The Music to Life Series

February 16, 2015 A World Alone – Conceptual Photography by Jimmy Bui Posted In: Lorde

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Music to Life Song of the Week: A World Alone by Lorde

Pop music has never really been my thing, but lately, there are some pop artists that I have been really digging. One of them is Lorde and I have been finding myself listening to more and more. Her debut album, “Pure Heroine” is a worthy listen and one of the tracks off that album that I love is “A World Alone.” Quite basically, the song is about a young person dealing with the fake and judgmental atmosphere that has been created by the people around her.

All the double-edged people into schemes
They make a mess, then go home and get clean
You’re my best friend and we’re dancing in a world alone,
A world alone, we’re all alone

Body painting with female model standing in icy water in a cave conceptual photography

Conceptual Photography Inspiration

I was contacted by hair stylist, Michael Bui (no relation), to see if we could collaborate on a project. He talked about how he wanted to try body painting, and when he said those words, I jumped on the chance to work with him. I’ve always been intrigued by the technique and I thought it would be really cool to incorporate it into my Music to Life series. He found the model, Michelle, and she drove out from Los Angeles to my home in Riverside to do the shoot. Body painting comprises of complex designs and details and I wanted to build a theme around that concept for my picture. The body art in the image represents the complexities of the subject’s personality. She is comfortable in her own skin and she finds solace away from all the b.s. in her private cave.

This is a composite image and I shot the model, the water, the fog, and the walls separately.

Play “A World Alone”

If you’re interested in shooting a Music to Life series image, message me at and don’t forget to visit my website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you so much! 


A World Alone by Lorde

Michelle O’Shea

Body Painting:
Michael Bui

Hair Piece:
Michael Bui

Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art

1/400 sec; f/2.5; iso 100



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Jimmy Bui

I am a wedding and conceptual portrait photographer based in Southern California. When I'm not shooting weddings, or planning my next weekly photo for my Music to Life series, you may find me at Disneyland or the zoo spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter.
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