On a cold Saturday in late February, our team gathered at Vancouver’s Studio Lantern to shoot the hk+np jewelry collection. Preparations started early, as photographer Alex Ting and his assistant, Clement, unrolled backdrops and arranged lighting umbrellas.
Alex had prepared mood boards to guide the look and feel of the shoot. He also had three key words in mind: “Natural, beautiful, and effortless. Everything should be really chill, with a soft vibe.” The pieces are clean and architectural, Alex explained, so nothing in the frame should compete with the jewelry.
Hair and makeup artist Becca Randle shared Alex’s vision of natural beauty. “It’s all about skin prep,” she said, while curling model Emma Hansen’s lashes and grooming her enviable eyebrows. “We want the skin to be as clear, fresh, and hydrated as possible.”
As the coffee kicked in, we moved into high gear – steaming clothes, polishing earrings, and testing the light. The War on Drugs drifted through the speakers as Emma changed into her first outfit, a navy top with a deep V-neck and matching shorts by Vancouver designer Aileen Lee.
Almost immediately, it was clear we had the right talent. Emma, Alex, and Becca were total pros. A synced monitor displayed each image as Alex clicked the shutter and Emma moved smoothly between poses.
Even the slightest shift of Emma’s head or hands transformed how the light hit the jewelry. New shadows appeared on each piece, revealing angles that can be difficult to capture in a two-dimensional image. It was equally fascinating to watch the subtle communication between model and photographer; to witness how they worked together as a team.
Throughout the shoot, Becca studied the monitor to ensure everything looked flawless. She often stepped in between shots to brush highlights on Emma’s shoulders and collarbone or to fix a stray wisp of hair. While real life is beautifully messy, photos amplify every reflection or misplaced fold of fabric. Achieving that natural, effortless look requires real attention to detail.
After lunch, we switched out the backdrop and changed up the wardrobe. Alex and Emma continued to nail their shots, and we gradually captured each piece of jewelry – from pendants to rings to cufflinks and earrings. Photo shoots can be notoriously stressful, but this was a fun, laid-back day filled with a lot of laughter.
Neil + Hiroko