And for the last one, we don't just put up something, we do photo shoots - dress up, hair, makeup - the works! No professional lighting, though. We primarily work with the fluorescent lighting in the office. We've been doing this thing for the last three years at least, and from my experience, people appreciate the activity. We started it on a quarterly basis, then in 2009 went all out with a monthly frequency.
As of writing, we're in post-production for our January 2011 Rosario-inspired shoot. In the meantime, let me share with you our displays for the past two years.
December 2010. Ho! Ho! Ho! Sexy santa girls in the house. One of my "dream" concepts that had to wait another year. For the makeshift white backdrop, we used the back of a huge tarpaulin. Looks like the real deal to me anyway.
November 2010. Street wear is the name of the game. Another of my dreams, the newspaper set was a lot of work. No studio but we had to make it look like one.
October 2010. We took the fantasy route. And to augment the lack in set design, costume and props, some amateur Photoshop work did the trick.
September 2010. My birthday month. Another dream-come-true for me after about a year of seemingly wishful thinking. The idea alone of wearing clothes fashioned from garbage bags was already a challenge so I originally wanted it for a month with fewer celebrants. But what the heck, it was now or never.
August 2010. Party time! But since we weren't able to shoot in an actual club or bar, we settled once again for our conference room. Loads of cheesy lighting effects were added to complete the look.
July 2010. Nothing but curtains here. Originally we wanted yards and yards of fabric that would drape our celebrants and serve as backdrop simultaneously. Same effect achieved, though.
June 2010. An office setting. Not that it was less creative or affecting but GQ did a similar concept for its April 2010 issue with Shia LaBeouf. The shoot was beset with several delays and scheduling bumps, and the concept kept changing along with it.
May 2010. Yes, she owns the month. This was shot unplanned after constant delays. We were simply inspired when she showed up for work one Friday.
April 2010. El Nino, which was wreaking havoc across the country at the time, ironically inspired this shoot. Thanks to Photoshop again for the desert and for Madonna's desert-shot music video, Frozen, from which the monochromatic treatment took its cue.
March 2010. Carrie on! Inspired by Sex and the City, we took this shoot to the streets so our celebrants can better channel their inner Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha.
February 2010. Kung hei fat choi! We went all-out with the props complete with a full-sized Chinese dragon (sans the dance) with this Chinese new year shoot. After a combination of stern and happy poses, the shoot took an unexpected turn to tai chi and kung fu.
January 2010. Wonderland. Or Underland. Whatever. We originally planned to superimpose the celebrants on some cartoonish farmland montage but this was where they ended up.
December 2009. We wanted an "Ice Queen" theme but the props didn't materialize. But with our celebrants' piercing-cold expressions and some tweaking and desaturation in post-production, we were somehow still able to salvage that "icy" feel.
November 2009. Veering away from Halloween cliche, we tried "Runaway Bride" here. Definitely a fun and breezy session. Not a location shoot, however. Unless you could call our conference room a location.
October 2009. Marionette dolls and puppeteers! Difficult it was to get the right pose and expression. Difficult it was in post-production. But definitely worth the effort.
September 2009. The September Issue. It's fashion magazine-dom's biggest annual production. At the time it was also the month with the most celebrants. It was quite hard to fit everyone in the frame nicely. But we had to. And we did.
August 2009. BBC's first genuine outdoor shot. Some cold weather clothing, rain, and an industrial background - perfect combination!
July 2009. The "Godfather" vibe permeating this shot was inspired by a mafia-themed ad from Dolce & Gabbana. I love the sea of black with that sudden burst of red. Love the attitude! Here we also had to transform the "don's" hair to gray.
June 2009. It's back to school with a feisty "terror" teacher and some cutesy but mischievous school kids. Definitely one of BBC's more fun shoots.
May 2009. It's Flores de Mayo and we made our lone celebrant the Reyna Elena. It was all hands on deck for BBC. I mean, we had to make her an arch! This was a lot of post-production work as well. Why? We didn't shoot on location and there was only one barong to share between the two extras holding the arch.
April 2009. A more subdued take on Lady Gaga's ostentatious outfits. The fishnet stockings on all three celebrants - purely coincidental. Shot this in our department library back when it was still under renovation. Thanks to all the chaos around we had props at our disposal.
March 2009. The great outdoors! Shot in the not-so-great indoors. Each celebrant was shot individually and positioned together in post-production.
February 2009. Inspired by the guy-celebrant's passion for cars, the idea was a suave, speed-loving stud with a hot lady in tow. "Feel sexy! Smile with your eyes," I remember coaching this lady in red while shooting.
January 2009. This marked BBC's shift from quarterly to monthly photo shoots. The shot was impromptu but the chemistry was evident. A love team was born!
Whew! 24 shoots and counting - we're definitely dead-serious about this thing!