I was commissioned by Havas Worldwide Singapore to shoot portraits of 3 volunteers from Youth Corps Singapore for their print ad campaign. The look-and-feel of the images needed to be natural and authentic, raw and in black & white – real people with real stories. The ad is a call for young people from 16 to 35 years of age to volunteer for the Youth Corps. The main activities they have right now is building community gardens for the elderly, and connecting with psychiatric patients. The volunteers for the shoot – Sharon, Sean, and Hairil – were very easy to work with.… Read more
This shoot was one of the biggest project I’ve worked on. It all started when a US-based advertising agency emailed me asking if they could acquire the license to use one of the images from my Portraits of Strangers project. They wanted to use it as part of an image refresh for their client – a mobile solutions company based in the US. Throughout the negotiation, they also asked me to send more of my photos for consideration, particularly with people of different ethnicities – but I explained that most of my images are of strangers so getting signed releases would be virtually impossible.… Read more
A few months ago, I was commissioned by BBH Asia Pacific to do research test shots on a campaign they were creating for a beer brand. The scenario was a group of friends hanging out in a bar after work, and the look they wanted was relaxed, casual, natural and in classic black & white. So for a day, they brought down a few of their colleagues at work for a couple of hours of drinks and nice conversation. I initially directed where and how they would sit, and let them be – and there I was like a fly on the wall, moving around discretely, looking for a good angle to capture good moments.… Read more
Singapore is such a multifaceted place that you can’t help but see and feel the diverse energy of the crowd as you move from one place to another. From the central business district’s suits and high heels, to the shopping centre’s young fashionistas and clueless tourists, to the heartland’s homey aunties and uncles. This is the subject of my recent project: capturing a bit of how it feels like to be in one place.. but instead of taking photographs, I decided to take a stab at creating composites.
Last year, I was working on a personal portrait project called Familiar Faces where I invited people I’ve met here in Singapore, people who have helped me with my photography one way or the other. I was able to photograph a total of 41 awesome people, and I figured one of the best way to present the collection of portraits really was to put them together in one panoramic frame.
I got to photograph Adelene a few weeks ago when she visited Singapore for a quick vacation from her dance studies in London. I met her around 4 years ago when I was collaborating with an online magazine where they asked me to photograph dancers for their next article. I figured, to make the images more interesting, why not photograph them right in the middle of the street?
I started shooting here in Singapore around 6 years ago, and since then I’ve met a number of interesting people who have helped me out with my photography, ranging from entrepreneurs, creatives, talents, and fellow photographers. Just last year, I started a personal project where I invited these guys for a portrait shoot – all of which were taken in a studio.. with studio lighting.. something I was actually absolutely clueless at.
I was invited to try out the Nikon Df for a couple of weeks to see what I think about it. I knew it received a lot of backlash from the online community when it was released, most thought it was all form and no function. But there was one thing that really piqued my interest in this camera… it wasn’t the back-to-basics retro body or the ‘pure photography’ mantra.. it was the D4 sensor in a smaller more affordable package. Immediately, I knew there was only one way that I really wanted to test the camera – shooting low light portraits.… Read more
The last time I photographed portraits of strangers in the streets was around 3 years ago. Since then, I’ve been busy doing candids, studio shoots, and commissioned work. And as the recent exhibit is wrapping up, I’ve been wanting to go back in the streets and add new faces to the project. Then just recently, Sony Singapore provided me with a Sony A7r on loan for a month to test drive. I figured this was the perfect time to shoot new strangers.
I’ve had a number of portrait work for clients for the past year – some for business magazines, annual reports, others for corporate publications, and promotional purposes for their websites and portfolio. Most of my portrait work were done on location, in the office or in the streets, while others were taken in a studio – which is something I’ve started to focus on. From these assignments, I’ve had the chance to photograph the SVP of Chartis Insurance as well as the Managing Director of Deutsche Bank in Singapore, along with other engaging people – artists, actors, doctors.
One of the images that are on display in the Don’t Smile exhibit is a collage of 105 non-smiling faces, all of which were photographed through a studio setup in tcc in a span of 3 Saturdays. This involved an open call for faces… and all they had to do was look in the camera and don’t smile.