Photos of Paul Penders Photo Shoot

As promised, photos of the Paul Penders photo shoot.

If you missed the story of why we were all in Tropical Spice Garden, read the pre-adventure story.

While the professional photographer was doing his thing, I was capturing the moments on my trusty little Canon. This baby of mine is outdated BUT I am still holding on to it because it’s such an easy to use camera, plus its pictures always turn out bright and colours are always 99% precise. I don’t know about Nikon and such, but I think a Canon ain’t too bad.

Anyway, back to the story of our shoot.

Keith, our makeup artist, is actually a biochemist with his own skincare line. Soft-spoken and gentle, he took his time to give Katja a natural, glowing radiance.

“I look really healthy!” Katja squealed in delight when she saw the photos in between the shoot.

Although Nic and I didn’t really need to be there (Ty is pretty much the pro), we felt that since we coordinated the whole thing, we should be there to oversee the shoot. After all, we’ve been working with Paul for sometime now and know his company, his philosophy, know his products (even use his products) and know Katja.

Like I said, I was so pleased the day was especially sunny which made photography easier. Nothing can replace the beauty of a happy, sun-lit day.

While it was a warm day, having trees and plants do make a huge difference. And we brought our own mosquito repellent, just in case our body heat invited the mozzies to feast. We gave ourselves around 4 hours for the entire shoot, shooting Katja first as she was leaving for the airport later that evening. The Paul Penders products and the jars of dried herbs could wait as we could do it much later.

Katja was the consummate professional though posing in the noonday heat was no joke! I was sweating down in my armpits and I was just hanging about. She endured the blistering heat and only grumbled a tiny bit when Ty asked her to touch the side of the man-made lake!

“There are insects in there!” she reasoned as she dipped her fingers in the water.

When we finally wrapped up the shoot, Katja hungrily gobbled her chicken pesto sandwich which I’d ordered for her from the Spice Cafe.

One of the best reasons to have a photo shoot within the Tropical Spice Garden is this, everyone from the cooks in the kitchen to the office staff, are highly amiable and accommodating.

(If you remember earlier, I asked Kat, the manager, for some banana leaves for the product shoot and she got her gardener to bring back one huge leaf about 2 meters long, fresh off a banana plant! I’d gone scouting at their Gift Shop for some containers for the product and herb shots and the sales staff there didn’t mind me taking off with her wares!)

Plus they have a cafe so no one ever needs to be too famished in the middle of a photo session. The photography team and us finally sat down to a very late lunch at 4.30pm! We were more exhausted and thirsty, rather than hungry after 4 hours.

(Did you know that Tropical Spice Garden can be ‘rented’ for wedding ceremonies, intimate wedding parties and corporate team building events? Well, now you know. It’s not just a horticulture delight.Oh and they have a bunch of Penang-made jewellery, arts and crafts and much more in support of the local community at their Gift Shop.)

We would have loved for Katja to be down at the beach (just across the road from the Spice Garden) for some beach snaps but we had to work within the time constraints.

I’ve noticed that naturally inspiring photos are taken when people are at their most relaxed but photographers must also learn to put their models at ease. Photographers should always have an eye for the unusual for it is always the photo with an arresting foregrounding that makes it shine.

Anyway, we’re so looking forward to seeing Ty’s photos this week!

P/S: The cutest end to a fantastic day – we were rewarded with a full show of dusky leaf monkeys from mama to papa to a golden-coloured monkey baby clinging to its mama in the cutest way possible on the sea almond trees near the Spice Cafe nearing the end of our shoot. Dusky leaf monkeys, explained Kat, will only appear when the mad, bad macaques aren’t around.

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