S'porean photographer reveals how hard it was to shoot this breathtaking photo of Gwyneth Paltrow

3 November 2014 / 1 year 11 months ago

By Jocelyn Lee
The New Paper
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

It was the most challenging commercial shoot that local photographer Nicky Loh had ever done.

And it involved one of Hollywood’s biggest stars — Gwyneth Paltrow.

Mr Loh, 32, was the man behind the lens for the photo shoot that saw Paltrow flying in from Los Angeles recently to launch British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo aircraft between London and Singapore.

In the picture, the actress is seen resting on a British Airways Club World seat in the middle of the famous infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands.

To prepare for the 40-minute “gravity-defying” overnight shoot on Oct 19, Mr Loh spent the day before setting up, staying till 3am. He told The New Paper yesterday: “It was very stressful as the lighting set-up was very complex.

“We used 11 flashlights in total to capture that natural look.

“During the shoot, two of my assistants were in the pool for an hour shifting the lights. We also had a giant boom over her head.”

To make matters worse, it started drizzling before the photo shoot, adding to the stress Mr Loh was already feeling as he was worried that Paltrow would not be in a good mood due to the bad weather.

Thankfully, the 42-year-old A-lister was the complete opposite of that.

“She came in at about midnight, and it was raining, but she was very warm and friendly. She was smiling and easy-going,” Mr Loh said.


“She looks very healthy and lean in person, she is naturally beautiful. She was very professional and I felt that she nailed it after the first five shots.”

Paltrow had to walk on a platform to get to the seat in the middle of the pool. Even though she was stuck on the chair for 30 minutes, Mr Loh said that she did not complain once.

He said: “I was quite far from her and I was yelling at her to strike a few cheeky poses, but she didn’t mind.

“Her hair and make-up stayed on well, too. There was no need for any touch-up.”

Mr Loh is a full-time commercial photographer who started out as a photojournalist with Reuters. He had previously done photo shoots with Australian actor Eric Bana, Mandopop king Jay Chou and Mandopop diva Jolin Tsai, among others.

He got the recent assignment through Getty Images, which sent his portfolio to British Airways. Mr Loh declined to reveal how much he was paid for the assignment.

Security was tight during the shoot, and everyone on set was not allowed to use their phones to take any personal photos.

The team also ensured that no onlookers at the nearby Ku De Ta bar was using a camera with long lens to take photos secretly.

Paltrow’s bodyguard had arrived earlier that night to test the chair beforehand, even jumping on it to make sure that it was safe.


In a press release, Paltrow said: “The location for the shoot was stunning and I’m glad to finally have a photo of myself in the famous infinity pool.

“I’m a big fan of the local cuisine here, especially the chilli crab.

“I’ve really enjoyed exploring the city and trying the amazing variety of food on offer.

“There’s still so much that I want to visit here and I look forward to returning.” 

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