Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we bring you a series about love stories of people living in Singapore.
By Niki Bruce, Contributor
When fashion photographer Elvina Farkas received a friend request from one “Luca Milone” on Facebook, she was surprised. She didn’t often get random requests, and only considered adding someone if they had mutual friends.
Yet, curiosity got the better of the 27-year-old. She checked out his Facebook profile and realised that Luca, 34, was another Singapore-based photographer, and that they knew many of the same people.
She checked out his work – Milone had shot major celebrities like Rita Ora, and had worked for top fashion magazines that included Harpers Bazaar, as well as brands like Hermes – and was impressed.
“Seeing that we had a couple of friends in common, I decided to accept,” says Elvina, an Australian national whose mother is Singaporean and father is Hungarian. “Immediately after [I did], he sent me a message. He seemed friendly and genuine, so I was happy to chat away with him some more.”
Luca, an Italian photographer, had arrived in Singapore around the same time as Elvina – more than seven years earlier – and was attempting to drum up business for a photo studio he managed. His first stop was Facebook, where he added some friends of friends.
Elvina’s work, in particular, struck him. Although she had started out shooting popular musicians and bands in Australia in 2009, she had quickly moved on to fashion shoots that had an intriguing portrait-like feel.
As fate would have it, Elvina was also the quickest to say “yes” to his friend request.
That first Facebook chat led to a “real life” meet-up several weeks later, but only in their professional capacities. Elvina booked his studio for a shoot, and immediately – and wrongly – assumed that Luca was gay.
“Luca’s style was very hipster and colourful back then, and many of our mutual friends are gay, so on first impression, I actually thought Luca was too. He was very private about his life on Facebook, so he didn’t have a ‘relationship status’ mentioned, which added to my confusion,” she says.
It didn’t help that Luca was “such a jokester”.
“I had no idea that he was interested in me,” she reveals.
Their friendship continued for several months before Elvina realised how wrong she was.
It was at a magazine’s Halloween party that their relationship took a turn. “He showed up with another friend of mine – who is a gorgeous model – and that’s when I realised that I was a little jealous that he had brought her and not me,” she recalls.
Their own dates notwithstanding, the two ended up spending the whole night talking, with Luca walking her home in the wee hours of the morning.
“A week later, he invited to me to hang out with him at a park after work, and while lying on the grass staring at clouds, he finally got up the courage to kiss me. I was pretty certain by then that he liked me,” laughs Elvina.
The two now run creative production agency Anue Studios together.
Ironically, it turned out that the couple had been in the same place at the same time on several occasions before.
“We discovered later that we had attended several of the same parties prior to meeting online,” Elvina says. Yet as fate would have it, it was Facebook that forged their introduction.
“I feel that meeting online was the only way we would have connected… I don’t think we would have met each other otherwise.”
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