Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shoo Herng and Yen Ju

The main reason for my holiday back to Kuching was to attend, and shoot an old friend's beautiful wedding day. I was tasked to shoot the Groom's side of things in early morning, while another photographer friend, Kenn Wai covered the Bride's side. The challenging part of this assignment was waking up at ungodly 3am in the morning (why does all Chinese weddings have to be commence impossibly early???), and the wedding assignment lasted the whole day till dinner reception, which ended rather late into the evening. 

I was hesitating between Sony or Olympus system, and I would have brought BOTH if I was doing an assignment in Kuala Lumpur. The fact that I needed to travel home (about 2 hours flight away) to Kuching, meant I shifted priorities to travel light. I chose Olympus in the end, not that I have anything against the Sony, but I felt that Olympus would deliver the results that I seek (beautiful skin tone, reliability, better handling, etc). I brought the Olympus DSLR E-5 as the main body, with my old, but still alive E-520 as a back-up, and all the primary Zuiko Digital lenses that I do down: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, 50mm F2 macro and 25mm F2.8 macro. I found myself using the super wide angle 11-22mm most of the time, followed by the 50mm F2 macro lens. 

I shall be previewing a few images from the shoot in this blog entry. Bear in mind these are just initial edits, which would differ from my final delivery.



















Another difficulty during this assignment worth mentioning was me having to work with a crew of videographers. I have nothing against them, but the crew consisted of 5 people shooting with their video-cams and DSLRs, and whether I like it or not they have populated all the most auspicious shooting positions. And I could not get in front of them. A lot of my shots could have been better if I was standing exactly where I wanted to stand, and where you shoot from can create a whole world of difference in getting that better shot. 

Come to think of it I was not entirely sure why I ended up doing wedding photography and how I got involved in the first place. I thoroughly enjoy shooting wedding, I really do, but somehow it happened rather unexpectedly, and coincidentally I needed that extra income boost (though not as much as I would like) to supplement my underpaid engineering salary. It has been more than 2 years now since I did wedding photography more seriously, and I somehow still do feel out of place whenever I shoot weddings. Certainly I know my standards have not been on par with local professionals (photographs speak for themselves) and I was not actually doing anything much to push myself to reach up to that higher bar of excellence. Do not get me wrong, I do get very happy clients, and through words of mouth and strong recommendations I do get wedding assignment coming in  from time to time. I guess I have to decide whether I should be pursuing this more seriously, because if I do, I should put in more effort to improve my own shooting skills and also business networking abilities. 

Then again, the thought that every Tom, Dick and Harry can buy a cheap DSLR with a kit lens and a third party flash, and start shooting weddings (for very low pricing point, or worse, for free) killed the thought of venturing into wedding photography full time. The wedding industry in Malaysia is not exactly a very beautiful sight to behold. I do not think getting involved too far into it is a good idea either. 

I shall leave the heavy thinking for another day. One step at a time, and with every single shooting session I have done, I know in my heart I did my best. For this particular wedding, it has a special place in my heart, because it was partly done as a gift for dear friend, Shoo Herng. 

To Shoo Herng and Yen Ju, I wish you both happiness and blessings, always! Congratulations, and stay cheerful!

25 comments:

  1. Robin, you should not apologize for not being in the ideal position for the shots. Your skill is in making the most of the situation. Anybody can take pictures today, but it takes vision to create images.

    Keep up the good work.
    Don

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    1. Thanks Don!
      I just could not help but wonder how some of the shots could have been better if I shot from where I wanted.

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    2. The only reason I knew you were not in what you though might be the best spot is because you told me. Let the photos stand on their own merit-which they do quite well.

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    3. The only reason I knew you were not in what you though might be the best spot is because you told me. Let the photos stand on their own merit-which they do quite well.

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    4. Thanks! Some images could have been better!

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  2. Robin, if I had known about you when I got married (the second time!), I would have flown you in from KL to Germany. Wonderful atmosphere!

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    1. Oh my, thanks for such kind compliments, but I do not deserve it!!!

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  3. Some excellent work here, your friends are lucky. I shot weddings for two years years and definitely agree that it's very challenging. Sure everyone has a dslr these days but even most wedding photographers don't know what they are doing.
    My biggest pet peeves are the video lights and the overzealous uncles with dslrs...

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I agree with you, it is true that somehow so many people these days do not even know what they are doing! It is that obvious.

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  4. Excellent shots Robin! I definitely like the results you get with your Olympus setup. The images just seem to have more "bite" to them. I don't blame you regarding wedding photography. It's probably my least favorite subject to shoot!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan, and yes, there was indeed more "bite" to them!

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  5. Great work, Robin.
    Love the mood and the chemistry in your shots. It's awesome! But still I have my favourite which is the shot of the bridegroom waiting in the car. His expression is as if inviting us into the car.
    Hope you enjoy your short holiday.
    Regards,
    John Ragai

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    1. Thanks John for the kind words. I love that shot waiting in the car too! I like the tones and the lighting, but the inviting expression was a bit weird though!

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  6. lovely captures Robin !
    The skin tones and colors are great as ususal ....:)
    more than any thing else ..the images convey the mood of happiness at the event .... every image having a person/persons is ALL SMILES ... :):)
    ..

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    1. Olympus produces the BEST skin tones ever!

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  7. Beautiful images, love the rings shot with the roses.

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  8. just now i can surf d net n read ur blog..so busy with d work now..as usual like ur work..i agreed with u robin..these day now so many ppl can hold d gear n take a pic wahtever they like..but d question is..its this ppl know how to use this gear..know how to manipulate this gear..know how to compose d object and etc..some of them really dunno how to use it..just want to show to others that they have an expensive gear to shoot and for sure they will get d beauty pic..but d truth is ur pic is really2 beauty from d others..just believe with ur work..dont think with d others..this situation goes same to me..u know wat gear that i use..when i go to some wedding event to captured d moment, i can see that only me use a small n light gear..sometime i feel that i really cant work on it..but i take this as a challenge and just go for it..and suprisely that my work is better from them..so robin..just believe with ur work..i know ur work are really2 awesome from d others..keep up ur good work robin..

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Nik Hadi!
      When are you free again? Should go out shooting some time.
      Do not be intimidated by people who use bigger gear. Photographers should realize that there are a lot more elements that create great photographs, gear is just one part of the equation. I take pride in using both Olympus and Sony, both unpopular choices among st wedding photographers.

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  9. Take it from an old hand, Robin: you really should give yourself more credit. This is excellent work.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Andre!

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  10. Robin, as the official wedding photographer, i think you have every right to budge into the appropriate shooting position because ultimately you served your client. However a meeting between videographers to set this clause straight is that to discuss position. 5 person to do videography can cover a lot of position . Compounded to the fact they have higher zoom lenses in their video camera they should be able to shoot form further.

    U should not be apologetic to the videographer because u don't want to be apologetic to the client for not getting the shots.

    I enjoyed shooting wedddings too as a wedding guest though ..cause i always feel out of place as a paid one.

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    1. Hey Joshua,
      In most common cases, videographers/cinematographers have the priority over photographers, that is just how it works. You do not go in front of them, and you do not clash with them. The bloodshed will be ugly, and best avoided.
      There were 5 of them. Do you think all of them use high zoom lenses? These days, people love ultra wide angle (it is the trend) and some would even go fisheye. When that happens, it is hell for photographers.
      I am not being apologetic to the videographers. Instead, I was clearly voicing my dissatisfaction and annoyance when working with videographers. It just makes life a whole lot more difficult in shooting.

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  11. Hello,

    I really enjoy watching your amazing shots on your blog and I would like to ask you if you are interested in a link exchange with my photography blog: http://anhdrphotographer.blogspot.com/

    Thanks

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    1. Thanks for the kind comments, however, I only link the blogs that I want to here. Mostly people I know in real life, or blogs that I have come to admire and follow.

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