Fashion Steps Out Backstage

May 6, 2013

For those who are not Singaporeans, you might not have heard of Fashion Steps Out, it's the fashion show with the longest runway in Singapore - easily 600m I believe, with 170 models from different countries. Orchard road was blocked from any vehicles so the whole stretch of road could be used for the show, imagine that!

I wasn't a backstage photographer, it just happened that my friend knows someone who was working backstage and they needed dressers urgently for the models so of course I said yes! Dressers, you get to help the models to dress and experience the hectic moments before they step out being glamorous! Well that was what I thought, but it was so much more than that. Show was gonna start at 8.30pm but we all had to gather at 10am to prepare, get the clothes from different brands, tape all the bottoms of the shoes to protect them, make sure all the clothes/shoes/bags are there, steam the clothes, make sure your models are all present, etc...

I brought my camera along because I was sure I couldn't resist it. 170 models! Isn't that a heaven for a photographer?! So whenever I had free time, I took out my camera to take some photos, and hoped that other workers wouldn't scold me for doing so. However I only brought a lens so it was a little limited.

Fide Fashion Week 2012

April 12, 2013

On 1st April I received a surprise email, something that I never expected at all! But before telling you what's that about, I want to share some of the photos that I took last December during Fide fashion week in Singapore. If you wonder how I got to photograph the fashion shows - a few days before the fashion week started, a friend told me that a there's a photography competition organized by Fide, since I already started my school holidays, and had not photographed any fashion shows before, why not? 

I went with no expectations to win, just wanted to try photographing fashion shows. And I must say, photographing runways is so much harder than I thought, so many things that I didn't consider about... Out of 400+ photos that I took, I only managed to get not more than 15 of nice photos. Not kidding. 

The fashion week lasted for a few days with a few fashion shows everyday, I only attend 2 fashion shows. The first show was a terrible experience to me, everything was moving too fast. All the photographers were only allowed to be in a small square in front of the runway so they wouldn't disturb the guests from watching the shows, and there were probably about 20 other photographers trying to get the perfect photos from different angles. I hardly got any photo straight in front of the models because all the spots were filled up with so many other photographer. As expected, I was one of the only girls and easily the youngest among them. So I was thinking... since I couldn't get a perfect angle, why not try shooting from different angles by using different lens? I missed some good photos while changing lens and running around, of course, but I suppose I have some different varieties of photos. and I'm happy about it. 

Sometimes the outfit and the model pose are perfect, but the eyes of the models are closed, or the angle/lens isn't very suitable to bring out the best of the photo/outfit, or the guests behind were not cooperating (when they looked uninterested). Many many different factors that could destroy a good photo. And they're not in your control. 

I still submitted the 3 best photos for the competition. no harm, right? the last 3 photos were what I selected. I tried to choose all from different angles so it wouldn't be so boring. The results were supposed to be announced on December, as expected, I didn't receive any email, though a small part of me was still hoping I could win maybe the small prize. 

The Surprise 

Fast forward to few months later, 1st of April 2013, I received an email from Fide. The email started by saying "Hi Kah Ying, you have been selected as the first place winner for the competition..." My eyes immediately widened, I was thrilled! That really really was a surprise to me! Again it says to me - do not give up any opportunity because you never know what it might bring you.


April 7, 2013

My friends who are in fashion business class had a pop up store in the school. (until this Thursday!) All the products are made by them, lots of effort and time put in. Really really proud of them especially when I see people admiring/buying them. Here are some of the snaps I took of the products on Thursday (the opening) before some of them were being sold out.

Black and White

March 10, 2013

I'm never a 'outfit of a day' person, but it starts to become common to take photos of what you wear everyday lately. So I try to do the same, still extremely awkward in front of the camera though... but I must say it's nice to have more photos of yourself (instead of just taking photos of other people - what I've been doing :p)

For the past month I was desperate for a backpack because I think the weight of my A3 sketchbooks and laptop would eventually break one of my shoulders (or my tote). Few days ago when I passed by Bershka and saw this, I immediately tried it on and paid within 10 minutes. I was that desperate. It is big enough, have quite a few pockets, and everyone knows about the black and white trend that's going on right now. I don't like wearing clothes that are too 'loud', but a statement bag would be good.

Now... time to get back to work! (on a Sunday, yes.)

Instagram / Short Update

March 8, 2013

1/ Things I like  2/ Just me saying hi :)  3/ Beautiful places  4/ Food 

Haven't been blogging for quite a while, but I don't want this blog to die. I hadn't even finished uploading all the photos taken in South Africa, but I feel guilty spending too much time doing it when there are piles of school works to be done. Can't believe how fast time passes, half a sem is gone, just another 2 months and holidays will be here again. That also means I'd be done with my year 2 in LASALLE, I still feel so new to the whole fashion thing... but I must say I'm throughly enjoying what I'm doing, though sometimes a bit lost. Oh dear, and I'd hit 20 in exactly one month's time.

What I'm up to lately - besides school works, I applied for an apprenticeship programme organized by Noise Singapore where the successful apprentices would have the opportunity to take 10 mentoring sessions from industry professionals (in my case, professional photographers who take photos for magazines, brands, organisations etc) and have their works showcased at Singapore's Art Museum in July/August! I didn't expect much at first as there are hundreds of applicants but was surprised by the email that I was shortlisted by 3 out of 4 mentors that I picked! Feeling really lucky... Had 2 interviews last week and will have the last interview next week, fingers crossed that I'd make it! I'm certain it'd be an eye-opener to me! Wish me luck! :)

Anyway, if you want to follow up more about my life/photos, instagram might be better as I carry my phone wherever I go. So the 4 are the main things I post on instagram - things I like, beautiful places/interiors, yummy (and photogenic) food, and me! (trying to post more photos of myself nowadays)

follow me @kahying_
what's your instagram?

I'm so sorry for the lack of update, but school has been crazily busy these days. I was thinking to cut or perhaps dye my hair before Chinese New Year but I actually rushed my works till the very last second I left Singapore. No time really. And I'm definitely not loving that lifestyle - going home from school at 7 in the morning.

I don't know how I can be very ambitious sometimes, but completely the opposite the other days. I like photography I like photographing people and beauty but I do it often because I like it, not because I want to get awards and show people how much I can do, not because I want to have the highest score for photography in my class, not because I want to compete and win and so I could show off. Sometimes people forget the entire purpose of being in a school - to learn, explore and experiment together with the people who have the same interest, not just to compete among each other. You are there to learn together, no? I'm really not a fan of competitions, I do certain projects well because I like it, not because I want to get the highest mark. Do people see the difference?

Sometimes I think I want to travel around the world photographing campaigns for different fashion brands/magazines, other times I just want to set up a business and shoot weddings, move to different countries once in a while to photograph people's love. (And I will definitely limit the weddings I can do each month just so I'd make sure I'll have enough time and effort for each set of photos I take) I want to feel more love from people in the world. And occasionally visiting talents and photograph their life and them. A wedding + lifestyle photographer. You see the difference between the two goals? First one, you take photos that make you proud because of the brands/exposure, but you are shooting things other people want you to, stress level would be reaaaaaaally high. Second one, it's more like helping people to capture those biiiiiig and important moments in their life. Based on my current personality, I'd go for the second because I don't find a meaning big enough for me to do the first, yet. I need to feel like I'm helping the society, that I make a difference, and the first doesn't seem to give me that. I like fashion, but it's never the first thing in the list, I appreciate branded goods very much, but I don't see why it should be the most important thing on earth... Sometimes I feel displaced when I'm in Singapore, because I really just want a much simpler and easier life while doing what I love. Also the reason why I enjoyed New Zealand and South Africa so much. And I don't want to be ashamed of what I feel.

I remember when I was in high school, I joined chess club because I'm so interested in everything about chess but after taking part in a chess tournament i sorta stopped playing because i couldn't handle the stress of the competition. To me playing chess should be something to keep your mind active but relaxing at the same time, it shouldn't be so stressful. I would continue learning different things about chess but trying to defeat people just to feel accomplished is never my main intention. It's just me...

i hope someone is reading this. and give me some of your thoughts about it. I'm a bit lost.

by the way, happy chinese new year! may 2013 will be a year full of good surprises for you and i.

Swellendam, South Africa

January 19, 2013

Finally a new blog post to continue posting photos from South Africa, because school has started to slowly eat away my time. hehe. So the first thing I want to introduce - the picture above, they're Jersey milk cows! (I always had the impression milk cows are only black and white... lol) while the next photo of us with the cows behind (excuse our messy hair because of the wind), they're cattle beef - which means they'll be cooked one day :(

These are the apricots we picked in... 10 minutes? Look at how many apricots are there in just one tree!
The photo below, is the view right in front of the house (not the house we stayed, though. It's a good friend's place!) When we were sitting there playing with their cat, drinking, talking while Johannes was cooking the beef, I couldn't help but be amazed by the painting-like scenery. And then the next photo you will see the long table full of food (well, sort of), definitely one of my favourite dinners there. It was such a great night. It was only the first day we reached there but we already felt like home. I wish I'd be back there again one day, together with my family.

So this was the third place I travelled to in South Africa - Swellendam. I'm sure you can clearly see the difference between this place with the previous, it's a much much smaller town, also one of the oldest towns in South Africa. Many many farms. We were there for a week, and these are just the photos taken during the first 2 days there. I remembered when we mentioned to the people in Cape Town that we were going to Swellendam next, for a week, they all had the same weird expression on their faces - "What can you do there for a week? It's really just a small small town." Well yes it really is just a small town, but the people there are the loveliest people I've ever seen. We enjoyed every second together with them, we were all spoilt by their unconditional love. Besides the berry farm (that I blogged about last few weeks), we visited milk cows farm, cattle beef farm, apricot farm, went hiking, had bingo with people in 2 old folks houses and so on. It's something different, you see? 

Never in a thousand years would I expect myself to fall in love with South Africa, even I myself am surprised. It scared me a little to realise how much I want to go back there again. It took me a while to get over the whole "I'm not in SA anymore" feeling... because we've got to appreciate whatever we have now instead of wishing to have things we don't have, so I decided to love where I stay.

It's about 12pm now and it's been raining since 10 hours ago, just feel like lying on bed and relax. Happy weekend, everyone! Thanks for the lovely messages and comments on my South Africa photo diary, I'm glad you all enjoyed the posts! :)

Monday blue

January 7, 2013

Every once in a while, when I wake up from my sleep and find myself being alone, I'd still feel a little sad to realise (again) that I'm not in South Africa anymore. For the past month, when I was in South Africa and back home in Malaysia, I was showered with so much love, my time -  the minute I woke up until the moment I slept, was all spent with people I love. I guess that's why I'm not used to being alone all over again. School has officially started today, which means I'm away from my family again. I'm still trying to get myself back to the 'working mode', I know I will do fine soon! Monday blues, go away.

Berry Picking

January 5, 2013

I'm going to continue blogging some diaries and photos taken at South Africa before my school eats me alive. 
I can't wait to share all the photos I took!

So... we visited one of the berries farms to hand-pick some blueberries. They actually have youngberries (a hybrid between blackberries and raspberries if I'm not mistaken), raspberries and blueberries, but only blueberries (I kept typing 'blackberries'!) are ready to be picked. It's my first time seeing a real blueberry plant and also the very first time I ate blueberries fresh like that! yum. It was so sunny and hot that day that each of us tried to pick a full basket of blueberries as fast as possible before we got burned under the sun. At first I was really slow. You ask me why? because I ate all the blueberries I picked, typical me. hehehe.

The more I look at the photos, the more I'm determined to go back again one day.

The Beginning

In case you wonder, the photo above was taken when I was in South Africa. The sky was extremely crowded of stars that night, it was incredibly beautiful. The trip to South Africa was full of surprises, laughter and love. I couldn't believe the amount of love people are willing to give to others whom they haven't known long enough. I've had so much fun! For your information, I did the highest gorge swing in the world!

Anyway, I spent my new year eve counting down at a pool party in South Africa and spent the first day of 2013 taking 17 hours of flight back to Malaysia. And then these few days were spent sleeping in, fixing my body clock, catching up with my childhood friends and so on. I haven't even unpacked all my clothes from the 25kg luggage, but I'm going back to the airport again tomorrow, this time back to Singapore, back to school life, back to reality. I remember during November I started losing all my motivation for school, thus I did quite badly for that assessment. I was so glad holidays came at the right time, now I've had enough rest, I believe I will be able to cope better this sem!

Here's a status I posted few days before I came back from South Africa...

I'm surprised to see how much I fell in love with South Africa and the people in the country.

I actually wanted my first post of 2013 to be post like "2013 resolution" or reflections or anything that seems to be a good beginning, but I haven't seem to start thinking about them yet. I'm not sure why but I'm not exceptionally excited that it's already 2013, but also not really sad that 2012 is over. In fact I don't really feel the difference like I did the past years. I wonder why! But well...December is over, January is here, it's time to resume back to my school life.

Happy New Year people! <3


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