I first met SmugMug, a photography-centric website platform, waltzing down the aisles of WPPI in March 2013. Ann and Katherine, two wonderful SmugMug reps actually recognized me as I bounced across the trade show and invited me to come check out their platform. At the time, SmugMug hadn’t yet upgraded to their new sleek and shiny interface and when asked if i would be interested in trying out their platform, I blurted out: “not really… it’s kinda ugly!”
A constructive conversation ensued where we exchanged feedback on the platform, which culminated in a handshake and a promise to stay in touch. And stay in touch they did, casually and professionally until one day they asked if I would be interested in being a part of the launch of their new platform. Seeing what they had in store, I enthusiastically agreed and the result was a staggering 1 million hits in the first two days of launch. Mind boggling.
But they weren’t done with me yet. They were on the lookout for passionate creatives to interview and feature on a top secret project they had coming up: an inspirational series of short film documentaries. All they needed was for me to drop them a phone call the minute I had a shoot coming up in the US and they’d send off the talented Anton Lorimer to come and document the shoot.
Turns out they didn’t have to wait very long. Kelly Zak, a talented makeup artist out of Orlando, Florida and I began brainstorming about the possibilities of doing a fallen angel photoshoot together and though we weren’t quite sure how we were going to do it, we both locked down a week in the month of October anyways knowing that we’d figure things out when the time came.
I wrote back to SmugMug letting them know that we had a date and a vague concept, inquiring if it would be interesting enough for them to fly out and document the creative process and they enthusiastically agreed. Though Anton flew in for only two days, equipped with nothing more than a slider, glidecam and a pair of Canon dSLRs (ew! :P) … I was blown away by the cinematography in his final video. One would never guess that the amazing voice interview was conducted in nothing more than a rental car in Kelly’s parking lot just a couple hours after day 1 of the photoshoot.
Beyond the amazing cinematography, what I found truly amazing about the video was that it really captured the best side of me… of who I was and what I try to represent. If I had to direct something like this on my own, I would never have been able to do better. I had never expected a random company that I had only met a couple months earlier to be able to so easily grasp the essence of who I was . I suppose mutually passionate beings can truly connect.
I guess the moral of the story is: If you do what you love, and meet the people that love what you do … great things happen when you work together.
Thank you SmugMug for this beautiful piece on me. Check out their exclusive interview of me if you’re curious!
Coming next week: How this whole thing came together with an extended BTS ft. Kelly Zak by Kumbukkage Shriyantha Tory Wimalasekera
- Model: Heather Phoi, Rick Tetu, Chelsea Sarbach, Mariela Martinez, Dan Jopling, Meredith Ewan
- Costume design:
- Makeup: Frances Perry, Kelly Zak
- BTS Video: Kumbukkage Shriyantha Tory Wimalasekera and SmugMug‘s Anton Lorimer
- Equipment Sponsored by BorrowLenses.com
- Assistant Director/Producer: Kelly Zak
- Concept: Kelly Zak + VonWong
- VonWonglings: Christopher Watson, John Koseenanonth, Tony Guillaro, Gilmar Smith, Laurent Coppee, Clyph Jean-Philippe, Kyle Mould, Edward Lian, J.W. Hendricks, Raffaella De Amicis
- Upcoming workshops at Mystic Seminars! I hope to see you there!!! Will be hanging out, speaking, doing live shoot demos… overall, it should be quite exciting!