Cleopatra’s Blood Siren washed up on the shore.
model: Alex Lorenzana
makeup & hair: Noe Mae Villa-Gee / COLORisMyWeapon
locale: Hidden Beach c/o Mia Huang from Cebuano Tours
photography: Anne Lorraine Uy (me)
I can’t believe how delayed my first photostory of 2011 came. Ideally, this was to come in the summer (hence summer-y feel; tan and bronzed skin, asymmetrical monokini, warm toned make-up) But anyway, I was greatly busy with mostly a lot of family matters (reunions, weddings and all other major and minor human events), plus some photography work here and there squeezed in.
Entrance to another world.
Like all other photostories, this is a product of months of musing, inspiration, thoughtful deliberation and careful yet open-minded consideration. I dreamed of a beautiful girl having the incarnate soul of Cleopatra, born to love the sea and thrive on its beaches. She is a bronze mermaid who loves collecting all sorts of shells, and one who stays close to the warmth of the sun.
I’m super thankful that I was able to form a collaboration with Cebuano Tours, a local tourism business run by senior college students from the University of San Carlos.
Say “Hi” to our uber friendly tour guide, Mia! She is the most outgoing person I know in my whole life. She’s also my cousin from my dad’s side.
The small girl-run crew forming the signature “C” for none other than, Cebuano Tours. Major love and support to them!
In the middle is the ever so talented Noe. I am proud to say I recognize true talent when I see it, and I love referring talents to clients as well as working with them myself. Check out the awesome make-up and hair styling. Noe also answers questions about make-up on her fanpage so if you need some expert advice, post away on her wall [here]. One thing I can rave about her skill is the way she does eyebrows. In my personal opinion, anyone can get away with having nothing but rightly shaped and groomed eyebrows. I’m good with bare face and good eyebrows, or maybe that’s just me being the simple-minded Anney that I am. Haha
She did those gorgeous crimped curls with a small straightening iron.
Second look by Noe. I cut those triangles out from the makeshift reflector I made long ago which was a complete bust. Used it as a handy surface to put our things on instead… lol.
We traveled a long way to the Hidden Beach (yup, it’s really called so), but it was a fun ride. Mia was both tour guide and driver. She was really accommodating and it made me miss her even more. She’s also probably one of the funniest tour guides ever, constantly laughing and exuding those good happy vibes fit for the much needed vacation mode. My friends and I are planning on a get-away ourselves over the weekend. Excited!
From the shell collection I bought for 80 pesos. Naughty siren, you. Not.
Alex is one of the best models I’ve ever worked with. She’s a natural beauty to shoot, down-to-earth, quietly confident and not once did I hear her complain about anything I’ve asked her to do. I’ve noticed that I often direct my models to do things that aren’t the usual, but I try my best not to subject them to intense discomfort if I can help it. Again, if I can help it… Haha
Fun fact: Alex is also a graphic designer, and she was the one who designed the Cebuano Tours logo.
This is a reminder of how I was so dumbfounded by this “common knowledge” that I never knew existed.
IMHO, common sense is entirely subjective no matter how people make it to be objective. So you can imagine my surprise when Mia asked me incredulously if the saleslady was really fine that we bring the softdrink bottles home. I was like, “Why not? I paid for them right.”
But all of them were explaining to me the system of buying a whole case of drinks and then returning the bottles back to the seller. Obviously to be recycled and such. I noticed that in parties, but I didn’t know such a rule was applied even in retail. Anyway, while all of this was going on we were already well away from the little store at a constant pace of speed. Hmmm… This is probably why a lot of sari-sari stores give you these drinks in a plastic with a straw, than the whole bottle itself. But why did the tindera give me bottles?? Do all customers leisurely finish their drinks outside her store and thus be able to give it back to her? …. Nonetheless, lesson learned for me. This is how fun it is not to be stuck with an office job.
Disclaimer: BTS photos taken by Mia Huang and Noe Villagonzalo. Some stolen from her blog. Heehee.
models: Arianna Gajudo & Kathryn Tan
make-up: Marion Alcasid of OZAR
lighting: John Borga & Michelle Uy
assistants: Mikko Tan & Jon Ong
styling/photos/post-processing/concept: Anne Lorraine Uy (me)
Special thanks to the awesome equestrian Jett Serafica! Without his help, I wouldn’t have been able to put all of this together.
Dedicated to my unending fascination with violins (oh, no. I don’t play them).
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from the making of this photostory. Luckily, there was quite a good lot to choose from. And no, nobody ended up stepping on horse poop (the place was actually surprisingly really clean for a horse stable!!)… You can tell the horses were all taken care of and loved well.
So my company had a sense of humor.
I think this was one of my most delayed shoots ever. Planned way before sembreak (last October) but due to time, resource and schedule constraints, it was all just allowed to happen last week. But as life goes, things work out for the best. I was able to really deliberate on the theme with leisure time and cooked it up with much passion and inspiration. Horses are also of a fascination, but yet again, I am no real equestrian.
Missing my trademark hair flip? You are mistaken.
Not as obvious as the rest but it’ll do.
In reality, it’s Kathryn’s brother who plays the violin.
Are those birds in the distance?
May as well exude romanticism.
Battle of the violins.
I didn’t really expect it, but both models loved the photos so much that they told me they would print it. Kathryn’s mother mentioned an album and Arianna said her mom wanted to have a framed photo of her to put in the living room. Haha, how cute.
Would this be enough for a photo of your daughter in your living room? lol.
I was really blessed to have such a well-behaved horse. Otherwise it would have probably caused a lot of problems for Arianna who was such a scaredy-cat and who at the start, worried me with her sensitivity to animal hair. Even a flinch from the horse shook her so much.
She was even majorly hesitant to get on the horse! But after Kathryn showed her it was fine (she’s still 12 btw; most quiet and obedient model ever), she got on and amusing enough, enjoyed it so much that it would probably be fine to leave her to stay there the whole day. XD She was really fun to work with; very funny and spunky girl.
Thank you to my brother, Jon, for being the ‘bringer’ and ‘plz hold this for me’ boy, Mikko for supporting her sister and I, Keisha for being a good spectator, John for above mentioned tasks, Mich for the company and lighting, Mike for choosing a good horse for me, Jetty for introducing me to the world of horses, and a big thank you to Marion Alcasid from OZAR for the make-up.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. All the while I was post-processing these, I listened to Lough Erin Shore by The Corrs obsessively. I love it. Did you guys know you can replay Youtube videos by typing in ‘repeat’ between ‘youtube’ and ‘.com’?
And thank you for everyone’s support. This photostory got a 100+ likes in just less than 24 hours. *hearts*
Rejoice! My Internet connection is back. Everything is as normal as day again.
One time not too long ago, someone commented on my photography… and why I only shoot girls. I was honestly surprised since I didn’t really shoot only girls. Because, in my defense, I think I’ve shot dogs, food, landscapes, skyscapes, seascapes, architecture and boys too (Royce Gracie should even increment that by a hundred).
Anyway, it wasn’t anything offensive to me but it did give me an idea of shooting men in a photostory. I was like, “Why not?” and tried giving it a go. So after a time of brewing ideas I thought of asking Eddie and Doyzkie for a shoot! A few months after this was how it went…
Full photostory [here]
Models/wardrobe: Edd Buenaviaje & Doyzkie Buenaviaje
Stylist: Gillian Uang
Photos/post-processing: Anne Lorraine Uy (me)
I asked Gillian/Yanyan to be the stylist for this shoot but since she’s a pretty girl herself, I asked her to come as a model too. She was a good sport as I directed her with some couple shots with Edd. And I should say she did a great job styling her according to the pegs I gave. I was really impressed with her and the wardrobe the boys had. They brought the whole closet!
Okay maybe not the whole closet… But they brought a lot of tasteful clothes for men.
Yanyan told me of her surprise since she didn’t think men like the Buenaviaje brothers existed here in Cebu.
Yanyan: “Where did you find these guys, Anne??”
She was pointing out that the general male population here are too simple to care about dressing up deliberately. In contrast, these guys actually had great fashion senses! I’m really proud to know them.
Look who came by to support the guys~ Aweee.
Thanks for the behind-the-scenes photos, Nowie!
And the more mature cosmopolitan look for Doyzkie.
Here’s my very pretty stylist as she plays along for a couple shot.
This is the shot in my head that started the whole photostory idea for me.
I honestly didn’t expect that I’d come to fondly post-process this photostory. It was enriching since it was my first real shoot with men as the main subjects. I must say, it is predictably easier shooting women than men tho still, I think it’s important to be able to direct both as a photographer.
I’ve learned to be quiet and listen more lately.
Oh, and if you’re impressed with the styling visit Yanyan’s Lookbook
to see more of her looks.
“Proportion is everything.” -Gillian Uang