Meeting New People in Work

An email came in.

“We need you to go xxx place to meet with Mr/Ms zzz for a photo session for our editorial work. Are you able to do it at this time and date, deliver by this date?”

Oh yeah, this is the type of work that i enjoyed. I received many last minute request in the past when i was doing editorial work. I usually will agree to it unless i got a job planned ahead.

Rather than working photography as a job. It was more of a fun adventure for me, the opportunity to meet a new person, visiting places that is not accessible to public eyes, all these reasons excite me. Over time i realize i was actually doing an environmental portraits on location.

In 2010, this (left) was one of my first environmental portrait photography for an editorial work in Singapore. 

Only a flashlight mounted on camera was used.

 

Whenever i reach a new location, ring up the person i am going to meet with, exchange pleasantry. Breaking the ice is very important, it can be quite nerving wrecking for the person to meet a photographer for the first time to have their picture taken quickly. These people i met are not a professional model or having their portrait picture taken frequently. I usually will ask the person to show me where are their working area and share with me any nice environment for a photo session. In-between the walk, i have a few questions to ask them about their work to get to know my subject better. This is a way to make them more relax, let them know i am Mr. Friendly.

 

 

 

Environmental Portrait of an engineer inside an aircraft manufacturing factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on my subject’s schedule. I usually have 30 mins to 2 hours with my subject. I don’t bring an assistant for a short period, no point bringing huge bags of lights to do set-up, which will be a kill of time. I also need to offer a variety of pictures for the clients to select. I need to prepare myself really quickly to familiarize of their working environment. I will bring a tripod in case i want to stabilize my camera while i can communicate with my subject.

Once i had found a suitable background or position. I will start to give some art directions, telling the person what i want. I don’t need them to deliberate pose, i usually demonstrate simple poses for them to follow, also considering the type of attire they are wearing. Make use of the props such as books, laptop, and files if needed if the person is uncomfortable standing or sitting down for a picture. If possible i would also try to portray the environment they are working if the place is neat.

Regarding the lighting – direct flash can be harsh in a controlled environment, rather than directly firing the flashlight on the subject. I will turn my flash head to a certain angle and have the light bounce it off the wall or ceiling to create a softer tone.

 

 

 

Portrait picture of a radiographer in a healthcare environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will also include the company name or branding of the places (2 pictures below) that i am working at, especially when client emphasize it for their requirement. Many years down the road, this became a good habit for me to include branding in the pictures whenever possible.

After so many years of environmental or editorial photography. I am still intrigued today to meet new people such as business owner, CEO and celebrities. I loved to hear more about their job, their thinking about work. There is always a new knowledge to take back home each day. Or even a new friendship.

 

My Editorial lifestyle portrait photography has a wide variety such as
-Celebrities
-Personalities
-Interviewee
-Executives
-Senior management
-Doctor/Engineer/Architect etc
-Government

If you are interested to hire Capture Asia Photography for photography service, drop me an email to enquire. 😉

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Check out my other posts for commercial photography here in Singapore.

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Travel Collection – 4 in Nepal

“Namaste”

When i was doing my travel photography at Kathmandu, Nepal. “Namaste” was the only nepalese language i spoke of in the entire trip. Is a respectful greeting to the local people.

According to Wikipedia.

Namaste means “I bow to the divine in you“. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. *fascinating*

Capture this picture using a 24-70 lens. Wanted a out of focus background, aperture set to F/3.5, shutter speed running at 1/1600. The morning light was rather heart warming than alluring in the capital. Life in Nepal seems less unsophisticated to me, travelling in a city there feels rural yet, basic modern accessibility is in place.

I spotted this man during my morning walk, the temperature was still chilling. I stopped, observed him. He was selling some products on the street to make a living. I approached him. Said:”Namaste”, hand gesture for picture. He agreed.

“click click”

Share with him the picture, smile.

I capture this picture because of the difficult situation he is in. Been alone in the street trying to make a living can be challenging due to the weather condition, no shelter for him unlike retail shop. His wrinkled face showed how difficult life can be, rather than aging. Or a rather true story of life in Kathmandu.

Yet, he never forcefully try to sell me his product.

Feel free to check out other of my travel collection articles
1 in Beijing
2 in Bangkok
3 in Sri Racha

Shooting personality on the ground without any prep

Adhoc challenge, client ask:”Ricky we need a portrait picture of her, can you help?”

Such last minute usually picks my brain, experience starts to kick in. However my gears were prep for covering the client’s event. At that moment i would love to have a 50mm with me because of the wide aperture to shoot indoor. I usually open it up to F/2 for portrait shoot.

So, this lady am requested to photograph. By the name of Nani Marquina, Founder of Avant-Garde spanish rug designer. Her company name, NaniMarquina . The rug product was awesomely appealing, lay the right designer’s rug across the floor and your entire house can sell for extra few thousands dollar. *self-thought*

Nani was friendly, yet at the time speaking to her. I knew her mind was busy with something else. She was polite at her reply, soft spoken, understand a bit of English. Is my first time shooting a Spanish, nationality don’t bother me. My job is to get a good photo. My time was limited, as usual.

Took many frames, directed her in different positions, observing where the light coming from, should i used a flash to bounce light off elsewhere. Too many technical adjustment but so little time. Still, i managed to pull it off.

As you see in the picture below, my final shot was to get her to sit on the rug she had designed. Her dressing was stylish as well, i love the shoes she’s wore. Her constant wide smile was loving my lens. Her personality already make half of my job done.

Enjoy this picture of Nani Marquina.

Drop me email if you like me to solve your picture problem.

Project – A Day Without Vehicle



Road transportation is one of the biggest form of pollution in the world. Hence contributing to poor air condition, change of climate, noise pollution, daily congestion and sometimes, even hazard to the pedestrians.

Let me share some vehicles pollution facts.

– Car produce carbon monoxide that will pollute the air, water and land.

– China and United States produce close to half of the world’s carbon dioxide.

– Damage of ozone layer is caused by the vehicles traveling on road.

– The air particles within a hundred yards or on big streets are filled with harmful particles that affect the health.

I have traveled to quite a number of countries in Southeast Asia, witnessing the continuous hectic traffic in some of the metropolitan city. Starting from the peak period in the morning extend till night. The dust and noise cause humidness and stickness that affect our body.

The objective of these images, which is also a vision, one day. The world would have a non-driving day impose by the government. A day of noise free, cleaner air for us to take in.

It took me about a year to complete the whole project. I looked out for various location that suits my vision of this project. Roads/expressways that are daily swarming with vehicles, yet with the additional greenery surrounding it. I digitally removed the vehicles for the final effect i wanted.



Am not against the driving of car, it is a form of luxury and easy mode of transportation from one place to another. I hope the world would move quickly into electric cars, hybrid cars. By selecting a greener vehicle, you can make a different for our mother earth.