Auditioning Female Models for Upcoming Brüttal (Lingerie) Fashion Show in Kuala Lumpur

One of the African Models

OK, enough of serious blog entries these days and I need something sexy, something light to spice up my life site.  Believe me, it was a hard choice between:

  1. Staying in Singapore and accepting an invitation for a (free!) photo shooting session at the Singapore Zoo as well as to cover the finale of the River Hongbao event over the weekend
  2. Driving up to Malaysia and help out my friend Adeline to audition the female models down to their underwear with my … camera.

Cynthia and I couldn’t cancel the hotel booking at the last minute so we stuck with the original plan even though the circumstances have changed.  I am actually glad that we went because:

  1. Our friend needed emotional support that evening and we were there for her.  Talked with her till 4 in the morning (and Cynthia insisted on waking up early the next day not to miss the breakfast).
  2. I did have a role to play because Adeline couldn’t have photographed these candidates as she was busy showing them what to do.  It is good to refer to the photographs after the audition.

Below are the pictures taken during the audition.

… Nah!  They are PG rated.  Wait till we go for the actual Fashion Show with the actual Brüttal products.  Super chick n sexy lingerie that Brüttal carries.

So how was the experience?  Broadly summarized as follows.

  • Stressful.  It is hard to frame and capture the moments.  It is even harder if the models are inexperience.
  • Nervous.  I was the only guy in the VIP room.  I was worried that I might be eaten up by the girls.
  • Exciting.  Actually only one moment of excitement.  It was when all the models stripped in front of me down to their underwear, at the same time.

Now, why Africans?  I don’t know why the club “China White” is a popular place for the Africans and why Adeline goes for such a theme.  Maybe Africa is in these days?  Think about the next World Cup hosting country, the current F1 champ, and the new American President …

I have no clue how Adeline is going to train these brand new models for her Brüttal Fashion Show in March.  I am keen to cover the event for Brüttal and perhaps I may need a telephoto lens when that time comes (any one wish to lend me a 50mm f/1.4G?!).

24 thoughts on “Auditioning Female Models for Upcoming Brüttal (Lingerie) Fashion Show in Kuala Lumpur”

  1. Wilfrid, given that most are on the tanned side of skin, exposure will be hard. If its flash photography, its worse.

    Some tips, you really need to diffuse your flash as much as possible (remember the umbrella thingy or softbox?) Why? because the contrast created by tanned skin can be too stark (to bright on the highlights, to dark on the shadows).

    Avoid too dark a background as well. (Red one looks ok but a greyish backgound seems to work best.. especially in B&W photography) And lastly, don’t use on camera hotshoe flash, unless of coz, candid shots.

    The best is to take them using natural lighting using a window or reflector(that’s the most diffused light you can get which is free) Use manual setting, tuned to the aperture/Shutter/ISO that the skin tone is metered as around -1ev (maybe lower given how tan it is) to reveal the correct skintone exposure.

    Just some ideas for you to work with, of course if you can. For more lighter skin tone, its around +2/3 to +1 ev to correct the skin tone.

    One thing good in using manual. 1 settings for all! I mean, if all is around the same skin tone and the lighting conditions do not change too much.

    Lastly, use Whibal card (whenever lighting condition changes. This is to correct any small whitebalances.

    And one last thing, there is an art to Posing. Its a whole subject by itself

    For lenses, I’ve got a 50mm 1.8. For your FX, an 85mm 1.4 seems best for the condition (seems like quite a big area to work in).

    Hope its not too encrypted of a language for you to understand.. 😀


  2. Mathew – Again, thanks for your valuable tips!

    One thing I must share is that originally I wanted to cancel the trip because it is more like an audition session than a photo shooting session and I may not add as much value as I could have been. The original plan was for the models to come to my friend’s lingerie shop, wear her products, and pose with the backdrop of her shop.

    In this setting, I have no control over the backdrop (very limited, very uninspiring), I have no control if the candidates are even wearing matching underwear (hence the B&W conversion because personally I get turn off by bras and panties in different colors). It was shot in a club with just a curtain separating the VIP room and the main dancing floor. In no way I could have use the umbrella or any studio setting. Also the candidates were moving around the limited space and seriously, the requirement was really to take some really plain shot on the various parts of the female body for my friend to assess if a particular one will look good on the lingerie she sells.

    And on top of that, some candidates have certain body scars and hence … the heavy usage of effects and coloring.

    So you are right, it is more like a candid photo shooting session.

    Great tips though. This time I switched out of manual setting like I usually do because most shots are spontaneous. Perhaps time to go back to manual again!

  3. Wilfrid – No prob!
    Any photography opportunity is an opportunity not to be missed. Especially willing halfdressed models.

    This is the time for testing different shots and capabilities of your cam/flashed.

    Usually, no need to change much out of your manual mode and use FV as much as possible. Then work on the composition and later on post-processing.


  4. Mathew – Lol … half dressed models … hmmm. Politically, this photo album cannot and should not look better than the ones I took for Cynthia eh?


    OK. I think I begin to “get you”. FV is no need for matrix metering in A or S mode with the flash gun attached. In any other occasions such as manual exposure and remote flash, I should go for FV for more accurate exposure of my subject?

    Come to think of it, the flash gun is pretty smart eh? One pre-shot and it will know what to change for the real shot … amazing.

  5. Darkspore – Awesome, definitely in the name of helping a good friend. Free is relative. The petrol was RM 144, hotel was RM 210, toll was close to RM 100 (total approx. S$200). It was a 9 hours slow drive up and down as the police was everywhere to catch speeders. And we went up just for this shooting staying one night at KL.

    But we are glad to be there to lend support.

  6. Wilfrid – Yes, in a way, you are right. I’ve explained very early before that there are actually 2 brains. The super intelligent and powerful SB900 and your cam. Both meters seperately.

    D700 meters the background and ambience, Flash to highlight the dark forground or subject.

    FV will preflash from your SB900, this meter subjects correctly. Holding FV let’s the SB900 remembers the flash output settings even you recomposed.

    At the end of the day, average 2 flashes required for 1 shot. Your batt packs became your real advantage. So, use FV!

  7. Mathew – I think I can sort of understand why you eat up batteries so fast … lol. My 8x AA on the battery grip can only last for 500 shots I think. Because I have yet to master the FV, the 4x AA on the flash gun seems to last longer than 500 shots. But if I do the preflashes …

    OK, I should not think of the external battery pack. Economy this year is bad … lol.

  8. Hey Wilf, you captured the candid moments really well despite all those poor lighting and women all half naked.

    Hehehe.. you were a true pro, having been so focused and wasn’t even sweating one bit. Bravo!

    Despite the audition at China White and the black models, we will be giving everyone a surprise, so stay tuned to our Facebook Page at

    Once again, thank you so much Wilf and Cyn for everything you’ve done for me and being such good friends. Life will never be the same without you both!

  9. Adeline Choo – Not true pro … ha ha ha. Just do my best and blessed with mentors to show me the way!

    Wishing you all the best with your relationship and looking forward to that surprise you mentioned.

  10. Wil- Woah, now i understand why u never come to the zoo le… haha… just a joke…

    But indeed they are very different subject to take compare to e zoo. You and matthew are really at the pro level already, i ask a few of my friend about the whitebal card and they don’t use it at all ( some even never heard of it before )

    If there another chance, i will call u out for some photo shoot together, Jurong Bird Park, ok? Will be posting my zoo photo later, drop u the address later in y0ur mail…

  11. Ng – Nah, because of the last minute changes, I was actually trying to cancel the trip and stayed in Singapore for that weekend.

    I love the zoo and bird park by the way. Let’s do it one day. Looking forward to seeing your photos 🙂

  12. Limleen – The photographer was very stressed, trying to make the best out of the less than ideal situation … and he is happy to give his friend a pair of helping hands.

  13. Adeline – I’ll try to send to you next week. My parents are in town and my sister is getting married in Singapore this weekend. Hectic life!

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