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  • Adele Leung

What goes on in the background...

Many years ago I had a realisation that everything unseen is equally, if not more important, than the seen.

Having worked in the creative industry for a long time, I had spent the first one third of my career putting a lot of emphasis on the result of work produced. I had bought into needing recognition from the work produced that it became very stressful, such as all the preparation meticulously put in to create that one result, all the factors that need to be controlled and the frustration and emotional rollercoaster of not being able to control them, the blaming of self and others that happen if the result did not turn out as expected, it was simply super exhausting, although this is the normal of how our world works. What was especially exhausting was the emphasis on just one thing: work and its result.

I hated this way of working of putting so much effort into something that we cannot control the result of. It was a huge anxiousness in feeling a lostness in life. We think producing great results in work guarantees security and success, but nothing can be truly guaranteed, and to try to make that happen takes so much effort and causes so much stress that the body is completely trashed, so what is really the point of having this success? The honesty of the body simply could not make sense of these actions.

So with these realisations, I started taking a step back. Actually my body was forced to do so. I wasn't able to compartmentalise life anymore, it simply made much more sense looking at it as one thing. Instead of being stressed out about the preparations for one shoot in particular, or work in general, I took every moment in my day as preparation for everything in life, including work and beyond, because we never know what life would bring to us.

Every single one of the shoots I have been in since is prepared that way. Styling and being on shoots is the last part, in fact, it should already be innate like breathing, so there is no stress on the day. However, there were a lot of things I had to prepare in my lifestyle, such as the way to eat and to sleep, how to move about, what comes out of my mouth, all of these things were very different from how I used to live, but because it was not worth it to be riddled with stress, or disharmony with the team, they became an absolute that I do not budge from. This preparation is. not done for the results of work, it simply became a responsibility, as natural as breathing.

Do we realise that being joyful in a shoot or any kind of work situation, is a responsibility? That being full of energy and not tired is also responsibility? Not being moody or reactive, again, a responsibility? Because how we are in the shoot, whether it is seen or not, whether consumers see what goes on behind the scenes or not, will affect the final result, such as--are we sharing a billboard commercial full of joy or full of conflict, a vibration that the shoot was done in.

In October I went to Shanghai to do a Tommy Hilfiger shoot with an International team--the creative agency is from Berlin, the production agency from Hong Kong, the talents are from China, the crew from Hong Kong working with the China office, The theme of the shoot is about "Family" during Chinese New Year, one of the most important traditions of the culture. Personally in my life, I have recently had a lot of realisations about what true family is about, and hence the discarding of a lot of what was no longer true for me. All the models (adults and children) I met and actually throughout all the years, they are like children to me, all the crew are always like family when we move together in one purpose. Whenever disharmony is sensed within a team, I will communicate as needed to come back to truth, never holding back warmth and adoration, no matter what happens--Oneness (true togetherness) is all I cared for.

What was felt during the grandness of this shoot is clearly unmistakable. The joy and the closeness with all parties in the shoot was just super beautiful. What is so important is only when there is harmony and beholding behind the scenes, will the result of what we see advertised be powerful. What we see is much more than what our eyes perceive, it is so much more.


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