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PHOTOGRAPHER: IAN LIM

Creative Advice

Ian Lim, otherwise known by his Instagram title, Milian Eyes is a London based freelance photographer who is known for his creative, engaging portfolio as he travels the world, collaborating with international fashion models and brands whilst also creating unique content from exclusive events, commercials, editorials and portfolio work.

He has been internationally published in NAKIDSticks and Stones, COY, Yume, Notion, Sixty6 and c-heads, amongst other publications.

Ian also has an established relationship with numerous MV Model Members, such as Lilia Weddell, Isabella CirnskiEmily Fiander, Sara Johansen, Naima BossiCarys Schulze, to name a few, showing his unique, creative ability to work with international talent, whilst also developing a mixture of creative briefs for each production.

This year, Model Village decided to team up with Ian, collaborating with MVBabe Ariel Himbeault during the Model Village European Tour in Paris.

Continue reading as Ian describes his production process for the shoot, his career advice for fashion models and how he is currently developing his identity as a world-renown creative.

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👋❤️

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MV ASKS: WHEN & WHY DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?

IAN:

I started taking photos at the beginning of 2016.

Back then I was still working as a DJ in The Cuckoo Club and was doing it as a hobby, shooting friends I’d met in nightlife.

I decided to take it more seriously about halfway through 2016 because I realised I had a talent for it and was being booked for shoots abroad.

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Autumnal vibes with golden girl @liliaweddell. Makeup by @miramakeup 🍂

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MV ASKS: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE SHOOT EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

IAN:

Hard to choose, but I would probably say my 3-month tour back in 2017 with Arsenic.

I spent a month in NYC, two weeks in Texas, another two in the Dominican Republic and my final month in Miami.

We stayed in amazing locations throughout and I got to work with some amazing models and influencers.

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When the beautiful @sophie.rxse popped by the studio the other day. Hair and makeup by @vivis_makeup and retouching by @mv.retouching ⚡️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #beauty #makeup #closeup #style #photography #face #portrait #agency #blueeyes #details #retouch #canon #studio #elinchrom #london #losangeles #nyc #miami #milianeyes

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MV ASKS: WHY DO YOU THINK INSTAGRAM IS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR FASHION MODELS & CREATIVES?

IAN:

First of all, it’s free and means that I now have an amazing platform where I can showcase my work to people all over the world, and I don’t have to pay any sort of monthly fee to do it.

The only cost for creatives and models is the time and effort put into the content we share, which in itself, of course, is precious in its own right.

Secondly, the global connections you can make are priceless. Opportunities you never thought could land at your feet & come your way a lot easier nowadays thanks t Instagram.

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Two Quays in a pod. @__eya__ and @juliawilletts wearing @quayaustralia and @gigicbikinis at @cavotagoomykonos. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #cavotagoo #paradise #mykonos #blue #golden #sunset #bikini #quay #sunglasses #towelseries #swim #sea #travel #lifestyle #villa #photography #milianeyes

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MV ASKS: WHICH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS HAVE INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY?

IAN:

To be honest, there is almost too many to mention all of them!

But the guys who helped me right at the beginning of my career were the likes of Gavin Glave, Danny Desantos and Cameron Davis.

My style has changed a lot since then but I’ll never forget the advice they gave me.

Then there are obviously the legends like Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose work is timeless.

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Thirst quencher @iamalexismichaud 🚨 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #thehostsgroup #balibody #wce #model #muse #curves #hair #fashion #style #fitness #messyhair #wild #mood #iconic #fit #red #miami #london #la #nyc #hot #thirsty #girlswithtattoos #coke #cocacola #milianeyes

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MV ASKS: TELL US ABOUT THE MV EUROPEAN TOUR!?

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH ARIEL & HOW DID YOU CREATE THE CONCEPT FOR THE SHOOT?

IAN:

Apart from the weather, the tour was fantastic.

We got to visit some of my favourite cities and work with amazing girls, such as Ariel.

It was also an amazing chance for me to discover the beauty of Athens since it was my first time there (and the only place we had good weather!)

Working with Ariel in Paris was also a true joy!

I was travelling with a stylist Miskasykora which made my life so much easier, a stylist really helps any shoot concept as once you have styling, your vision truly does come into action and also transforms the mood of the model so they can get into character and create a wonderful synergy.

Ariel had such a good energy and attitude about her, she also has such an amazing look, she was super energic and keen to try different expressions, settings etc which is exactly what I look for in all the models I shoot.

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Double take // @arielhimbeault styled by @miskasykora for @modelvillage.co. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #paris #cigarette #meshki #milianeyes

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MV ASKS: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH MODELS TO HELP PREPARE THEMSELVES BEFORE A SHOOT?

IAN:

Go into anything with an open mind.  What might sound like a crazy idea might just turn out to be the most amazing photo!

Always be ready to try something new, otherwise you’re stuck with the same kind of pictures over and over again.

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One of my fave faces to shoot @iamshonalisingh ⚡️⁣ ⁣ Makeup @the_makeupservice⁣ Hair @rockstarhairr⁣ Retouch @carolinhornofretouch⁣ ⁣ #shonali #beauty #purple #liner #makeuplooks #glow #styled #hairgoals #mood #metallic #iconic #retouch #beautyeditorial #magazine

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MV ASKS: WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN SCOUTING FOR MODELS & HOW DO YOU SOURCE THEM?

IAN:

Before even pitching to models, I try and have some sort of dialogue with them, be it through Instagram or email.

That helps both sides reach a certain level of familiarity and comfort.

I find that only when a model is truly comfortable with her photographer, will she then get the best results.

Sometimes I’m able to get a pretty good picture of how a model will be just from looking at her previous work, but I would rarely shoot anyone without first speaking to them.

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Redemption // @gabija_sim_ styled by @miskasykora. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #greece #athens #ace #style #fashion #mikka #earrings #jewelry #photography #fashionphotographer #photography #milianeyes

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MV ASKS: DESCRIBE YOUR PORTFOLIO IN 3 WORDS…

IAN:

1. Diverse,

2. Polished,

3. Adventurous.

MV ASKS: WHAT IS YOUR LIFE QUOTE/ MANTRA?

IAN:

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein

MV ASKS: WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MODEL VILLAGE & WHY WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHER CREATIVES JOIN OUR COMMUNITY?

IAN:

MV is an amazing network of like-minded people, all out there trying to create engaging, high-quality content, and not even just for themselves but for top brands.

The connections you can make are priceless and the opportunities are endless, as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort in.

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Beautiful @bellacirnski. Makeup by the genius @iamgigiiiii ⚡️ #beauty #makeup #portrait #tbt #film

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