I am a professional photographer based in Singapore, specialising in wedding photography. My childhood was centered around the kampung our family lived in, playing “go li” (marbles) and orh ee orh-ing (tarzan) in the kampung. When I was a teen, we moved to the slightly boring but less mosquitoes’ HDB. My introduction to photography was me as a child model….for my uncle.
He bought a new camera and was in need of a handsome boy like myself to be his model. Of course I obliged, even though I have no idea what it was all about and showed off my top model potential in front of his shiny new toy. When he showed me the prints after, I was fascinated by it. Not by my top model potential, but the fact that I could see the earlier me materialising in prints, like some magic.
Because I needed to learn more about this magic, I pestered my uncle for answers, but the young me did not understand the boring real stuff. When I finally grew up enough to understand TVs and cameras, the fascination evolved into questions like “how can I take better images?” So in between school, playing and growing up, I went out for photo shoots with fellow hobbyists and took on assistant jobs for pro-photographers. I worked in a photo lab where I learned about colours and developing nude..….baby photos. Then, I was not aspiring to be a professional photographer. I just wanted to take beautiful images.
After graduating from a design course, I worked as a designer which had regular working hours and came with benefits and stability. However I was missing the time for photography and made me realised my true passion. After much deliberation, I awakened my adventurous kampung boy spirit and set off on an unknown road towards being a professional photographer.
Now, it has been more than a decade since my debut as a professional photographer. Over the years, I gained more white hairs, a bigger tummy and importantly, a repertoire of skills, techniques and experiences which aids my work. I have also focused my lens on an array of subjects on different occasions such as scenery, animals, products and people. All forms of photography are interesting in their own ways but people photography was closer to my heart.
As a people photographer, more than techniques and skills, you need to learn more about them and their stories. For that, I enjoy wedding photography very much as it is where people and their stories gather, and them being open with their emotions on such occasions. Instead of just pursuing a pretty picture, I seek an image that narrates. Instead of a picture of the beautiful bride, I want to preserve the moment where the bride nervously clasped her hands together while waiting for the groom, and the moment of joy in her eyes when the groom arrived.
That is the type of image I seek. Pictures that say it all, unlike me, the ‘strong and silent type’ who often struggle with words to describe, they tell the stories eloquently. My inner kampung boy felt recharged and reassured of the choice I made when I delivered more than just pictures of their wedding to my clients, but stories and memories of their wedding day.