Q: What inspires you for your work/shoots?
A: A lot of times I get inspired by other instagrammers and feature pages. However now that I am diving into filmmaking and video production I get more and more inspired by YouTubers.
Q: Where did you “learn” to edit
Q: How did you start to get exposure?!
A: I was really fortunate to gain a ton of followers because of the shots that I took when I was starting out. I owe most of my success to my exploration expeditions with my friends every weekend 2 years ago. Every week my friends and I would explore different parts of Singapore and try to locate spots we’ve seen from other Instagrammers. The influx and consistency of shooting at spots that were “lit” helped me tremendously and people from overseas started hitting me up when I was barely 1k for my locations. Showing them around and making connections, appearing in their photos helped me gain followers outside of Singapore. Soon feature pages started to pick out my work and I grew exponentially. The trick is to keep riding the wave and not slip because the algorithm is unforgiving and once you catch a dip it’s going to be tough to get that engagement back. Fortunately for me I got to travel to interesting places that made my feed look more intriguing. Coming up with original ideas definitely helped me gain more exposure as well.
Q: When will you come to California?
A: Soon hopefully :’( I want to go to the states so bad.
Q: What is your go-to-gear?
A: Canon 5D mark IV and my canon 16-35 f2.8L III
Q: What kind of hype shoes do you have?
A: I’m not quite sure what you might consider hype but I have a couple of normal NMD runners, a white mountaineering city sock NMD, 2 ultraboosts 3.0, a blackout flyknit racer, a cream yeezys, a NMD city sock 2 and some other random shit lol
Q: Is there a specific lens or camera brand that allows you to achieve the look you have on your photos or is it just how you edit with a certain preset?
A: As mentioned before I don’t use any specific preset for all my photos, I edit all of them differently with different preset as a base. I believe that the gear I have has played a part in achieving the certain look that my photos have however I am certain that you will be able to achieve the same look as well with cameras in the same “level”. I think what primarily changes the final outcome of the photo is the combination of how one shoots and edits the photo, not so much the gear he/she has.
Q: Your thoughts on the camera calibration tool
A: An extremely useful tool that many have overlooked.
Q: How do you organize your feed, that is one of my main problems when it comes to posting in on ig
A: I don’t have a specific way of organizing my feed like a lot of other Instagrammers do. I do follow a set of guidelines which help make my feed look consistent. I don’t post similar photos side by side, be it location wise or colour. The style that I go for on my feed is to keep everything looking random and messy. I find it more flexible for me to have it looking the way it is as compared to having series of 3 images that are from the same shoot or same colour. I don’t believe in posting that way because unless you post 3 images in a row all the time, your feed is only going look perfect 1/3 of the time you post. And posting 3 images in a row isn’t the most effective way of increasing your engagement because most people will get irritated by seeing the same type of photo more than once in a day from the same person. Furthermore, spacing them out will also enable me to have some photos as archive for future use if I don’t have time to edit.
Q: When traveling for shoots, what do you recommend to take that you think is necessary?
A: When I travel I try to pack all my lenses or at least the ones that I know I will use, a wide angle, a prime, and a telephoto lens. Other than my usual gear that I almost always have a tripod with me at all times. The last thing I want is to miss a shot because I don’t have the necessary gear with me. My bag is pretty heavy but I’m used to carrying it all the time so I have no complains haha.
Q: One thing I’ve always wondered, how does one keep this fire burning passion for photography?
A: I guess photography for me has really become a part of my life, without it I just feel like something is missing. Just constantly being inspired and enjoying what I create has kept the passion burning. I’ve had passion for other things in the past before but they all sort of died because I focused too much on the results rather than truly enjoying it. I find that it is most important in whatever that you want to commit to, you need to ultimately be happy and enjoy what you’re investing your time into, otherwise to me it’s just a waste of time.
Q: Do you have any tips on how to find a good composition?
A: A lot of times when people see my photos they might think that I knew the angle I was going for from the start, however keep in mind that what you see on Instagram isn’t always just one shot. So many times, I go to a spot and just experiment with whatever angle I can think of. Just playing around and going wild with the shutter. In the digital age, we can afford to capture more as compared to in the past where film was precious and photographers would have to put in a lot more thought into the photo. What I would advise is to be familiar with the style of photography that you want to shoot, gain some inspiration from the gram or magazines and try to learn how to compose be it a model or an architecture shot. Through practice and experimentation, you will eventually develop your go-to angles and it will become second nature whenever you go out and shoot.
Q: How long ago did you start taking pictures? Do you buy presets from other people?
A: I started snapping pictures seriously towards the end of 2015 and got my first DSLR in June of 2016. Yes I purchased presets when I was starting out from other photographers around the world. I would say that I owe majority of my style of editing to the presets that I’ve purchased. Through the presets that I got, I learned a lot more of what goes on behind a successful photo.
Q: What do you think is the most important value in the upcoming ages of new media creation whether insta or videos?
A: Originality, with the ease of accessibility to media in this time and age, anyone can create but a lot of the times, society is driven by trends and creating something different is not always the most appealing.
Q: Favourite place to shoot?
A: In Singapore? Around Marina Bay
Q: I’d love to know how you scout locations to shoot! I have a hard time finding local places in my area (boring suburb)
A: I get this question a lot from people that don’t live in cities like Singapore or Hong Kong. What I did when I was starting out was to bring my compact camera with me everywhere I go. Back then I was using a canon G7X so it was easy to just lug around. From there I just shoot whatever I thought was nice or had the potential to be something that I would want to edit. Sometimes places look dull in person but you can always do some magic in post or add some interest to your image like using props!
So that concludes the end of the two part series of my 2018 January Q&A. I have tried my best to answer all the questions that I have received over the 24h period that the story was live. If I did not answer your question directly it might’ve already been asked by someone else so if you don’t see your handle please go through the questions as I might’ve answered it already.
I remember how frustrating it was for me to not be able to achieve the results that I was aiming for and how I wished there was someone there to answer my questions directly, which is why I am doing this Q&A every once in a while. I hope you guys have learnt something from this Q&A and know that I’m not doing this for any money whatsoever, I just genuinely want to help whoever I can. Hopefully you guys can pass on this knowledge to whoever that needs help in the future and create a better community for everyone!