Behind the ‘gram: Celebrities reveal the secrets behind their perfect shots

You’ve seen (and ogled at) their Instagram shots, but how far have celebrities such as Zoe Tay, Joanne Peh and Romeo Tan gone to get the photos they want?

Behind the ‘gram: Celebrities reveal the secrets behind their perfect shots
Behind the ‘gram: Celebrities reveal the secrets behind their perfect shots
27 Mar 2018

Behind the ‘gram: Celebrities reveal the secrets behind their perfect shots

You’ve heard what celebs have to say about what they dislike seeing on social media (and admit certain faux pas that they’ve committed), and now we’ve got a flipside of the story to present.

Behind the drool-worthy Instagram feeds of your favourite stars are some of the most hilarious – yet real – problems that you might have faced when you scrolled through your photo album trying to find the perfect photo to post on your feed.

Be it taking hundreds of photos in the same pose (more than one celeb is guilty of that), to going to extreme lengths (think overcoming phobias and an element of danger), we asked local celebrities to unveil the secrets behind their Instagram photos, and illustrate what truly went on behind-the-scenes.

Read on for more.

Zong Zijie
Zong Zijie
27 Mar 2018

Zong Zijie

How he describes his Instagram feed: Chapalang (a mix of things)

When we mentioned that shirtless pics of himself take up quite a number of posts on his feed, Zijie was like, “No lah, there’s more than that, right?”

Indeed, while there are a number of snaps that flaunt his well-maintained body, Zijie shared that his feed is more than just that – he posts photos of himself at work, on holiday (sometimes, he’s having a working holiday), and of the furry friends he hangs out with. One of the most frequent guests on his feed is his boss Dasmond Koh’s pet Maltese, which has “perfected the art of looking at the camera” for photo-time.

The most over-the-top thing he’s done to get the perfect photo: Sitting on the railing of a moving boat.

“I climbed over the railing of the boat, and the sea looked quite scary as I looked down,” Zijie admitted with a sheepish grin. “But since I was already there, I was like, ‘Faster take the photo lah!’ because I was feeling a bit scared.”

While some might have taken a lot of photos before climbing down to safety, Zijie chose to just take a couple of snaps before scurrying back down to safety. “At least the photo looked good, but I think it didn’t look scary at all in the picture,” he commented as he looked at the photo he posted on his feed. “I don’t think I’ll try it again.”

Hazelle Teo
Hazelle Teo
27 Mar 2018

Hazelle Teo

How she describes her Instagram feed: BOOMZ!

Before you clutch your pearls while remembering Ris Low’s less-than-perfect grasp of the English language, this wasn’t a reference to the then-Miss Singapore World pageant queen. Hazelle told us that her Instagram feed is chock-full of all the things that makes her happy, from her loved ones to things she enjoys doing, including dance, travel, and hunt down good food.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Climbing up a mountain in Semarang, Indonesia, in the freezing wind and standing at the edge of a platform 50 metres above ground for a photo.

Is it just us, or is everyone else also getting the shivers just looking at how high up Hazelle was when she took this snap? She shared that she has a fear of heights (the trick is not to look down), but conquered it in order to get the shot.

The best part is that she’d do it all over again – now that’s some dedication to the ‘gram.

He Ying Ying
He Ying Ying
27 Mar 2018

He Ying Ying

How she describes her Instagram feed: Quirky

Rather than to post nothing but perfectly-filtered snaps of herself, Ying Ying shared that she likes to “post things that are pretty to look at, along with captions that I hope people will find witty and funny”.

For example, she shared that her huge pineapple phone case has been the target of many (including her BFF’s) ire, and has been blasted as being ‘obiang’ (tacky). “This is what I hope I can be seen as – something out of the ordinary, vibrant and bright,” she grinned.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Requested countless shots of herself in the same pose from her BFF. Ying Ying is guilty as charged – she’s one of those who will get her friends to take a number of burst shots before checking out all of them and going, “Aiya, not nice, take again!”

“Sometimes, my entire folder will filled with the same photos – like, it’s in the same pose, but there are hundreds of variations,” she confessed sheepishly. Things that bug her: “Do my legs look long enough?” “My eyes look weird here, right?” “The lighting isn’t nice!”

Lucky for her, her BFF is also guilty of the same charge, plus they’ve both taken so many photos for each other that they know their best angles now. That’s a keeper.

Joel Choo
Joel Choo
27 Mar 2018

Joel Choo

How he describes his Instagram feed: Intimate

Joel posts his photography and music on his Instagram – something that you don’t really see in real life. “I think my followers will get to know me better; some people think that I’m a quiet guy but if you look at my feed, you’ll realise that I’m quite a humourous guy,” he said.

One example is the butterfly pose that has been featured prominently on his feed – a dance move that he adapted from his President’s Star Charity routine, “made cooler” and refused to let die.

The most over-the-top thing he’s done to get the perfect photo: Use several takes and many edits just to produce one video.

The videos of Joel singing on his feed aren’t as simple as they seem – he needs several takes to get the instrumental right, before he can record his voice, and mix it together with post-production. Following which, he has to lipsync to the video, and then go through another round of editing when he syncs it.

The entire process can take a couple of days, so the next time you see a video of Joel singing, take the time to appreciate the amount of effort he put into it – and give it a like.

Zoe Tay
Zoe Tay
27 Mar 2018

Zoe Tay

How she describes her Instagram feed: Fun

Age is just a number for Ah Jie. The 50-year-old enjoys doing plenty of things that young ‘uns do, too. For example, when she was at the inflatable playground Art Zoo earlier this month, she took a ride on one of the numbats (banded anteaters) and posted a video of it on her feed.

She also posts slices of her daily life on her ‘gram, including fun or interesting encounters that she goes through. Not bad.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Adding music for most (if not all) of her posts – be it photos or videos.

Not only does she have to think of what photos to post, she also handpicks background music to go with most of her posts to best match the mood and vibe of the snap. As we browsed through her feed, we noticed that even boomerangs and slideshows have had that special treatment – and she rarely (if not ever) repeats her music selections.

Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
27 Mar 2018

Rebecca Lim

How she describes her Instagram feed: Me!

Rather than having only the prettiest photos on her Instagram feed, Becks shared that she often posts things that are close to her heart, including dogs (so fluffy!), activities with her fanclub The Beckers Team, and of course, behind-the-scenes snaps of her at work.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Stand under the sun for 15 minutes under the blazing sun.

While this might seem a walk in the park for some, Rebecca professed that she takes every measure to stay out of the sun whenever she can. “If I’m walking outside and I see a shaded area, I’ll take that path even if it means I have to walk a little longer,” she chuckled. “I really don’t like going under the sun!”

Imagine her horror when she realised that she had to go under the blazing sun for a shoot – one which she happily obliged with (after all, work is work!) but scurried out of immediately after the photographer gave the okay.

Romeo Tan
Romeo Tan
27 Mar 2018

Romeo Tan

How he describes his Instagram feed: Rojak!

Most of Romeo’s shots are taken by himself (just spot the #romeophotologue hashtag in the post) and the actor shared that he posts just about anything – be it him at work, with his loved ones, on holiday, or just chilling out on a day off.

There’s also a large number of scenic shots on Romeo’s feed, some of which are courtesy of his handy dandy drone, which can take aerial shots that would otherwise be near-impossible to capture.

The most over-the-top thing he’s done to get the perfect photo: Waited two hours for a sunset shot at MBS (Marina Bay Sands)

Any photographer worth his salt would tell you this: Not every photo you take is the one that you want, and some shots need time and a lot of patience to capture – take sunrise or sunset shots for example. “Not only do you have to make sure that you’re there at that very moment, you need to hope that the weather is nice to you on that day so that you can get the shot you want,” he explained.

Much like a fisherman, Romeo has camped out at locations for hours at a time just to get certain photos, and has said that he’d do it again – if he’s struck by inspiration, and has the luxury of time, that is.

Felicia Chin
Felicia Chin
27 Mar 2018

Felicia Chin

How she describes her Instagram feed: Eclectic

If you’ve been following Felicia Chin, you would’ve noticed that her Instagram feed doesn’t follow a set theme – neither is it colour-coordinated – rather, she posts what she wants to post without thinking too much about how her latest post will fit in with the rest of her posts.

“It’s a very happy place for me,” she smiled, “It’s a space that’s very personal to me, so I just post what I want to!”

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Rather than fretting over what picture to post, Felicia has a very unique problem – figuring out what caption to use with her posts.

“I’ve spent the whole day thinking of the perfect caption for my photo, only to just decide to not post it,” she admitted. “Sometimes, when I can’t think of what to caption, I’ll just put a few emojis and call it a day!”

Felicia’s camera roll is also filled with unposted snaps because she can’t think of the right words to go with her posts. This is what we call a #firstworldproblem.

Kimberly Chia
Kimberly Chia
27 Mar 2018

Kimberly Chia

How she describes her Instagram feed: Throwback

If there’s one thing about Kimberly’s Instagram feed, it’s this: most of her photos are days, if not weeks, old. Rather than posting things just as they happen, she shared that she likes to take the time to pore through the photos and choose the perfect one to post instead.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Climbing up a mountain and sitting at the edge of a cliff to take photos with her former colleagues.

It may not look like it in the photos, but Kimberly and her former SQ girl colleagues made the trek up God's Window Mountain in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve to capture this stunning shot. This isn’t the only scenic snap that the former globe-trotter has, as she shared that she enjoys documenting the places she travels with photos that show off the beauty of every location she visits.

Edwin Goh
Edwin Goh
27 Mar 2018

Edwin Goh

How he describes his Instagram feed: Funny!

Instead of focusing on looking good on his Instagram, Edwin shared that his philosophy is this: “If I find it funny, I’ll just post it!” – and that’s regardless of how unglamorous he looks.

“If it makes my followers laugh, or it entertains them, I think it’s fine,” he explained. That explains a recent video of himself that he posted while at work, where a water bomb was dropped on his head – and he even gave it the slow-mo treatment.

The most over-the-top thing he’s done to get the perfect photo: Force my dog to pose with me

Getting his dog to sit still and pose for the photos took “a while”, Edwin laughed. “I don’t even remember why I did it, and we took quite a lot of photos too.” He had to keep forcing his furkid to sit still, and even bribed him with treats afterwards as a pat on the back for his hard work.

“I told him ‘Look up!’ and he actually did it, so that helped a lot!” he shared. “Taking photos with him isn’t easy, but I think the photos were quite nice.”

Sonia Chew
Sonia Chew
27 Mar 2018

Sonia Chew

How she describes her Instagram feed: Quirky

Sonia’s feed is, if we had one word to describe it - gorgeous. Not only are her photos well-taken (having a personal photographer helps with that too), she’s also trekked all over the world, with part of it due to Travel SSBD, where she explores lesser-known parts of locations such as Daegu, Kuching and Bali.

However, it isn’t all pretty photos as Sonia is known for posting not-so-glamourous shots of herself on her feed too, such as photos of her mid-blink (still gorgeous, though).

One of our favourite parts of her feed is her captions, which can range from amazingly punny to why-did-we-just-laugh-at-this-joke.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Waited for traffic to stop just to get a photo.

Freezing temperatures are no match for Sonia and her resolve to get the perfect shot.  The 987FM deejay once waited in the cold just to snap a “die die must get” money shot at a busy intersection in Tokyo.

The result wasn’t quite what she expected – it was alright, but not as amazing as she had envisioned it to be, but hey, it’s a gorgeous photo nevertheless.

As we scrolled through Sonia’s feed, we realised she’s a fan of all modes of transportation in general – not only did we find her photo at the pedestrian crossing, but we also spotted snaps of her with trains and boats (among others).

Joanne Peh
Joanne Peh
27 Mar 2018

Joanne Peh

How she describes her Instagram feed: Real

Rather than to curate her photos to a tee, Joanne shared that her Instagram feed is a glimpse of what her day-to-day life is like. She takes pictures of herself when she feels like it and posts it as it is.

As for snaps of her kids, she let on that she doesn’t get them to pose for her too. She prefers to takes photos of moments as they happen and looking back at these pictures brings back fond memories of her babies as they grow up a little more every day.

The most over-the-top thing she’s done to get the perfect photo: Nothing

Grinning with pride that she’s not one to take risks, nor spend hours poring over her feed, Joanne explained that her personal posts might seem mundane to some, but are truly a snippet of what her life is.

Neither does she believe in fancy filters or over-the-top embellishments for her snaps – keeping it real is what this actress believes in.

Joakim Gomez
Joakim Gomez
27 Mar 2018

Joakim Gomez

How he describes his Instagram feed: Personal

We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve gone “Wish we were there” as we scrolled through Joakim’s feed – after all, not only does the 987FM deejay travel often, he also visits some of the most picturesque locations (that snap of Joakim at Tower Bridge? Definitely postcard-worthy) and documents them on his social media.

We’ve also been slightly disturbed by some of his photos, such as that time when he dressed up as a zombie playboy bunny (?) with Sonia for Halloween last year. Someone donate us eyeballs that haven’t seen that picture, please.

The most over-the-top thing he’s done to get the perfect photo: Putting his phone anywhere with balance for a self-timed shot

We all know what it’s like when you’re out and about and want to take a photo, but you’re alone and nobody else looks like they’ll be able to take that very shot that you want. Some might resort to the selfie stick, but Joakim shared that he’s a believer of propping his phone up “just about anywhere” and checking the angle before turning on the timer and scurrying into position for the shot.

Now, that’s one way to do away with the need for an #instagramgirlfriend.

Watch Trendsetters on Toggle.

Related:
What celebrities hate seeing on social media
Sonia Chew, Joakim Gomez vow to keep it real on Instagram

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