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Getting close enough...

A while ago, some of my photo enthusiats friends asked me how do I approach people for their photos. Am I using a tele-lense to shoot from afar? Have I gotten into trouble while shooting people?

Somehow those questions made me look at the way I shoot. I used to shoot portraitures using a tele lenses (anything from 70mm - 200mm) for that depth of field and isolation of the headshot but then, I find that it got boring to me. So after looking through some of my sources of inspirations, I decided to try using primes & wides.

I'm a bit introvert as I don't easily mingle with people I don't know, in fact I often give the wrong impression of being stand-offish. Photography helped me bridge that distance. When I shoot with a wide, I have to be close to the person, invading his/her personal space and at the same time, allowing another person into my personal space. That's not easy to do coz you feel vulnerable and you make the other person feel vulnerable, even worse when you thrust a camera lens into his/her face.

But then I love the minute interaction with my subjects when I enter into their space coz for that brief moment, it's just me and my subject.

Street shooting is quite fun to do but can be quite intimidating for starters. Who can you shoot? what can you shoot? what is the right angle to portray the subject? how do you portray the subject in the context you want to tell your viewer?

I love to shoot street coz the subject is in his/her natural environment, their own safety womb of comfort. So how do you make yourself 'invisible' while entering their comfort environment?

Try to be inconspicious is one thing (big camera, big bright flashing flash, big groupie shooting at the same subject..etc) the main aim is to capture your subject in the same perspective you see before you decide to snap it.

The trick is to smile, shoot, smile and walk away. But I like to incorporate something more - Smile, talk, shoot, make a friend and walk away smiling. People are generally need to communicate and when you communicate, you make a bridge with your subjects. The easier to shoot them in.

For the shot of the old lady in ChiangMai, I observe a while and I started to gesture to her as language is a big barrier (they speak a different Thai dialect). She understood and I shoot and I show her how I percieved her age as beauty with my lens.

Try it.. challenge yourself to open up to people and let them come into your personal space. you might discover a new side of you which, ultimately, what photography is all about: the discovery of yourself through the subjects you shoot.

: )

About me

  • I'm Shutterbug
  • From- Singapore
  • What- Photographer
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Shout Outs


  • 15/12 :: Proud owners of our own Loft!

  • 19/12 :: House Reno begins

  • 19/12 :: All-White XMas Party @ The Pond

  • 20/12 :: WPN Xmas Party @ Lightpixels Wessex

  • 25/12 :: Merry Christmas everyone!

  • 31/12 :: New Year's Eve Dinner @ Yveon Loft

  • 01/01 :: Happy 2009 everyone!

  • 07/12 - 10/12 :: Good bye Bishan, Hello Bukit Panjang

  • 19/01 :: Renovation completion



  • To serve more efficiently in God's kingdom

  • To cultivate a closer relationship with my loved ones

  • To lose 10 kgs

  • To learn to be more sensitive spiritually and emotionally

  • To go for a liveonboard dive trip again

  • To exercise musicianship professionally

  • Have a solo photography exhibition in 2008

  • Love more, give more and bless others more!

  • Expanding my photography business

Travel dreams...

  • Watch a live Sumo match in Japan

  • Climb Mt Fuji

  • Watch the Northern lights

  • Play the slots in Las Vegas

  • Trek Nepal

  • Dive in Maldives

  • Shoot New York City


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