📸 Skai Chan Photography

Skai Chan - Freelance Photographer

photo of freelance photographer skai chan

Hi! I'm Skai, a 100% Singapore born Chinese freelance photographer, based in Singapore. My languages are English, Chinese mandarin and cold humour. I dread formality.

I began photography with a "crash course" from an experienced photographer friend. Then, a masterclass commercial hair and makeup artist (HMUA) friend drilled me hard on styling and commercial standard of photo-editing for over a year. Due to these blessed and extraordinary encounters, I've managed to build my foundation differently from most other photography enthusiasts.

Skai Chan with model / friend Clients hire me mostly for portraiture, event and interior photography. I enjoy doing portraiture photoshoot most because it usually allows me to set up professional lighting properly to create masterpieces.

I'm lucky to be overwhelmed by the trust of many people who have approached me. I've been working with non-models and most of them had no experience nor confidence in photoshoot. I take pride in the transformation of normal girls into beauties through my photography, and help them to build confidence and make everyone happy, while happiness is contagious. I focus on lighting and keeping my work natural. I believe in quality over quantity and I believe in under-promise and over-deliver.

I do crazy things for photography. Sometimes I forsake my sleep for phototaking and I don't mind getting dirty in exchange for good photographs. Photography is an addiction for me; it's one way I can express myself with. As an artist, capturing good photographs gives me the sense of living.

Art is a way of life and I'm determined to deliver it in a tasteful way. I have also devoted great amount of my time to share my experience and tips to help others.

I believe my photography will make a difference to the society.

Besides judging me through my portfolio and writing, you should read my testimonials to hear from those people who have worked with me before. These will help you to understand me more.

My Working Style

Portraiture

  1. Makeup
    I prefer a natural makeup for my photoshoot, unless it's a special concept, such as creative makeup shoot. Hence, the HMUA (hair and makeup artist) who works with me must know my style and I will trust her in her craft.
  2. Wardrobe
    Wardrobe is complicated because apart from the design and colour, the texture does make a difference. A wardrobe may be nice but it may not necessary suit a person, the style, mood or even the background. I will go through the outfit together to select the most suitable set.
  3. Poses
    I go for lifestyle poses that are natural. I believe different people are more comfortable with certain poses and not with others. I will allow the model to start with simple and natural poses and then I will correct her verbally how to improve on them. I will also explain to her why are some things being done to help her learn, so that she can be more natural.
  4. Lens
    I try to keep my lens to one zoom lens that's versatile to avoid changing it during the photoshoot. My favourite lens is 24-70mm, which is sharp and covers the range that I need. Depending on different circumstances, I may bring along a wide angle zoom lens or a prime lens, for creative shots.
  5. Lighting
    I prefer using professional lighting with softboxes whenever possible. It allows me to shoot at more angles, including backlighting situation, while also keeping the light consistent and soft. It also helps to make the model stands out.

    There are many disadvantages of using professional lighting as well, especially with the speed and portability. Therefore, it depends a lot on the requirements of the model.
  6. Pace
    Slow pace. I don't do well when being rushed because it takes time to think and also makes adjustments to the artficial lighting. There will be lots of trial and error to get the best photographs possible.
  7. My attire
    Shorts and Sandals usually. I will be in the most casual wear possible to be prepared to get dirty and wet if necessary.
  8. Post-production
    Depends on requirement. I prefer doing advanced enhancement to create professional work because I take pride in all my work. However, editing each photograph requires lots of time and thus the cost is much higher than basic editing.

Event

  1. Coverage
    Journalist style. I will try to capture all the interesting incidents during the entire event and not just snapping the major ones, for examples, march-in and cake-cutting. Sometimes, I run around.
  2. Style
    I will be interactive with kids to get them to be comfortable in front of the lens.
  3. Lighting
    I will try to produce the most flattering soft light possible.

    Outdoor day - natural light.
    Outdoor night - on-camera flash, bounce if possible.
    Others - on-camera flash, bounce if possible.
  4. Lens
    My usual two main lenses are 24-70mm and 16-35mm, which are enough to cover individuals and big group shots.
  5. My attire
    I try to keep my attire simple so as to be able to run about if necessary.

    Formal: Jeans, sports shoes
    Kid's birthday: shorts (maybe)
  6. Post-production
    Basic enhancement. We are talking about over a hundred photographs usually.

Interior

  1. Light
    Natural light. I try to keep the interior designer's light as much as possible.
  2. Colour temperature
    Simple. I try not to mix warm and cool light together.
  3. Lens
    Wide angle at 16mm. I don't use fisheye lens due to the extreme distortion.
  4. Stablizer
    I use tripod stand for professional shoot or if the situation requires. If mass quick shoots for many venues, such as for property listing, I may have to use hand-held.
  5. Pace
    Slow for professional shoot. I will need to make adjustment and snap the best shot possible.
  6. My attire
    Jeans usually.
  7. Post-production
    Basic editing. All items, such as furniture, have to be placed at the proper spots. There's no extreme editing to add or remove any item, or otherwise, extra charge will be incurred.

More Detailed Story

skai chan

Family background
Skai came from a low income family. When he was young, owning a 200-buck family film camera was more than a luxury. This barrier had buried his hobby. His dad passed away when he was in secondary three and life became even tougher.

First digital camera
It was during his late teenage days when the technology brought his dream into reality. The invention of digital camera had overcome the high cost of buying films and developing them into hard copy photographs. The decision to buy his first compact camera was still difficult though, as he was struggling to fill his stomach. Unfortunately, photography was not very popular back then and not every friend appreciated him trying to capture every precious moment, probably due to camera-shy.

Journey begins
He had been working on compact and semi-pro camera, and didn't get to learn much technical stuff. It was only when he was in his late 20s, he decided not to waste his life anymore, after being encouraged by his friends. He bought a mirrorless camera and started his portrait journey. He took opportunities during volunteering work (struggled between hands-on and phototaking at the same time) and outings with family and friends to do event shoots. He also started approaching "models" online and offline (personal friends) to practise portraiture shooting and met with lots of arrogant rejection. Since most of the kind models who were willing to do portrait photoshoot with him could not do proper makeup, he had to spend a lot of time on PhotoShop (post-production).

His teacher - Tricia Lee
His co-worker, Tricia Lee, saw his enthusiasm and started guiding him along. She was a very experienced commercial makeup artist who had worked with many professional and fussy photographers, and she knew almost everything about photography (except technical stuff). At first, he was trying to persuade Tricia to take up more commercial assignments but it ended up he was being helped instead. Tricia spent huge amount of time and energy to go through every photoshoot album with him, to spot tiny flaws and coach him. You would never believe how a person could help another person so much without any condition. However, an angel could become a devil at times when she was too fussy over the quality of work since she was into commercial standard. The greatest problem was that Tricia was a very busy housewife and thus there would be a big delay in post-production work for every shoot and some models weighed speed over quality.

Social media
Setting up of his photography Facebook page, Instagram page and website helped a lot when it came to publicity. He got to meet more great people and things looked promising. However, social media is run by profit-driven companies after all. Besides, great publicity does come with lots of nuisance and even jealousy. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming.

Expensive hobby
When he realised the limitation of his equipment, he started upgrading them. After replacing some of them due to wear and tear, he began to realise that he needed to make money in order to continue with his passion. He began pricing himself humbly to his experience. He had no intention to play "price war" with other photographers and his worst nightmare was to spoil the market rates. Soon, friends, clients and various talents started boosting his confidence, and he realised the high value of his work and that the extra effort he put in for each shoot was amazingly great and priceless. He put all his income back into equipment and lived a very tough life as a photographer who was trying to survive in the heavily congested trade, which every camera owner is also called a photographer.

Biggest challenge
The toughest thing about photography is to educate people and manage their expectation; the constraints and effort required are not obvious and may require lots of explanation. Eventually, it is the trust and communication that matter the most. The thing that hurts him a lot is the fact that most people are simply looking at prices. He often wastes a lot of time to reply insincere enquiries. For example, he can spend hours educating and providing great ideas to potential enquirers who end up going for other budget photographers. He is, however, also lucky to have met many clients who appreciate him and his work and some have even given him tips.

His other photography work:
- Architecture
- Food
- Landscape
- Product

FAQ

1.0. Portrait Portfolio

  1. How do you get your models?
  2. Are the models as good as you have described in their individual pages?
  3. Do models reward you with "special things" during or after the shoot?
  4. Why is there no write-up for certain of your portrait albums?
  5. Why are some of your work being cut/cropped off awkwardly at your models' Instagram profiles?
  6. Why do you add a copyright watermark to all photos that you upload?

2.0. Portrait - Skai's Style

  1. Do you plan a lot for each portrait shoot?
  2. What kinds of theme will interest you?
  3. Why do you want to try different genres and shooting styles instead of sticking to just a few?
  4. Do you do nude photoshoot?
  5. Do you take very closed up photos during every photoshoot?
  6. What makes your portrait photos look good?
  7. When do you need to set up professional lighting?
  8. Why do you ask me many non-photography related questions?
  9. Why do you only shoot in RAW and not together with JPG?

3.0. Experiences

  1. What are the most common mistakes you make for portrait photoshoot and how do you rectify them?
  2. What's the most saddening moments after doing a portrait shoot?
  3. Do you regret not buying an advanced camera earlier?
  4. What's your biggest regret so far?
  5. What's your most embarrassing moment during a shoot?
  6. Did you get turned on while doing sexy photoshoot?
  7. Do you get to see 'free show' during photoshoot?
  8. What are your achievements so far for event photography?
  9. Which is the most generous group of clients for event shoot?
  10. Do you have clients who are unsatisfied with your services?
  11. What is the worst studio you have used?
  12. What are the kind things done by clients?
  13. What weird things some clients have done?
  14. What kind of clients you cannot communicate with?
  15. What kind of clients are considered annoying?

4.0. Personal

  1. Do you do links exchange?
  2. What is the most difficult thing about photography?
  3. Why are you selective of clients and jobs?
  4. What kind of people will you avoid working with?
  5. How good is your photography skill?
  6. Are you very experienced in photography?
  7. Will you lower down your rate just to take up more photoshoot projects?
  8. How open-minded are you?
  9. How many shoots do you do in a month?
  10. Why don't you go to all the car and IT shows to take photos of models for marketing, networking and building of portfolio?
  11. Why do you have so few photos of yourself?
  12. Why don't you take photos with every model you have shot with?
  13. Would you get a model as girlfriend?
  14. Can I borrow your equipment (camera, lens... etc)?
  15. Why do you not want to work with PR/advertising agencies and 'middle-man' companies?
  16. Why don't you like to talk over the phone?
  17. What are your non-photography worries for every shoot?



1.0. Portrait Portfolio

  1. How do you get your models?
    When I was new and didn't have a portfolio, I had nice online and offline friends who modelled for me for free. I picked up my skill through working with them. Of course, the models gained free photos as well. After establishing a variety of portfolio with quality photos, more models and aspiring models start to approach me. Then, I start working with clients.
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  2. Are the models as good as you have described in their individual pages?
    I'm a very frank person and thus you can rest assured that what I have put down are always true, at least, for the shoot. However, since no one is perfect, there may be some shortcomings in everyone. I've also encountered a few very nasty people. I don't think it's nice for me to pen bad things down though.
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  3. Do models reward you with "special things" during or after the shoot?
    Fortunately, all my models are decent and they understand my passion is solely in photography. Do note that even if the theme the model has done is bikini or boudoir shoot, it does not imply any indecency in her character. There is a saying "you don't eat at where you shit" and professional photographers are usually skeptical of being dragged into scandals. To answer this question directly, yes, they do reward me with friendship, trust and respect, and these are some of the most special things in life.
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  4. Why is there no write-up for certain of your portrait albums?
    (1) I'm too busy and gradually forget about it over time.
    (2) I have shot with the model before.
    (3) I don't have much interaction with the model, including those shoots that I have set up with third party.
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  5. Why are some of your work being cut/cropped off awkwardly at your models' Instagram profiles?
    They have obviously done it without my approval. The original ratio/dimension is the artist's vision of the photograph and if it's been cropped by another person, it doesn't represent the artist's view. Unfortunately, Instagram still has restriction over the dimension of photographs even though they have relaxed on the original square ratio. Many Instagram users are either ignorant of using third party app to add side borders to make the photograph square before uploading or they are ignorant of the facts that they are hurting the photographers' reputation - cropping of photographs can make big difference to the focus of the subject(s) inside the photos.
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  6. Why do you add a copyright watermark to all photos that you upload?
    There are nasty rippers who will steal photos. I have the responsibility to protect my models and my rights. By adding watermark on the photos, it will reduce the chance of photos being stolen. Find out more about the necessity of watermark.
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2.0. Portrait - Skai's Style

  1. Do you plan a lot for each portrait shoot?
    I usually plan the basics and the rest will be on location inspiration. Basic planning includes the model's looks and outfits and researching about the shooting location. Anything more than that is not very advisable since most models are not sincere and it will be a waste of time eventually. Often, the models are not quick in their replies and thus will be leaving things to the last minute.
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  2. What kinds of theme will interest you?
    Most uncommon themes will be able to stimulate my interest.
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  3. Why do you want to try different genres and shooting styles instead of sticking to just a few?
    It's more interesting and it's good to know a bit of everything in order to learn more and apply the knowledge and experience in future when needed. No one knows what is good for him/her until after trying. I also wish to cater to a wider range of customers.
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  4. Do you do nude photoshoot?
    In the name of arts, yes if I'm comfortable with the model. However, I prefer glamour/sexy/implied nude shoot as it is less sensitive. Moreover, people are still very conservative in Singapore. Eventually, I probably won't be able to upload such photos online in order to keep my website more appropriate for the younger viewers. I think peer pressure from my ultra conversative friends do affect my decision as well.
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  5. Do you take very closed up photos during every photoshoot?
    It depends. If a professional hair and makeup artist is involved, I would want to snap at least a few closed up headshot photos, else it would be a waste. However, most of the time, my clients are not very good in their own makeup and hairstyling, and thus I have my hesitation to get a closed up shot. I'm not a makeup artist and thus I won't be able to do magic even I know how to use Photoshop.
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  6. What makes your portrait photos look good?
    Thank you, but they can be done so much better! Planning, styling (outfits, props, hair and makeup), setting/background, lighting, composition/angle, natural posing.

    Other than having a minimum amount of planning work, including styling, the model(s) play(s) a huge deciding factor as well. Having a good makeup by professional makeup artists is important too. On my part, I will try to make my models feel comfortable in front of the camera and also lead them into the mood. If given the time, I will bring and set up professional lighting even though they can weigh over 20kg (that's how I get my injuries). Apart from these, it is about my vision of tasteful photos, which is also being imparted from my HMUA friend, Tricia Lee. Do find out more from my portrait portfolio page.
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  7. When do you need to set up professional lighting?
    It depends on the situation and your expectation. Do you prefer quality over quantity? Do you have the time (and budget)?

    Setting up and keeping professional lighting equipment (with light modifiers) will take a long time and it will also restrict your movement during the shoot and when moving to a new location. Therefore, if you are looking for something like a poster kind of looks, be prepared that you will get back very few photos.

    For a night shoot, the photographer is likely going to use his lighting equipment. Photographers, of course, have the choice to not use big light modifiers to 'smoothen' their subjects' faces in order to move around faster with less set up.

    This is the reason why you need to book your photographer for longer hours for a pre-wedding shoot if you want it to be done very well.
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  8. Why do you ask me many non-photography related questions?
    I try to do this often for all types of shoots, including portrait and event. Most of the time, clients don't exactly know what they really want as well. It is to connect to you more, to roughly gauge what you subconsciously want from the shoot, to try to come out with something that can resemble your good memories and to build my confidence in working with you. If I don't know much about the shoot, I may feel lost during the shoot.

    That is to say if you don't open up to me, we probably won't have the rapport to work together; I'm also likely unable to do my best during the shoot.
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  9. Why do you only shoot in RAW and not together with JPG?
    1. To allow the camera to write faster to the memory card.
    2. Every photo will usually require basic editing to adjust the colour and exposure, and thus I don't see the need of camera's instant generated JPG.
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3.0. Experiences

  1. What are the most common mistakes you make for portrait photoshoot and how do you rectify them?
    Unable to spot errors in the models' makeup and outfits. In order to avoid these problems, I will try to discuss the models' personal photos with my HMUA friend(s) to judge the models' personal makeup skill and outfits. I will also refuse to shoot with models who do not show me their outfits before the shoot. Of course, this will create another big problem as some models have been working with photographers who don't care much about preparation work.
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  2. What's the most saddening moments after doing a portrait shoot?
    The HMUA wanted to have the three looks, to be shot near her studio so that she could do the makeup and hair comfortably. Since the first looks was a little revealing, I was a bit lost but decided to accept the HMUA's proposal to use the small studio after I failed to find a better location while they were doing the makeup. For the second and third locations, I had them planned but the HMUA was detailed in her work and that she 'last minute' had something on and I had to use the 'interior' of the building for the last shoot instead. After the shoot, things went fine and the model liked the photos. We had discussion for the next shoot but the model dragged for months. Eventually, she confessed to me that she thought the HMUA and her had already done their part by choosing the outfits on their own (which I actually did with the HMUA privately after she sent the HMUA some of her outfits) and that she thought I didn't do 'my part' of selecting the locations well.
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  3. Do you regret not buying an advanced camera earlier?
    No, working with the more entry level cameras help me to know the limitation and thus allow me to pick up the basics. If I had begun with one of the best gears, I would be in deep shit when I have to handle more basic ones.
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  4. What's your biggest regret so far?
    I was invited to a friend's friend's fashion show to do shooting. There were at least two other outspoken photographers who had turned up much earlier. Since I did not like 'fighting', especially at crowded places, I lay back and kept in very low profile. Even during the group shoot in the end, I was blocked by all the photographers and 'photographers'. I did not perform well due to my lack of experience but it turned out that the quality of my photos were obviously much better than any of theirs. It was a total waste of chance to not get better photos, especially of potential models, by giving up all the good spots to others when they could not perform.
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  5. What's your most embarrassing moment during a shoot?
    I took up a cheapo project because the girl who had approached me sounded very nice and I was curious about it. Eventually, I had to work with a very experienced and highly confident director and the extremely insufficient time disallowed me to set up the basic equipment. He obviously did not know it was just a cheapo project that was supposed to be paid by the PR/marketing company. By the way, the company was cheapo enough to delay my cheapo payment for around four months after contacting them for around ten times. By then the girl who had approached me had already left the company.
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  6. Did you get turned on while doing sexy photoshoot?
    No. I'm a dedicated and stubborn guy and would be too focused in thinking of how to capture good photos. During a shoot, there are just too many important things to think of, such as poses, lighting, background and composition. It's more of the intention of the photographer that will cause his mind to wander around. If the photographer is purely into getting good photos, he probably can control himself; unlike some 'photographers' who are paying for models to remove their clothes instead of the models paying them, they are very likely to want to have something more than just a photoshoot.
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  7. Do you get to see 'free show' during photoshoot?
    There will sometimes be wardrobe malfunction and upskirt (often) during shoots, which I have 'immune' to. Of course, for implied nude shoots, it's very likely the model will be naked. Professional models will likely be very comfortable hanging around without trying to cover anything. Everyone else around will definitely get to see more because the photographer's job is supposed to not let any unglamourous thing appear in the lens. The worst thing that can happen is when the expression and posture of the model inside a photo are perfect but a little part of underwear is revealed. The photo won't be tasteful anymore and thus cannot be used.

    As I'm quite protective of my models, I may even call for a rest when there are too many onlookers/passers-by during an outdoor sexy shoot. This is the reason why I'm trying hard to work only with female assistants.

    There was once after I did an outdoor dancing shoot, the model told me many people got to see 'free show'. She had raised her legs to do splitting with her side facing me and thus I did not know the upskirt had even happened - impossible from my angle.
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  8. What are your achievements so far for event photography?
    I have clients paying me extra money right at the end of the events without even looking at the photos. They can see and appreciate my character and effort. Eventually, they claim that they love the photos I have produced and I think I should believe them.
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  9. Which is the most generous group of clients for event shoot?
    From my experience SO FAR, Chinese and Caucasian individuals are generous although they may not make it obvious during the discussion. When they see that you are hardworking and they like your attitude, they may give you extra money (tips) in the end. Caucasians may even give tips before the start of the shoot. Don't expect to get any extra buck for doing any corporate event because the cheques are likely to be prepared beforehand, moreover, the person (likely not the boss) who contacts you is not able to make such decision. Companies are also trying hard to cut down on cost. However, they may cater good food for you depending on the job scope. I have gotten free buffet at hotel's restaurant.
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  10. Do you have clients who are unsatisfied with your services?
    Yes, of course, since no one is perfect and that not every client can have the rapport with me. As I'm quite selective in working with clients and that most clients are kind and appreciative, this is rare though. If you're really curious, you can read clients from hell.
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  11. What is the worst studio you have used?
    One of the worst studios I had used was booked by my client. It was badly designed and maintained. It was a rectangular shape room. The equipment were placed on the longer side of it and the opposite side was a stretch of full length glass windows. The curtain was made of reflective material and it did not cover the bottom of the glass fully. Even a part of the curtain was spoiled and could not be closed fully to block off the sun. There was a full length glass door at the end of the windows just next to the backdrop, which could not be covered.

    The bad design about this studio was that since the curtain was made of reflective material and there was sunlight entering from the bottom, it was impossible to use it as a backdrop, unless for specific theme that would require the shiny background while lighting underneath was neglible. Therefore, the angle of shoot was limited. Whereas, for the backdrop area, there would be sunlight hitting the subject directly during day time.

    Their website claimed it was a private studio but there was a CCTV inside, which made any form of private shoot impossible. Besides, their staffs would keep entering the room to get things. Lastly, the floor was pretty dusty and the backdrop was old.
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  12. What are the kind things done by clients?
    The staff of a company ordered a bowl of shark's fin soup for me despite I had told her not to prepare any food for me during the gala dinner. A guest gave me a free copy of National Geographic from his hotel room as he knew I loved photography. During a portrait shoot, a couple treated me to good champagne. Dinner treat from clients after portrait shoot. Another family asked the waitress to bring me a chair to rest during an event shoot. A lady gave me tips before her event even started... etc. I'm overwhelmed by kindness.
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  13. What weird things some clients have done?
    A client asked me to call him and when I was on the phone with him, he told me he was working.
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  14. What kind of clients you cannot communicate with?
    There was once after the client sent me a couple of photos hers, I asked her when were they taken and she questioned me why it was relevant - the tone was just not very friendly, or rather, she was very self-conscious. It instantly defined the wall between both of us. The worst thing was that the photos were underexposed and that I could not get to see other photos of hers to do any planning.

    Another type of clients are people who would ask me about the 'estimated' quantity of photos.
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  15. What kind of clients are considered annoying?
    There are quite a few types of them. The most common ones are those who go MIA after getting my quotation. The worst ones confirm the shooting date with me and go MIA before transferring me the booking fee.
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4.0. Personal

  1. Do you do links exchange?
    Yes, I do links exchange with good quality websites!
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  2. What is the most difficult thing about photography?
    Educating clients. To most clients, photography is just about clicking the camera's shutter and they think using good camera alone is enough. They usually don't understand all the constraints. Many things are very technical and thus they won't be able to know even if I were to explain in details. For example, when I warn them about lighting issues, they usually won't care. To them, they simply want good photos even though they are likely not able to judge the quality of photos. Whereas for shoots like interior and product, they may even try to be the expert to estimate the time required instead.
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  3. Why are you selective of clients and jobs?
    Even though I'm not financially stable, I'm not desperate for money. For clients, I prefer working with those who approach me because they love my photos instead of those who are simply looking for cheap deals. The result will be very different because if I can feel the connection and kindness from the clients, I can certainly do better during the shoot with the confidence. Whereas for shoppers, there is higher chance of problems emerging before, during or after the shoot. For jobs, I'm looking at those who can help to build up my portfolio.
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  4. What kind of people will you avoid working with?
    Just as people choose photographers, I choose people to work with too. I'm nowhere near arrogant and it is just to protect myself.

    1. People who are arrogant - photography is something that should be fun.
    2. People who are overconfident - they tend to overpromise and are less detailed.
    3. People who can't communicate well - there is a high chance there will be miscommunication.
    4. People who weighs quantity over quality - I prefer working with people who appreciate arts and trust me that I will do my best.
    5. People who are stingy - there is a high chance that he/she may be over-particular over small things.
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  5. How good is your photography skill?
    Photography is wide and has many categories. I have knowledge in most of them but not practical experience for some. My current experience is mainly on people (portrait and event shoot) and interior photography. When compared to most hobby photographers, I'm better than them but I'm probably still behind those very experienced professional photographers in terms of skill. Hence, I try to be creative and hardworking at times to compensate for it. Viewers can judge by themselves through my latest work.
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  6. Are you very experienced in photography?
    I'm definitely not experienced enough, especially when it comes to handling clients. Instead of boasting like others, I usually sound less confident so that clients will have a lower expectation, so that they will become happier when they receive the photos. I feel so much more comfortable doing voluntary work instead but I have to face the ugly fact of life that I'm not born with silver spoon.
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  7. Will you lower down your rate just to take up more photoshoot projects?
    No. Quality of photos matters most to me and I don't want to feel underpaid and under-appreciated, and eventually put in only 50% of my effort. Most of all, I don't wish to undercut the market. However, I do do promotion for certain types of shoots that I'm interested in.
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  8. How open-minded are you?
    When it comes to photography, I'm extremely open as long as the shoot is tastefully done. My character is, however, very traditional.
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  9. How many shoots do you do in a month?
    I'm very inconsistent in this and thus unable to give an answer. I can only say that I'm doing very limited number of shoot.
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  10. Why don't you go to all the car and IT shows to take photos of models for marketing, networking and building of portfolio?
    1. I'm very busy.
    2. Too many stalkers and perverts are doing that and I'm not confident that people would not associate those people with me.
    3. I'm a passive guy and none of the models has invited me personally to show my support - I'm not taking into account of those models who do mass spamming in Facebook.
    4. I'm not those PR guys who can fake smiles in order to network and speed up their success.
    ^ back to top

  11. Why do you have so few photos of yourself?
    I'm the one holding onto the camera.
    ^ back to top

  12. Why don't you take photos with every model you have shot with?
    I usually forget it after a hard day work.
    ^ back to top

  13. Would you get a model as girlfriend?
    I will avoid. I have come across too many stories of photographers with ill-intention and I don't want to keep worrying for my girlfriend whenever she goes for job.
    ^ back to top

  14. Can I borrow your equipment (camera, lens... etc)?
    No. I may need them any time, including the spare ones, and it's going to make life very difficult for me if anything happens to them.
    ^ back to top

  15. Why do you not want to work with PR/advertising agencies and 'middle-man' companies?
    Bad experience - low budget, ridiculous demand and extremely late payment. Photography is a fun thing to do and we should not destroy the good feeling about it. Most advertising agencies in Singapore will probably give the same problems while big agencies with generous clients will rather go to big photography companies than to work with a low-lying freelance photographer.
    ^ back to top

  16. Why don't you like to talk over the phone?
    Need records for evidence. Besides, I have poor memory and, unlike texting, I can't refer back to the conversation. Since every request is different, I will need time to work out the quotation. From my experience, most 'clients' are just wasting my time. It is not worth the time to go over the phone before the clients have confirmed they are okay with the fee, which is usually the most important factor to them.
    ^ back to top

  17. What are your non-photography worries for every shoot?
    Travelling - 'public' transport in Singapore is getting more unpredictable and I can't estimate the travelling time anymore. My meal time is another big problem for the shoots are usually done at weird hours while photography exhausts me both physically and mentally, draining off more energy than sports.
    ^ back to top


If you are interested in working with Skai as your photographer, do contact him.