I first picked up a camera when I was 19, the funny thing is I don’t have many photographs of myself in my 20s and early 30s. I didn’t like how I look in front of the camera. If there is someone taking photographs, I have a highly sensitive radar for cameras, I would have an alarm goes of in my head and I would hide. If it was a friend taking photos, I would delete most of them.
People think I’m a portrait photographer. I know how to pose people so I know how to pose myself in front of a camera. But it’s not true. When I photograph people, I see every detail, where to put the hands, the angle of the shoulders, how to position the legs, I see everything so I can adjust accordingly. When I was in front of a camera, I have absolutely no idea what to do because I don’t see myself. I might know some tricks but it’s never perfect. I start to take my own portrait because I feel that I’m a portrait photographer if I don’t have a good portrait it wouldn’t be convincing to people that I can take good portraits of them. So I take my own portraits and I want people to know that if a person like me can do it, everyone can do it.
I wish I have more photos in my 20s. So now I take my own portrait regularly and I can see my own growth even it’s still an effort for me to do it. I know I will cherish these portraits and when I get to my 40s, 50s and later on, these memories would be priceless for me.
I have some clients came to me for their first photo shoots and I do appreciate their trust in me. I see after their photo shoot, they gain more confidence with the camera, later one when they are out with friends taking selfies, they have more confidence and actually having fun. I’m just so happy that I can help people in this way, enjoy life in all sort of ways.
I hope this will encourage you to step in front of the camera.
Years ago, I used to hate being photographed. Now I don’t hate it but it is still an effort to put myself in front of the camera. It’s a journey and self-growth, I challenge myself to do something I fear and on the way, I learn a lot about myself.
I’m good at posing people but self-portrait is a very challenging task. There are too many things like angles, styling and posing to take care of and it’s definitely more challenging than photographing other people. I do it because “it’s challenging” and also because I know 10 years later I would be very happy to have the photograph, the memory that money can’t buy and it’s an amazing feeling to see my own growth and “ageing gracefully”. I hope this video will encourage people like me who don’t like to have photographs taken. I know how it feels and so I promise myself that I will make people like me, come to my studio feel more at ease in front of the camera and take the most beautiful photographs of them. And I am keeping the promise.
Having photographs taken professionally is vanity?
Through a conversation I had with a friend, I realized some people think having photographs taken professionally is a kind of vanity. My friend is a modest person who doesn’t post many of her photos in public. I never thought of that and It’s interesting to hear people’s thoughts.
I don’t think having photographs taken professionally is being vain. I had a client came to the photo shoot and brought some photographs which were taken 20 to 30 years ago by other photographers. It was amazing to see her growth and different lift stage, her appearance changes over the year, she becomes matured and lost her baby weight. The documentary of her life just amazing and beautiful. That’s why I love my job because I find it is very meaningful and I get to photograph, document people’s life and show them their beauty. Imaging the photographs I take of you now, 10 years later they would be the beautiful memories, 50 years later they would be the family legacies, 100 years they will be museum collections. That’s how I see portrait photographs and that’s what I hope my work would be. My photographs now are all in museum grade paper, my photographs are going to outlive me and outlive the person in the photographs.
I photograph women in different ages, sizes and shapes, but it’s never about that. I love seeing people unfold in front of the camera and shine. I believe everyone can do it. The transformation we do in our studio just incredible. If you haven’t being professionally photographed, don’t be shy, get in touch with me, it’s a new experience that you will enjoy.