moments · photography · pretties

The photoshoot

[Photo-heavy entry]

17 March 2009. 10am. Utopia Studio.

So finally, after months of waiting, the day for our wedding photoshoot arrived.

Bright and early at 8am, I rolled out of bed and drew the curtains. The sky didn’t look very promising. Shades of grey with looming dark clouds. “Never mind, it’s still early”, I thought to myself. I made some breakfast for the boy and I before my mum came round. She has very kindly agreed to drive us to Utopia. Also, an extra pair of hands to help with the bags of gowns would come in useful too.

On our drive to the studio, the rain was coming down harder. GAH! It has been raining loads the past couple of days and rainy weather could mess up the photoshoot.

10 minutes before 10, we arrived at Utopia. Soon after, Cedric (make-up artist) also arrived. Very quickly, he started work on my hair and face for our very first shoot, the casual shoot.

Yep, that’s me in my button-front blouse, shorts and Birkies. That’s Cedric beside me.

At first, the boy and I weren’t very keen on a casual shoot because why do we want photos of ourselves in our usual get-up? Cedric then shared that the casual shoot is for the couple to warm up for the rest of the day ahead. Ah, ok then.

Side note: This may sound like pretty common knowledge to many girls out there but I was truly amazed at how make-up can change how we look. LOL! Cedric spent a lot of time on my eyes, using eyeliners, eyeshadow, eye highligher, eye-whatever, to “open up” the eyes. It was definitely my first time seeing myself with such HUGE eyes!

He also gave me a casual hairstyle (hair was let loose) so that I won’t look too ‘made up’, in line with the casual look. The boy also took this time to change into his casual look which is his pair of jeans and a casual white long-sleeves shirt that he specially tailored for the occassion 😀 I was close to wearing a simple white short-sleeved blouse but thankfully, managed to find an interesting short dress from m)phosis on Sunday.

By then, the skies have cleared and the rain has stopped. The sun has come out and it was bright and sunny with blue skies. WOOHOO!! Our prayers were answered. Thanks to all who prayed for good weather!

When we were ready, Travis then led us outdoors to the nearby shophouses for the first series of photos. He was assisted by Wenbin whom we later found out, is his son!

Travis is known for taking natural shots so we had a mixture of posed photos with natural photos. To get the natural expressions, he’d tell us corny jokes which got the both of us guffawing.

One of my favourite-st pictures!

At one point, I also had to do a “dance” with the boy and that was funny because (1) I am no dancer (2) dancing in 3.5″ heels wasn’t very fun. Still, the experience was fun and it was us laugh when we tried to “dance”.

After the casual shoot, we headed back to the studio. Aircon never felt so good, I tell ya.

Next up: The evening gown.

I changed into the evening gown before Cedric worked on my hair again. He gave me an updo with the bun sitting very high, ala Princess Diaries. Something like this without the tiara, white gloves and poufy gown:

It did indeed make me feel very princessy, especially after he added on some crystal bits on a string on the hair bun as well as a very long choker-style crystal chain around my neck.

Here, you can see Cedric working. Notice the high hairbun?


The flowers you see in the foreground were the ones we used for the photo shoot. Due to the intense heat and our not-very-gentle handling, those poor flowers were not doing very well at the end of the day. Hehe. Still, I took them home with me and stuck them in a pot of water because they were just too pretty to throw away.

Strangely, I do not remember much about the evening gown shoot except that we did some shots indoors at the studio and some outdoors. I am also very glad that Utopia’s backdrop for the indoor shoots are plain backdrops without any pseudo Eiffel-Tower-let’s-pretend-we-are-in-Paris type of backdrops. Also, the evening gown was really comfortable (it’s made of chiffon) and I am glad because I’d be wearing it for most of the evening on the wedding day itself. Woots.

Next up: The kwa.

The traditional kwa is very cute. There was just so much…red! The one from Bridal Veil is very pretty with crystal embellishments at the collar and of course, fully embroidered with loads of 龙s and 凤s.

I am pretty sure the older folks will be absolutely thrilled on our wedding day when they see me looking like a dutiful wife.


Cedric changed my hairsyle again and this would be the same hairstyle I’d be wearing for both the kwa and the wedding gown. The only difference is the colour of the flowers. Originally, I wanted big red roses to wear with the kwa but Cedric suggested some pretty pink eustomas instead because there may be an overkill of red.


And he was right. The pink flowers accentuated the kwa nicely. When I was ready, I swear I looked like a total 贤妻良母 (virtuous wife, doting mother)

*cue traditional chinese music in background while I do a traditional chinese red ribbon dance*


Did you know that the length of the kwa’s skirt can be adjusted? The kwa I had was in size “S” but the skirt comes attached with 2 red straps, like suspenders. What you do is to slip the straps over your shoulders as if wearing suspenders and then use the appropriate button hole to fit the skirt to your height. Very interesting! In this way, you do not end up stepping (and destroying) the little frilly bits at the end of the skirt.

Tip: Always wear a t-shirt with sleeves below the kwa because you might end up feeling itchy-scratchy from all that embroidery! Also ensure that the t-shirt has a wide collar because you’d be putting your head through it. I borrowed a V-neck white shirt from the BGF and it worked perfectly.

This time, we did not hear outdoors so all shots of the kwa was done indoors at the studio. Unfortunately, we did not manage to get the men’s traditional suit for the boy so he continued to wear his formal suit.

Finally, it was time to break for a quick lunch. Travis’ wife, Kim, had already ‘da-bao-ed’ our lunch of chicken rice for the boy and char siew rice for me from across the road. By then, I was getting hungry and grouchy which is not a very good look. In fact, halfway through the kwa shoot, I was making hungry faces at the boy because I was hungry. And the boy is the best person to know that when I’m hungry, my brain shuts down and all I can think of is food. Tee hee hee.

We gobbled ate our lunch very quickly and I then changed into the wedding gown.

Tip: Always always wear your shoes first before you put on the wedding gown. Otherwise, if you try and do it after, you may crumple the bodice of your gown or worst, hear a very loud ripping sound which is not a good sound on your wedding day. If this is not possible, get your husband-to-be or your slaves friends to wear your shoes for you. Also, when putting your feet through the gown, always make sure that your first foot is on solid ground before putting the other foot in. You don’t want to be standing on your own gown!

This time round, all Cedric did was to touch up my make-up and changed the flowers in my hair from pink ones to white ones.

Can you see the number of black pins in my hair?! Aiyoooo.

We then took a couple of shots indoors with the big bow because it’d not be very practical outdoors. Once that was done, Cedric then removed the bow and put on the veil for me. It’s interesting how little accessories change the whole look even though I was still wearing the same wedding gown!

Love love love love LOVE the big bow!

Off we went to our first outdoor location: City Hall.

Side note: City Hall was never in my consideration list but after doing some research and chatting with various people, it was deemed that the wedding gown would look best with large columns and interesting architecture. It was down to National Museum or City Hall but seeing that we had to pay to shoot at the National Museum, it was a no brainer which location we chose in the end. Also, Travis showed us a couple of photos he shot at City Hall and indeed, his interesting angles made City Hall not look like City Hall at all.

By now, it was about 2pm and the sun was BLAZIN’ HOT.

Travis then took us around the sides of City Hall to take a couple of shots and naturally, many passers-by glanced at us as they walked by. Many actually smiled which was very sweet. Cars zooming by also slowed down to take a second look. Oh and if you happened to at that area around 2.30pm and saw a strange wedding couple hugging each other while standing at the junction in 35 degrees heat, that was us.

A British couple (probably tourists) also snapped photos of us when we were posing near the steps. The gentleman came towards us and told the boy: “You’ve got a beauty there!”

Awwwwww. And that’s because I have layers of make-up on my face and multiple coats of hairspray in my hair. How not to look pretty?!

We then headed off to our next and final stop: Hort Park.

Again, the aircon in the car was very very welcome. By then, the boy was also very very quiet, probably from trying to conserve his energy under his formal suit. He perspires very easily so you can imagine his discomfort in the suit. Hehehe. Me thinks he must have lost 3kg of water just from the photo shoot.

Hort Park has some really gorgeous green scenery with quiet unmarked roads that doesn’t look like Singapore at all. Coupled with black and white houses, it makes for an interesting photoshoot location. I also heard that it is currently the “in” location for many wedding couples so I am quite sure you’d be seeing loads of Hort Park scenery in wedding albums 😉

We soon arrived and the boy took the opportunity to change out of his dress shirt and waist coat to his white shirt and tie. I think that was marginally cooler for him. Needless to say, I was also feeling very hot in my wedding dress, under three layers of can-can (THREE LAYERS!!) and a very very long train. At some point, I gave up trying to be elegant and just bounded up the layers in one big pile. Very unglam but never mind. I don’t think anyone else saw.

Travis then made us scale some hill (in my high heels!!) to get to some shrubs for some shots. Later on, we were also made to run along the road as well as on the large green field. It would have been fun, if not for the fact that by then, I was getting truly exhausted from the heat as well as all that posing and carrying of cloth. There was also one particular shot where the sun was shining mercilessly on my face but I had to look as if I was basking in it.

All I could think of during that shot was: Need to hydrate face tonight. Must. Must.

Finally, after a final couple of shots on the rope swing where I was trying my best not to get big fat black ants on the gown (and up my legs) as well as to avoid swinging my face into a tangle of spider web, Travis called it a day.

The boy and I let out a collective loud “YEAY!!!!!”

It had been a 7-hour shoot. Phew.

We headed back to the studio where we changed out of our wedding finery (WOOHOO!!!) and back into our comfortable clothes. Check out the state of my shoes post-Hort Park:


Post-note: I went home, gave it a good scrub and it looks good as new again. Am trying to sell them at (a heavy discount, of course) so if anyone’s looking to buy the shoes, leave me a comment! This is how they look like.

Travis then showed us the raw shots on his computer and I must say that all that hard work was worth it because even in its raw state, the pictures looked pretty good. Sunshine’s definitely the best light for photography and even though it was very tiring to be standing in the hot sun, I hope the final result will be worth it.

We’d be back to select the photos come 4th April. 🙂


13 thoughts on “The photoshoot

  1. both of you look like true professionals, you didn’t look uncomfy or exhausted by the hot sun and the heavy gown, i’m truly amazed! i don’t think i could have done that…..i still wished that we took our photos in our wedding attire, but the weak and unfit me would have probably crumbled…..7 hours under the hot sun?? *kowtowing to both of you!*

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Awww, thanks for your kind words! I think we were just quite excited by the whole experience. Actually, I know the boy was MELTING but bless his kind heart, he put up with it for the sake of pretty pictures 😀

    You can always do a re-shoot on your….5th year wedding anniversary? 😉

    1. Those eustomas are pretty hardy for such lovely looking flowers! Heh. My hand bouquet lasted for quite a few days after the photoshoot even though we threw it about. Amazing.

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