Through a camera lens: The world of the social influencer

With close to 50,000 followers, Singaporean social influencer Chelsea Ang is used to the world watching what she does.  ANDREA ONG shared a photo session. 


Chelsea Ang, a social influencer in Singapore, starts her makeup routine in the car early on a weekday morning. “I’ve learnt to do it on the go,” she said. “Getting to shoot locations on time has been difficult, especially shoots carried out during sunrise.” She tries her best to spend most of her time without makeup, and not succumb to societal pressures and public expectations to “always maintain (her) image and wear full makeup, especially when (she’s) not on a project”. It allows her to feel more like herself, rather than the glamourised profile of an influencer that the majority of her followers on Instagram see.

At the Soda Rock Diner along Chapel St, Chelsea started her photoshoot almost immediately. For most projects, Chelsea works with a group of three other female influencers, who usually help take photos for each other. On solo projects, she gets her friends to temporarily take their place.

Chelsea holds herself to a high standard, and quality checks every photo. “I’d rather be known as a content creator than a social influencer,” Chelsea said. The famous social influencers in Singapore have earned a bad reputation for the profession. “People get the wrong impression that it’s very easy, and you just need to be a pretty face,” she said.

A glimpse of the final photograph Chelsea chose taken through the lens of her photographer’s camera. It took her photographer moving between pillars and tables to get an angle she was satisfied with.

Chelsea takes a big bite from the burger that became cold over the duration of the photoshoot. She felt the urge to complete all the shots she needed to take first before attending to her food about an hour and a half later.

Chelsea smiles for a picture after the shoot to conclude. Contrary to the image her online profile portrays, Chelsea’s personality outside of what is captured by the lens is jovial and bubbly.