My blog has been void of wedding images for a long while now. If you have been following my blog, you would have known that I have quit from shooting weddings as my main genre since last year.
What I basically did was I cut down the number of weddings I shoot to about less than 6 a year, in order to rediscover my passion in photography and re-learn photography all over again.
My life has been so much more fruitful since then and I am enjoying photography like a fresh new enthusiast once again after more than 10 years in the business. I realized there’s still so much to learn, and there’s so much I have been missing out as a professional all these years.
The “professional” label is lame. It means nothing more than you are making money out of photography and you are dependent on it for livelihood. It certainly does not necessarily mean you are skilled, knowledgeable and passionate in today’s context. If the level of judgment/fussiness by our clients in this part of the world suddenly increase by 50%, I guess more than 1/2 of the professionals around us might be facing unemployment.
Doing photography as a job is entirely different from living photography as a lifestyle. Doing photography as a job is to meet the standards of our clients. Living photography as a lifestyle is to constantly strive to reach higher standards set by ourselves.
A painter won’t choose to paint a same painting over and over again in his life if he’s an artist. I can’t paint the same stuff over and over again either. Shooting less weddings enable me to focus better on each job and personalize my brush strokes, my eyes for each wedding. NOT looking at other wedding photographers’ works IS a MUST in carving out your own style.
Guess it’s about time I update my portfolio. Here’s just one photograph for the day to start with. (I must admit I have a self-discipline problem to tackle)
I love the quality from a medium format film and the skin tones from the NPH400.
Shot with Olympus E-PL1, 14-42mm kit lens at 14mm, 10 sec exposure, camera rested on a slightly shaky wooden rail, I.S. Auto.
Image is straight out of camera (SOOC) with absolutely no post-processing other than resizing, adding watermark and border. I brought along my Sony NEX-3 to do a comparison with the E-PL1 during this trip. Will write more about it in my next post.
Can everyone shoot artistic images??? With a camera like the PEN, almost!
Though I have been teaching photography for a while now, I find that there’s just one thing that can’t really be imparted: how to see artistically!
But with the latest technology, digital cameras like the Olympus PEN series which produces fantastic jpegs straight out of camera, and with the additional in-camera Art Filters… … shooting ARTS straight out of a small and portable interchangeable lens camera has never been so easy before!
I have the images to prove you here. Not all are excellent but most are impressive! These are ALL the images from the participants of the 3 sessions of Olympus Photo Walkabouts on Sat, 26 June, Urbanscapes at KLPAC!
The shots are mostly shot with E-P1, some brought their own PEN, and only Art Filters are used.
Guess who are the 6 winners? (if you do not already know…) Click and enlarge the individual images, put in your comment if you wish.
Judging was based on the public’s votes and 3 judges: the Urbanscape organiser, our Olympus GM Kee Nyap and myself. (Not all the winners’ shots are among my personal 6 favourites… so judging was fair… :p)
Take a break man… … have a currypuff and talk to your loved one!
I have been taking a loooonng break from blogging, and I really owe many an update of what I have been doing. To put down in words all that I have been busy with is gonna take a few pages and so I’m just gonna talk about the basic stuff I did.
Stuff I did:
1. Exploring even more cameras, beyond Olympus, beyond the common brands, beyond digital
2. Thinking hard on what I really wanna do for 2010
3. Learning from photo enthusiasts!
4. Understanding the people I shoot, namely the strangers on the streets, I try to make them friends
5. Learning from my child. He has double portion of my bad DNA. “Retribution”. But God taught me the most through him.
Stuff I really need to do now:
1. Share more knowledge online!
Photography is a lifestyle. It should progress beyond shooting pretty girls, testing lenses, shooting for money, shooting what others have achieved, shooting to impress, shooting to compete, shooting for the sake of shooting, shooting to cover up our insecurities, or shooting just because you like the camera shutter sound and it’s functionality or complexity.
I know that some enjoy photography because of the photographic equipments. Me too, I enjoy each individual mechanical or electronic built. I know that some enjoy shooting pretty girls so they can enjoy looking at the images after that. Me too, who doesn’t like pretty stuff? I know some enjoy photography when they win awards. Me not really, I’d rather not be obsessed with shooting to win the favor of judges / or shooting what others want.
And I believe photography should develop into a lifestyle. Photography, my sketch book. I sketches my life in it. What I see, what I feel and what I want others to see, feel and know. I just hope that my images speak, and that my images last, no matter how insignificant my images may seem to be. I am insignificant, just like a tiny grain of sand on the seashore. Yet, I’ll still shoot to share. Who does not shoot to share? He should give up photography if photography remains in his closet. Fear of others “copying” your works??? Who do you think you are anyway? A Bigger Grain?
2. I am shooting more for others, rather than just for myself selfishly, and I mean commercially, as many still love my wedding and portrait works. Now, I must say for any artist, repetitive works are never what an artist wants. That’s why I mentioned “shooting for others”. But, that does not mean I shoot mindlessly without emotion for my clients, it’s about achieving “the pretty shots” my clients always wanted. That’s part of sharing too! And I still have my fiery passion in shooting portraits and especially actual day wedding events when so many “decisive moments” are waiting to be captured.
3. I hope that I can have an exhibition of some of my works. It’s really tedious in organizing all that I have been shooting in 2009, and it’s accumulating in 2010… and I have so much to share. I have been shooting almost everyday, and sometimes it’s just one frame per day.
My encouragement of the day: Be a Photographer! Not just a Businessman.
I always remind myself:
Good Businessman creates his own opportunities. Lousy Businessman copies what others do.
Good Photographer creates his own works. Lousy Photographer copies others’ works. (Have some pride lah! Not shy meh? When others say you copy.)
Keep me bookmarked! For those who are interested to participate in my coming workshops, please email me at email@example.com or drop a comment below.
1. I quit shooting weddings after weddings, which is what I have been doing for many years, no time to think of what I really want to achieve artistically, neglected many clients in my busy schedule which I feel bad till today.
2. I quit from the repeated routine of shooting weddings. Artists need to break their usual routine, that’s when they can breathe some fresh air, and mature in their thoughts and feelings, thereafter reflected in their works.
3. I quit following the world in believing being rich and famous is an essential. There are just too many things in life that money cannot buy.
To all who cares for me and love my works, don’t you worry. I still shoot weddings, just that I only shoot a certain number of weddings per year. 38 weddings per year is way too many for me. I am a part-time wedding photographer, freelance teacher, freelance editorial and non-profit community photographer now. I love training people, believe in effective personal training and mentoring, enjoy the sincere company of my few associates from 1 Avenue Photography.