Taking a dip in publication scene

Over the two weeks holiday in between the semesters, I joined an event held by a local publication called Alesce. The event was held to create a conversation among people who bonded over reading Alesce, which is meant for modern and young Christian women in Singapore. In this event, beyond the engaging the conversation, I got to meet the team behind the magazine, from the founder to the creative and editorial team leaders.

I told them my situation as a fashion business student and my fascination for publication and the process of making a magazine come together. I practically begged the chance to even just shadow them in photoshoot or editorial meeting, and in the end I got to be in both!

I guess timing was everything because they were about to have a fashion shoot the next morning, and they told me I was welcomed to be there.

So, the next morning, I packed up my camera, wore comfortable clothes and had the longest ride I’ve ever had in my stay in Singapore to the location.

I got to see the role of the photographers, creative directors and shoot coordinator. I saw a clear difference from this shoot and the previous fashion-focused shoot I had, because the pictures they made had the sole focus of complimenting an article in the magazine, so the feel of the whole scene was more important than the details and the model.

I must say, out of all the roles, I could see myself in anybody’s shoes except the shoot coordinator. A coordinator needs to make the schedule sheet of people involved, contacting model, she also apparently took care of people’s belongings and things on set and helped styling and fixing up the model as there was no stylist in the shoot. The coordinator is the busy hand and the others were more of busy mind, which is very natural for me to be as well. The shoot was very casual but the end photos were good and worthy of being published. This made me feel more confident in my own photography skill.

(Also, quite related, I self-voluntarily became a behind-the-scenes photographer, because I could not just stand there and be a literal shadow. I am glad they told me they liked my photo.)

Some days after that, I joined the editorial team’s meeting, and I helped them edit the articles they had for the next issue. Right off the bat, I knew this department is less enticing than the creative department for some people, because it was less expressive and creative, but I found it very engaging. I loved that the editorial team were the ones who brainstorm what content they needed, and they found the correct people to deliver those content, and they edit the content to perfection. I was surprised I was able to read all the line-up and gave feedback.

After these two sessions, I could really see myself having a publication and following through with each element (from brainstorming to writing to taking picture to layout and graphic editing) and liking it. I saw that having a team might be necessary for me as a diversifier of ideas, but also for accountability because had I been given a chance, I would sit and marinate in one idea for ages before it turns to something practical or tangible.

Hanna Bella