WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
The main thrust of the shoot was his project called Open White. Involving the use of high-key lighting and infinite white background, the images would all be in black and white but with soft textures. Antonio's inspiration evolved from a film called "Open Water" in which two submarines were abandoned in the middle of a sea. Just as the subs themselves were lost in the blue, the models were to be lost in the white. He imaginatively described the project as: "the body is present, visible but there is only a feeling; the most important is the look and the face of the model. An elegant, intimate portrait." The Open White theme was to be primarily nude but involving one item with which we could use as a prop. Taking a look at some of his samples, I couldn't wait to pursue this! We agreed to shoot on 2 December 2011.
Prior to the shoot, Antonio briefed me on the preparation. I was instructed to bring a favorite item with which we could use as prop as well as some black lingerie. I chose a long string of pearls which would blend perfectly with the soft mood. As we were doing a high-key lit B&W shoot, I was advised to wear light make-up, more precisely sky-blue or crystal-violet eyeshadow and magenta lipstick. No reds or yellows, I was told, as this would make it difficult to adjust the color tones of the images without affecting the skin tone during the editing process. Even as a trained make-up artist, I never knew this. Wow, you do learn a new thing everyday!
Antonio picked me up from Wembley Park tube station in London. Despite his professional experience, he was a very unassuming, hospitable and a warm-hearted gentleman and I immediately felt at ease. We chatted about Italy as I shared some of my travelling experience there. We walked to his hotel, whilst shopping by Tesco's on the way to pick up some snacks. Once we arrived there, we had some bite to eat whilst preparing the set. We used the two single beds which we pushed together to make a big one, all covered with white sheets and scattered with huge white pillows. Then Antonio initiated an "introductory" warm-up shoot to help me loosen up as well as for him to get an idea of of my natural expressions and from which angle to best capture me.
I admired the way in which Antonio was direct and precise in his directions. It shows he knows what he wants out of the images and his determination to create the best quality. Whilst shooting we also experimented on me posing from various angles from the light and different distances from the camera. Antonio, in the middle of a set, also downloaded the images on his laptop from which we would assess what sort of images worked and how we could improve on them. Plus I get to see how well the results turn out! I also had a lot of fun observing how he cropped the images and manipulated the lighting on photoshop which didn't need much doing anyhow. Most importantly, he emphasized on blurring out the "explicit bits" to create a subtly erotic mood with facial expressions being the main focus.
We worked on various nude images with single props being used to add some accent. The feeling of being "lost" in the white and clutching onto the one item we treasure. First was the pearl necklace. Then I had a pair of stilettos which I used to take on and off, as if I were "undressing" in the nude. I also had a black faux-fur scarf which I cuddled in. We even worked with my mobile phone (along with the bling-bling Hello Kitty cover) with which I had to pretend to be taking photos of myself whilst pulling my panties to one side and teasingly exposing myself little.
It was very ingenious of Antonio to suggest doing the lingerie sets at the end of the shoots. Most of the time, it is the other way around as we feel the need to build comfort and rapport covered up initially before stripping off. However the disadvantage is that tighter clothing, especially bras or fishnet hosiery, leave pressed marks onto the skin, taking hours to fade.
We called it a day after 3 productive hours. Although the shoot was so intense which left me exhausted, it was worth every minute. We hit it off really well and, in fact, I must've made quite an impression on him as he text me the following day and asked me if I wanted to shoot with him on Sunday too! It was of course an offer I couldn't refuse so I went along. As I was already accustomed to Antonio already, I felt more relaxed for this second shoot. This time, I brought a pretty Japanese folding fan. Although he asked me to bring a corset, I didn't have one with me in London, so I brought along a pair of stockings with suspenders.
On both occasions, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Antonio. From what he had shown me, I am very pleased with the results. He has given me a couple of edited images right after the shoot, and I look forward to receiving more. I hope to be working with him again when he is visiting London next. Thanks so much, Antonio, for your time and for creating some beautiful images!
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Oops sorry for this long break again! I was ill with a nasty cold the last couple of weeks. Then got busy with stuff I had put off doing as was too ill to bother. Still got a few more shoots in Japan to blog about which am sure you're all dying to read! This time, I'll be writing about my shoot in Nagoya, where I arranged to stop by on my way back from a family visit in Osaka. Jeffrey Johnson, otherwise known as "Shogunmaster" is an American photographer based there with whom I connected through Fetlife and then began corresponding on Facebook. Whilst an expert on event photography, such as car and fashion shows, he also photographs models. I really like his outdoors work especially as he takes advantage of the typically "Japanese metropolis" be it all the tall buildings or the street. Before leaving for Japan, we scheduled our shoot for 28 September 2011.
I took a shinkansen (Bullet Train), a smooth one hour journey, from Osaka to Nagoya, where Jeff picked me up. He was just as friendly, gregarious and funny as his conversations were on Facebook and we both hit it off immediately. Lugging all our bags on this warm sunny day, we took the metro to the city centre for some coffee. It was well over 20°C which was unusually warm for late September and I was still in my shorts and tank-top! I myself have been to Nagoya once when I was a kid but don't remember much of it. Still it was a friendly city, much like Tokyo in terms of scenery though on a smaller scale.
After coffee, we walked to an office block where I got changed in the public toilet. I disappeared in my scruffy sweaty backpacker attire and reappeared looking like a princess in a hot-pink strapless body-con evening dress with sequined ruffles in the front. I felt like Cinderella! The dress was designed and made Farzana Warasta, one of my closest friends in Amsterdam. Then we wandered off to a parking lot in one of the smaller streets, where there were some grafitti on the walls. We did quite a few fashion shoots there whilst adding some humour with me posing with a "No Parking" cone in Japanese.
Next was another Love Hotel shoot! We arrived to the one that Jeff had in mind but discovered that it was temporarily shut down for refurbishment. So we walked further and found another place. Once in there, we proceeded doing quite a few sets of some goodies Jeff had brought with him. One of them was a cute T-shirt that said "Don't take my photos!!" which we used as a warm-up shoot. Then was a chongsam Chinese dress and a cute frilly lingerie set.
I was dying to do a Uniform Fetish as well. Knowing that Jeff had served in the U.S. Army in Korea prior to coming to Japan, I coaxed him into bringing some of his old uniforms along. The trousers though were just too big for me so we improvised by throwing on the shirt with the cap and combining this with the same blue fishnet hold-ups with matching blue knickers I had worn with the previous set. Now that's sexy! Then Jeff produced an American flag he had kept from his army days, all neatly folded up. I posed behind it in nude although I was initially reluctant to as I didn't want to show any disrespect, but Jeff didn't seem to mind. Living in Europe and hence more exposed to things British, doing something "American" was such a great change!
We called it a day at the hotel. Then we roamed around to look for a hotel for me to stay in that evening and finally found one at reasonable rates. It was approaching sunset and we thought it would be a great idea to shoot at Oasis 21. This building is a huge recreational and commercial complex right in downtown, providing a massive view of modern Nagoya. Still a very warm evening, I was still dressed in my denim shorts and tank top and decided that a "casual fashion" shoot would be an idea. Personally, I thought this set was the best of the day's shoot most likely because I felt more at ease as the weather was cooling down and I was enjoying the fresh air and space around me. Plus, the lighting and the composition of the resulting images were perfect.
It was approaching dinner time and we were getting hungry. Jeff knew the guy who worked at this bar so we proceeded there for some snacks. After having been introduced to the owner, who was very friendly and accommodating, I quickly got changed in the toilet to that pretty pink evening dress I had worn earlier. I have to admit I was a little self-conscious when people were watching me get shot but as soon as I got to the bar and laid across it, I felt more myself! Naughty me...
Our final destination was a karaoke bar! Only this was quite different. It specialised in Cosplay. The bar had a closet full of funky costumes from which customers can pick and choose to wear, ranging from animé to sexy body-con clubwear to of course seira-fuku schoolgirl outfits. The place was even equipped with a tiny changing room with lockers! I wanted to see if they had a Hello Kitty outfit but alas they didn't. Still there were quite a few pretty costumes to choose from but unfortunately, I am not as slim and slightly-built like the average Japanese woman. I nevertheless managed to squeeze into a hot-looking red body-con dress for a femme-fatale look. We went out in the hallway where Jeff took some shots, then I got changed into another sexy outfit, this time with me as a Budweiser Girl in another body-con number. As I write this, I have yet to see how those photos turned out!
It has been a long but fun day of shooting in Nagoya. It is not often that I get to go there and rare for Jeff to have a visiting model from abroad, so we wanted to make the most of it. I very much enjoyed it, am well pleased with the results and look forward to working with him again when I am there next. Thank you so much for your time, Jeff, and Otsukaré-sama!
Monday, 7 November 2011
Going back to 6 months ago. Just a quick recap of my shoot last late spring in Amsterdam with Charles van Trappen on 8 May 2011. I worked with him once before 2 years ago and was so pleased with his work that I decided to go for another! Wow two years and how my style has changed. Last time, it was just swimwear, lingerie and "art nude" but this time we decided to go for something more crazy and quirky, even more daring in the nude....
And you gotta love his ideas. iPhone in front of my private bits and adding the eye on the touch screen, a straw coming out of my boobs as if I'm feeding myself milk, and brandishing a rifle half dressed in the middle of a skyscraper. Those were a few of Charles cool ideas. Yep am up for em!
At the time, I also needed some swimwear shots for my portfolio. It was a very warm spring we had, it felt like summer already. But alas, the warmth wasn't too last as a wet summer followed with days, weeks and months of rain and below-20℃ temperatures. On the day, I managed to pose in two swimwear, one green and another in teal.
I also had a make-up artist with me. Kudos to Yachar Dabboussi who was recommended by Charles. A friendly and gifted artist, she also did my hair. And I loved how she did my eyes! I normally do my own make-up and hair but I was getting in a rut with the same look so decided to try something different.
I look forward to working with Charles again soon. Though it took some weeks to get the images, I was pleased with the results, including the post-production. Worth the wait! We now need to get our thinking caps on for the next shoot and come up with some more quirky ideas. We hope to shoot again once the weather warms up. And hopefully it will be a much better summer than the last one!
Thanks, Charles and Yachar!
For more pics on this awesome shoot, please click on my Flickr page!
More of Charles' work could be seen on his Website.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Initially I wanted to do a shoot in a forest nearby where David lives, in the outskirts of Tokyo. He has done a few in the past there and thought I would be daring enough as well myself to try it. In Japan, it is forbidden to be nude in public so it would've been the ultimate thrill for me. However, David expressed his preference to come over to our apartment in Tokyo and shoot, especially as we have a Japanese room equipped with tatami mat floor, windows with shoji doors, oshiire sliding closet and a tokonoma corner. I must admit I was a little gutted not being able to do a nude shoot outdoors but it turned out for even better!
I had a few yukata's I purchased from a local charity shop. At this point, I was unsure about using my family heirloom kimonos mum kept very carefully, especially for something as explicit as an erotic shoot. Perhaps one day I'd like to a proper traditional kimono shoot, complete with hair and make-up, when I find someone that could give me a hand...
I picked up David and Jordi at Meguro train station and took a short bus ride to our apartment. Interestingly enough both felt more confident speaking in Japanese than English, and even with my limited Spanish which I had learnt at night school years ago, they still preferred to communiate in Japanese. Both were initially quite shy but eventually we all became comfortable with one another. And very polite and professionally-mannered they were!
We started with a warm-up shoot. I would be hidden behind the net curtains sitting on the window ledge, almost nude but partly covered up with a white and blue yukata. After David had taken a few shots, it was Jordi's turn. He had this ingenious idea of me fiddling around with my clothes on the washing line, namely my bra and panties. It added to the contrast of Western-style lingerie with the traditional Japanese attire I was wearing. David then developed this idea of throwing the white bra on the floor and photographing it amidst the reflected lines from shadows of the curtains. It was the only image during our shoot that would be permissible on Facebook!
Once we all felt comfortable, we got down to business! Whilst semi-dressed in the same yukata, I got tied shibari-style with a rope in the form of a chest harness. David is not a professional rigger so it was of course quite loosely done and clearly for effect. We naturally chose the tatami room as our set, close to the window for the light and of course because we wanted to display also the shoji, which are the traditional inner doors with latticed wooden frames covered in white paper. I lay on the tatami floor looking serene yet sensual despite being bound in rope. Am I to enjoy it? Or am I to accept in despair? That's open to the viewer's interpretation.
And the final set. Naked me standing inside a closet full of clothes! Being in Japan, it was a rather small closet, so small in fact that even I had to bend over and get into it. The floor of the closet was made of thin wood so I had to be extra careful treading inside it in case my big foot went through it made a big hole. Nevertheless, the image turned out rather well although all the clothes were in plastic garment covers.
By then we decided to call it a day. I thoroughly enjoyed working with David and Jordi. Though David was mainly shooting, I was more than happy to have Jordi shoot me as well as he wishes to gain experience working with models and expand his portfolio. Much of his work has been focused on events and places. All the best to him! David has a good eye for artistic photography so I was very excited to work with him as he has brilliant ideas and captures them beautifully. When I'm in Tokyo again next year, I would definitely work with them again! Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to the next one!!
More of David's work can be seen on his website.
Jordi's work can also be seen on his Flickr page
Sunday, 16 October 2011
After having put off my trip to Japan for years and hence procrastinating my shoot with James, I finally made the decision to go. Few emails exchanged, and it was as soon as I arrived in Tokyo that I contacted him. Out of courtesy, he was kind enough to invite me for lunch to introduce himself, put me at ease and discuss ideas. He was just as pleasant and friendly as he has been in his e-mails with a professional yet casual approach. So we set the shoot for that Friday, 23 September 2o11.
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Friday, 30 September 2011
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Joris picked me up at Antwerp Berchem station and this time, took us to a derelict school building. How he finds these places is a complete mystery to me but I hear that derelict buildings in Belgium are, unlike Holland and the UK, not as difficult to come by. All I was instructed was to bring a long were two pairs of shoes, one black & one white, along with black and white lingerie sets with matching stockings & suspenders. I was very curious to find out what Joris had in his goody bag this time!
There were to be three scenarios. The first two were with me in a nurse's uniform, while the last one with me as a schoolgirl. Unlike these cheesy imitiations one gets at "Fancy Dress" shops, these are genuine uniforms sourced through Joris' connections with the theatre industry. The only thing he did was make the nurse's caps by white cardboard!
And wow, the venue was so perfect! An old school building complete with grafitti and even the blackboard still had writing on it! So eerie and scary indeed. When we entered, there was another photographer shooting at one of the classrooms so it must be a popular spot as well! The ground though was rather wet and muddy, and I was secretly cringing as the only pair of white shoes I have in Amsterdam is a brand-new designer one! But oh well, they can be wiped after use, and besides, it's worth the wear for this photoshoot!
For the first nurse outfit, I was to be cute, sweet and glamour-like. So underneath the uniform was a pair of white stockings and suspenders for added naughtiness. Later on, I was to get my hands tied up on the doorknob with some rope, looking helpless.
The second nurse's set wast to be the complete opposite! Joris had already prepared the nurse's tunic by painting some red spots on them to make them look like blood. The tunic was then tied from the back revealing my backside. With the outfit came a pair of white over-the-knee socks with a Red Cross on the base. I was then handed over with a chainsaw, pretending I've just about killed someone. So psycho nurse I was!
The final set was of me in a schoolgirl uniform! In the past, Joris' shoot of me dressed in a Japanese seira-fuku and in a Belgian private-school uniform was a real hit. I apparently play the role of a naughty schoolgirl quite well. That's because I was naughty when I was a schoolgirl, that's why! Joris provided me with an American Catholic School uniform which he found on eBay. And what to wear underneath it? A pair of white panties of course! What fun that was. I think it was my favourite set, as it not only brought back childhood memories, but having gone to a strict snotty Catholic school myself, helped released all the repression and smack in the middle of a classroom!
We continued this school uniform set at a construction site where Joris drove us. The next venue was a hut which looked like it was built from a huge container. Funnily enough, we were able to see trucks driving in and out from a distance, and despite shooting at visible locations, all were quite oblivious to what was going on, even during the scene where I was to sit on the floor and mischievously pull my knickers off. We recalled that the first time we shot at a derelict site a year, the police walked in on us!
To conclude the day, we did some topless lingerie shots. From fetish to glamour! I wore a pair of black/red knickers that had suspenders attached, along with a pair of black stockings. Unfortunately, we couldn't take our time over this set as Joris had to pick his children up and I had a train to catch. But we know there's always going to be a next time!
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I had one of the funnest shoots in Amsterdam, smack in the middle of the infamous Red Light District! I somehow discovered photographer Philip Romeyn (Philostar) through another model called Kat (known as "Dame Noire"). Funny thing is, Kat works at a fetish shop which my friends and I frequent, but she had no idea that I was a model until she found me on Model Mayhem! I saw one of the pictures of her I liked and immediately contacted Phil to see if we could shoot together.
Luckily, Phil got in touch soon and suggested we do a shoot with Kat. She would be a dominatrix while I am a pet-girl sub. Now I'm quite picky with which models I work with, especially when it comes to role-playing, but I was honoured to shoot with her. With her long jet-black hair and striking features, Kat, from Slovakia but living in Holland, has the ideal looks of a domme. Besides, it's also nice to make some friends out here so I thought why not? Although the shooting date had been set for 28 May 2011, I visited her shop for some coffee and a chat. And what I sweetie she is! I was initially quite intimidated by her but once we got talking, I discovered what a good laugh she was, gregarious and bubbly. I couldn't wait to work with her!
We decided to shoot in the upstairs area of Kat's shop where she worked. Upstairs is a playroom/dungeon furnished with pulleys and a bondage chair with a huge window which was an ideal setting. I met up with Phil downstairs. I must say I was rather surprised to notice how much younger he was than I had imagined! Although serious about his photography, he was just as bubbly and funny with plenty of joie de vie. All three of us hit it off immediately.
After some coffee, chit chat and applying make-up, we got started. Phil created a sort of chest harness on me using some white industrial cellophane. With the spring being warm and sunny, I managed to get some tan which went really well with the white! Then I was to be tied to it from the back with my hands tied behind to a pulley suspension. Initially, I had my white knickers on but eventually removed it. Kat on the other hand, was clad all in black latex and a pair of amazing platform thigh high boots. I was to look oppressed while she was to look mean! We also did a few shots of me on all fours like a pet-dog and gagged as well as handcuffed with the tape, where Kat was to be tugging me from behind as if the tape were a leash.
We also had some time later to do some solo sets each. Kat some "Ooze Girl" shorts she wanted to shoot with for a friend. After she was done, it was my go but his time, I was to turn my cowering sub act off and replace it with the scary bitchy domme look. Kat was very sweet and kind enough to lend me her latex gear consisting of bra, underbust and suspenders. They fit perfectly! Luckily I had a pair of fishnet stockings and black stilettos at hand. Then it was climbing on the huge windowsill and looking down to the camera looking mean. And not to forget turning around and facing the window with my back towards the camera to show off my backside! From this time on, Phil would now jokingly refer to me as "Hiney Girl".
This was the few of many shoots where I had so much fun! It was very casual and chilled and despite that we churned out some seriously great images. Though I have been busy, I plan to make more time to meet up with Kat more often and drop by her store. It's just a 10 minute walk there! As with me and Phil, we were scheduled to shoot in July outdoors but with the rainy summer had to postpone it. We are due to shoot in October-end. Though it will be colder, I am up for shooting with Phil whatever the weather any day! Thanks guys for all your time. I look forward to seeing you all soon!