Hollywood Glam to Bollywood Beauty
A fashion icon. A celebrity makeup artist. A passionate photographer. Put them together for 2 hours in a Jakarta mansion and see what they come up with. Here's how it went down.
Let me be honest, I had no idea who Fitria Yusuf was until one sunny afternoon in Koh Samui, Thailand. I had just finished photographing a beautiful Hong Kong family's wedding at sunset when my phone rang. "Ali! How are you? I've got a great project. You NEED to photograph this lady. Sending you her bio now!" That was the excited voice of my friend, colleague and celebrity makeup artist, Natasha Moor, in between her wedding jobs in Dubai and Bangkok. "She's an amazing woman - a model, a designer and super pro!" Natasha continued before boarding her flight. The two had met during Fitria's trip to Hong Kong in 2014.
So I checked her bio...
Also known as Fifi, Fitria Yusuf is an Indonesian fashion icon, author of 2 best selling books, and an entrepreneur with her own youtube channel . Extremely photogenic with strong Asian features, she would actually allow us to drive the creative direction of the shoot. On top of that, we would have some exquisite jewelry and outfits from Le Rosh Boutique.
"Count me in!" I replied to Natasha via whatsapp.
Fast forward 3 months and we're in Indonesia's buzzing capital, Jakarta, for an amazing destination wedding of a Jewish bride to an Indian groom(featured on weddingsutra). Two days after the star-studded wedding, Natasha and I were greeted by big friendly smiles as we arrived at Fitria's home in the suburbs. I immediately went around the mansion looking for interesting light, suitable backgrounds and props.
The challenge was simple: create unique images with a celebrity you've never met before wearing clothes & jewelry you've never seen before at a location you've never even been to before. Make sure to do it all in 2 hours while being filmed by a professional crew. And by the way, Fitria does 3-4 photoshoots a month, appearing regularly in Maxim, Tatler and Fashion TV.
Time for a double espresso.
We decided to divide the shoot into 2 parts: Hollywood Glam and Bollywood Beauty. This would give each of us different challenges, which could lead to interesting results.
Fitria had never been dolled up as an Indian bride, so she was super excited. “I met Natasha in 2014 when I was in Hong Kong, she was my amazing makeup artist. Not only did I love the flawless results, but she’s so lovely, caring and professional. When she told me that she is coming to Jakarta, we decided to collaborate on a video. She then showed me Ali G’s work, and I was really impressed that he’s photographed Robert Deniro, Uma Thurman and Kevin Spacey. We decided to do a photo shoot in my home, and the three of us had such great chemistry which shows in the resulting photos and videos.”
Natasha brings world class experience and professionalism to any shoot. Here's what she had to say, "For me, working with Ali is always a dream. I love his attention to detail and the way he captures emotions in his photos. Fitria is an absolute darling and simply put: stunning! Her features are flawless, making her the perfect model. I remember the first time I did her makeup, I was just in awe of how naturally stunning she was! For this shoot, I went with a really glowy finish using my favorite Becca Primer, mixed it with a Chanel foundation and topped it off with the champagne pop highlighter from Becca Cosmetics - my favorite highlighter! I then finished off the look with a sneak peek from my Natasha Moor Cosmetics - secret weapon collection in the shade "dream", the perfect pink lip color I've created that will be launching soon!"
As a professional photographer, it was my first time in Jakarta and my first time working with an Indonesian superstar. The biggest challenge was to come up with unique and creative images that would bring out Fitria's beauty in ways she hadn't seen herself before. I used a combination of natural light and off-camera lighting for different moods, something which I learned from my mentor, Henry Dallal, one of the portrait photographers of Her Majesty the Queen of England. Considering the short time we had together, I am very happy with the results and I look forward to going back to Indonesia!
In addition to Natasha, Fifi and her wonderful assistant Jane, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this shoot possible. Please show us some love and follow us on social media to stay connected with more of our exciting projects!
Natasha Moor IG: @natasha.moor
Fitria Yusuf IG: @fitriayusufofficial
Jewelry and dresses: @leroshboutique
Check out the full video of our shoot here: