Star Wars: Adrian & Adeline – a Themed Pre-Wedding photo series that went VIRAL

Long post ahead!

How It All Began

A couple of years ago, when The Art of Mezame was still a fledgling little group of photography enthusiasts, we had the opportunity to shoot THE LAST TWO OF US – a zombie-themed pre-wedding photo series for our clients who really were a pair of fans of The Walking Dead series by A.M.C.


It was a unique entry into an otherwise saturated pre-wedding/wedding photography industry. This theme has been done before by other photographers all over the world and some of those works really gave us the inspiration we needed to make things happen.

Knock, knock...

We chose to make our series a story-driven epic. Complete with groomsmen and bridesmaids who have turned into zombies and a toy rescue helicopter, the photo series saw Hanan and his then-fiancee Maisarah battle their way to the rooftop of an abandoned carpark to have a shot at hopping on a rescue helicopter. Whether they made it or not remains a mystery. Fast forward a few months, and we had Adrian and Adeline who were fascinated by what we have done for Hanan and Maisarah. After a few email exchanges, they thought of doing a themed pre-wedding shoot based on the Matrix trilogy or Jurassic Park but decided on Star Wars eventually. The Force is definitely strong with this couple!



Pre-production began early. After our first meet-up, I began experimenting on toy photography to get an idea of what to shoot, and how to shoot. I had a Power of the Force X-Wing, TIE Advanced and a Big Millennium Falcon. I also shot some other toys but they didn’t make the final cut – TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, Republic Gunship, etc. I began researching on the colours used in the Star Wars universe to re-create the feels of the epic films. I began watching the movies again, and rediscovered the joy of those films. I had the Star Wars: The Old Republic trailers on loop over and over again. I began sketching ideas, diagrams, storyboards, etc.


The day finally came when we had to shoot the couple and their Sith groomsmen. The key idea was simple – it was a story of redemption. Now, even though the idea of Jedi being disallowed from marriage and being in love, I need to take a moment to let you guys know that a lot of creative liberty took place here post-Return of the Jedi. After the release of the second The Force Awakens trailer, and looking back at the Expanded Universe, we decided to have a pair of Jedi Knights who were in love. It was a little difficult at first because the talents had to imagine that they were interacting with the ships. The end product had to be visualized in the mind throughout the shoot.


At some point, the couple had to stand next to nothing, imagining that they were under a huge ship. It was great that the couple were cool to work with and the groomsmen were game to try anything.


The results were epic. This was probably one of my most enjoyable shoots ever!

The Story So Far…

In this interpretation of the Star Wars universe, we have the Resistance on the run from the New Order. Imperial Star Destroyers began an assault on the planet of Chang-I, launching TIE Fighters and landing ageing AT-AT walkers. In desperation, the two Jedi Knights made a last stand. Unbeknownst to them, an ancient Sith Lord watches the Jedi Knight Adrian (the groom-to-be) from the shadows, keen on adopting a new apprentice by his side. Adrian was sent on a mission to take a modified Corellian YT-1300 freighter to deliver some droids bearing important secret plans to the Resistance’s command. What happened next after the ship departed was a mystery.


The Sith warriors (groomsmen) landed in a shuttle and began an assault on the ground with the Jedi Knight Adeline being the last line of defense. X-Wings took to the skies and launched dogfights against TIE Fighters.



Suddenly, Adrian arrived in a TIE Advanced and began to duel her.


Unleashing Force lightning and lightsaber moves, Adrian fought hard but was no match for the power of the Light Side of the Force. Injured, Adrian summoned his Sith groomsmen who fought Adeline. Being one with the Force, Adeline took them on but was slowly overpowered. Adrian soon came to his senses, and leapt to his bride-to-be’s rescue.







The two of them took on the Sith warriors and eliminated them, freeing themselves from the oppression of the New Order. Akin to the ancient Jedi method of war, the Battle Meditation, their small victory here influenced the outcome of the war on Chang-I. The New Order was driven off planet and the Resistance managed to mount a successful defense. Adrian and Adeline realized that their love for another was too strong to be divided by any disturbance in the Force. It was also their undying love for one another that managed to overcome the Dark Side of the Force’s influence on Adrian.


Onto the technical bit – this shoot was done with the help of 3 crew members – Raymond Ee, Sean Padman, Siti Zahara and myself. Siti Zahara, who runs Alter Ego by MizDesert, also did the hair and make-up for the talents. The talents got their own costumes and some even crafted their own bits of armor to replicate the ones seen in the Star Wars games. Lightsabers were specially custom-crafted by KIT SABERS, a local sabersmith here in Singapore.


The shoot took a whole day and the toy photography took another. Storyboarding was essential in getting the shots I needed. I had to be really specific so I could direct the talents around. Initially, I wanted to include more toys but they just didn’t seem to work so we had them canned. Some of the art was brushed in (hooray for Wacom tablets!) to make the scenery even more Star Wars-y. Since I couldn’t find a Star Wars logo that could be used, I had one made from scratch. Freeware font and additional lines, and exploring kerning spaces in Photoshop made the title page possible.



Post-production was truly where the fun was. Photography purists probably wouldn’t appreciate what we did here because a lot of Photoshop work was put in to make this work. Composites, effects, colour grading were all part of the game. Various difficulties plagued the shoot – logistics (we had to lug around 2 generators to power up our smoke machine and twin Bowen GM500 strobe lights), bad weather (it rained in the morning at one of our locations), insect bites (it got worse when we shot in the night) and winds that did not fit our needs, causing our smoke to drift away. We wanted to include fire in our photography but as far as practical effects go, we ended up with just water and smoke. As a result, we had no choice but to Photoshop in smoke using brushes and fire that we have from our stock libraries (some of them were from practical effects from previous shoots).


Going Viral

All in all, it was a fun shoot and the couple/groomsmen were very happy about how their photos turned out. When the shots got viral and began making their rounds on social media networks, tech blogs and online newspapers, we were overjoyed. It was unexpected! I was interviewed by so many people about this shoot. It was one hell of an experience!

This photo series was covered by the following awesome portals:

  • RAWExchange (German): So kann Hochzeitsfotografie aussehen. Mezame im Interview über sein Star-Wars-PreWedding-Projekt
  • PetaPixel: An Epic Star Wars-Themed Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot
  • io9: Photographer Turns Pre-Wedding Photos Into a Grand Lightsaber Battle
  • Metro: This Star Wars-themed wedding shoot might be the most OTT yet
  • Mothership.SG: Couple just raised bar for pre-wedding photo shoot with Star Wars theme
  • MustShareNews: This Singaporean Couple’s Epic Star Wars Themed Wedding Photoshoot Just Won The Internet
  • Stuff: This couple did the most epic Star Wars themed wedding shoot in Singapore
  • FashionablyGeek: Elaborate Star Wars-Themed Engagement Shoot Complete With Light-Rapier Battle
  • TechEBlog: Geeks Create Epic Star Wars-Themed Wedding Photos, Complete with Handmade Lightsabers
  • CameraRumours.Info: An Epic Star Wars-Themed Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot
  • Fortress of Solitude: Epic Star Wars-Themed Wedding Photos
  • ClickBlog (Italian): Da Star Wars agli scatti epici di matrimonio con Mezame Shashin-ka
  • Entretenimiento (Spanish): Fans de ‘Star Wars’ celebran su amor con sesión warsie
  • DCFever (Chinese): 星戰下的盟約!最科幻的 Pre-Wedding 相片!
  • Feng.Com (Chinese): 城里人太会玩了 这说是婚纱照你能相信?
  • USCNer (Chinese): 城里人太会玩了 这说是婚纱照你能相信?
  • Arabia Weddings: Wedding Photographer Turns Pre-Wedding Pictures Into a Lightsaber Battle
  • Yahoo! Noticias (Spanish/Latin America): Un amor que se viste de Star Wars
  • TechXcite (Thai): Photo: ขอรักจงสถิตอยู่กับท่าน…คู่รักถ่ายรูป Pre-Wedding ในธีม Star Wars สุดอลังการ!
  • Soccersuck (Thai): คู่รักถ่ายรูป Pre-Wedding ในธีม Star Wars สุดอลังการ!
  • Geek Culture: Singapore Photographer Shoots Amazing Star Wars Wedding

Thanks to awesome Mezfan and longtime follower Celeste Ohime-sama for the list! I will update the list as more come in!


In the meanwhile, thank you all for the support. To see more of the images, go to the album on my Facebook page. Hit the Like button and be a friend, not a stranger :P If you would like to write in to me privately, feel free to email me at mezame [at] Have thoughts to share? Feel free to leave a comment! May the Force be with You =)

Making the Shot: Yuegene Fay as Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul


#theartofmezame #thoughts

First thing that came to my mind for this shoot was “I should get a lightmeter.”
Taking this shot of world-renowned cosplayer Yuegene as Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul made me realize how important metering in the dark is. I am convinced that shooting “blindly” to meter for background and then to subject can be a time-consuming process. From what I understand, a lightmeter can help shorten that duration, and above all, looks more professional.

This also happened to be my first time doing a shoot utilizing a tripod because “I have to”. I usually use a tripod to do tests or shoot without one for my night photography.

For those who love tech talk, the settings for this shot are:
Shutter: 1/6 sec (this is the reason why I needed a tripod)
Focal length: 130mm (on the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM with IS on)
Aperture: f/14 (because I needed to keep things sharp)
ISO: 2000

The shutter speed is set as such because I wanted to get as much light as I could from the window lights in the city in the background. The ISO was a cause for concern as it could get pretty noisy but thank goodness for the 5D Mark III’s full-frame goodness, ability to handle lowlight and Lightroom, noise wasn’t much of an issue. It was still a little grainy but I had it fixed in post.

My bigger concern was losing details to overblown highlights and dark shadows . As it is, the shadows here are pretty much too dark for my liking initially but after a bit of tinkering, I thought hey that works – it created a bit of drama in the image.

Here’s Kaneki walking down the streets with the city in the back, and he pulls off his hood to reveal his face with part of it still in the shadows.

I could have used the Macro 100mm f2.8L IS but at this juncture, speed was everything and the 100mm wasn’t ‘fast enough’ at focusing in the dark, even with a helpful focusing light thanks to an assistant. In fact, most of the time, it was struggling to find its mark. It got frustrating.

Furthermore, with the 70-200, the image would have a ‘flatter’ feel to it, which is what I wanted.

A Canon 580 EXII provides a backlight to separate Yuegene from the background and one of my Bowens Gemini Esprit GM500 with an octobox was placed to the right of her to act as a keylight. A reflector on her left provided the fill required with light falling in from both the speedlight in the back and the keylight itself.

Light Diagram - Teaser

Overall, this was a really fun shot to get done and Yuegene approves of it (which is really important to me, considering how big of a following she has).

Anyway, I might be looking into one of the Sekonic lightmeters soon. Maybe something with a touch screen or back LEDs so I can work it in the darkness of the night.

See more of my collaboration with Yuegene at my Facebook page: Tokyo Ghoul’s Kaneki Ken feat. Yuegene Fay

This shoot was made possible with the awesome people from The Neo Tokyo Project and Kachang Puteh!

Hot Toys Iron Man 2 MMS120 War Machine + Light Blaster fun!

The Light Blaster strikes again, this time with War Machine taking center-stage. Colonel James Rupert “Rhodey” Rhodes never looked so badass until he dons the War Machine suit. The 85mm lens works really well with the Light Blaster, allowing for a more focused cast of the slide on the wall.

Hands on experience with the Light Blaster!

Heya guys! DIYPhotography recently sent me a copy of the Light Blaster and here I got the chance to check it out and test it on two of my collectibles. Special thank you to Udi especially who sent me this awesome device!

2014-08-10 21.28.10
Gravity didn’t agree with me when I played Jenga with the boxes.

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Just reading those words make you more awesome.

This image of Hot Toys‘s Selina Kyle and Batman which you will see later were both taken with the help of the Light Blaster.
The following walls of text are the results of my own personal opinions/review after a hands-on experience with the Light Blaster.The Light Blaster is both easy and a challenge to set up. It is by itself a unique and interesting creative kit that works like a projector, casting light from a strobe/speedlight onto a slide and then through a lens before casting the image on a wall/backdrop.

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Any image can be used as long as you place it on a 35mm slide or cut it onto a transparent sheet that fits the catch.

2014-08-10 21.44.25
This one goes here. That’s easy.

Attaching both the lens and the strobe/speedlight onto the Light Blaster’s main body was easy. Fixing the main body onto a light stand was easy. I was genuinely surprised at how sturdy the whole thing came together. Initially, I felt it was too plasticky and light but hoisting the whole thing in one hand proved otherwise after everything was attached. It held its own and both my lens and my speedlight did not fall off the main body. That’s a very good thing! Slotting in the slide for creative backgrounds into the Light Blaster itself was easy too. Everything felt secure and steady.

2014-08-10 21.57.55
Are we ready to go after setting the hardware up? Not quite.

Now here’s the challenging part. Focusing the lens to get the sharpest image onto a white wall was really tough as I didn’t have a measuring tape with me. Positioning was a little tricky too as placing the Light Blaster at the side, though preventing you from casting the slide’s image onto the figures, made the background image stretched out. Placing the Light Blaster right in front of the figures will cast the slide’s image onto the figures. Not quite what I wanted.

After experimenting with 2 speedlights (one on the Light Blaster and one on a reflective umbrella), I got what I thought would be the perfect placement. And so after almost 73 images of testing and experimenting, the image here was what I got.

Toy Photography by The Art of Mezame

I love how my flat white wall now has textures, and I love how it looks like both Batman and Selina were both in Gotham City when the shot was taken. Or maybe some sewers or catacombs. I don’t know.It really was supposed to be a city.Unfortunately, I couldn’t translate the image of the city onto it clearly. Maybe I can try another angle tomorrow or work with a wider space. Shooting this in my dining room proved to be quite a challenge in itself. It didn’t help that I was using the 70-200mm too. Maybe I could use the 24-70mm next time, and use a smaller aperture.So much to experiement! Here’s the list of gear that I used for this experiment. I had my Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8 II USM and a Canon 580EX II on the Light Blaster. I had my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I also had my other Canon 580EX II firing onto a reflective umbrella as key light. All my speedlights are controlled by my Phottix Odins.

EXIF data:
Exposure – 1/200 sec at f/22
Focal length – 70mm
ISO – 250

The Light Blaster is just amazing. I am pretty sure I can nail it for toy photography, with more experimentations. I gotta try the Light Blaster on human models too. The initial test proved that it has a lot of potential. I love it, really. I can imagine already what else I can apply it on. Oh, and the slide designs can be expanded to include custom prints too!

2014-08-10 21.47.07This is not a hairdryer.

Final words: If you don’t have it, you should get it. But if you’re not the sort who’s patient and into experimenting with photography, mmmmm… well… stay boring then I say, go get one, or rent one, or borrow one. It’s awesome. You can do so much with it! I’m gonna take my time with learning how to use it. It does need some time to get used to. I might want to experiment with smoke and water soon with it. The possibilities are endless. Have a go with it and have fun with it
Take note: This was just an experiment. I didn’t really pose both the figures because I was more interested in trying out the Light Blaster. I’ll do a proper shoot once I get the hang of it the Light Blaster.

Epic Giveaway Contest for people residing in Singapore!

#contest #giveaway #theartofmezame #ironman #singapore

Heya friends!To celebrate The Art of Mezame hitting 2K Likes, I am giving away this epic print of a Hot Toys Ironman Mk VII which I have shot a while back to one lucky winner in a Like & Share contest! This contest is only valid for people residing in Singapore.
The image will be printed on canvas, specially sponsored by our friends at I-fourdesign.To participate in this contest, all you have to do is make sure that you have already Liked my page at The Art of Mezame, then hit Like on the image itself here and Share it on Facebook! (Be sure to set your share to Public.)Using a random number generator, I will pick a random winner on the 23rd July 2014 (10pm Singapore time). Winner will be notified via my Facebook page and through a private message with details on how and when the giveaway will happen.“May the odds be ever in your favour!”Disclaimer: This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Hot Toys or Marvel. Prototype is shown, final product may be slightly different.

The Art of Mezame crew members and associates and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win.

Monty Oum approved RWBY/JNPR/Penny cosplay!

The folks at The Neo Tokyo Project got me to do a shoot of some of their cosplay friends in their RWBY costume. I’ve never seen a single episode of RWBY prior to this shoot but it looks pretty interesting. Had a crash course in their fight scenes on Youtube just to get an idea what this anime is really about. Turns out, it’s an awesome web animation by Rooster Teeth about gravity-defying girls and boys and oversized weapons and massive monsters… and a professor obsessed with a mug, apparently :P I’ve gotta start watching the series now that I’m finally done with Game of Thrones (for now).


For this shoot, we found an aisle somewhere in Singapore and set up two Bowen Esprit Gemini GM500s. I wanted to get the shots during the golden hour but that also meant we were running out of daylight. We had only a few hours to do the shoot and it didn’t help that the traffic that evening was exceptionally busy. We had vans and cars passing through this back alley every half an hour or so. At one point, a police car drove past with its lights flashing, causing the Bowens to trigger (it was funny!).

To soften the lighting on the cast, I attached a 95cm octagon softbox to one of the Bowens. The other Bowen faced the background to light up the surrounding area so I can separate the cast from the backdrops if I need to. Truth be told, I feel the need to invest in another Travelpac battery unit as the cables for the Bowens are ridiculously short (3m each) and they do not sell the 8m versions in Singapore anymore. As a result, the Bowens couldn’t be separated far apart.


A lot of post-processing was done to ensure that the cast look like their anime counterparts. The biggest challenge was getting Penny to look right as the cosplayer initially came with a few swords which were used by the character in the anime to display her powers. Unfortunately, there was no way we could make the sword float like in the anime. Another tough challenge was getting the swords to behave like they should – the swords had to be precisely placed in a circle around the character before she fires her green beam at her enemies.


The only way to do this was to Photoshop those swords in. I wasn’t really keen on finding images from Youtube captures as they would definitely suffer a drop in resolution so I had to craft a PSD image of a sword and clone them so they could look like they should and could be placed so they would behave like they did in the anime.

Overall, the shoot was fun – a little uncomfortable as some of the vents from the kitchens in the surrounding cafes blew hot air at us. It didn’t help that the day was quite hot and humid also (but that’s expected here in Singapore). But the results paid off! Monty Oum himself shared our shots on his Facebook page.

Trivia: We shot this on the eve of Monty Oum’s birthday, and released the photos of Team RWBY on my Facebook page on Monty Oum’s birthday.

Now, that’s amazing!

Photography by The Art of Mezame

R: Hibiki Xtyl
W: Chang Xuan Hui
B: Max’s Derps
Y: Eugene Lim

J: Koh Kai Jian Leon
N: Akari XOnpu
P: Esther Evangeline Au
R: Yuuno XMegane

Penny: Yan Li

See more at RWBY by The Art of Mezame

“A Survivor is Born”


“A Survivor is Born” #TombRaiderCosplay#LaraCroftCosplay
Photography by The Art of Mezame

This is a joint passion project by The Art of Mezame. We built the props and weapons, got the costumes done ourselves with the help of so many wonderful people who encouraged and supported us along the way. We had the wonderful Taryn-Ann Rae Swyny Fonseca to model for us. It’s awesome working with girl-gamers like her!








One of the most fun aspects of this project is our very own customization of weaponry made from toys you can find in major departmental stores and

Taryn-Ann Rae Swyny Fonseca as Lara Croft

Solarii Brotherhood:
Alfred Tang
Amanda DS
Sean Padman Israfil McMenamin
Suffian Zain

FX Makeup:
Alter Ego by MizDesert

Estoy Enamorada (BTS)
Eugene Khaw (Driver)

Weapons Supervisor(s):
Amanda DS (Rifles and pistols)
Xelrr Ang (Bow and arrows)

‘Ain Salleh (Quiver)
Joey Lim (Pistol holster)
Kuah Wei Long (Ice-pick axe)
Sueanne Teo (Walkie-talkie)

Weapons Sponsorship:
Shyam Luiz Ramasamy

Special thank you to all who believe in us.

Additional background:

Additional slogan:
Tomb Raider logo: