Exhibition: Women in Malta – Ariadne Massa

 

Locations: Malta Chamber of Commerce

Ariadne Massa – Journalist. Head of News, Times of Malta

It wasn’t easy to get a meeting with Ariadne. The nature of her work is unexpected and she has to be always on call. Even if it’s her day off.

It took a while for her to give an answer to my invitation. It wasn’t an easy decision as she wasn’t sure about to be exposed in the public eyes. It took some persuasion and encouragement from her friends to get her on board.

She told me about how she gets the stories she wants as a journalist. Once she wanted to interview someone with very unusual story. The person put her phone down every time she calls. Ariadne didn’t give up. The story is so important to her that she called later every year the same date the event happened. Some years later, the person finally agree to tell her the story and let her publish it.

I asked her, “Did you put the date down on your diary?”

“No, I didn’t. I just remember it. “ She replied.

I clearly remember that before the photo shoot, she was quite nervous and not sure about everything. She is a perfectionist and wants things to be in right order. So am I, I understand the feeling quite well. When she was at the shoot, after the makeup and hair done, I found she was relaxed and enjoyed it, it wasn’t a difficulty to take a good photo of her. I love the results, we have so many good photos.

Q& A

1)When you feel down, what you usually do to make yourself feel better? How do you deal with stress?

Stress drives me. But when the situation spirals out of control, I try to remember to breathe and put things in perspective. When all else fails, I go to sleep – it’s my escape.

2)What you enjoy the most about your work?

The adrenaline rush from a good story and the fact that no one day is ever the same. I love the fact that we can drive change, as well as make a difference to people’s lives.

3)Have you been professionally photographed before?

How did you feel? (Before the shoot with Amanda)

I tend to feel a bit self-conscious, but Amanda Hsu works to help you loosen up.

4)If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?

I will say nothing. You have to make your own mistakes and learn from them.

5)When things get tough, how do you keep your- self going?

A challenge and a competition is what pushes me to persevere. Some- how, things always fall into place, and I remind myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.

6) How do you define success?

This is a hard one to answer. I think success is never giving up and mak- ing obstacles your stepping stones when trying to achieve your goals. Like inventor Thomas Edison said: “Success is 1% inspiration, 99% per- spiration.”

Ariadne was interviewed by the US Embassy’s event “International Day of the Girl”, the link:https://malta.usembassy.gov/mobile//idotg-ariadnemassa.html

Women in Malta 2015 Project log page

 

A shoot with Darrin Zammit-Lupi

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Darrin is an excellent photographer, his most renowned work is ISLE LANDERS which covers the stories about the migrants from Africa. His work is a part of European history.

He had an solo exhibition last year in December. Before the exhibition, the magazine Sunday Circle wanted to do a story about him and they needed some good portraits of him.  The magazine already has some photographers who they work with but they thought about Darrin is a very good photographer and being in the field for so many years, they asked him if he would like to recommend someone to take the portraits for him.

Darrin asked me.

One day I met Darrin, he told me about the magazine and said, “Would you do it?” Imagine the good old 17th century Dutch painter Rembrandt, asked another painter to paint his portrait. How stressful the painter would be? Darrin didn’t want to put pressure on me, he said to me that it would be o.k. if I didn’t want to do it, he would understand.

“Of course I’ll do it. I’m glad that you ask me.” I said.

“That’s great.” Darrin seemed relieved.

I took the job happily. I am confident about what I do. I can take good portraits for everyone. If I fail, I would try it again and again.

We had fun during the photo shoot. David from Sunday Circle came to the shoot, input their ideas and it was great. David and Darrin are friends for a long time, they joked a lot and it was fun. There were shots when Darrin holding his camera and looked through the view finder. He had the chance to click away and it was like two photographer’s duel — we both were shooting.

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Syrian refugee for NRC Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

There was a moment that the two guys were whispering and I was concentrating on adjusting my camera setting. Later Darrin sent me a footage and found out he was taking a video. It was funny, here is the link to the video:

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Darrin, Sunday Circle and I are all happy about the result. I was glad to see they chose the same one as I would choose to be the cover photograph.

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After the magazine was published, Darrin got so many good comments from women, so many swear words from men. ( According to what Darrin said, the swear words mean well and they were compliments.) His colleagues were calling him, “James or Bond.” It lasted about a month people still were talking about Darrin’s portrait.

One day a client who knows Darrin came to my studio, I showed her the magazine cover of Darrin, she said me, “I thought it’s Darrin’s self-portrait. It’s your work? Well done Amanda.”

I think it’s another way of a compliment. 🙂

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For more information about Darrin’s work:

Darrin’s website:https://www.darrinzammitlupi.com/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/DarrinZammitLupiPhotography

 

Amazing ride – Women in Malta

Women in Malta exhibition at Malta Chamber of Commerce
Women in Malta exhibition at Malta Chamber of Commerce, Valletta (Left Joe from Chamber of Commerce)

All the photographs were dismounted yesterday. This whole project took me 6 months, finally all is finished and done. I’m happy. I feel so tired and think I can sleep for a week.

I have received a lot of support and encouragement since I start the project “Women in Malta”. But to be honest I had no idea what I got myself into. It was just a very simple idea, to photograph women. Running this project was certainly not an easy task. Besides my main work as a portrait photographer, the project took up rest of my time. My average working hour was about 14-15 hours a day. Meetings, writing, emails, messages, problems, problem solving and more problem solving.

Scientist says that human use only 20% of their brain, in that case, I was certainly trying to push my brain to more than 50%, as my brain hurts sometimes.

I have so much appreciation and gratitude toward to all the people who helped along the way, I feel loved and being looked after, I can’t thank you enough. Your support and encouragement are my drive to push myself further. It got me through the difficult times when I thought the project wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t able to make it, was I doing things right.  With so many people’s help, I had no excuse to fail. Basically I had very good feeling about the project and everything worked in the right direction right from the beginning, so I just kept doing it.

There are many ideas in my mind, projects I want to do. so what’s next? We’ll see.

Exhibition Opening – Women in Malta

It was really an honour that Ms. President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca attended to open my exhibition and being very supportive.

Thank you Mr. David Curmi the President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce for the wonderful speech and supporting the exhibition project right from the beginning.

Huge thanks and hugs for everyone who helped and support me to make this exhibition project. Friends and family are my motivation and drive. Love you all!

Thank you for all the friends who attended the exhibition opening. It was great having you all there.

Exhibition Project – Women in Malta 2015

Thanks David for photographing the opening event. Photos by David Bugeja

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Makeup and hair for “Women in Malta”

I’ve always interested in life experience, my own life experience and people’s life experience.
And they all teach me something.
I have Anabel and Remi as makeup artist and hairstylist of my exhibition project “Women in Malta”. They taught me something.

Anabel just lives a few blocks away from me, so we went to Valletta for photo shoots together in the morning.
Normally it takes about 30 minutes to get to Valletta but if we meet traffic that can be an hour or more. She didn’t want to take the chance being late.
“What time we have to be in Valletta tomorrow?” She asked.
“8 o’clock” I replied.
“I’ll pick you up at 6:30” She said.
It turns out we always get to Valletta before 8am or a lot earlier and I’m very happy about it.

She was quite persistent to check the makeup in my camera before I started to shoot. I often forgot to check and she would ask. She wants her work to look perfect in the photos and we did went on and on with some details. I know the more she cares the better the result.

When I started to look for people to work with, it’s not only about the skill, it’s about their personality as well.
I want to work with people I like. I know that very clear. I am sensitive with the people around me, I sense and notice everything goes on, I need to feel comfortable to be able to concentrate on working and with my best ability.
Anabel not only have the skill but also has the quality that she makes people feel at ease and comfortable in a short time. I knew she will take care of the 15 ladies very well. And it turns out everybody likes her.

When I first met Remi I was thinking, “This guy is tall and handsome, more like a model, can he do proper hairstyling?” Then I saw his work and knew he is pretty good. Two things he said caught my attention and I felt I would like to work with him.
First he said the most natural look of hair style can be the most difficult styling to achieve. I agreed. Second he said he doesn’t care about what he looks when he is working as long as his clients look good. People who work hard on their profession sometimes don’t have the time to look after their appearance. That I agree also.
Remi was quite persistent with the hair styling also, he kept poking his fingers into my frame when I was shooting and it did annoyed me a bit. He was adjusting the hair style and removing stray hairs. Again, I know the more he cares the better the result. So I was glad to put up with it.
I appreciate that they both are meticulous about details as I’m the same.

I like watching both of them working. When Anabel picks up her brush and moved between the pallets and face, she looks confident and happy. When Remi is working, his world only has one focus point, himself and the hair, everything else is blur. The concentration is like nothing can stop him doing what he was doing.

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Anabel’s Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/aatta123
Remi’s Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/remihairdressing

If you are a makeup artist, hairstylist or videographer and you would like to work with me, please send me the link your work to info@amandahsu.com

Interview in Pink Magazine

It was interesting to have the interview with Pink Magazine, they really went in depth to ask me all the questions. They are good questions, it took me a bit time to came out the answers as something I didn’t even think of before. Like “Whose portrait would you most like to shoot – dead or alive – and why?” It’s a cool question as I am totally into science fiction.

The magazine asked me to send them some of my works. My recent work is my exhibition project “Women in Malta”. At that time the work hasn’t finished yet. Then the magazine told me I can send them any of my work, “it’s about you”, they said. I was excited that I got the chance to show my ongoing project – Her, it’s a series of environmental self-portraits.

Here are the images from the magazine:

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See more photographs from the series Her click HERE.

 

Women in Malta – working progress

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(Something resembling!!!)

I’d like to think that I am immortal (too much The Lord of The Rings), I perform magic (too much Harry Potter and photography) and time is the most valuable thing and everything (too much Lucy. I’m having a love-and-hate relationship with time. )

There are rough times when I have to keep telling myself “don’t give up, keep going. ” But it’s nicer to hear someone to say it. (Friends are awesome!)

Anyway, after months’ preparation, contacting, meetings, research and work, finally “Women in Malta” is going to start the photo shoots next week. I’m very excited about it. This project has been testing my stamina and put me through challenges, nothing is easy in life as we all know it. It’s been a great ride and a lot of fun. (I’m loving it)

I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who help me with this project, I can’t do it without you and am immensely grateful to you.

The photographs for the “Women in Malta” exhibition won’t be uploaded to Facebook or Website. it’s totally “hush hush” as I would like to invite EVERYONE, all of you, to come to see the exhibition. (Journalists and TV programs are welcome to contact me for more information.)

My “Women in Malta” exhibition is on the 8th March for celebrating the International Women’s Day at the Chamber of Commerce, Republic Street, Valletta, for 2 weeks.

(Please put the date down on your diary 😉

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How to prepare for a family photo shoot?

—About clothing

1) It doesn’t matter what you wear, either formal or informal, I always suggest the colour of the outfits must be colour coordinated so the image will look in harmony. Everyone likes the different style of clothing, we don’t need to be “matchy matchy”, instead, we want everyone to be themselves in the photos. You can choose to have cold tone set or warm tone set, but don’t mix. Stick with 2 or 3 colours.
A warm colour palette might be oranges, reds, browns, or purples. While a cool colour palate may be light blues, greens, whites, or pinks.
2) No busy patterns or cartoon characters in clothes, they will become the distraction in the images.
3) Bring accessories, bow, hair clips, ties.
4) Bring at least 3 different outfits so we have more choice.
5) It is also a good idea you go shopping for the shoot. Wearing a new outfit always makes everyone feel good. When you feel good, you will look good. New outfits haven’t been washed yet so they also look new can crisp in the photos. Layering clothing is also a good idea, it makes the photo visually interesting. Add a piece of jewellery with special meaning, a hat, a funky belt or a scarf, all good ideas.
6) Make sure children are comfortable with their clothes. They are only happy when they feel comfortable and we definitely want happy children in out shots.

 

—How to keep children happy throughout the shoot

Let’s face it, children dominate the show, you schedule activities around them, if they get cranky, you can’t take them to a fancy restaurant that night. It is the same when children are having a photo shoot. They don’t have to be perfect to get the perfect photos. I usually just let them be, let them do what they like. If they running around, I chase them, if they are trying to hide, I let them hide. They are children, just let them be, we can work around with it. Be ready to go with the flow. The photo session is supposed to be an enjoyable experience for all. I would like you and your family think you’re just coming out for a family outing, creating the happy atmosphere is very important for the shoot. If something happens children are not happy, we can always take a break and come back to the shoot.

–Is there anything else I should bring with me?

Yes, bring anything you want. Bring children’s favourite toys, bring books, anything to keep everyone happy. Tablets, laptop and smartphones are NOT recommended to use during the shoot. Be the toy and PLAY with your children, we will get the most natural and beautiful connection and expressions in the photos. I would also suggest bringing a blanket, it comes in handy when shooting outdoor, everyone can lie on it for taking some shots.
With children is always either hurry up or waiting. Patient is the key. If you seem stressed, the children will pick it up very quickly.

–Feeding, drinking and bribes.

Everyone gets cranky when they are hungry and tired. So make sure everyone gets fed and had enough rest before the shoot. If bribe your children work then bribe them. It will make the shoot much easier.