Starting a new series, dedicated to split-second moments captured by my faithful 2nd camera body (Canon 1DMarkIV) with the much raved about Canon 135mm f2.0. The 2nd body stays slung on me throughout shoots so anytime a moment pops out, screaming for a snap, I switch bodies and fire away – almost feels like target practice.

Thankfully, I’ve nailed some bullseyes. Here’s the first from a recent wedding:

This lil’ one looking rather pleased with succeeding in getting grandpa to carry him instead of being within the confines of the pram.

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It’s been a blessed journey thus far. 2014 has opened many doors and brought amazing clients who’ve become friends. That said, the greatest joy, and privilege, has to be the process of listening to their journeys, the ups and downs, but more importantly, that deciding moment that ‘put a ring on it’.

I’ve never been much of a writer, despite clocking some time as a young graduate writing press releases and responding to media queries. Images always hit the spot though, be it for that moment or as a recollection of a journey.

So for every couple who comes into the office, I tell them to forget the conventional scenic spots or looks they’ve scoured over Pinterest, Google, Instagram, etc. And just, tell me their story – How and Where they’ve met, What was that defining moment, Best and Worst memories and more.

Here are some of my interpretations of their stories in snaps:

Soccer fanatic meets Ballet Beauty | feat. Melvin & Elizabeth

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A long hiatus from this space is largely attributed to my foray in a new marriage of passions – content production for music.

Music has been an age long passion of mine, particularly in the realm of guitar and all the effects pedals around it. So when I was presented with this opportunity to feature Randolf Arriola, Singapore’s very own loop guru – it was a no brainer. Here’s a condensed version of the day’s footages with snippets of Randolf at work.


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In my job, the most satisfying moments are those that encapsulate pure bliss within a snap. Last weekend, this came in the form of my first venture into newborn photography.

Presenting the incredibly adorable baby Hayden:

Newborn photography

Barely 2 weeks old, it was perfect timing. Most claim that beyond the 14-day mark, newborns change exponentially, from their features to behaviour thus losing some of that ‘newborn’ aura.

newborn photography blog2

Here’s a quick rundown of the shoot flow

First step: Get the baby to sleep. The parents had an awesome rocking machine which had lullaby tracks that were scientifically proven to be most effective. What intrigued me most was the one that sounded like a vacuum machine on its lowest power setting – according to the mother, it was closest to the sound of the womb and thus most familiar to the newborn.

Second step: Set up the location. We chose the bedroom window sill for the shoot, with natural light flooding in and forming a nice glow around our peaceful infant. After that was set, I fired up Photon strobes but only used the modelling lamp with a grid on it to cast a soft illumination on his face.

photon lights 2

(Photon strobes are really affordable, made in China but have been getting the job done for me thus far. They also come in really handy for location shoots as they run on  a battery pack and are 600w, enough to light subjects even in harsh overcast daylight situations. Also they come with a neat hard case and are compatible with Bowen mount light modifiers. All for a great deal of SGD$600 at Orient Photo, SIm Lim Square)

Third step: Props. Baskets, towels, cute baby outfits, anything that screamed cute was mix and matched for the shoot.

Fourth step: Snaps. Just so I could catch him in his natural gestures and movements, I mounted a Canon 135mm and snapped from a distance.

newborn photography blog3

newborn photography blog4

A salute to awesome parents

There’s definitely much more to this art than I’ve covered and there are many amazing newborn photographers out there who have inspired me while I was researching for this shoot. Looking forward to the next assignment already!

Ansel-Adams-Quote-4

So true.

I recall the days I first picked up the camera and was introduced to the world of lenses – from the cheaper yet impressive third party ones to the trusty, bokeh-licious L lens, from the zoom to prime lenses – options were aplenty.

Thus began the slippery slope of buying and selling, in a quest to find that ‘perfect’ combination of lenses. First, there was the fine line between versatility and image quality. Zoom lenses gave me a hassle-free shoot with a coverage enough to last me for a full day without fumbling to change lens. The shots from the primes however, were drool worthy with their tact sharp results and cinematic-like finish (especially my trusty 135mm f2.0). Next, the cost factor. A zoom lens like the 24-70mm can safely replace the 24mm and 50mm combination i bring for shoots and save me a couple  bucks too. Seeking an answer to this dilemma is catastrophic, there are just no single perfect combination and the varying schools of thought in the cyber world will just blow your mind.

My journey took a turn when I decided to get acquainted to my existing range of glass to the point I could picture the frame I would get with the respective focal lengths. This was coupled with training my positioning in the various scenarios and getting into that right position. Ansel Adams nailed it, it really comes down to ‘knowing where to stand’. I can’t say I’ve perfected the art, or ever will, but the shots have been increasingly spot on.

These days, I pretty much run around with a 24mm and a 135mm mounted on a Canon 5D Mark3 and a Canon 6D respectively, dangling off my shoulders from the awesome Black Rapid Double Strap.

BlackRapid_DR_1_double_strap1
(
Reference image of the Black Rapid – http://photographysilo.com/product-review/rs-dr-1-double-strap-for-two-cameras/)

My two cents – stop the acquiring and get those feet moving:)

Rex and Charlotte – a bliss I was blessed to celebrate as their journey taught me much. Their reliance on God, partnership in the many stages of their more-than-a-decade long relationship and a humility they exuded as a couple despite being highly talented individuals in their craft.

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Celebrations like these remind me of the joys of my trait, where I get to translate these impressions into frames frozen to tell their story. Here’s a glimpse of this couple’s love tale.

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography

Singapore pre-wedding photography