Behind the Scenes - Liqui Moly Asia Calendar: Day 01

The call time was 9 am I believed. We (My Production team & I) arrived earlier than the rest of the crew to recee the location. Sometimes we don't get the opportunity to do a location recee before hand, which isn't ideal. I try to go earlier on the day (if possible) to check things out and figure out where our shot is going to be. It's important because its a large scale set, it won't be as easy as shifting models and lights because there's vehicles involved as well. As we only have half a day, we have to make the best out of the short duration.



My Stylist doing his job, oiling up the models for that glossy effect in the photos.


Reviewing the shots

We reached there at around 4 I believe and finished up around 8-9pm. We had 4 different vehicles on set. 2 Cars, a Towtruck and a bike. We shot till the sun when down and it was dark. It was a long day. 

Kudos if you read all the way through day 1. I might do day 2 and 3 together since they are both half days. 

Behind the Scenes - Liqui Moly Asia Calendar 2016: Pre-Production

This might be a length post, so I might break it down into separate entries, for those who aren't interested in reading and prefer visuals, do head over to my Facebook page over here for the photos. 

Sometime in May this year, I was asked to shoot the Asia Edition of Liqui Moly's Calendar, they usually two versions a year. One for European and US Market and one for Asia. It was by no far a small project. in about 2 months time. My team and I had to finalize 13 models and 13 vehicles and 4 different locations for each day that was large enough to house these vehicles. 

2015 Recap

This post was due a few days ago unfortunately I didn't have the time to write this up as I was ill over the new years. 2015 honestly flew by in a second, I didn't travel as much as I did in 2014. I worked a lot, and worked hard. Business picked up exceptionally last year and I was so swamped that  I only got to do two test shoots last year, but no complaints there! I also tried my hand at more commercial jobs than I did last year, which was a new experience for me.  

Thank you to all my amazing clients, who had faith in my work and stuck by me for the last year. For 2016, I hope to do more personal work, commercial work and better my craft. 

Behind the Scenes: Heatwave Summer Campaign 2015 (Fashion & Commercial Photography)

So sometime around May 2015, I shot these a set of images for Heatwave's Summer Campaign. Heatwave is a local shoes and bags brand. You can view the set of image over here.

Call time was pretty early as it is of utmost importance that we utilize the most of day light and the suitable shooting hours. We all know that the sweet spot of golden hours is that tiny little window.
Unfortunately we have to make the best of the the day, avoidng the afternoon overhead sun. I can't recall the exact time, but I belive we started the shoot around 9am. Which meant we had to reach around 730-8 am as typically hair and make up took 1-1.5hours to be done.

Getting into the Swing of things. On this set I was using a HMI Arri Light with an Orange CTO gel (I'm not sure how many stops it was though) to give it a warm tone. 

We shot the Campaign at Tanjong Beach Club, Sentosa. For anyone who has shot on location before, would know that shooting at places that aren't entirely public spaces, it is important to obtain a Permit or Permission before proceeding. After all, it wouldn't be fun to have your entire team there, only to get chased off before anything great happens. 

Around 5pm, we were hitting golden hour and I decided to ditch the artificial light and opt for natural light. The effect from the golden hour gave a really nice golden hue to the model's skin after we bounced it off from a gold reflector. We successfully wrapped the shoot at around 6pm.  

Here are some of the final product of a day's work. (Well technically it was more than a day spent in photoshop)

Behind the Scenes: Blanc Fashion Shoot

So about a week ago I've shared my first test shoot I did for this year, over at my Facebook page. Makes me wonder where did all the time ago. I took the opportunity to film a little behind the scenes video. It's nothing fancy since the camera was just mounted on a tripod. But here's a little peek on what went on behind the scenes for those who are keen. 

Photographer: Lyn Averson (lynaverson.com)

Stylist: Amanda Tan (cargocollective.com/mnda)

Hair & Make up Artist: Andrea Claire (aclairebeauty.com)

Hair & Make Up Assistant: Sian Payne

Model: Lisa Budavari

New Commercial Work - Eyewear Campaign

Sometime back earlier this year I shot my first eyewear campaign for a local online optics store - Visual Loft. Here are some of the photos from the shoot. 

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They have 4 different sub-brands and each of them different. I would say my favourite would be OMO!, I don't think I have ever shot with a pink background ever. But I'm not opposed to considering it for future works.

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2014 Recap

I started this blog at the end of 2013, it honestly felt like 2014 flew past so fast. I am really grateful for all the opportunities that came by this year. I have been very blessed. 

From top to bottom, left to right: Pazzion, La Fleur (Personal), Solace (Personal), Yumumu, Runway Bandits, Love & Bravery, Firefish Agency, Sugar for Spike, Moss Fashion, Runway Bandits, Flight of Fancy (Personal/Harpers Bazaar Competition), Tomas P (Test Shoot).

In December 2013, I handed in my resignation letter and decided to take the plunge (again) and give being a freelancer a shot. I also made my dream of visiting New York come true. It was such an amazing experience, I met so many talented creatives. I felt like a tiny fish in a big ocean, I spend my days wandering around the city, like a kid in a candy store. Bright eyed and filled with wonder. I walked in -9 degrees weather, hands shoved deep in my pockets to fend off the cold, just to get to museums. I wanted to see everything. I remember the first time I rode the subway, it was so confusing to me. Everyone seemed to be in a rush, I had to stop someone to ask for directions because there were so many different lines, and uptown and downtown directions. I remember being very nervous but once I got the hang of it, I felt like a pro. I'm making it a goal of mine to work in that city some day. 

I had the pleasure of working with so many different brands this year, I'm always excited when given the chance to art direct a shoot. I remember being fresh out of school and faced with so many obstacles, the life of a creative is never easy, but I'm glad I had people around me who had faith in me and kept pushing me even when I didn't have faith in myself. 

If anyone's been following my page would know I entered a few competitions this year, now that I had time to do some personal work. Came in as a finalist for both Harper's Bazaar Singapore Photography competition as well as the Professional Photographer of the Year 2014. 

The most important thing I've gotten out of this year is to keep believing in yourself, and work hard for your goals. It's a never-ending journey but with each step, you get closer to what you aspire to be and that feeling is so amazing. 

Why Photographers Cost as much as they do.

We aren’t just standing behind a camera clicking a button, what we do exceeds far more than that, and I’m about to break it down in this post.

I would like to start off by an excerpt of a book I’ve read recently called "Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing” by Harry Beckwith.

Take a lesson from Picasso,

“A woman was strolling along a street in Paris when she spotted Picasso sketching at a sidewalk café. She asked Picasso to sketch her. He obliged and she asked "What do I owe you?" "Five thousand francs," Picasso answered. "But it only took you three minutes," she said. "No," Picasso said. "It took me all my life.”

Doesn’t this sound true to all of us working in the creative field? It is something that clients might not be able to grasp the concept of but for those of us who have poured nights/hours/months/years/money/hard work into shaping our skills, our craft, our work, knows what it means.

You aren’t just paying me for 4 or 8 hours of my time. You’re paying me for the equipment I own (camera, lights, desktops, editing software, hard drives etc), the knowledge I possessed, my ability to solve issues should it happen on set, the time spent processing the photographs and most importantly the amount of years I’ve put into committing to this craft ­– just like you would pay more for an experienced lawyer as compared to one that was fresh out of school. You could argue that consulting with a lawyer shouldn’t cost that much if he’s just speaking to you but what you are really paying for is his knowledge of the law and how good is he in the courtroom. Of course no one is ever going to lowball or bargain with a lawyer, so why are we photographers/creative getting the short end of the stick?

It takes years to become good at something, even if you were naturally born with talent, it won’t get you anywhere without hard work. On my days off that I am not shooting, I read, watch tutorials, experiment, to better my craft and myself. All of these are time spent doing something to better my services to my clients. Time that clients don’t know off. It’s time that isn’t paid or accounted for.  I do it because I am passionate about what I do and I do it in order to create better images, for my clients and myself.

We don’t get medical leave, if we are sick, we still have to go to work as a freelancer. We often work through the night with irregular hours in order to meet deadlines.

So the next time you think about lowballing a fellow artist or a person working in the creative industry. I’m asking you kindly to stop and consider how much hard work goes into doing what we do. We may be artists, but we are human too. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed just like you do too.

 

 

 

Professional Photographer of The Year 2014 Compeition

So some time earlier this year, I entered some of my images over at http://www.professionalphotographer.co.uk. I actually forgotten about it because work has been so busy lately. But a few days ago I received an email from the Art Editor from Professional Photographer Magazine letting me know that I've been short listed and eventually I've placed third in my entry of Portfolio of 3 images I submitted. (Out of 5492 Entries from at least 40 different countries, you can view the rest of the winners here

I was really pleased and surprised by the email, mostly because the work that caught their attention was a piece of personal work I've done right out of quitting my job and jumping into the freelance world. 

Art directed & Photographed by Lyn Averson

Styled by Bunnie Benton (Fashions by Vel-j-re')

Hair & Make up by Eric Vosburg

Modeled By Briauna Mariah

Backdrop by Schmidli Backdrops

Lighting setup for the day

Behind the scenes

As you can tell, it was a really simple lighting set up, I used a large octa above her from the right and had her stand close to the background. The oct was angled towards her. The blurred effect was later added in post after I decided I made the story looked more interesting and gave it a moodier vibe. 

These photos were inspired by both Paolo Roversi and Alexander Mcqueen's works. I love Paolo's use of textured backgrounds, his simplistic lighting that brought out the mood in his subjects. 

Pazzion Spring Summer Campaign 2014 Pt 2

Prior to shooting the Campaign, of course we had to do a model casting as well as fitting. We held as many as 3 of them just to find the right girl for the campaign. 

I also did a location recee at the place prior to the shoot and came up with references suitable for each location/look. It's always a good idea to head down before the shoot to get an idea and feel of the location, even if its an hour before the shoot, it gives you time to figure out what are the ideal spots you'd want to photograph. It's something I have tried to practice all the time if possible. 

Before the shoot, while waiting for the model in hair and makeup. 

Before the shoot, while waiting for the model in hair and makeup. 

For my lighting of choice, I used an ARRI HMI  Fresnel Daylight, mainly because I wanted a light source that could replicate the sun, if we were met with bad weather. Which as we all know is a photographer's nightmare. On the day of the shoot it actually was cloudy for an hour and started to drizzle, thankfully the skies cleared up by about 11 am. 

An example of what's going on behind the scenes and a look into the set up I used. A single ARRI HMI light, along with daylight and a large 1m x 2m Gold Reflector. Shooting tethered to a macbook for the clients to view the images immediately.

And this was my point of view from the other side of that earlier image. The warm tones are due to the large golden reflector I've used. 

And this was my point of view from the other side of that earlier image. The warm tones are due to the large golden reflector I've used. 

So prior to the shoot, I created a board for my own references with each outfits and the 'mood' I had envisioned, of course this is just a guide.  (Left) As compared to the final image. (Right) You don't have to follow it to the T but as a reference for ideas, it also helps the model to see what you have in mind. 

So prior to the shoot, I created a board for my own references with each outfits and the 'mood' I had envisioned, of course this is just a guide.  (Left) As compared to the final image. (Right) You don't have to follow it to the T but as a reference for ideas, it also helps the model to see what you have in mind. 

This was the last look of the day for the Campaign shoot, I've only used a single light in the entire campaign and a golden reflector for bounce. After the shoot was over, we wrapped up all the equipment and checked out of the hotel. 

After the shoot, typically clients will usually do the selection on set or after (via low res files) and once they have decided on their pick of images, it's back to spending time with my long friend - Photoshop. So that about wraps up the making of the Pazzion S/S 2014 Campaign. 

The Making: Pazzion Spring Summer Campaign 2014 Pt 1

About a month ago, Pazzion launched their spring summer campaign for this year. It was something I looked forward to, having worked on the project for a few months prior before it. 

The initial stage would be a meeting, and later you are asked to pitch your ideal and concepts along with quotations. When the client finally makes a decision, you will know whether you have been hired or not. 

Part 1 of my two part concepts I've pitched. We ended up deciding on concept #2. 

Part 1 of my two part concepts I've pitched. We ended up deciding on concept #2. 

Once the green light has been given, production work starts. Personally I chose to do production myself because I'm a perfectionist, I tend to want to oversee every part of a project if I'm able to. But I've learnt that sometimes having an extra pair of hands and eyes are certainly useful. 

The first thing after finalizing the concept was to look for a suitable location. I already had a place in mind, unfortunately I couldn't find the original photos I took during a location recee so here are the official photos pulled from the hotel's website.

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Amara Sanctuary was our first choice, but unfortunately due to clashing of dates and availability, it became clear that I had to quickly look for second options. My initial idea was to look for private houses with pools, however due to singapore being a tiny island, not many people would actually own a pool large enough for a 10-12 spread campaign shoot, which also fitted the right look that we had pitch for. 

Private Pool 1

Private Pool 1

Private Pool 2

Private Pool 2

However, we decided we could work with either locations of the private pools pictured above for our product shoot since it wouldn't have make sense to shoot in a hotel where it would still be open to it's guests and have lighting equipment and cables running all around. When the set I needed for product shoots is on a much smaller scale in comparison to having a pool area large enough for a 5'10 model.

So prior to the shoot, I got sent a deck of images of the products the client wanted photographed. And before the shoot happened, I compiled a reference deck to assist me on the day of the shoot. It's not only just for me but also for everyone to know what's happening on set.

A page of the reference deck I had drawn up for the product shoot.

A page of the reference deck I had drawn up for the product shoot.

Unfortunately I did not have any behind the scenes/set on photos from the product shoot as we were running a tight schedule of having 7 shots done before noon. However I do have behind the scenes photo from the campaign shoot which I'll write about it in a second part as this post is getting a little too lengthy. 

A glance at some of final product photos of the shoot. 

A glance at some of final product photos of the shoot. 

Lyn


NYC

So I supposed its almost every creative's dream to be in America, NYC/LA or Perhaps some part of Europe, Paris/Milan/London or Tokyo. I've travelled to London and Tokyo for the last few years and finally made my way over to the big apple after almost a full day of flight. 

Here are some photos I took on my iPhone while wandering the city. There are more over at my Instagram where I update more actively. I've just moved into my temp apartment in Brooklyn, so I'll try to take photos of the neighbourhood. I've seen a large variety of really cool street art so far. 

Brooklyn Streets

The Met. 

Central Park in the snow is so beautiful.

The Famous Grand Central Station.

First & Last

blog entry of 2013 that is. 

 

Hello there. I'm going to try to actively blog and update this space in 2014 with either tips/behind-the-scenes or any material I found useful that's worth sharing. 

So looking back, 2013 has been sort of a roller coaster ride for me, personal and career wise. 

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2013: 

- Travelled to London, with who at that point was my boyfriend. 

- Got out of a relationship that was decremental to both parties.

- Watched my all time favourite band, the xx live (pretty darn amazing would be an understatement, i felt like i was in a trance.) 

- Ended my career as a bartender, I decided to stopped hiding in the dark and taking the first step back into photography. 

- Shot Miss Universe Singapore 2013 - Shi Lim, which got published in a few local papers.

- Got hired at a local retailer brand, shot my very first look book for them (I'll share it when I get the approval to do so!) 

- Covered Digital Fashion Week in Singapore, saw Naomi Campbell walked the runway.

- Landed my first official campaign shoot for a retail brand, and also another first campaign for a local designer. (Photos to be shot in January of 2014!)

- Decided to step out of the monotonous 'office life' and take a leap of faith. By the time 2014 rolls back, I would officially be self employed. 

 

So within 2013, I'd have changed jobs twice, ended a relationship. Hit some career milestones of mine, as well a grew a lot as a person. Working in the service industry has taught me a lot. Sometimes I regret the time I've spent not focusing on my photography but there are other times I'm really grateful for the life lessons I've learnt. I'm also thankful for the friends who have been by my side through the good and bad, the clients who had faith in me and took a leap of faith in trusting me. Also thankful to the universe for the good karma I had towards the end of the year.  

 

The people I've grown really close to for the last few years, who have stuck by me no matter what.

The people I've grown really close to for the last few years, who have stuck by me no matter what.

 

I'll be spending my new year eve's with the people closest to my heart, my friends who have stood by me no matter what. 2013 has taught me how to love, knowing when to walk away, how to give it all that I have, tolerance, humility, teamwork, how to be brave, to take risks, and most of all, to follow my heart. 

2014 would be an exciting year, a year of many new experiences. I hope it would be a better year, a year of growth, health and happiness. So my new year resolutions would be those, growth, health, happiness, kindness and of course to pursue and do more great work, personal and commercially. 

 

xoxo

Lyn A