January 07, 2013

We've had such an amazing response to our "Absolutely Elly" collection! Thank you to everyone who's supported our collection, "liked" our facebook photos, posted pictures on instagram of their Elly shopping haul, sent us pictures of their children trying out their Chinese New Year outfits and who've written to tell us how much they and their children love what they bought. It means more to us than I can express in a blog post. We just wanted to say a special thank you to our lil' models and their parents (Jeeann, Janice, Beverly and Veraday) for their support and more importantly, their time (spending their precious Saturday morning with us at the shoots). T

hanks also to Beverly, Janice and Veraday for blogging about the collection here, here and here! If you're not already a fan of their blogs, here are the links to their blogs for great reads about parenting, travels, life, love, good eats, shopping and more! - Beverly's Adventures - Ickleoriental - Life is in the Small Things We also want to thank Kelvin of mofyphotos who did our very first outdoor photoshoot in August 2011. Kelvin is such a joy to work with - he spends time beforehand understanding the mood and colours we're looking for and has a quiet way of working with and around children. Well, I'll let his pictures speak for themselves! Other than commercial shoots, he also does children's parties so keep him in mind for your next party! If you've ever wondered how our photoshoots are like, well, it's a pretty no-fuss-no-frills experience. It's also probably more tiring for the parents than the child! Here's what went on this time. We had to split our shoot into two because our mandarin collared shirts didn't arrive in time for the first shoot. We would scope out many locations beforehand which evoke the mood we are looking at. Locations get thrown out for all sorts of reasons e.g. if they're too close the road (safety for children), too open air (we don't want to be at the mercy of the sun and rain), too little free running space (we don't want the children to feel trapped and bored within confines of a corridor) etc. Once we decide on a location, we also have an idea which areas we want to shoot at in that space. On the photoshoot day itself, the photographer and us will arrive half hour earlier to set up our "props". This time, we had chosen a location which didn't have much toys for the children to play around. Unlike our last experience at the beach where the children took a second to warm up to the place, this was a street scene so there was ZERO entertainment for the children. We decided on a tea time scene as children love to play act out pouring tea and having cupcakes at our store. We brought the yummy gem biscuits so the children could munch on them if they were hungry. b It was a fairly cloudy day so my husband had to help with the lighting. A Our New Face of Elly winners - the twins - warmed up to the tea time setting very quickly, and definitely enjoyed the biscuits! It's always quite tricky to use food as treats because you'll invariably get some shots with the chomping! The last time we used lollipops, all the girls had the lollipop sticks in their mouth and it took AGES for them to finish the lollipops so the lollipops ended up in every photo (which thankfully is very charming in its own way)!! DSC_4083  

Because the table seemed to block the view of the purple cheongsams, we got the twins to stand up instead. But well, here's a peek at the faces we got staring back at us.       DSC_4131  

So to perk them up, I got my ever enthusiastic husband to do star jumps for them! The twins' equally-game parents immediately joined us so four of us stood in front of the twins and did star jumps, much to the twins' amusement! DSC_4140  

They joined in the fun and tried to star jump too!! DSC_4173   DSC_4175     DSC_4223

This shot of one of the Bels in the Blue Fish cheongsam above is what I call the "Stevie Wonder shot" - head thrown back, biscuits in the mouth but I swear I can almost hear singing in there! DSC_4296

After her Stevie pose, she decided to see how far her stomach would stick out and gave a cheeky face to match!  After the twins were done with their outfits, we brought our resident model, Lil S to shoot some of the outfits. Sophie
If you're wondering what Lil S is doing, this was part of our "getting her to stay in front of the door" ploy. Well, if you ever had a red door you needed to shoot, don't count on the children obediently standing in front of it so you can compose a shot. Quite unlike brides doing pre-wedding shoots, children usually have ideas of their own. So to convince her to stay there, we told her to knock on the door and wake the occupants up. The door looked like an office unit so we were fairly confident no one would open the door despite her yelling and thumping on the door and peering under it. But by the third picture, I think she knew we were scamming her. Well Day One went really well. We got the campaign shot we were looking for and the weather was great and so we went into Photoshoot Day Two feeling pretty chuffed. We brought four children for the shoot as the collection was really quite large we didn't think two year olds would be able to get through that many outfits! We moved the table away from the green grass to get a more "bistro" feel. And again, the biscuits were a hit. They were a hit here.... DSC_4583 here.... DSC_4610 and here.... (I just LOVE how his face changes slowly from a "hey!! you're taking my biscuits" to a more scathing death stare below while she's oblivious to it all and reaching for more! :)  DSC_4664

Below, Lil H gets into the swing of things very quickly and puts his best face forward! (He's going to be breaking hearts when he grows up, that he is! :)) DSC_4683 DSC_4759

Beverly had cleverly brought bubbles as well which she whipped out promptly when the energy levels started to wane. Boy did the kids have fun charging down the corridor chasing after the bubbles!! The bubbles brought out such wonderful smiles and glee in their faces! DSC_4835   DSC_4838 DSC_4808    

Midway through chasing bubbles, Lil H found a door he wanted to try to open - I love his look when he realised he had been found out! DSC_4849

Part 2 of Day 2 - We also brought in Lil N (who was our original model in 2011 in the four-children-wearing-whales which you see on a canvas in our store)! He's grown taller since and now looks like a K-pop star! DSC_4869 DSC_4890

I love this series of expressions below!! He's going to be another heart-breaker too, and even has the cool Korean hairstyle to complete his look. Ha! Noey

Well, it being the second week of shoots in a row for Lil S, she needed alot more coaxing than the other five children! Out came M&Ms and in order to get her rooted to the spot, her Papa told her he would throw the M&Ms into her mouth... DSC_4929

Well he missed and the next time, she wisened up to getting hit on the face with M&Ms that she promptly closed her mouth! Haha! DSC_4918

But the M&Ms was a hit as it got the children to interact with each other! DSC_5024

Here's a shot of N being a big brother to Lil S and sharing his chocolates with her!! Love it! DSC_5060  

Here's another example why we have to be very careful when we use food as treats: DSC_5075  

The six children made all the difference to our Absolutely Elly collection - we loved how they made each design look their best and we loved how all the photos turned out! A big thank you once again to Kelvin and the six models and their parents for their hard work! I haven't been blogging much this past six weeks because we're both just plain exhausted. January has contained both the best and the worst moments in the past 12 months and it has been mentally and physically draining. It was so painful remembering it that I'm not even sure I want to blog about it when I get my energy back! Well, I've got a few days to think about it. Carol and I are going to take a good break this Chinese New Year and we'll be back with even more ideas for Elly after that, so stay tuned! Til then, we wish you and your families a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

x, Audrey


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