Our “Through the Photographer’s Lens” series continues with a young talent from Indonesia, Bintang Adamas.
Born and raised in Jakarta, rising photographer (and hip-hop poet) Bintang started early. He found his calling during childhood, while he was running around with a 35mm camera in his hand. Ranging from fashion, travel & documentary, portraitures and polaroids, his works are intertwined with a recurring theme of juxtaposition.
Bintang has been steadily growing his portfolio, shooting the places and faces around him, including a young model named Shakira Cornelia. Here, Bintang shares his “Shakira” photo series to Globetrotter and tells us the behind-the-scene story from the mystifying shoot.
“‘You should do a collab with my little sister sometime for her birthday cuz she likes your photography skillz.’ It was around last year when Axel sent me that exact message on Instagram,
Axel is a model. I’ve shot him before while helping my ex with her finals in fashion school. My ex and I ended on good terms and we are still, to this day, good friends—but I digress,
Shakira was twelve years old at the time, as old as my eldest niece. She had followed my Instagram and from her feed, I could see that she got the modelling chops her brother had,
Axel and I decided to discuss. I was two cigarettes in when Axel finally arrived. After small talks about Jakarta’s traffic and whatnot, he veered onto the subject of his sisters. “I’m sorry. Turns out my other sister was the one with the birthday. Not Shakira,”
It’s funny to mix up your siblings’ birthdays. I offered to shoot both of them, but he said the other little sister was not really interested in modeling and was very camera shy, so just Shakira would do,
On the day of the shoot, Axel and Shakira came to my house. I introduced myself to her and asked Shakira all the questions most adults would ask to kids:
‘Shakira, what do you want to be when you grow up?’
‘I want to be a doctor.’
‘Oh, so you don’t want to be a model?’
‘No. Modeling is fun, but I don’t think I want to become one when I grow up.’
‘Ah, that’s good. What about your hobby, what do you usually do at home?’
‘I like video games.’
Nitya, my friend who assisted me with the shoot arrived. Not long after, Mutia, the makeup artist joined us. We started chatting for a while and came up with an idea on how the makeup should look like on the spot. The only one who hadn’t arrived was Johno, the fashion stylist who was supposed to bring the wardrobe for the shoot. Two hours had passed and Johno was still nowhere to be seen; his phone unreachable. I was starting to have cold sweats because I thought he was not coming, so I started to improvise. I went in to my parents’ bedroom and raided their wardrobe only to find my dad’s suit, looking like it came straight out of the ‘80s, and asked Shakira to try it on. It was amusing that the suit was way too big; it was practically a dress on her,
We had Shakira in the suit outdoors and started the shoot.”
“Later on, we returned inside my house and to my surprise, Johno had finally arrived. He apologized deeply. Turns out Johno had left his house keys in a cab, and had been going back and forth all across the town to retrieve them. The situation was so bad that his mom (who was inside their house at the time) had to leave out of an opened window, fully dressed, so she could get to a wedding on time. The hilarity of the situation made me laugh, and regardless of what had happened, I was glad that he had managed to come. We took a quick break, had lunch together over Johno’s story, then continued with the shoot.”