Celebrity photographer Paul S stages his annual Worth It charity exhibition this month at Beef & Liberty and Sohofama. #legend shares a sneak peek
Hey Paul, tell us a bit about the project. What’s the charity this year and why did you choose it?
I made a promise to myself to produce a yearly exhibition to give back and help others, and why not here in Hong Kong? This is the right time and place – and I love this city! Last year, I was part of the Selvedge Grooming Movember campaign, which I was very honoured to be part of. And it was very meaningful, especially since I’ve lost my grandfather and uncles to these diseases [that affect men, for which Movember raises awareness]. This year I wanted to help out again, so Edward Muller – the founder of Selvedge Grooming – and I had a few meetings and came up with this idea.
Where can we see your work?
Sohofama is the venue for the main party, which is on November 16 – this is also in coordination with their anniversary party. Beef & Liberty has been very accommodating and have selected three locations that will display the photos for the month, and they also have certain events such as a quiz night on November 14 and an End of Mo party on November 30. Selvedge Grooming will be donating 20 per cent of all its product sales to the charity.
It’s a stellar group of women in the shoot. How long did it all take?
When I see the finished product, I forget about the hours and days or weeks that was donated into this project. You just step back and say: “Whoa, did we do this?” and “Let’s aim higher for next year!” We had a great team that helped put this together – a lot of time and effort was donated for this cause. Nadia was our stylist on board, The Strand did hair, and we had a strong make-up team consisting of Chelria Debard, Gabbie Lee and Jaime Smith.
You call this series Worth It. What’s the thinking behind the name?
I love Hong Kong, and last year I felt so thankful for a lot of opportunities that I wanted to give back and pay it forward. Personally, from my experience moving here, and where I am today as a person and in my career, I can say every bit of the story was soooo worth it. I can go on about the stories and experiences. But I feel in general, if you have a goal, then never give up – and remember that you will get there with a lot of hard work and passion.
Who is your photographic legend and why?
Peter Lindbergh. He’s done these amazing portraits of the legends like Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and the rest. You can literally stare at these photos all day. Part of my style aims to create images that have those same values – timeless and classic.
What’s the one place you’d love to shoot in the world, but haven’t yet?
I think it’s more the projects and people I want to work with, rather than the destination. Probably my dream shoot would be being behind the lens for a big beauty or sports campaign – a global one. This year alone, I worked with Dior, Fendi and Harry Winston to name a few, all of which I’m very thankful for. So let’s keep going, because it can happen!
How do you assess Instagram’s ongoing impact on what you do?
Instagram is a business protocol tool for millennial entrepreneurs. I see it as a game. It’s not real life and you have to play it right. If you produce good-quality content that makes you feel good, then you’ll be fine.
Photography / Paul S Styling / Nadia Harilela
Make-up / Jaime Smith, Gabbie Lee and Chelria Debard
Hair / Danielle Abbotts and Beverly Cappleman at The Strand
This feature originally appeared in the November 2017 print issue of #legend