The timing couldn't have been better when Chris called me for a collaboration with Highborn. I'd just stopped my full-time job then and was in-between some freelance jobs while navigating through a self-exaggerated quarter-life crisis.
The brief was simple - my interpretation of Highborn, but it definitely was a challenging one! The thought process behind this photo series pretty much began with the question of what ‘Made for More’ looks like in our day-to-day life. What does ‘More’ mean? How can I bring some form of clarity to a concept so vague yet implicitly specific?
‘More' really could look like anything. We all envision a future that is better than what we have now. We long for a certain upgrade in every aspect of our lives and believe for the best that is yet to come. The Bible speaks of the hope of glory in having Christ in us (Colossians 1:27) and it became clear to me that the best ‘More’ could look like is in the mirroring of ‘Christ’.
“But you are God’s chosen treasure — priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.” - 1 Peter 2:9 TPT
I thought the anchoring verse of Highborn (1 Peter 2:9) was a beautiful explanation of living out the ‘More’ - it has Purpose. So, I took no hesitation to make it the key inspiration behind this photo series (hehe).
More is in Holiness.
More is achieved together.
More is brought out in the light.
More is a new life.
More is in the living out.
The play of light and shadows resembles the coming out of darkness into the light. More than one model was involved to encourage the idea of doing life together as a community (we really can’t do it alone!).
Whilst in the creative process, I was reminded of the flower lily with its overpowering scent that one could smell at a funeral. It usually represents a restoration of innocence and purity to the deceased, and it also symbolizes a rebirth. Rebirth - that stood out and reminded me of the verse that spoke of being born again in John 3. The thought of it got me so excited thinking about how this reflects our resurrection with Christ when we believe in Him!
During the production process, if I can be completely honest, it was one of the most trying photoshoots I’ve had! My camera became faulty, the weather was gloomy and we had problems accessing the location we wanted. And when you’ve put so much into planning, the last thing you’d want is nothing going your way! But Jesus did His thing (as usual) so I can tell you about it and show you these photos of how God made ‘More’ out of them then I could! I planned for perfection only to find completion through Christ. Somehow my camera started working again, somehow He held the rain and gave me a sunset, and He gave more locations than I’d planned for in addition to the ones I wanted.
I must tell you that I’m learning what ‘Made for More’ is as I write this journal. While I can draw out scenarios of what ‘More’ could look like as a lifestyle through these photos, I hope you don’t make an identity out something picture-perfect. But that you would choose to pursue ‘More’, whatever it may look like in your life and find an increase of Christ in you.
Highborn is an identity.
Money notes and coins have portraits of Kings and rulers on them; look in the mirror, you have Christ on you. If you need a reason for ‘More’, you could start with that.
Written by YAE-BER NEO
Photography by YAE-BER NEO
Produced by NADIA HO
Models XIN EN, LILIAN & HWANG
Special thanks to AIDAN HO