Styling and Photography Workshop by MEC

Thanks to Hollywood, most of us seem to be entrenched with the idea that photoshoots are just fun and glamorous, nothing else. MEC decided to provide the students of Monash with a more realistic approach towards creating a ~*lewk*~ and making sure that not only does it look good on Instagram, but also looks fantastic on print as well. Who else better to approach than the purveyors of local streetstyle, Pestle & Mortar Clothing? PMC Founder Hugh Koh and their Head of Content, Lucas Lau were invited over a late Wednesday evening to give industrial insight and a crash course on photography and styling.

To set the tone for the evening, Hugh came on and waxed poetic about the changing scenes in streetwear since he first started off the label with his good friends, and how it’s always nice to be able to reach out to the younger generation. Lucas however, provided a much more technical approach towards the segment of his presentation. He pulled out examples, gave pointers, and basically told everyone to break all the rules if they know what they’re doing.

Didn’t expect that there are so much to know when taking a picture…


After the TED Talk part of the workshop was over, then came the competition. Each group of attendants was assigned with a model that they had to style and photograph later. Once groups were let loose, the entire room turned into a frenzy as people tried to get their hands on the items they would style their model with. Everyone had their chance to pick from an entire counter of brand new PMC gear, and all of this was happening as Hugh and Lucas observed smugly. Once time was up, each looks were then given critiques on ways to improve.

Then, groups were scattered across campus as it was time for them to shoot their looks. Sparing the grey walls this time, everyone got creative with their location choices. Taking the limited lighting into consideration, some groups decided to shoot at the field, while some went indoors instead by using the MUSA Lounge and empty lecture halls. Just to keep everyone on their feet, groups were warned to not come back late to avoid doing squat jumps as punishment.

Which one should I steal wear??

While some groups struggled during the shooting process, the PMC team seemed to have an even harder time when it came to picking the winners of the competition, because the submissions ended up being just that good. Lucas commended everyone’s team efforts and reviewed the quality of work before the prize-giving ceremony. Based on the photos, each team that won had different merits of their own: first prize had the lighting, logo placement and pose right; second place captured their look through the unusual angle and juxtaposition; while third place was commended for look and feel based on their location choice.

Vouchers aside, it really wasn’t an overstatement to say every attendant went home a winner that night, having gained industrial advice and an inkling of what it’s like to be in the fashion industry. In retrospect, it’s easy to overlook the work and creative direction necessary in putting together lookbooks, and the team from Pencil Produce really showed the experience and knowhow gained from being frontliners of the industry; as well as imparting this knowledge to the crowd in attendance. Best of all, it was proved that you don’t need a fancy camera with big lenses to produce a worthy shot. Sometimes, all you really need is a smartphone and a VSCO filter.

Check out more photos of the event here!


Article by LingJie Tuang and Saik Ming Tay

Photos by Khosyi Musyaffa


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