For my first blog post, I want to show y’all the first commercial glasses photoshoot that I’ve ever had. I want to start from the very beginning. That way, you guys will be able to follow all the gigs that I’ve done chronologically. That way, all of y’all will be coming along for the ride that is my NYC Asian male model journey.
With that being said, let’s get to it!
Bringing us back to September of 2018, I was just starting my modeling career and had nothing in my portfolio. Because I had a strong dislike of pictures in my youth and was off the grid social media wise. It was pretty hard for me to apply to gigs knowing that I didn’t have much to show.
So when Sophia from Pair Eyewear reached out to me on Backstage for their glasses photoshoot, I was just ecstatic; like jump for joy ecstatic.
I remember crying a little bit (manly tears ok?) because it was just so euphoric to get that feeling of validation. I had just gone through some major life changes and was feeling pretty raw.
In Asian culture, you are usually presented with two choices. Either go to college and get a “stable job” (whatever your parents wanted you to do) or get the f*** out of their house. It didn’t matter what your dream was or what you are passionate about.
With that cultural upbringing and low self-confidence because of my abusive mother. I never thought I could give modeling a real chance. Much less actually book a glasses photoshoot or anything of the sort.
That’s why I just want to say Thank you Nathan & Sophia.
Thank ya’ll for taking a chance and casting me for your glasses photoshoot. It meant more to me than you guys could ever know.
Glasses Photoshoot @ Kronus Studios
Friday, October 5th, 2018 at Kronos studios in Long Island City was the date and the location. LETS GOOOOOO!
Walking into Kronus studios for the very first time, I had no idea what to expect. I simply never stepped foot into any studio before.
What I encountered and now usually find patterned at every studio is:
- Beautiful giant windows for natural light
- Wide-open space for shooting
- A place for a variety of backdrop options
- A convenient place to lounge
Each studio has its own personality. Every time I’m in one, I try to shoot as much of it as I can. Usually, there are a ton of really dope decorations that capture that specific studio’s style. And with just like with this glasses photoshoot, I just try my best to capture it all when I can get in BTS (behind the scenes).
Growing up in Queens as an introvert, I honestly never got out much. The only places I went to before modeling was school, work and home. Fun guy, amirite?
Now that I have the chance to be in a wide variety of gigs, I get to see some really cool spaces that I otherwise never known. So, I’m just really happy that I can share them with y’all.
Anyways, now that y’all have an idea of what Kronus Studios looks like. Let’s get into how the glasses photoshoot went inside it.
Pair Eyewear Glasses Photoshoot
When I got to Kronus Studios, I was immediately greeted by Sophia and Nathan from Pair Eyewear. Then, I had the pleasure of being introduced to three other models along with the photographer.
The glasses photoshoot was structured into five parts:
- Head turnarounds for 360 view of the glasses
- Putting on the glasses
- Funny/Fun faces
- Video for a GIF
All four models were to do each. But before we look at the pictures, let’s talk a bit about Pair Eyewear, the purpose of the shoot and why they’re different compared to other glasses companies.
Pair Eyewear’s message is “customizable glasses and sunglasses that kids want to wear”. Their specialty is that their frames have magnets on the two edges of the frame, allowing you to attach a different colored or patterned front frame on top of it.
Currently, they sell only to children. However, the purpose of our glasses photoshoot was to prep for the eventual launch of their adult line.
Testing out the glasses myself, I realized that for adults, there was a very real functional benefit to Pair Eyewear frames.
The two that I immediately noticed were:
- Ability to Declutter – Screw having 5 additional fully-sized frames that take up too much space. You need that for all the other stuff you hoard.
- Match your outfit on the fly – New York is all about being a fashionista.
HEAD TURN SHOOT FOR 180 LOOK:
Ooo… this part was my favorite of the glasses photoshoot. The 180 head turn was the most interesting to me because I’ve never seen how it was done. Having done my fair share of online shopping, it was nice to experience the process of creating such an effect.
What the photographer had us do was move our head starting from one side to another by just a couple of degrees each shot. Boom, magic, beautiful product panning.
PUTTING ON PAIR EYEWEAR’S GLASSES:
This one’s pretty straightforward. For this part of Pair Eyewear’s glasses photoshoot, all we had to do was put on the glasses. But like the 360, it was one step at a time.
I’m not entirely sure if this was either to make a GIF or because they just want snapshots of the entire sequence. Having the option for both though is the real smart move.
Also, if they wanted to keep the pictures as a timeline such as the pictures above, I think that looks great as well.
PUTTING THE FUN IN GLASSES
In the third series of shots for this glasses photoshoot, all we had to do was make funny faces and have fun with the camera.
Funnily (hehe) enough, and I think other entertainers can attest to this. I’ve learned that being spontaneous while looking natural is about one of the hardest things to do. There’s a reason why experienced models/actors deserve the big bucks. It takes some serious skill to instantly look natural on camera.
Being a complete noob in the industry, I haven’t ever practiced in front of a mirror to really get to know my face. So…when I was told to think on the fly to formulate some dorky yet adorable faces. It caught pretty off guard.
I felt like this was extra hard for me because I had a natural resting bitch face. Sure, it’s the “model broody face” but man, most of the time, you just look mad.
Btw, I know y’all want to see the other model’s funny faces. I’m only putting up my pictures because I’m not sure how my colleagues would feel about that. So I’m just going to tread on the safe side, so I don’t get my ass beat.
My first time being on camera with different folks! Woo!
Glasses Photoshoot: VIDEO FOR GIF
Last but not least, we all had to do a short video that involved putting on another front frame to glasses we already had on. In my opinion as a marketer, this was the most important part of the shoot for them.
It clearly showed how the glasses work, the ease of putting on another front frame, and showcased their differentiation in the market. See how easy it is to put on a different front frame?
Takeaways & What I Learned
BACKSTAGE IS AWESOME:
Backstage is fantastic for small gigs such as this glasses photoshoot, help boost your confidence, and give you valuable reels for your portfolio.
Yeah… I was apprehensive at first to use this website because you had to pay for it. However, with a monthly option to pay only $20 to try, there’s really no excuse. That’s basically like one dinner entree in Manhattan for a months worth of potential opportunities.
For me, Backstage has been the backbone of my modeling/acting portfolio. With small gigs, you’re more likely to get the prints and videos which are so vital for your career moving forward.
Plus, the variety of these gigs will help diversify your portfolio. Which is huge itself. But these gigs will also expose you to a range of gigs, and help you get acquainted with how the whole process works. That kind of experience is huge before you book something big.
SMALL CREWS ARE AWESOME:
I loveeee working with small crews. For aspiring models/actors/entertainers, I honestly think that the best way to start your career is to have first couple of gigs with small crews (just like this glasses photoshoot).
From my experience, the shoots were almost always super chill, intimate, and fun. Plus, I always come out really learning something.
Yeah… I know you want to be a hotshot, with a 20 man crew, spotlight & all eyes on you, being paid the big $$$. BUT! With that kind of money and level of production comes a certain level of expectation.
You will have suits (big clients) expecting you to perform and perform fucking well. Which probably will make you nervous as shit, thus making you look like shit on camera, and feel like shit afterward if you don’t absolutely nail it.
OR you might just be a born pro with superhuman talent/confidence and absolutely crush it. But for regular folk like me, that’s my two cents though. ̄\_(ツ)_/¯
PRACTICE YOUR FACES
I learned that if you want to be a professional, you gotta act like one. Professionals practice and hone their craft to perfection. As a model, my biggest asset is myself, which means I need to know my face and body inside out. I thought the idea of spending an hour or more staring in front of your mirror just messing around with your face silly at first, but trust me, people will book you for those exact faces that you could come up with.
Plus, you might also find something unique about your face that no one else has.
I learned that I have to know my angles, my “working side”, my funny, sad, angry, happy, all of my faces.
It makes sense why casting directors look at headshots. As a marketer, we learn that a fundamental part of marketing especially for brands is to put a face and personality for a company.
Pair Eyewear Glasses Photoshoot Conclusion
Well, that’s it for Pair Eyewear’s glasses photoshoot. Ah…. my first ever real photoshoot :)! In conclusion, I just want to say that I really couldn’t be more thankful for the experience for this glasses photoshoot experience. Having such a fun and chill time at my first gig really solidified my decision in jumping into the modeling/acting world.
Stay tuned for my next post. I’ll be talking about the time I worked as a brand ambassador for FUJI at Comic Con 2018 NYC I have a ton of photos, so y’all will get to see a ton of dope outfits, cosplays, merch, and the event.