On an assignment for design and lifestyle magazine Home Journal, I photographed various restored heritage buildings in Hong Kong for the “Living History” report.
I went from the Pawn in Wan Chai, to “tong lau” buildings in Sheung Wan, to the colonial Tai O Heritage Hotel, capturing buildings originally meant for different purposes, all now preserved and providing contrast to towering skyscrapers. As the photographer, I focused on getting exterior building shots, architecture details, and candid photos of people interacting in the space to give context and mood.
Elaine Ng Yan Ling, the founder of The Fabrick Lab, is a talented designer who gives a contemporary twist to age-old techniques on fabrics and materials. Back in December during Business of Design Week (BODW) in Hong Kong, Elaine was one of the artists who hosted a pop-up space at the creative hub PMQ. The pop-up, which Elaine and her curator dubbed a “smart pod”, gave the public a great opportunity to appreciate her creativity through workshops and displays.
I was commissioned by her curator Isabelle Pascal to capture the details and atmosphere of the PMQ pop-up. Keeping in mind the dramatic lighting in the smart pod, we went for a night time photoshoot when the light and shadows can be best seen.
Isabelle is the brilliant entrepreneur (or as she calls it, Create-preneur) behind Shiliu Design Bureau in Hong Kong. Her current business provides consulting services to create unique events and spaces using her artistic vision and connections. She has a great eye for curating content, having worked with over 100 brands and talents and earned international recognition on her work at her previous WUHAO Curated Shop in Beijing.
I remember we chatted for hours at our first meeting together. I was in awe to see how she incorporates the Chinese 5 elements philosophy into her work by curating artist works that go with the seasons, colors, textures, and moods. The finished displays are always meaningful and edgy, mixing contemporary with traditional concepts.
Having spent the recent years in Beijing and the past year traveling, Isabelle settled in Hong Kong not long ago and needed a refresh on her headshots to show her new chapter in life. We had such an easy rapport, and it felt great to capture her glowing, confident character at our outdoor portrait shoot!
One of the main reasons that I don’t shoot in a studio is for flexibility for my clients. Isabelle is based on Lamma Island, and I photographed her at her home and its nearby areas for the photoshoot. At the consultation before our head shot session, I researched and tried to understand her business and personality so that we could best represent her brand on camera.
Here’s Isabelle showing off her moodier side and one of her signature rings made by artist Wu Mian, from the series “Rejuvenation“.
Ayumi wanted to take some new profile photos for social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and I’m so lucky she chose me as her photographer! Interestingly enough, she found me through my wedding photography guide on Sassy Hong Kong. Though this project wasn’t wedding-related, she liked my portfolio of outdoor portraits and natural photography style.
We met up in Admiralty to start off our photoshoot at Pacific Place. Although Ayumi intended to use her portraits for both personal and professional settings, she requested that the photos had a natural background. We spent some time at Hong Kong Park, where there was plenty of foliage to choose from. Towards the end of the hour, we went down the hill through the Cheung Kong Park and finished the portrait session at Chater Garden in Central.