Life

It’s In My Blood


This morning before I left for office, my wife shouted for my attention. I looked out of the window and saw a bridal car parked along the main road. The groom is waiting for the door-boy to open the car door. Soon thereafter, the entourage went to the bride’s house.

Then I had this feel-good feeling, the feeling which drives me to take up wedding photography, the feeling of happiness for the wedding families. And the only way to experience this joy is to be in it. And the only way to be in it – from a stranger’s stand – is to be a photographer.

These few months are a hot season for marriage. To some people like the videographer I met last Friday, hot means getting assignments 4 days in a row. For me, hot means getting 2 assignments in a month. That is good enough for now. I’m a homestay guy. I like to have lots of buffer time for my self-reflection. Some people can fill their schedule with events one after another, feeling empty or bored if they are alone. I’m one who values time with families and myself. I would rather stay at home during holidays than to go traveling, because I believe that the idea of holiday is to rest, and flying to another country and following the hectic tour schedule is NOT resting. But that’s just my view, and everyone has their views, if not the world cannot accomodate everyone.

Speaking of traveling, I am planning for a short getaway with my wife, most probably Bangkok, so as to visit the Erawan Shrine to ‘wan san’ (thank the gods) for giving us a child. But this morning I read on the Straits Times that the new Bangkok airport is in a mess, and led me to think twice. Then again, what’s a messy airport gotta do with going there? I suppose we could live with that.

Since I was talking about the videographer above, I could mention about him here (haha interesting how one topic leads to another. This post is not gonna end so soon eh). The videographer I was referring to is Don from Forest Productions. He’s an absolute great guy and is very experienced in weddings. He is very helpful in setting up the scenes that is optimal for photography and videography, like arranging the people to pose properly, or asking the people to make way to get a vantage shooting angle, or advise the bride not to be present at the wedding reception coz it’s not air-conditioned, even instructing the wedding couple to look at a certain directions when doing some rituals (like when cutting the wedding cake). Don also advises many ceremonial rites and from what I can see, is of valuable help to the wedding couple. His video-express storytelling is also very humourous, and though not MTV-style, is very factual and not too ‘airy-fairy’. Some people might not like it, but for a couple who enjoys the funny side of life, Don is perfect.

If some people were to notice during the wedding that Don seemed to do all the ‘commanding’ of the shoot while I am not doing much of the saying, that’s because when one person takes the lead, the others should follow and not try to dominate. Besides, my style of photography is journalistic and not posed. Sometimes, when Don asks to arrange some positions, the scene becomes stoic. But other than that, Don is good at cracking jokes and liven up the scene, so that compensates.

Speaking of journalistic photography, a friend asked me if I do candid shots, and I told her “that’s my speciality!” Why she asked is that during a wedding she attended, she heard the wedding couple’s entourage complaining about a photographer who kept asking people to pose for photos.

Indeed, there is a growing market for candid-style journalistic photography, and I want to specialise in this area. In fact, during one of my previous wedding, the wedding couple shared with me that during the wedding, they were wondering where I was, as they were too engrossed in their own emotions. The entourage ensured them constantly that I was around, doing my job, taking photos. And as they reviewed the photos, they were surprised to see some moments that they never recalled being captured on print. And that, is the essence of photojournalism.

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