I started photography as a hobby in mid 2008, shooting strangers in the streets of Singapore every weekend. Eventually, I started to meet people who shared my interests. Now, around 6 years later, I've been lucky to meet so many different people due to my photography, ranging from CEOs, artists, entrepreneurs, models, creative directors, and fellow shooters.
I decided to invite 40 of them for a quick 1-on-1 studio shoot, with 2 objectives in mind: first is a selfish one - to finally conquer the perplexing world of studio lighting… and second - to reconnect with the people I got to meet here in Singapore, the ones that have helped me one way or the other with my photography. This was sort of a 'thank you' for them.
I've spent a considerable amount of time shooting strangers in the streets. It was high time I photographed familiar faces.
Bethany is a professional child actress in Australia. She and her family moved here in Singapore just last year due to her father's work.
Her mom commissioned me to photograph her actor head shots. She was very professional and knew exactly what to do in front of the camera. I remember her to be a very creative young lady who can come up with short stories that remind me of those imaginative Pixar shorts.
You can see her IMDB profile here.
Stefen is a professional photographer based in Beijing. He constantly travels around the world for assignments, shooting for Time Magazine, The Smithsonian, The Guardian and many others.
I met him when I joined one of his workshops way back when I was just starting out photography. We've kept in touch ever since, hoping to learn more about professional photography and his ways of working.
You can check out his website here.
Atika is one of the most strikingly beautiful faces I've ever photographed. I first met her when I was working on my 'Portraits of Strangers' project, where I walked around Orchard Road and take photographs of faces who stand out of the crowd. She was
She's very soft spoken, which was quite a contrast to her appearance since she's quite tall and can instantly grab the attention in the room.
She reminds me of the quote: "A girl without freckles is like a night without stars."
Reuben is a fellow freelance photographer who specializes in documentary and portrait photography. He's been assisting me in a lot of my client work as he's reliable and adapt quickly in any situation. He's also a huge help working on this personal studio portrait project.
Reuben is very passionate with photography, assisting on photography and film production shoots to learn the ropes, and always thinking about what project to dive into.
You can check out his works here.
Jim is a successful international investor, financial commentator, and a best-selling author. His publisher from New York commissioned me to take his photograph for the cover of his latest book, Street Smarts.
Working with him was a breeze, as he relaxed and cooperated despite shooting in the middle of Chinatown on a crowded weekend.
One of his reasons for moving here in Singapore is so his daughters could learn Chinese. I've met them, and they do speak the language with ease. In fact, his eldest daughter won a Chinese speaking contest in the public school they attend. Pretty cool, right?
Of all the models I've photographed so far, she's my favourite. Often times, I get the keeper shot right away with her.
Michael is a lifestyle photographer based in Singapore. After working in corporate life for 20 years, he decided to dive into his passion of photography full-time. I really admire this as I'm faced with the same situation of possibly giving up my graphic design trade of 12 yrs and go full time in photography.
We got to work on a few shoots together, he has the gift of making everyone around him feel relaxed and comfortable.
You can check out his works here.
We had a mutual interest in photography, so we ventured in a collaboration we called " 5SecFaces" where we created a collective portrait of Singapore, taking quick portraits of people we see in the streets. For 10 weekends, we walked in the streets collecting portraits, and ended up with 440 faces. It was one of the greatest fun I've had in Singapore.
You can see her amazing works of art here.
Sharp, smart, and assertive… makes her the perfect ally, but you do not what to be on her bad side.
Very loyal human to Rebel and Tails, as you can instantly see on her Instagram.
You can check out her personal blog at http://blankanvas.bypatlaw.com/
and updates about her agency at https://www.facebook.com/goodstuph
Fergal is Pat's nephew who hails from London and recently visited Singapore. Pat took him in as an intern / kopiboy in her social influence marketing agency, Goodstuph.
I told him "You must find it easy to pick up girls in bars." He said "Seriously, not at all.. but I wish that was true."
Check out his personal creative playground with his own brand of characters.
Another cool thing about this guy is that he's one of the few artists in Singapore that specialises in 3D anamorphic street art.
You can check out his amazing works here: http://www.benqwek.com/
He travels a lot because of work, which also puts him in a perfect situation as he brings his cameras around taking photos of different places and people.
You can see his photography here: http://www.sortvitt.com/
I met Helene when her father, Jan, commissioned me to give her a 1-on-1 workshop on street photography as her 16th birthday present. I remember when we were walking in Orchard Road, we talked about the profession she wanted… maybe photography. But her dad told her "Choose a profession that will support your hobby." Wise words from the dad.
He has taught street photography workshops in Singapore and overseas, created IPA Plug&Play where photographers can showcase their work, host photography exhibitions & contests, and spearheaded Asia's first annual photo books day. This guy is a very busy man, yet manages to stay modest.
You can check out his works here: http://www.kevinwylee.com
You can check out his works here: http://www.aikbengchia.com/
You can check out his works here: http://www.mathiasheng.com/
They commissioned me to create the brand's photo and video look book. Catherine modelled for the 2nd collection. She's quite a natural. Check out the video look book here.
You can check out their clothing line here: http://www.honoreparis.com/
The first thing I had to learn when I met him was how to pronounce his name:
"tuhn - gee"
Tanguy is a serial entrepreneur and runs ironman competitions. He and his wife Catherine commissioned me to create a photo and video look book for fashion label they were launching, Honore Paris. They have 2 little boys, future heartbreakers, who study in a Singapore public school, and slowly learning to speak Mandarin.
You can check out their clothing line here: http://www.honoreparis.com
Janka is an events and portrait photographer who has the most badass tattoo I've seen on a girl.
I suggested her as a model for a Nikon print ad. The agency and client liked her and got to photograph her for it.
Her portrait work is usually moody and heavy, which is quite a contrast with her personality being very cheerful and outgoing. She can easily get along with anyone.
You can check out her works here.
I first got to know him when he invited me to be a speaker in the first PechaKucha Night. He has spent quite a lot of time in Japan and has moved here in Singapore just recently. Jon is one of my favourite people to hang around with as there is never a dull moment with him. Never runs out of anecdotes and funny quotes, a beer with him is a treat.
You can see his beautiful street work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonsiegel/
And his blog here:
Candy is the Founder and Creative Director of
Available, a cross-disciplinary creative agency. She's had a number of international advertising awards under her belt, including One Show, Clio, and New York Festivals. I first met her through Fleecircus in one of our personal photography gigs. I later got to work with her in a few high profile client shoots from which I've learned a lot from.
Candy is a firecracker, very lively and intense in both client shoots and social gatherings. It's always a treat when you're in the same room with her.
Tracy was a producer in the creative industry. I first got to know her when she and Candy hired me to do a shoot for the NUS 2013 Calendar.
I find that she always has a positive disposition, and a very cool girl in a geek sense that she's an avid gamer. Her eyes light up when we talk about bad ass tv shows as we share the same appreciation for Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, and True Detective.
Michael is a veteran artist and illustrator in Singapore. He is also known as Mindflyer, which is quite apt if you look at his original style in illustration.. playful and distinctive. He is also one of the founders of the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC) which provides a platform for professional and upcoming illustrators in Singapore to connect and collaborate with each other.
I met Michael through Fleecircus when we were working on a personal project called 5SecFaces. He immediately struck me as very professional yet grounded and approachable.
You can see his art works in his website here.
3 years later, when I saw him again in the studio, he's still the same cheerful and funny dude. Shooting him for his portrait was a bit of a challenge coz he was always clowning around :)
You can check out his slice of daily life photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suddenlyhere/
Ana is an artist whose body of work is in mixed media that shows you beautiful eclectic abstract art. She grew up in Romania and later moved to Japan and then Singapore. She speaks very fluent Japanese. I was commissioned to photograph her for her website and I have to say that her personality is as engaging as her art.
To see her work, visit her website at http://anamariapandey.com
Claude is an event architect extraordinaire who operates art-management.com. His company manages and promotes visual and performing artists both in Singapore and overseas. I met him through Stefen in the Affordable Art Fair and have done a couple of shoots for him since. And big thanks to this guy, I was able to hold my first major photography exhibition in tcc, showcasing images from my Portraits of Strangers project.
Claude is a very charming guy, and comes up with unique and crazy ideas for art events like 'PantoneMyArt-Nude in Colour' and 'The Sew-Out Show'. You can see all his events in his Facebook page here .
Eunice is a fellow photographer who shoots a variety of genres, including lifestyle, food, weddings, and family portraiture. We have a shared interest in doing personal photography projects, but nowadays she's very busy juggling between photography, her family's business, and baking moon cakes (which I highly recommend).
You can check out her website at: http://www.eunicelim.com
Sarah and her family moved here in Singapore from Australia a few years ago. Her daughter, Bethany, is a talented child actress in Australia, starting out with quirky roles that matched her unique looks.
Sarah commissioned me to photograph Bethany to update her portfolio. She was soft spoken and motherly even to me, but I suspected she had the capacity to clown around that leaves Bethany grinning during the shoot.
Jeremy is the Director for Strategy and Content at Havas Media. I got to work with him when he was still at Singtel where he conceptualised and spearheaded social projects like NotATourist.sg, Project Silverline, and Home Without Walls. It was quite a treat shooting for these projects, having different challenges from photographing expat bloggers, to senior citizens, to kids running around the Botanical Gardens.
I see Jereamy as a man who's soft-spoken but always has big ideas.
Shavonne is an upcoming fashion photographer who will soon be one of the foremost in the industry (my fearless forecast). She has surrounded herself with a good team for her creative shoots, and keep testing out different looks while still being consistent with her style. She is such a bubbly character to talk to as well while constantly showing her big smile.
You can check out her photography in her website here.
Todd is a commercial photographer specialising in shooting food and interiors. He is originally from New York and now calls Singapore home. I met him when we were both hired to shoot the Johnnie Walker Jet Black Party a few years ago.
He's always a busy man.. if not shooting for clients, he'd be travelling overseas. Lately, he's helped me a lot in pointing me in the right direction towards my plan on doing photography full time.
You can check out his photography here:
Julia hails from Ukraine, grew up in New York, and recently moved to Singapore. We got to work together in 2 shoots without even meeting each other… she handled the styling for my shoot with Totes and Bethany behind the scenes. I finally met her when she helped me with the studio shoot with Jim Rogers.
Julia has worked with high profile personalities as well as mid-tier executives and working parents. She's a personal consultant in styling, and also often hired by corporations to provide workshops on personal image boosting. You can check her website here: http://www.julia-blank.com
Jacinta, or Jess as she's called more often, is a senior account manager for OgilvyOne. She was my contact while working on a corporate social responsibility project called Silverline, which supports the elderlies in Singapore with no next of kin.
All throughout the project, we communicated by phone, so she was but a voice to me, giving me feedback on what I should or should not do. We met for the first time in the 2nd anniversary party of Goodstuph, but only got to talk with her more during this shoot. She turns out to be a lady who smiles a lot and quite naturally :)
Jun is a writer, hardcore gamer, and street photographer. He's written an article that combines all of these 3 attributes:
How playing video games can help you become a better street photographer
In addition to this, he's also a geek in a way that he loves comic books and tv shows, and has good taste in his selections. Once you meet him, it's easy to imagine him being the life of the party.
You can check out his photography here: http://www.junshenchia.com
He also writes reviews of games, tv shows, movies, and comics here: http://thebiggap.com
Meerly is an avid film shooter and general manager of Lomography Singapore. A few years back, she invited me to shoot street with a lomo camera and have the resulting photographs exhibited in the Lomography Gallery Store in Singapore. It was good fun!
Meerly always has this positive aura with her. I have never seen a photo of her not smiling :)
You can see her lomography photos here: http://www.lomography.com/homes/meerly
Adam is a street photographer formerly based in Sydney Australia, and has recently moved back in Singapore. He primarily uses a Leica film camera, a self proclaimed bushido with a rangefinder.
I met him within the street photography circle here in Singapore and always found him to be a cool, level-headed guy who's almost always all smiles.
You can check out his photography here:
I met him within the street photography circle here in Singapore and found him to be very informed and insightful when it comes to useful references and inspiration on good photography. I love going through his collection of photo books in his study. I also often rent out his LED lights for a number of my photo shoots last year.. thanks, man!
You can check out his photography here:
Jing Wen is a medium format shooter, using his huge Hasselblad film camera to photograph urban landscapes. On week days, he works at the national library giving him all-day access to a lot of awesome photography books you can use for inspiration. I'm so jealous of him for this.
He has recently self-published a photo book called Japan Quietly which contains scenes you often don't stop and look at when in Japan.
You can check out his photography here: http://www.thamjingwen.com
Mun is the head of marketing for Nexus International School. She commissioned me for a shoot where I roamed around the school premises, photographing the students while doing their activities - like shooting street but inside the campus.
She and her colleagues like to play no-holds-barred pranks against each other in the office. Her charming and fun-loving nature makes a long day of work pleasant.