Allan Ow (previously of Allan Couture and Pretty-in-White), a dear friend of mine designed some of the best wedding gowns I have ever shot and when I had 3 other friends of mine two whom agreed to model for me and another agreed to do the make-up & hairstyling; shooting Allan’s gowns again was a simple decision to make.
The preparation for the shoot, starting with an early morning make-up session at one of the model’s home and then driving for nearly 2hrs to reach the coastal regions of Selangor went really smoothly but before we reached the “real” shooting location, we stopped by at a place discovered by my friend / assistant / creative director, an abandoned retirement “home”.
Being abandoned, it was a strange and sorta surreal place, partially built huts, buildings… possibly nearly complete toilet complex and a bridge with no water under it.
The entire series of shots here was done with a single light with a standard reflector and a bit of my secret sauce, 2 layers of colour gels. All I can say now is I wish I didn’t use 2 layers as it basically sapped most of the power from my strobe but strangely, the photos sorta worked and required less post-processing than normal.
After that, we moved onto our actual planned location, an area of beautiful exposed mangrove with a clean sandy beach. By the time we got to the beach, the equatorial sun of Malaysia was blazing and basically burning everyone alive.
To the credit of my models for the day, Jasmine and Elaine, they didn’t complain or say a word; Miriam, the make-up artist for the shoot was also extremely professional and did a great job making sure their make-ups didn’t melt.
All in all, balancing and sometimes overpowering the equatorial sun at midday on a beach was challenging but I am very grateful I decided to get ELB400 strobe instead of other competing strobes. The ELB400 was (and still is) indeed perfect as a weather-resistant, portable and powerful enough strobe for DSLRs and standard mirrorless cameras that just works in even the most demanding environments in Malaysia and probably any other regions near the equator.