More About Me
So you’ve learnt a bit about me and now you’re here to find out more about me, my photography journey and how I started, so let’s get right into it!
I wasn’t one of those lucky kids that was gifted an heirloom camera from their dad at a young single digit age, in fact I only dabbled in a bit photography when I was around 16 when I bought a point & shoot back in the early 2000s, where I had fun with it for several years but I wasn’t into it and that was the extend of it.
It wasn’t until I was well into my professional day job life working as an operations software developer that I had a calling where I wanted to break out of the bubble I was living in that was ever so cozy and comfortable. Two things came about at that time, there was a calling in to –
- Use more of my right brain in creating things
- Go travel and see the world
I went ahead and purchased my first real camera, that being the Nikon D7100 along with a few lenses and off I went being a total novice. Started shooting everything and anything, to which I enjoyed doing a lot, and within months I had already upgraded to a new camera (Nikon D600) going from an APS-C to a full frame sensor, because being the naive beginner I am, I bought into bigger is better, and better gear will make you a better photographer mentality.
One day, me and one of my best friends, who was already well versed in photography as his passion, decided to go shoot a sunrise at the beach. I was excited as it my first time shooting landscape and it being a change from what I’ve been shooting, which was mostly of random objects/scenes and people, there seemed to be more of a purpose with this.
And so the morning came, we got up and out to the beach before 5am to a location in Sydney, Australia called Maroubra beach. We scoped out the location, found a spot we liked, setup up tripod, camera and composition in the blissful dawn and listened to the sound of waves crashing as we waited for the sun to pop up behind from the horizon.
I decided to take my first shot a moment before the sun came out and this was the result
And with that, I was completely hooked in shooting landscape. For the first time in months since I started this hobby, I felt a strong drive to pursuit this specific category and had gone on to shoot many more sunrises around and near my home of Sydney.
Here are some of the images I took around the place I’m lucky to call home –
Going back to the aforementioned point two above, I had a calling to venture out of the bubble I was living in, to go travel and live somewhere outside of Australia.
I was going to quit my job and just go backpack around Europe for a couple of years to go “find myself”. However, things didn’t turn out that way, long story short, work convinced me to stay with working with them.
They ended up transferring me internally and I got to pick any office location I wanted. So? After going some back and forth, I eventually settled with Stockholm, Sweden, as my home base.
But before all this, I took 3 months off, backpacking around the US for 2 weeks and the remaining time in Europe. I got to experience a lot of different cultures and learning how to navigate around parts where they didn’t speak a word of English, but more importantly learning about myself in this big world.
During the two years I was in Sweden, photography was still around for whenever I traveled but eventually it took a slow turn as I was focusing on the new experience in exploring new countries and culture.
Sweden was a great country but it didn’t feel like it was my forever place. The States was somewhere I’ve always wanted to live since visiting for the first time back in 2010. Fast forward to 2015, I moved to Colorado, and picked up photography once again. I had a shift in interest and decided to give portrait photography a go.
Having an abundance of nice friends that were willing to put up with me in taking pictures of them, the freedom of picking up a camera and shoot anytime there were people around, I was able to constantly shoot more often than I could with landscape photography. This is important as it provided me lots of practice that I wouldn’t otherwise have, which in turn built up my skills very quickly.
There’s something about freezing a moment in time with a person in a frame as the main subject. The process of drawing out the personal energy of the subject, then expressing it through an image has this magical sense of emotion that feels powerful. Needless to say, I quickly got hooked on portraiture.
I very much enjoyed shooting outdoors using natural light, teeing up with aspiring models from all levels of experience. I was able to utilise my knowledge in lighting from shooting landscapes, but it had also taught me a lot about problem solving with challenges that landscape photography wasn’t able to offer. Things like connecting with the subject, which to me is the most important part of a photoshoot, without that, I believe you wouldn’t be able to have the synergy that would render the best result. So communication skills was very important. Other things such as, posing, composing, as well as adjusting settings on the camera on the fly are all skills that needs to be executed on the fly, as you don’t want to be wasting time on either side, and quite frankly it is a demonstration of being a good photographer.
As my experience built in shooting portraiture, I craved for pushing myself to the next level in my style and skills. And I once again picked up flash/strobe photography. I had dabbled a bit back when I was living in Australia but weren’t the best at it, or fully understood the ins and outs of the technical aspect in that field in how to. achieve catalogue level results.