Sunday, January 27, 2008

Buffing My Game Up A Notch

So I figured I wanted to fo my own prints so that I am able to control the colors of my photo print outs without the cost of re-printing from photo labs and also other form of digital callibration devices. I also thought to myself that I wanted to be able to print something which is bigger than the average 6x4" or the standard A4 sizes - so I went for the A3 printer choices.

A3 printer models are kinda limited in the market. The leading brands are of course Canon and also EPSON. My buddy Simon has got one which is made by HP, and advised me strongly against buying a HP printer. They simply just arent made for photographs. Ok that aside... so my brain has been sorta fixed on getting myself either a Canon or EPSON bubblejet printer. Having used to using Canon printers ever since I was in college seems to be affecting my investment tendencies.

I did numerous benchmarking as well as some reviews online, and found that Canon printers are getting really cheap nowdays. Excellent marketing on their part, and this is of course a welcoming news to my ears.

My target now - the Canon PIXMA IX4000. It's the most affordable A3 sized photo printer I can afford right now without having to break my bank book. So... LOW YAT PLAZA, here I come later!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kenix & Barry's Pre Wedding

Thanks to Simon of Eternal Shots, I had this great opportunity to do a pre-wedding shoot of this lovely and cute couple. And to be honest, this is something I do plan to have in line up amongst the services I am offering at the moment.

Pre-wedding shoot is really something quite tasking to undertake. Especially when you are working with a total stranger for the first time. You wanna get them to laugh, you make a bad joke, you make some silly jokes - yet they just giggle and by the time you lift up the camera, the slight laughter whizzles away.

It sure did took us some time to "warm up" for the session, and I manage to take a few shots which I personally like. As I am updating this entry now, my multi tasking window shows my Adobe Photoshop CS3 waiting for me to squeeze out all my creative juice to do a proper album layout for Kenix and also Barry.

Anyway, what we did was a quick 3-4 hour outdoor photoshoot at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Park (TTDI Park for short) from around 11am to 3pm. Then a quick studio session at Simon's place. It was really really tiring, and I am glad my girlfriend followed me along. She was indeed a great help in someways and many other ways too.

Here are some of the shots which are personal favourites of mine.

The day ended with all of us, the couple, and the production crew (including myself) wrapping it up and going home going home really tired. But the next thing I know when I switched on my PC, Kenix already was nudging me on my MSN asking to see her photos! I guess we all did have an enjoyable day despite the fact that it does worn us out a bit. Then again... thats what photoshoot's all about! Tired but happy! :P

Friday, January 25, 2008

Helena & Kian Foh

I was going thru my photo archieves and realize I actually missed out on blogging this lovely couple's wedding, and their photos end up in the sub-folders of my hard drive. Anyway, Helena and Kian Foh's wedding will be one which kinda made a very big impact on my photography career. It thought me something really really crucial in this line of job. It tought me the importance of punctuality for a wedding photographer.

Helena was based in Subang Holiday Villa, where she booked a few rooms for her family who flew from Sabah. And since I stay just a stone throw away in Puchong, I figured I only needed probly 15 minutes max for me to reach the venue. However, thankfully I allocated 1 hour for the "just-in-case" unforseen circumstances. What happened was that there was a bad accident in the LDP highway, thus causing a bad traffic jam which hindered me from moving along. Had I follow my lazy ass bump, and decided to go thru a 15 mins drive - I would have been late, and that's absolutely not something which a wedding photographer should avoid at all cost.

Anyway, I made it to Holiday Villa Subang and thankfully the shoot went all ay-okay thereafter. Or maybe, I should say - I made it in time :) So, moral of the story is - always plan out the day, put out some spare time for those creeping unforseen circumstances. After all, this is a job for someone's BIG BIG DAY!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yvonne & Melvin

I did a job for Remus a couple of weekends ago. It was a coverage for Yvonne & Melvin's wedding day, which I would say, a different experience alltogether. Melvin is from Klang valley, and Yvonne is a lass from Bukit Mertajam, Penang. So, this job took a span of 2 days to cover, and a total of approximately 8 hours on the North-South Expressway. Remus has his assistant - Nicholas (photographer), and also a videographer, Benny to cover this wedding as well. Nicholas was the chap who drive us all in his car - which he subsequently admitted it was quite straineous to have to push his Proton Wira to constantly chase after the groom's TOYOTA Wish at 160km/h back to back.

Anyway, we got ourselves bunked into this motel, which is actually a corner unit of a link house. Our arrival on Saturday is to get ready for shoot that night itself for the wedding dinner. Then, get ready again to shoot the bride's make up process around 4am the next day. I only have one word to describe this whole itenary - challenging. And o'boy, I do love challenges. One of the things you get for being a wedding photographer is the sense of accomplishment upon seeing your clients smile from ear to ear when you deliver them their photo album... and this sense of accomplishment if greatly multiplied when you happen to stumble upon challenging scenarios - and yet could find a way to get around it and solving it alltogether. This is something I found out, and it has made me stick to my "guns" as a wedding shooter.

Yvonne and Melvin's wedding is something which I would remember for some time to come, and the one thing which definitely learn is how we sped our way from KL to Bukit Mertajam and back the day after. I guess some of the drivers (we travelled in a convoy of 5 cars with the leading car being the bridal car) would be recieving their speeding tickets pretty soon. Lesson learned - try to find out the location for outstation shoot and go there yourself so you dont need to worry about speeding tix. LOL!

Well, I dont wanna bore this thread full of my ramblings - but rather fill it up with photos of Melvin and Yvonne's big day. After all, hey that's what photoblogs are supposed to be, to be full of photos - aint it? So, I'm signing off and leaving this with loads of photos. :D

Sofea Daniella

I had this great oppurtunity to organize a workshop, together alongside with the model of the day - Sofea. Anyway, during the days when I am not shooting wedding, I sometimes organize photography workshops, mainly concentrating on outdoor lighting for portraitures. To be honest, it helps me keep my eyes sharp on lighting conditions and such, especially when I am trying to mould this technique into wedding photoshoots I undertake from clients.

Ok, back to the photoshoot and also the graciously beautiful Sofea.

Sofea was introduced to this workshop by a fellow shooter - Wai Khing (who happened to join the workshop as well). She is a great sport to work with, and definitely very photogenic. Lots of compliments went to her for being an easy person to shoot, as well as very characteristic. Great! I have to be honest that having such model for a photoshoot definitely makes my day a much more easier one.

I've had some fellow flickr'eres who asked me how do I find time to actually setup the lighting conditions, directions and other related factors during a wedding day shoot. I have to admit that timeline for someone's big day is really tight (normally), and as a wedding shooter - there is very little room for mistakes. What I can say is, by shooting a lot of these kinda workshop which deals a lot with lighting does help a lot for me to be able to carry out multiple lightsource for an event such as wedding.

To be honest, I think lighting has somewhat become like a second nature to my photographic senses. I could practically see the bride, visualize how I want the photo to be, setup a quick light according to that scene in my braincells, and snap away... then consider alternative angles... and snap away again. That's how it works - normally.

Back to Sofea again (I need to sort out different posting for different topics).

So... Sofea's shoot took place in few different locations. The very first spot I chose was Bukit Jalil LRT Station. This spot has got a lot of architectural geometry to it. There are staircase steps, lots of view of the open skies, cool and neat architecture of the National Stadium in distance. This spot could showcase a lot of potential as long as you can control the light. Then, comes the ever faithful Bukit Jalil Park - which is just a stone's throw away from the LRT Station. The reason why I chose this spot is because of the timing of the day. Noon time is a pretty difficult time to shoot with flashes for fill. And the existance of little huts for coverage is a welcomed spec for noon time shoot.

I then proceeded with Sofea to an abandoned carpark in Puchong. This was where the location shoot was for the second group of participants. It rained a little bit, so the cover provided was definitely a big plus. Next was Putrajaya, where we manage to capture some of the most dramatic shot featuring Sofea with a nice dramatic sunsetting sky.

The workshop was a long day. But I returned home feeling very satisfied with the outcome, especially when all of the participants actually gathered new information regarding off camera flash lighting. Come to think of it, I didnt manage to shoot much either... but its the quality that I am after.

Up next - 2 wedding back to back in 2 weekends.