Shanghai Family Shoot

Jasmine: As you know by now, we love planning and going on photoshoots, especially as a way to mark milestones in our lives, such as our NYC honeymoon and our maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Dylan. We decided that we would do a family photoshoot with nine-month-old Dylan when we went to Shanghai! We chose a Shanghai-based American photographer, Dave of Spotted Photography, and gave him the brief- to be as creative with his shots as possible!

Preparations and Logistics

Jasmine: We opted for a five-hour session as that would give us plenty of time for costume change, diaper change, etc, as you never know how long it will take with a baby in tow!

To make it easier for us, we also had a chauffeur to minimise travelling time (and we chose attractions that were all nearby, anyways) and hired a babysitter through our hotel. This babysitter was very helpful in holding baby when we were taking couple shots (so if Dylan doesn’t appear in the shots, fear not, he wasn’t left to his own devices, but was kept within our sight at all times), feeding him and even making him nap! At one point when it was especially windy, she even doubled up as the photographer’s assistant to hold the light-diffusing umbrella while carrying Dyl!

Andrew: Photo-shoots are actually quite logistically challenging, especially outdoors ones, when you also have to plan for multiple costume changes – not just for us, but for Dylan too. With Dylan, the additional challenge was planning it to coincide with his nap time such that he wouldn’t be too cranky. I was quite worried it’d be tough, because we had extremely long travel time the day before (almost 12 hours in total) and he didn’t sleep too well. However, to my surprise, it went amazingly well. Dave was also able to keep the session going along at a relaxing enough pace, such that we felt like we were getting sufficiently nice shots and we had lots of fun while at it too. Dylan was good throughout… Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

At our Art Deco hotel, the Yangtze Boutique Hotel:

Jasmine: We wanted to shoot in our hotel room, but the space was too tight, so we did a couple of quick shots at the lovely Art Deco foyer instead.

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Andrew: The shot above was taken using a remote-controlled flash-gun, which the photographer placed behind us to ensure there was sufficient (and dramatic) lighting. Dave was our most experimental photographer thus far (and trust me, we’ve been through quite a few) with so many unique tricks up his sleeve. It was a really fun photo-shoot.

Jasmine: I’m wearing a dress from a Korean shop at Nex with black stockings and my Aldo boots which I bought from Washington two years back. Andrew is wearing a H&M t-shirt with a maroon velvet H&M blazer he bought in the US and never had a chance to wear.

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At Nanjing Lu

Jasmine: As the shopping street was a 5 min walk away from our hotel, we then strolled over (while taking pictures) for more warm-up shots.

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We’ve topped up our hotel outfits with a Warehouse coat and H&M beret for me, and a Basic House cardigan for Andrew. Dilly’s outfit is from H&M and his reversible soft shoes are from Mothercare.

Andrew: Love this shot – it’s a tender, family moment, characterised subtly by the bike in the background transporting cartons. Dillie, as usual, looks like his innocent, cute self – just sucking on his fist and looking curiously around. 

Jasmine: Our photog said that the quality of light in Shanghai is particularly mysterious because of all the smog.

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 spotted_013 According to Andrew’s colleague, the shot below looked like a frame from a happy ending of a Korean drama- "one year after getting married, now with a baby". Heh.

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At 1933 (an Art Deco slaughterhouse)

Jasmine: This was my favourite stop by far. An Art Deco abbatoir given a new lease of life as an upmarket art gallery and high-end shopping mall. This was where our photographer got really creative, seizing on all the interesting angles and lines afforded by the place! In fact, I think quite a few of these shots are featured on his front page!

The facade alone was stunning in its geometric patterns:

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Our only family shot there, as Dilly later fell asleep on the babysitter, covered in my jacket. Andrew and Dilly are wearing matching suspenders and bow tie!

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And quite a few romantic shots along the open-air aisles. I love the broken lens effect, where the photog detached the lens from the camera, creating pictures with blurred and sharp parts.

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I’m wearing a ribbon top that I bought years ago from Far East Plaza with green Uniqlo jeans, and the BCBG leather jacket that I bough at 50% off during outlet shopping on our NYC honeymoon. Andrew is wearing H&M suspenders and bow tie.

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As the sun was setting, we then proceeded to the rooftop of 1933 for some final pictures…

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Andrew: This was my favourite spot for photos too – just a maze of pathways and hidden corners to play around with. The photographs there have such a dreamy feel.

Before making our way to our last stop, the Bund!

Shanghai Pre Wedding Photos (13)

Jasmine: The Bund is the river that runs through Shanghai, with gorgeous 19th century buildings of assorted architectural styles lining each side. A sight to behold especially at night when all the buildings are lit up, we wanted to dress more formally to match the cityscape.

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I’m wearing the Notte by Marchesa dress that I bought at 40% off, for my sister’s wedding,  before I found out that I was pregnant. Two months pregnant in this picture, to be exact. Sigh. Time to make a new dress. The star hair accessory was based on a Rodarte clip that cost $600USD, and handmade by me for less than $30SGD!

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Our photog thought this area would make for cool shots due to all the curved lines. This was when our babysitter had to double up as his assistant, by holding the umbrella that diffused the flash so that the brolly wouldn’t fly away.

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And Dyl, in the Rilakumma suit Mum bought him from Japan. She bought it without realising it was Rilakumma, Charlene’s favourite bear.

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spotted_047 Andrew: This last part was where Dylan got naughty and started ‘bullying’ me by taking off my specs and ‘slapping’ my face – look at how calm he is, while ‘smushing’ my nose. Dearie and the photographer had a good laugh, just watching me getting bullied. It was gd fun!

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And rounding off the night with a shot in front of the Pearl Tower!

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Andrew: The temperature when we were at the Bund was below 10 degrees and it was very windy. Everybody around us was wrapped up in their jackets and scarfs, whereas both of us were just wearing the one-layer you see above. (Jasmine: just to note though that while we didn’t mind a little chill, we were always careful to ensure that Dylan was safely bundled up in long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes, hat PLUS winter coat on top. We only changed his outerwear, and even then, only indoors or in the car.) 

Andrew: We attracted a lot of stares – people must have thought we were crazy! Hey, we’ve been through worse… During our NYC photoshoot, the temperature was close to zero and we were also in 1 layer! Dear’s so resilient when it comes to photoshoots. Check out the photographer’s own blog entry of our photo-shoot!

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