You know what’s the funniest thing about fashion photography in Indonesia? You don’t actually make real money here. Most of the jobs are contributions, based on friendship and/or good will.
Please don’t get me wrong, I mentioned it without the slightest bitterness, at least for me. It’s simple. If I like it, I do it. Besides, when a kind fashion designer like Anne Avantie asked me to contribute for her 2010 calendar, I just found it hard to resist. And, in addition, the models were my good friends Titi Kamal, Sandra Dewi and my longtime favorite, Dessy Mulasari (this chic is so cool, a real rock n roller model). Just by looking at these beautiful women would lighten your mood and brighten your day ;).
So, there we were, a lovely afternoon at Anne’s gallery/shop at Grand Indonesia Jakarta. It wasn’t an ideal situation though: everyone had a pretty tight schedule, lots of tv journalists were trying to get in, some customers were still around and the photographer was a bit hungry. But I worked fast anyway.
I always have a tendency to work fast. Yup, I have to admit that I am always a bit impatient. Lots of my simplicity in photography comes from my impatience. That might be my reason why I like photography better than, say, painting. It’s faster. But I have learnt to slow down a bit, to make the clients happy. What I never understand is the photographers who need 4-5 hours only to set up some simple lighting arrangement. I think it’s just better to sit down, have a cup of coffee, think, imagine, chat with the models, get their numbers, get inspired, then start setting up the lighting, instead of keep changing the set up cluelessly, hoping to accidentally find something interesting.
I decided to work with one, or two softboxes only. Shooting with minimum lighting needs extra attention, and calculation, as it is always important to show-off the fabric characteristic (especially for traditional kebaya with lots of details). And this time, no crazy ideas. As for the digital retouch, I only did very minimum skin retouching.
When the calendar arrived at my desk, I could see that most of the other contributing photographers used lots of digital retouching to dramatize the pictures. Typical.