone in hand trying to kill time.
The shooting started at 9 am with make-up and hair styling and finished around 1 pm. For me as an observer, it was quite interesting as I always thought modelling is easy-peasy. And don’t most of us want to ‘be like them’? Well I did when I was very much younger and I’ve always told myself I’m no model material and indeed I still am not. Apart from being not tall and slim enough, I can honestly tell you it’s not easy! I am camera-shy. You may see many pictures on my blog but I’m here to tell you all those photos were taken by my friends and it took them hours to get me out of camera-shy mode. Modelling is a tough job for everyone, the photographers, the models & the crew.
This is the digital age, and most marketing is done online. That means the large majority of potential customers won’t see the product in person and images are going to be the most important representation. No one wants to worry about the colors being inaccurate, or the best features being under exposed, or hidden by the model’s hand or hair. You need pictures to do the selling for you. They have to look great, they have to make your potential customers want what you have to offer! You probably don’t want to put something so important in the hands of a novice. Yes, a good quality fashion photographer was needed for this shooting and they found one with Ken, a talented, knowledge, and experienced fashion photographer. He guided the models with clear directions while creating a relaxed atmosphere. Fascinating to look at.
Edition No. #5 of MiA is out now – click here to read the full issue.