Friday, October 2, 2009

     

The Coldest Day


One of the most disastrous shoots I'd ever had. But certainly most memorable and happy one as well.

The warning signs were there, everything was wrong even before the shoot took place. Arissa was going to model for this originally, I planned it so carefully, meticulously, had Rick spend a day doing location recce because it was in the middle of nowhere. And 3 days before, she called and told me she wasn't able to get on a flight (it was a high-traffic week I think) and the next available one was 2 days later which by then would be the last day of her leave, and pointless.

I was so devastated I cried, I think she did too.

Abby is my assistant from Brunei, she flew to Tokyo to assist the shoots with Chiaki and was going to follow me to Kyoto to meet up with Arissa.

Left without a choice since the whole team's already booked their tickets, I said, come model for me, let's just do the shoot and create some memories.

I've an obsession with flowers in Japan (okay I've an obsession with flowers, period) and usually shop for them before my shoots. But our call time being 8am, the train to location taking an hour and me wanting good morning sun for the light, we couldn't get flowers before we departed since no shops were open. Therefore I settled on buying flowers at our destination -- only to find that it's so obscure there were no stores at all. So we got back on the train to take to the next nearest civilization... and all this time we were already half frozen to death. (It was late winter, I underestimated the cold truly, this time)

So clearly the weather didn't favour us, and didn't plan to as the day went on. After finally getting the flowers and taking the train back, we discovered that our walk to the actual location was something like an hour instead of the 10min as Rick had told us.

It was so cold and the wind so cutting for the first time I feared that I was gonna end up killing one of my models from a photoshoot. Like, seriously.

And being persistent as I was, I'd asked her to go into the waters, wet and submerge herself at some point of time. And the water was, obviously, way colder. Freezing enough that my bones were in pain just by placing my feet in for a minute. I really thought we would die. Yet I was still asking her of it. I don't know what I was thinking, I reflected a lot upon it later on about how far we could really push another for a shoot... I think I just wanted to have something (even if just one picture) for everyone who already spent so much effort...

Abby shivered nonstop for some 3 hours after we got back into Kyoto. T_T

And then we had a parfait night (I think we ordered 8 in total?) lol.

I learnt defeat. Of things not carrying out according to plan no matter how meticulous I'd prepared.

It was painful, but we had so so much fun and laughter together. And Abby despite the cold still fought on to make the pictures for me, I realized how blessed and loved I was, truly.

She stayed in such high spirits, during our lunch break when she walked into a eatery completely drenched, she was even able to laugh at herself and attempt telling the lady boss (who completely didn't understand her) that she tried drowning herself and we saved her. Hahaha.

I can't say it's the most epic of photos, but all the memories that come along with this, I treasure so very dearly. Thank you Abby, Chris, Rick. You're some of my best assistants. <3 Model: Abby Photo/makeup/hair: me Assistants: Chris Wolf, Rick Bowen


17 comments :

riverstyx said...

oh my god!!! Poor Abby! i can only imagine how cold that water must have been.... sorry to hear it went sour! :(

The top image is really beautiful at least... and all the more precious since u went through so much to get it! ;)

TabzChewy said...

Despite it sounding like it was a disaster, your shoots turned out beautiful (as usual!)

Is this at Miyajima (close to Hiroshima by JR ferry)? I hope I got the name right...

I really admire you and your team's persistence. Out in the cold...-applause-

flory said...

ah, but that top shot is beautiful - it speaks the language of winter wind. love it

nictay_27 said...

Everything was worth it in my view. The picture speaks.

Wolf Schröder said...

Success comes to those who wait, and those who do not tire in their work. Nice shot.

verrot said...

Despite all the hard time you had, the image looks amazing and truly captures the essence of cold, breezing sea and approaching winter. And it's so true that however well everything is planned ahaed you can never really know when you're forced to improvise and change the way you thought things should go. I find this challenge inspiring, though sometimes very frustrating.

mankind said...

I love your story, sorry about the inconvenience, but the pictures come out great, and your work is great always!
:)

Ella Anarchy said...

That photograph is hauntingly beautiful and I can feel the coldness emanating from your model... in a good way!

dante direnç said...

I...need to know why this hit me harder than the things I normally read.
Somehow or other I looked at the picture first and knew that something special was done for it, and so it was.
But knowing the story of love and perseverance that made this picture only increases my respect for it. And I know that I shall want a print of it for my file the next time you go to a con in Singapore (if fate brings me to one) - the feel of this picture is one I particularly appreciate.
Thank you, Jingna, for this picture. And thank you, Abby, for fighting for it.

Damion009 said...

WOW! UM! I have no words!!! awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

The things you guys went through to have those lovely shots. I applaude you guys!!!!

Loves,
nekoi

Namtan said...

beautiful. love its color. and want to cry.

Hannah said...

It's a hauntingly beautiful shot.

Andy King said...

It definitely seems to be a photoshoot to remember and a story to tell over a glass of wine.

Though I don't have a similar story to share (apart from models not showing up at all, or calling sick 30mins before a shoot), another fashion photographer actually made a video out of a disastrous shoot: http://fashionphotographyblog.com/2009/09/ultrahip-magazine-flaunt/

And it was also a shoot at the beach! Maybe the sea is too proud to be converted to a 'still' photograph?

Ryan Hofer said...

Takashima City! I live near this Tori! Yeah, it is kind of in the country. Looks great in the background. Lake Biwa!

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