By KERRY TINGA
Social media and the Internet have allowed creativity and entrepreneurship to flourish hand-in-hand for many young Filipinos who no longer need the traditional brick-and-mortar store to start a business. While the quarantine affected many aspects of business, young Filipino entrepreneurs found that they were already used to being creative and resourceful, working with whatever they had to overcome obstacles expected or unexpected.
Online fashion brands require constant visual promotions, with photo and product shoots spread throughout a brand’s calendar. Aesthetic images are used to promote products and a lifestyle on social media platforms. But what happens if nobody can leave the house? Creativity knows no bounds, and so social media saw the rise of the remote fashion shoot. Complete with brand representative, model, and photographer, these photoshoots happen without anybody actually leaving their house.
Bondi Studios, an online fashion and lifestyle brand started by friends and fresh graduates Erica Dee, Robyn See, and Sam Tangco, found the remote fashion shoots difficult but interesting and rewarding by the end.
“We normally get most of our content from our own photoshoots,” said the Bondi Studios team. “When quarantine started, we suddenly had less content to work with, which pushed us to get creative.”
Their Bondi nanays, the female craftsmen and workers who create the brand’s local products, were reliant on them to help tide them through the economic difficulties brought about by the health crisis. A sale during quarantine helped raise funds for the Bondi nanays, many of whom had husbands and other family members who were unable to earn money due to quarantine restrictions. The Bondi team knew they had to persevere to keep their small businesses running and to support the group of workers who had become family.
“We contacted our photographer and models,” the Bondi Studios team continued. “We also prepared a deck that showcased the direction we wanted and the overall feel of the shoot. The models we asked to collaborate with us already had Bondi products, including our locally made baguette bag and ceramics, but we asked them to work with whatever they had at home.”
Model Danielle Daza has done her fair share of fashion shoots for large and small brands, from having a full glam squad and production team in a studio to just a few people in a room in someone’s house. But the remote fashion shoot for Bondi Studios was definitely something new.
“Doing a photoshoot remotely is a lot more challenging than a regular studio shoot,” Danielle observed. “You have to be more creative than usual and coordinate as much as you can with the photographer. Shooting at home means you have to act as the model, glam team, stylist, and creative director, using only what you already have at home.”
Photographer Alanis Manantan was on call. She talked Danielle through the shoot, suggesting angles and poses that fit the brand vision, while also experimenting with the whole new mode of the photo shoots.
“But it is fun because you’re in the comfort of your own home, pushing yourself creatively, exploring your living space and becoming resourceful with what you have,” the young model and baker (she sells her own cookies under the Instagram brand Bakes by Popee) added. “Overall, shooting remotely taught me that creativity can come anywhere at any time.”