Doing Personal Work

Its not ALL about contract and client work. Personal work is the best way to improve your own portfolio. While working with clients is always a wonderful opportunity and experience, you're still ultimately executing another persons vision. By working on your own shoots you get a chance to explore your own visions, test different gear under different settings and really just flow through a journey that hopefully gives you a better understanding of yourself and the different things you can do behind the camera. Of course it also gives you a wider range of portfolio items to show clients in the future! 

A month ago I did a full day filled with 3 different shoots. Why 3 in 1 day? Why not!?! :) Fitness, Lifestyle and Beauty. With that kind of schedule the day was a bit rushed but a lot of fun! 

I got to work with the gorgeous Carla D. for the fitness shoot! She came in full of energy, smiles and was super easy to work with and even brought her own fitness outfits in since she has a relationship with Nike! Awesome energy and brings her own styles to work with? Yes please! Getting a stylist for personal shoots can often be quite difficult and since I was fortunate enough that all the talents that day brought their own outfits, I was able to skip the hassle of having to arrange a stylist. Considering how packed the day was and that this was all planned a bit last minute, this definitely made my life easier and the day smoother! 

Model: Carla Dunareanu / Makeup: Ziv Tee 

For this shoot I mainly used 2 Profoto Deep Translucent Umbrella XL along with the available sunlight. It was my first time only working with the umbrellas but I love how soft and beautiful the light was. Beautiful shoots don't have to have complicated setups! Keeping it simple sometimes is the easiest way to let the camera do the rest of the work. Throughout the day though there wasn’t all that much available light so I did end up having to to add some backlight glow in in post production. Much more straight forward though than over complicating the shoot day itself. 


I recently lost my phone so I also lost all my behind the scenes set up images. These lighting setups will have to do!

Second up for the day was my beauty shoot and I wanted to do something fairly natural with girls of different skin tones. Super happy I was able to get Tanisha and Celine who were a pleasure to work with! They both had a young and fresh, yet elegant and classy look to them. They also had good skin which makes things a lot easier on a beauty shoot. As it was my first time shooting 2 girls at the same time in a beauty shoot I made sure to do some research on reference images so I could find some posing ideas. No need to always reinvent the wheel! Learn from others and add your own twist! 

Model: Celine Shin (Basic Models) & Tanisha Khan (Basic Models)  / Makeup: Ziv Tee / Retouch: Anna Wolkaniec

For this shoot I used a silver umbrella as main light with light hitting the wall behind and one reflector below their faces for fill.

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Now for the last shoot of the day I wanted to do a lifestyle shoot of friends hanging out and playing boardgames. I got another two talents to come along and we shot this at the ground floor of the studio. I had games that were generously loaned by minds café.

Model: Celine Shin (Basic Models) & Tanisha Khan (Basic Models) & Nicholas (Faces Tm) & Mindy Chow / Makeup: Ziv Tee

For lighting, I orignally wanted to use mostly the sunlight that comes through the transparent celing of ther location. However this shoot got delayed when the beauty shoot took a little too long so the natural light was basically gone. In the end, I used one light on the translucent umbrella and another facing the wall. The light sources for this shoot had to be pretty big as I wanted to emulate natural lighting.  
I do like how it's turned out, shoot was super fun and I think everybody enjoyed it!


3 different shoots, 3 different looks, 1 location and very minimal props! Really happy with how things turned! Keep it simple, explore your own visions and ideas and most importantly have fun!