We were put into Studio 6 on Level 3 for the shoot today. Unfortunately, there is no elevator access to Level 3, and we had to lug all our equipment from Level 2 by stairs. The room is much smaller, and thankfully, there’s no group shot which would have required me to move further back, which was the case for the photoshoot a couple of days back.
First on our list today is Ian Chow, the Group Theatre Manager of KLPac. As a singer songwriter himself, he’s currently trying to raise awareness amongst Malaysians on the issues of fighting against child prostitution. In 2008, he released his collaborative album “He Says, She Says” together with fellow singer-songwriter Tracy Wong, and recently just released his debut solo album Issues#01.
When Fiona Jane Gomez walked into the room, she wore a beaming wide smile that proved just a little too infectious for my taking. It shone right through her like a beacon. It certainly helped to add a sense of relaxation to an otherwise dull mood. She appeared very humble, nice and just full of energy as though she’s always poised for her next move; no pun intended (as a dancer herself).
Fiona is the dance instructor, company director and creator of Talent Hub, a multi arts centre offering dance, drama, music and martial arts classes. In 2008, she was handpicked as one of the faces representing the high-end beauty skincare line SK-II.
We had in mind before her arrival that her message was going to be “Say YES to a hepatitis-free generation”. The “YES” word has to be emphasized strongly to signify a firm stance on striving for an informed and liberated society from a silent killer disease. The message bearer has to be upbeat about it. I wanted to portray a picture that is fluid in motion with an explosive energy to it. Perhaps catching her right in the middle of a dance move. Twisting and letting her hair down, literally.
She was patient enough with me to keep trying to twist quickly on my cue, just to catch her hair in mid-flight, while beaming warmly at the camera. I rattled off about 30 frames and came away with 2 acceptable non-duplicate shots.
Dato’ Faridah Merican was next on the list. She sauntered into the studio wearing a blinding white loose cotton long sleeves. While getting the first malay message ready for her, I took some time to keep her company by talking to her. I could see clearly from that one short conversation that she was a woman full of passion in what she does. Sharp and a no-nonsense go-getter.
Dato’ Faridah Merican, better known as the First Lady of Malaysian Theatre co-founded The Actors Studio (TAS) with her husband Joe Hasham in 1989. The Actors Studio then was a precursor to the now Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, of which she’s the Executive Producer & Director.
While photographing Dato’ Faridah Merican, Malik Taufiq, the brand strategist and marketing manager of KLPac was already waiting in line. In the dual-role, he reports directly to founders Datuk Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham, taking charge of public relations, branding, and marketing initiatives. His core responsibilities are focused on further establishing the individual brands (both KLPac and TAS) whilst streamlining communications in support of their aim to increasingly heighten the value and positioning of each business.
Malik is a gregarious funny chap who never fails in adding to your sentences (not necessarily completing it). His deafening and crisp voice sounded like thunder. Thus, it was purely by coincidence that we went with the rather antithetic message “Silent Killer” for him, denoting the nature of hepatitis. We taped the message over his mouth. ‘Nuff said!
Xandria Ooi was the last on the list today. She was really friendly and being an amicable socialite, I almost felt she was constantly; albeit unconsciously, doing everything she could to keep everyone at ease. It took me no more than 10 minutes to grab the shots I intended before my card ran out of space.
After about close to 6 hours of shoot, we’ve managed to grab the last 5 personalities required to make up an exhibit of 12 pictures of a different person each. We may be having our final shoot on the 12th June with a very special guest and a few other celebrities who have managed to squeeze themselves in last minute. Till then, keep a close watch!