What is the one thing you would associate immediately with when the word “wedding” is mentioned? More often then not, it would be a wedding gown. The wedding gown sat through different eras and lived through centuries of styles.
Built with any materials ranging from cotton to silk, it can be embellished with pearls or gold, or nothing at all. Like a dream, the wedding dress will be embraced by the bride. She will appreciate the final look and feel when she adorns the dress. When Chris was invited by Z Wedding and Le Grand to be take a first-hand look at the full process of gown making, he finally understood that gown design is as much an artistry as photography. It takes time, hard work, and talent for gown designers to craft their skill.
In this series, Chris records the artists working on their new collection for the Couture Runway show. He transforms these moments behind the scenes into photography art forms. After all, a gown can be a three dimensional realisation of art the bride can wear.
In my line of work, cameras are, to state the obvious, extensions of my arms. My equipment, like my team and I, also evolved through the years. The one thing that didn’t change was our love of the printed (or digital!) visual arts.
I am currently using a few different camera systems, each with their pros and cons. To me now, a camera is just the equipment I need to take the picture I want: ISO, focus, shutter speed, aperture, etc. It is the final photo that matters! When I started photography, my dream camera was the Canon F1, with all its dials and manual control on the exterior of the camera body. I owned it 30 years ago, and I eventually sold it. I started thinking about it again and after so many years, I began to miss that look and feel of holding a manual camera.
I eventually found the Fujifilm XT-2. It came the closest to reliving my days with my old Canon. With the new system, I kept it simple with one lens attached, 35mm F2, much like my very first set up (Canon AE-1 with 50mm F1.4 attached). Photos are all about memories, and this XT-2 somehow brought me back to those times when I first started. It reminded me about my passion for photography.
With this system, I went behind the scenes of the model casting session for Z Wedding’s upcoming bridal season launch. It is the Z Wedding Couture Runway 2017 happening on 19th March, 7pm, at the Chijmes Hall. This is a grand event for bridal fashion in Singapore, and their Midsummer Dreams collection is set to once again wow the guests. Inspired by beautiful nature, the Z Wedding designers took the magic from Alice In Wonderland’s secret gardens and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night forests, and recreated them through their gowns. This year, the bride will be a powerful feminine figure, a queen of the night with allure, charm, and strength!
Just as there is no one camera that fits all photographers, the gown designers know one gown can’t fit all brides. That is why they constantly come up with exciting concepts and ideas in different cuts and silhouettes to cater to different brides. It is quite an amazing process to see them in action as they meticulously hand sew their finishing details well into the night. All of us share a commonality, we are passionate about our job and our art.
Over the years, our studio’s accumulative experience with our bridal partners allow us to provide valuable information to wedding couples. We have come to fully understand the nooks and crannies of the wedding industry and how each service, contact point, or vendor work. Therefore, we are always running workshops because we feel this information should not be kept just for our couples. All wedding couples deserve the right to be aware of what to expect when they start their wedding journey.
Our aim is to educate our clients and contribute to their market research before they start their shopping. This saves them a lot of time and trouble. Gown designer and Creative Director, Joey Ling from Z Wedding Design and Le Grand Wedding, together with our head, Photographer and Director Chris Ling, will share all there is to know about gowns, beauty, styling, pre-wedding and actual day photography and video, body language on camera, and many other details that a couple might miss out.
These workshops are free upon registration at the moment, and they are currently the only such lessons available in the market. So do keep a look out for our future sessions, there will be many different topics to come.
Over the years, my wedding photography work allowed me to do extensive globe trotting. I have been to many countries and took the opportunity to research which areas are safe for my couples. The wonderlust never stops, and I don’t intend for it to stop.
Although my time now heavily involves training and business development for my studio, it does not mean I disregarded the travel bug. In fact, now more so then ever, my camera and I will pack light and fly off to destinations I have not explored yet. Apart from indulging in my passion for street and black & white photography, I also take these travels as research to whether it is also viable to bring wedding couples over.
For overseas wedding photography, these three things are key:
1. Safety – The last thing a happy wedding couple should worry about is whether they are in danger!
2. Convenience – Transportation within the locations should be easily arranged. Especially when heavy equipment and essential belongings are being brought out.
3. Accessibility – The terrain should not be difficult for the bride to navigate in her gown. In addition, whether the gown would get dirty easily have to be considered as well.
4. Comfort – Whether the climate is cool enough for couples, and if there are amenities available.
From the road side cafes in Rome to the tree house residences in Chang Mai, I had managed to fulfill many things on my travel bucket list. The latest adventure I had was in Bagan, an ancient city located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar. There, I traveled around on an electronic bicycle and felt no danger at all. It was a deep cultural experience with warm and welcoming people.
My journey will continue as and when I can take time off. Travel and exploration have always been a passion that I can share with my couples. Feel free to follow me on my Instagram account @chrisling50 for more images, and may you also never stop exploring!
Here at Chris Ling, we never tire to produce different concepts for our couples. This is a creative process that involves all our photographers, including Chris himself. Let’s further discuss how it is actually done so that you can have a better understanding of our foundation.
Consistency is the key to our success! It is essential that we take one day a month to gather the team and go out for a shoot. Yes indeed, everyone has to be involved so that all the photographers can familiarize themselves with new skill sets or shooting styles. In this manner, when one couple asks for a certain style, anyone in our photography team would be able to pull it off. Let it not be said that our albums are misleading, rest assured that our skilled team can produce what you see.
Prior to the fun filled shoot day, a unique concept would be brought forth through a mood board. A mood board is similar to a story board, in that we gather the different colour themes and focus points needed to create a concept album. There could be different venues featured or different story lines. Inspiration can come from our daily surroundings, or stories we hear that we would like translated onto images. Of course, online research is essential to bind everything together. The wonders of the internet!
Through this mood board, all the photographers will arm themselves with an understanding of what will be achieved. From intangibles: the feel, the emotions, the messages; to the tangibles: location, props, styling. Of course, a short cut to it all would be to explain to our team the whats and hows after the album is produced. We don’t go for short cuts, because Chris believes in hands on experience. That was how he started, and that is how he trains.
The purpose of our concept shoots not only serves as a team bonding session, it will also provide many useful references for our couples. Sparing no cost in production, these albums will be presented to our couples so that they can select the feel they like. Thereafter, our photographers can take the cue and will know how to deliver your expectations.
As we said before, consistency is king. That is why with our efforts we will ensure that we continue being leaders in the market!
The Bridal Beauty was one of the many event collaborations with our boutique partner Z Wedding, but it was a first with Dr Georgia Lee and her esteemed label DrGL. Our anticipations were rewarded with another success! We would also like to venue partner, the Amara Singapore, for joining in the festivities.
Many of the brides in attendance took with them on that day in depth information on caring for their skin. Dr Lee went all out to answer issues all women, and some men too, had. Her team went so far as to bring in the equipment for brides to get a first hand experience on skin treatments without needing to book an appointment. That right there had already saved them a hefty consultation fee from the famous doctor!
Which gown would go with your now glowing skin? Z Wedding’s creative director Joey Ling was also on hand to provide details on how to choose the right wedding gown. From body shapes to gown types, she provided much needed advice on where to start when searching for that dream dress.
Last but not least, our very own Chris Ling provided insights on photography tricks and angles. He shared how he is able to create beautiful and timeless moments for your wedding album.
It was indeed a day for bridal and beauty treats. The participants wasted not a minute of their time. Hence, they went home with lucrative knowledge that ensured a stress free wedding journey with lesser worries!
Keep a look out on Z Wedding and our pages for more of such events. We will definitely be organising similar couple beneficial activities!
Mention Dr Georgia Lee and the first association is beautiful skin. It can be said that she is Singapore’s most famous skin doctor, and her work puts her in demand with many well heeled clients. While managing her successful practice, she has also created a bespoke skin care range, DrGL, that caters to Singapore’s market. Dr Lee is one busy woman indeed.
In spite of her busy schedule, Dr Lee will be making a rare appearance to provide an informative talk on how to care for your skin. On 21st August at the beautiful Amara Singapore, an exclusive event with Dr Georgia Lee, Z Wedding, and Chris Ling Photography will be held to provide you with in depth information on all things wedding. In addition to Dr Lee, Z Wedding’s creative director Joey Ling, lifestyle influencers Alene B and Lian Meiting, and our very own Chris Ling will provide the knowledge you need to physically and psychology handle all the preparations for your big day!
Attendees will not only go home with much needed information, you will also receive a welcome gift worth up to $500 from all the participating partners. In addition, you can enjoy event day perks: personal consultation with the DrGL team, sneak peek gown preview of the latest Z Wedding collection, and free upgrades from Amara Singapore.
Sounds like a plan doesn’t it? Mark your calendars for 21st August 2016 at 12:30pm, Amara Hotel Ballroom 1 (level 2).
Let’s do a throwback to the successful launch of the Z Wedding x Chijmes collaboration. It was a star studded night of fashion and glamour as the models strut down the runway in Z Wedding’s latest pieces. As the official photography and video partner of the night, we were pleased to see VIPs and guests enjoying themselves in their glitzy regalia. We were proud that a Singapore label can hold its own in the fashion industry.
Inspired by the fine details of Chijmes’ neo-gothic architecture, this collection aims to translate these key elements into bridal gowns. This architectural movement sees numerous subtle details adorned on the foundations of the building. Its key focus is bringing out the grand scale of a hall through intricate accents, rather then garish decorations. As such, Z Wedding created the Chijmes Wedding collection to emotionally connect with their brides. The play on details aims to bring out radiance, while the structural flow of the gown ensures the bride looks pristine. Like the intricate floral and bird motifs on Chijmes’ Corinthian columns, emphasis is placed on the gown’s line work and lace. The key is the meticulously hand crafted touches of embellishments on bold lace, creating a look that embodies soft femininity and glamour.
We can’t wait to see what Z Wedding comes up with next.
From since our inception in 1993, Chris’ goal had always been to be the best, the brightest, and the most professional. With that in mind, the studio, our team, and our partnerships had indeed grown tremendously over the decades. Chris’ ambitions were met year after year, especially with the full support of bridal boutiques Z Wedding Design and Le Grand Wedding. It has been an amazing journey with their support. In turn, we have also given them our full support.
Working toward being number one is an uphill task, but the rewards were amazing. Once again, we have managed to outdo our last efforts and Z Wedding Design will launch what is thus far the most prestigious wedding couture runway show. Roping in an exclusive collaboration with Chijmes Weddings by Watabe Weddings, Z Wedding has created a collection inspired by the amazing architecture of Chijmes.
In attendance will be artists Fann Wong and Chris Tong, and many prominent influencers in the fashion and lifestyle industry.
The Z Wedding x Chijmes Wedding Runway Show promises to be the most prestigious yet, and again a first in the wedding industry. We will continue to strive for the best, and thankfully through ups and downs our efforts managed to rake in conducive results. To put in so much effort and see our goals fulfilled is satisfying and addictive, rest assured we will continue to do our best!
Behind the scenes in preparation of the Z Wedding x Chijmes Show:
With all the advancements of technology, our daily lives are fast becoming digital. Likewise in photography, soft copies are precious because they can be kept for as long as you maintain your hard disk. What about hard copies? They question we ask is are wedding albums becoming a thing of the past? Happy to say, as much as we like to promote innovation, we are one studio who cherishes the physical feel of wedding albums.
A wedding album consists of a photographer’s vision to capture your love and a designer’s effort to bind the images into your story. They can be a classic layout of images against a plain white background or a more design intensive concept layout, the end result will be the same. We create a permanent memory for you to hold. You may not browse through the album as often after the excitement of a wedding day, but you will not regret crafting one when you flip through them during your anniversaries. Instead of turning to the computer, in which you may have difficulty recalling where the archived files are kept, grab your wedding album from the shelf and share it with your close friends, your children, or even your grandchildren. You can imagine telling the little ones, “See, this is grandpa and grandma when we got married!”.
We are old school that day. Nothing beats the feel of an album.
Take a look at some of our design laden concept albums that our team brainstormed –
Chris Ling International Photographers started out with Chris embarking on wedding portraitures in 1993. Now, we have grown to a team of dedicated photographers, producers, directors and digital artists working in clockwork unison, and we hope to share our journeys with you. Contact us in Singapore at enquiries(at)chrisling.com, telephone +65 6220 5600, and in Hong Kong at info(at)chrisling.com, telephone +852 2156 1933.