Singapore Streetscapes

Singapore is a beautiful city that’s host to a multicultural population resulting to a variety of street destinations each having it’s own vibe and experience. This is what I tried to photograph in this series of streetscapes. My early influence has always been street photography – capturing the day-to-day as it happens in the streets.…

Campaign Shoot for NUS Admissions 2019

This was the second time I got the opportunity to shoot for the NUS Admissions campaign. Every year, the National University of Singapore launches an admissions publicity campaign that feature young NUS almunus who stand out in their field and serve as inspiration to new blood. The brief is the same as last year’s: to…

Lifestyle Photography for Clarke Quay

I was commissioned to shoot lifestyle and food photographs for Clarke Quay, Singapore’s riverside quay that hosts a wide variety of restaurants, wine bars, and entertainment spots. This place has always been a vibrant venue flocked by tourists and young professionals alike because of it’s ambience, offerings, and funky art-deco structures. So when Kim of…

Corporate Portrait Photography for Gen X Energy

I was commissioned to shoot corporate portraits for an energy company focused on investing in sustainable energy projects in Asia: Gen X Energy. They wanted something that was more modern and relaxed, yet still needed the images to be used for corporate profile decks, so I suggested having two styles for each person: a formal…

Personal Project: Grind.

I took in cycling as a hobby around 4 years ago. I started from riding solo in the parks, to drafting and pulling with a group on the roads, to joining a couple of races overseas… I was undeniably hooked. We would do warm up rides on weekdays, and try to unnecessarily drop each other…

Portrait Photography in Singapore

Portraits has always been my favourite to photograph. Every face, every personality needs a different approach depending on how they look, how they feel, who they are, and where they are. On top of that, there’s the push to getting a portrait that has that umph. I think a good portrait should make you look…

Campaign Shoot for NUS Admissions 2018

Every year, the National University of Singapore launches an admissions publicity campaign that feature young NUS alumnus who stand out in their field and serve as inspiration to new blood. The brief was to photograph 8 young alumnus, in different days, different scenarios, and different locations around Singapore. The images were to be used in…

Ad Campaign Shoot for Tokio Marine

I was commissioned to shoot for Tokio Marine’s “First Touch” print ad campaign. The idea was to show that delicate moment that a family is alone together for the first time. The scenario: a couple lying in the hospital bed with their fragile new born. The challenge: everything needs to be authentic, unadorned, real. No…

The Artist’s Studio

It’s been a long long time since my last blog post… around 2 years. My apologies for this, I’ve been crazy busy with client shoots. I’m not complaining though, busy is always good, right? Anyway, in the next few weeks, I will regularly be coming back to this blog to post some of the interesting…

Editorial Shoot for the WORK HAPPY Coffee Table Book

Earlier this year, I was involved in the production of a coffee table book that aimed to show how 50 companies in Singapore implement innovative work-life programmes for their employees. This was produced by TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices) as part of the SG50 celebrations, with the help of Brilliant Agency.…

Portrait Shoot for Youth Corps Singapore

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…

Lifestyle Shoot for a Mobile Solutions Company

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 –…

Research shoot for BBH

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.…

Shooting Singapore Street Composites

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…

A Panorama of Familiar Faces

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…

Shooting a Dancer in the Street

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…

Shooting Portraits of Familiar Faces

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…

Client Work: NUSS The Graduate Club

NUSS is Singapore’s premier alumni membership club for local and recognized foreign universities. They have 4 clubhouses, the latest of which is the one in Suntec City. Prior to launching, I was commissioned to take lifestyle photographs around the premises for publicity purposes.

Review: Shooting with the Nokia Lumia 1020

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Ujwal of FleishmanHillard, asking if I’d be interested to collaborate for their client, a major mobile phone company who’s about to launch an exciting new device this month. She also mentioned that the device has a 41 megapixel camera sensor. I knew immediately she was referring…

Published Photo: Jim Rogers in Fortune Magazine

Jim Rogers is interviewed for Fortune Magazine, October 2013 issue and the magazine published my photograph of him taken in the middle of Singapore Chinatown. This was actually one of the outtakes from my shoot with Jim for his book cover. This is one of my favorite shots I got of him so I’m really…

Shooting Candids Around School

One of the more interesting experiences I had with client work lately was shooting candids around a school. I was commissioned by Nexus International School to take photos of their students in action to use for their website. It was almost like shooting street, but done inside the campus.

Danny Santos Exhibit

‘The Clock Strikes Four’ Exhibit

I was invited to be one of the artists to present their work for ‘The Clock Strikes Four’ – a series of gatherings by Plain Vanilla Bakery. For the next few weeks, each invitees will be sharing their work and telling their story. The group is composed of a good variety of artists, from photographer…

Sony RX1 Street Photography

Review: Shooting Street with the Sony RX1

Of all my years of shooting in the street with my trusty DSLR workhorse, I’ve slowly come up with a wish list of features that would make it easier for me to capture keepers. The top 2 on the list are: a smaller camera body, and a full-frame sensor. So when I heard about the…

Shooting a Book Cover for Jim Rogers

A few months ago, I was contacted by Michael, Art Director of Random House Inc based in New York. He had an author in Singapore and needed a photograph for the cover of his upcoming book called “Street Smarts”. I was crazy excited about it, it was my first time to shoot for a book…

Our D.I.Y. Pre-wedding Photoshoot

As we were planning our wedding last year, friends would often jokingly ask me “So… will you be photographing your own wedding?” I thought: of course not, that would be close to impossible. But shooting our own pre-wedding photos was a different story. There would be a lot of limitations to work around with, but…

Recent Client Work

I haven’t been able to work on personal projects or shoot in the streets lately because the past few months have been crazy busy for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a number of commissioned shoots – ranging from the usual portraiture to something I haven’t done before like sports photography and shooting in…

Shooting Elderly Portraits for a Cause

There is a significant population of elderlies in Singapore who live alone in one-bedroom flats, some of them have no next of kin. Project Silverline is an initiative by Singtel to improve the way of living for these folks using donated iPhones with specially created applications designed to help reduce isolation and open their world…

When a Hobby Becomes a Passion

Everybody needs a hobby. It gives you a chance to do something care-free in your leisure time, helps you relax and get your mind off work. It’s pretty much play time for grown ups. In my case, I started taking pictures as a hobby. Photography was something I’ve always wanted to do for so long…

My Top 3 Favorite Features in Photoshop CS6

I’ve been working as a graphic designer for more than 10 years now, and have been doing photography for about 4… so Photoshop is a staple for me. When Adobe released Photoshop CS6, I was in absolute geek bliss, pretty much how gamers felt like when they got their copy of Diablo III.

A Family Photo Marathon

I was involved in a non-profit project where I needed to contribute a number of different images that depicted life in Singapore – one of the categories was family. I didn’t have a lot of family photos in my archive, so I decided to offer free photography sessions to local families.

Shooting Street with Lomography

Last week, I was contacted by Kenneth from Lomography Gallery Store and invited me to shoot with a La Sardina. The photos would then be displayed for a mini-exhibition to be held in conjunction with the launch party for a new design of that same camera. They would lend me the camera, give me 3…

A Quick Interview for Sync-Up.TV

I was interviewed last weekend by Silver for Sync-Up.TV, a weekly online IT channel geared towards gadgets and technology. It’s my first time to be interviewed on video, so I think you’ll see a little awkwardness on my part. I’m never comfortable in front of the lens… always prefer to be on the other side.…

If Looks Could Kill…

Lately, I was looking through my archive of street photos taken from the past 3 months. As I browsed among the sea of non-keeper shots, I occasionally came across photos where the subject was looking straight at me with a certain disconcerted look. I thought maybe it would be interesting to put these together into…

Good Times in Bad Weather

I love shooting in the rain. If it’s a weekend and it’s raining, you’ll probably see me with an umbrella on one hand, and my camera on the other, walking (sometimes running) around Orchard Road taking photos of strangers as they run from one mall to another. Often times, it’s an adrenaline rush for me.…

Shooting Expat Portraits Around Singapore

One of my dream projects when I started my interest in portrait photography was to shoot different people in different parts of Singapore. It was one of those ideas that I had at the back of my mind that I wanted to eventually pursue as a personal project. Fortunately, I got to do exactly that…

3 Days with Abbas of Magnum

Just recently, I had the opportunity to experience a 3-day intensive photo essay workshop organized by Leica, conducted by famed Magnum photographer, Abbas. I’ve learned about it on short notice, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet and learn from a master who’s been doing it for 45 years.

Stranger #77 Revisited

Stranger #77 was one of the most strikingly beautiful face I’ve photographed in my Portraits of Strangers project. So when I decided to do this “Strangers Revisited” project, she was an obvious choice. And when Atika agreed to do a photo shoot with me, I was so ecstatic yet pretty nervous at the same time.

Stranger #7 Revisited

I’ve always wanted to dive into portraiture, and my previous Portraits of Strangers project served as my personal transition from candid street shooting to portraiture. Looking back at project, I later decided to create a new series of photo shoots by revisiting some of the strangers I photographed. Thanks to my facebook page, I was…

Review: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

A couple of months ago, I was invited to join the Adobe Influencer Program where I get to connect with folks from Adobe as well as other creative professionals and enthusiasts. One of the perks of being in this group is getting access to their latest releases for review – I was offered the Adobe…

In Search of the Stolen Shot

A few days ago, I got an email from friend and blogger David Lee Tong saying someone just accused me of photo theft! On the comments section of his blog where he feature me in the past, this guy claimed I stole his friend’s photo – that of 2 girls running barefoot in the rain.…

How to Shoot Street Portraits

About a month ago, I was invited by street photographer Eric Kim to be a guest writer for his blog. He wanted me to write a few tips on shooting street portraits. Although I’ve already blogged about my thoughts and experiences while working on my Portraits of Strangers project, I haven’t really provided any direct…

Braving the Night Rain

I love shooting strangers under bad weather. And for a while now, I’ve always wondered how it would be to shoot bad weather at night. I could only imagine how dramatic the shots could be with the combination of heavy rain and the night lights. Just a few nights ago, I’ve had the chance to do just that.

Shooting Portraits of Strangers

Every time I’m out in the streets, I would often encounter faces that make me look twice… faces that just stood out of the crowd without even trying… faces that are by no means ordinary. They range from the exquisitely beautiful to the strangely wonderful. Sometimes I would try to steal a shot without being…

Stranger #100

I was walking along Orchard when I saw her walking towards my direction. She was wearing a simple one-piece dress, and was quite tall almost towering over most of the people around her. I wasn’t decided yet if I wanted to shoot her, but as I got closer, I knew I had to – she…

‘The Rain Cometh’

Just got featured in Singapore’s August Man magazine in their annual photography issue. They asked me to pick one of my street photographs and say a few words about it … and I happily obliged. Of course I chose the rain shot I took of the lady with the shawl walking in the rain smiling,…

To Catch the Devil’s Luck

Henri Cartier-Bresson is the father of modern photojournalism and widely revered as the pioneer for the art of street photography. I was watching one of his documentaries and one of his quote struck me; referring to his timeless street photographs, he said “It’s always luck. It’s luck that matters. You just have to be receptive,…

5 Tips on Shooting in the Streets

I was recently interviewed by SlashMaraud, a blog based in Boston. One of the questions was “What are some unwritten rules of street photography according to Danny Santos?” Well, my answers were really more like tips than rules, and they’re not according to me but more like stuff that you will just learn eventually the…

Most Asked Questions

I’ve been recieving emails from fellow hobbyists asking me questions on how I do my stuff. I always try to answer each of them promptly, but I noticed that I often get the same questions and I answer the same answers. So I figured I should just write it all down here. So here goes…

Stranger #65

I was looking forward to shooting a lot of portraits of strangers in the 3-day weekend we just had here in Singapore. But due to time constraints brought about by personal chores, I wasn’t able to go out on my usual 3-hour jaunts of just wandering around and looking for great faces. Instead, I just…

The Street is Everyone’s Catwalk

Weekend after weekend, I would walk around Orchard Road until I see a good spot with good light and good people traffic. The wait was hard, but spotting the right subject was easy – they would just so naturally stand out of the crowd and almost demand attention. I imagined myself a paparazzi taking fashion photographs of beautiful people walking nonchalantly in the streets.

Keeper of the Month (May 2010)

I was standing in the middle of one of the heaviest rain I’ve shot on. As always, I was drenched from waist down and I kept my camera as close to the umbrella as possible. I’ve been waiting and shooting for about 30 minutes shooting here and there, but I haven’t really seen anything peculiar… until I saw a woman from afar wrapped with a shawl walking gracefully towards my side of the street. She just stood out from all the others who were equally rushing to shelter. It’s one of those moments when I thought “I HAVE to photograph her.”

‘Your camera takes great photos.’

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me “You’re camera takes great photos!” It really irks me every time I hear that. It’s like cooking a delicious gourmet meal and your guests complement the stove, or completing a 42k marathon and your friends think it’s because you wore great shoes, or writing a bestseller and your peers think your macbook pro had something to do with it. The fact is, it takes so much more than just a ‘great tool’ to produce great outcome.

5 Sec Faces: A Collective Portrait

Last September 2009, Fleecircus and I started a project to create a collective portrait of the different personalities you can find in the streets of Singapore. Equipped with 2 cameras, a mounting board, and a bit of determination, we walked around Orchard Road, picked out one face after another, and asked if we could take their picture. “It’ll just take 5 seconds” was our usual excuse. Some said no, but most said yes. We did this every saturday for two and a half months, and now we have 446 faces at 5 seconds per face.

My First Good Street Photograph

I’ve been shooting street for almost 2 years now, and looking back at all my “keeper” shots, the feeling when I took each and every one of these photographs is still pretty vivid in my mind. I may not remember the settings for the camera, but the thought process I had at the moment of…

Good Moments in Bad Weather

I’m a weekend photographer, and I used to always stay at home and sulk whenever it rains on a weekend. I figured: the light’s no good, my gear could get wet, and the streets would be empty. There wouldn’t be anything worth shooting. I’d complain in the forums whenever a weekend goes by and it’s…