Toasts with Nutella

July 30, 2012

I find myself scrolling through lots of food blogs and recipe websites these days, looking for the simplest and perfect meal to prepare for the family, but it seems impossible to find something simple if you want something nice. And I'm just too lazy. I don't even remember when's the last time I had toasts with Nutella at home, Nutella simply goes with everything. The first two toasts I made this morning ended up in the dustbin because they were already overly black when I went back to them after cutting the apples.

If I ever cook or make something wonderful that requires lots of time and effort for breakfast or brunch, one of the main reasons must because they're so photogenic I want to create them so I could document and photograph the beauty myself. That's always, always a huge motivation to hand-make something nice - so I could take photos of them.

One more week till the school to reopen. 3-month holidays are almost over. Can't believe it.

Pasta al pomodoro

July 27, 2012

After staying in Malaysia for a week, Marco finally cooked us an authentic italian meal - Pasta al pomodoro. He did all the chopping, boiling, cooking while I was basically just standing beside with my camera, and suggesting things like 'more sausages? more water? more onions?' :P He brought the spaghetti and sauce all the way from Italy. I suppose It's the easiest pasta to make. All you need are pasta, onions, olive oil, tomatoes and seasonings. I insisted to add some sausages or ham because the dish somehow feels empty when there's no meat or vegetable. 

Now I can proudly tell people I've tried the authentic Italian pasta! 

Kueh Bahulu

July 26, 2012

Just came home from a short getaway to Genting Highland together with the Italian guy my family is hosting, what welcomed me home first was the smell of my aunt's baking in the kitchen. Just realized I didn't know what is it called in Malay/English when I wanted to type the title of this post - Kueh Bahulu. I wasn't a huge fan of it because Malaysians always have too much of them during Chinese New Year, but I fell in love with them when I ate the freshly baked ones my aunt made. The Italian exchangee - Marco then put some Nutella he brought from Italy with it, god, I think their Nutella tastes much better! Okay maybe I'm just being biased, but I mean it's Italy, and Nutella was first made in Italy, so it makes sense. 

I realized I have this thing about posting a long blog post. decided that blog posts don't need to be long all the time, or it'll be quite time consuming and tiring (thus I'd be lazier to update!) Now I want this space to be a ground for me to post and share images of all the pretty things of life around me. It's such a waste to keep them untouched in the memory stick.

First Male Model Shoot

July 22, 2012

People who are my facebook friends or instagram followers might have known that I just did my first male model fashion editorial shoot yesterday! I was awfully stressed the few days before it, for the location, the lighting set-up, the model, the concept, and even the weather! 

Here are some behind the scenes, I shouldn't tell too much about the theme of the shoot yet 
until they're published online, so please stay tuned! 

Gorgeous Swedish model, Magnus (from Upfront models), he has beautiful eye colour and perfect skin! Was extremely glad that he was willing to do different poses and movement according to his own interpretation of the art direction we gave. Next to him is the one who put in a lot of effort to this shoot too - the stylist + model's assistant, Azawi David! Beside is Cornelyus who was kind enough to come and help out! A few other friends also woke up early to come over, helped me with the lighting, carried things for me, gave useful suggestions, feedback and lots of mental support, really appreciate it! :)

The more I shoot, the more I realized how different fashion photography is as compared to all the others. When it comes to fashion, photography isn't only about the angle and composition anymore. You need to 
  1. look for the mood of the photos 
  2. figure out what's wrong with the photographs that couldn't express what you want it to give to the audience 
  3. constantly check if the clothes, hair and make up look great in the photographs because that's what you're selling 
  4. learn to direct and communicate with the models during the shoot to let them know what exactly you want to get the best result (I'm bad in this, when I shoot I sometimes get so engrossed I forget to talk to the model - that's what my friend told me, I realized how important that is). 
Fashion photography also isn't like wedding, it requires a lot of plannings and collaboration with make up artists, hair stylists, stylists to loan/borrow suitable clothes for you etc. These are all new to me but I enjoy the process of learning very much, I love knowing new people so yay! :)

Really thankful for the opportunities given, and also the people who have lifted me up along the way.
Things I thought were impossible 2 years ago now become possible! :)

Stressful July

July 20, 2012

Egg Benedict for brunch at Cafe Epicurious (Rail Mall)

It has been a busy and stressful week, yes it's stressful even though I'm having school holidays now. I had a few sets of photos waiting to be edited but at the same time another photoshoot is coming. So little time, but so much to plan, so many things to decide, to much to learn. I felt like I had difficulties breathing when I realized how much more to do before next week. Just got all the lighting equipment from a kind friend to shoot this Saturday- light meter, beauty dish, transmitter, receiver, umbrella, reflector, strobe light, battery pack, stands, etc. So many unfamiliar things to deal with. I lost a little confidence on myself when I realized how little my knowledge is. I think I'm just afraid of failure.

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

Not easy. I felt like a failure for the first time just recently... So hard to handle that when everything had always been so smooth in my life. I think I just need to keep going and have fun! "Enjoy the fun of failure!" I accidentally stumbled upon this saying while I flicked through "The Happiness Project" in a bookstore yesterday. That makes me feel less afraid of failure.
And I just realized the photo has nothing to do with the blog post, that's just what I had for brunch today. haha

First Commercial Shoot

July 16, 2012

These are some photos I did for AmberAvenue last week. Very very glad to have the opportunity to try shooting for an online clothing store, such an honour for me. But I have to be honest, I didn't do well for the shoot, I didn't know what to expect, I was lack of confidence, experience and the most essential knowledge of studio lighting and model directing. I know there's no need telling the whole world I'm bad in these, but I just need to pen them down, after a few years I will read this and see how much I have learned and grown by then. Nonetheless I hope you like the photos!

Despite how bad I think I did, it was indeed a very good and precious experience to me. It's where I realized how little knowledge and experience I have, and that I have a lot more to learn, a very long way to go. Stay foolish, stay hungry, Kahying! Never be full of yourself. Some people said frustration and disappointment are created to motivate us in order to work harder and improve, that is only when you do not give up when it hits you. A lot of things went through my mind these days, I posted a quote on my facebook - Be the type of person that you want to meet, I sorta zoom out to a point far enough to see my life at the bigger picture and I asked myself "what will the person you admire do if he/she faces the same problem?" I think that's a great question to ask myself. I feel like my life has just begun.

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Side note: these clothes will be launched at 9pm later today, feel free to check it out here! The photos of the lookbook will be up tonight ;)

Fall in love

July 4, 2012

I didn’t say “be loved”. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.

Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It's far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. 

Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work - the only kind of work that I find palatable.

Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.

Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.

Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.

- Adrian Tan, 2008 (via shannon)

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I stumbled upon this entry posted by Shannon a few months ago, I remember I read it once and loved it, I showed it to my friends, hoping it will inspire and move them like how it did to me. Today, I clicked into it and read again, very very glad that I did, I didn't quite remember the content anymore, human brain just couldn't remember so many things unless you remind the brain frequently enough. I want to keep this article with me somewhere, that I can always read to remind myself, so it comes to my blog. 

Above is only a tiny part of the entire speech, it's very true that it's far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Also, I find the idea of loving people without expecting to be loved back rather.. liberating, if you really do it. "Its value is to inspire you."

MU Parlour

One of the things I like about Singapore is that there's a flourishing number of intimate cafes that charm us with the whimsical and artistic decorations and beautiful atmosphere, which I extremely adore. Best places for meet ups. Bad thing is it's a huge money absorber.

Yesterday my friend and I went to MU Parlour, a newly opened cafe at Holland Village. It's actually the first time I went to Holland Village, I knew this place since I was in primary school because there was this SG drama that's named "Holland Village" haha. I like the place very very much, but it doesn't really look like what the drama portrayed, maybe it's a different part of Holland Village.

We went there not just to eat but mainly to edit some photographs we took earlier for a side project. I secretly hope I have a workspace just like that because of how simple, clean, spacious and even refreshing it is for you to breathe, think, work and reflect.

Probably not many people know this cafe yet as it's new and upstairs, so we were the only two customers when we went. Maybe the food isn't as good as what we expected, but the beautiful space and ambiance have counterbalanced it.

The moment I stepped into the cafe, I said "This place is gorgeous. I'm so going to blog about this!" I just wish I'm a better writer and that I can write a proper and more useful review on the cafe. Sigh, can anyone suggest me any ways to be a better writer?

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