Tuesday, April 11, 2017

melbourne: photos

The Melbourne shoot wasn’t really necessary as Choon and Phoebe had already taken a bunch of shots in Singapore, as part of the package by their chosen bridal boutique (a big Taiwan-based outfit). But because Choon spent so many years in Australia, he wanted some shots of its bluer-than-blue skies and rolling greens.

* A "behind-the-scenes" shot which amused me

So they’ve had two starkly different wedding photography experiences. That was what I found interesting.


The Melbourne shoot was relatively cheap.

The photographer, an affable slightly awkward Vietnamese-Australian chap by the name of Tuan whom Choon found online, cost A$1000 a day. Because of the rain on Day 1, this was split over two half-days, but it still cost A$1000. This guy drove us around in his car during the shoots.

* Phoebe, Tuan and Choon

* And again, sipping on coffee and tea at Parliament House

 * Royal Arcade

The hair and make-up, done by a make-up artist in Melbourne, was actually dirt-cheap compared to charges in Singapore. She charged A$150 to come to our hotel room to fix Phoebe up, throwing in a whole bunch of pins for the veil and a pair of false eyelashes for free. (Phoebe tells me she was charged for the falsies in Singapore)

Factor in air tickets (Teng and I paid about $200-ish for Scoot, although Choon and Phoebe chose the relatively pricier but more comfortable Emirates) and the total works out to less than what I’m told a wedding album shoot, $3-4k, would cost in Singapore.

Clothes and shoes? Phoebe carted three gowns over from Singapore, two her own, one from the bridal studio. They’d also have to print out their own album as Tuan sends over all his photos via soft copy, but I think it still costs less, and Phoebe is a whiz at ferreting online deals.


Julia is a Russian who actually studied make-up in school and is now an itinerant make-up artist cum hairstylist working in different countries all over the world. She loves Melbourne because she gets to work on a very cosmopolitan client base, from black to brown to yellow to white skin. She says many Asian brides pop over to Melbourne for photos.

* Julia's barang-barang


She was very professional, asking all sorts of questions about Phoebe’s preferred looks and make-up habits before she started, and she applied the false eyelashes so expertly Phoebe didn’t feel a thing.



But there was a tiny problem. Julia didn’t quite understand the Asian preference for make-up which looks effortless and natural, and spoke in a bemused manner about how everyone seems to like the “pink” Korean look these days.

She was a tad dramatic in her use of colours and while she found Phoebe’s eyebrows absolutely stunning, playing them up to severe effect, Phoebe found it too harsh and asked for softening.

* This was before softening...

The Chinese lady in Singapore, however, gave Phoebe a dewy, soft mien which she infinitely preferred.


The photos in Singapore, taken by who I believe is a Taiwanese photographer, were very scripted down to the last detail, and by-the-book.

Think – “Tilt your head a bit more to the left! Put your hand here, relax the fingers!” – where he was trying to achieve perfect looks which have made couples very happy in the past. I reckon its great for people who don't feel very comfortable in front of the camera, and who need to be positioned.

The photos - soft, romantic and dreamy in feel - were also photoshopped, until Choon’s moles and freckles were scrubbed out to the point that our father said he looked like a Korean pop star.

(Disclaimer: The pics are photographed off the photo album, may be somewhat distorted and colours are not on form, but the idea is there)

* Many pictures of the couple looking straight into the lens. This is Tiong Bahru.


* Botanic Gardens


Tuan just told Choon and Phoebe to sit on the steps, or walk in front, or hug, buy macaroons from a shop, and he'd shoot them "in action". He particularly liked showing elements which the other photographer would have deemed unpleasant and uncontrollable, like people walking past, wandering kids, water droplets.

Tuan won't edit much, he says.

(Disclaimer: These are Tuan's raw shots without any processing)

* See the veil? I did it! I lifted it and dashed off! That's what I was in Melbourne for! This is the Royal Exhibition Building



* Hosier Lane

(These differences, of course, come down to photographer’s style and has nothing to do with where we took the photos. But I found the differences fascinating, too)


Same for both. Shooting outdoors is really unpredictable.

In Singapore, they busted the time and had a lot fewer shots at the Botanic Gardens than they would have liked.

In Melbourne - the state with the most unpredictable weather in Australia - our visit coincided with what we were told was one of the worst and rainiest weekends since last winter. It rained nearly every day, it was freezing and the biting wind seemingly lowered the temperature by a few degrees. Some outdoor shoots didn’t pan out. We had to make do.

* Umbrella shots! 

Also, Phoebe fell sick just before flying off, and Choon fell sick while he was there. He had to take photos with a headache, red eyes and a running nose.

But who can tell?

In Melbourne, there were also many curious onlookers. Hey, I've done that too.




Dee said...

I did my photo shoot in Melbourne too. That was 2002 when I visited my relatives. At that time, it was not so usual to have photo taken overseas. My mum didn't like the photos in Melbourne. She said we didn't look at the carmera. hahaha. Weather is much better to shoot in Melbourne. I didn't feel hot walking around in my wedding gown.

Sher said...

ohhh!! how interesting!!! and i find it v interesting tt your mum thinks its impt for u to look at the camera...

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know where and how they met!

Sher said...

ah, dunno if they want to share!

Debra said...

The Melbourne shots do look happier and more spontaneous!