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Lights, Boudoir, Action!

I recently did another boudoir photography shoot, this time completely in the studio. It challenged my creativity because I had to constantly think of new poses for my client. You wouldn’t have thought that the background to this shot was anything but black in real life right? In fact, the background was grey. I used two flashes to create the look and to reduce all ambient light around my subject.

In the past, I used to shun away from using flash for my photography work. It is a scary thing that is hard to control. But once you begin to understand it, light is a fun thing to play around with. I am still learning and improving my skills over time. I know that there are flaws to this image, but overall, I am rather pleased with it.

Top 10 Female Wedding Photographers

This June, I was featured alongside 9 other amazing female wedding photographers in FACES magazine. We were dressed in beautiful gowns from That Special Occasion and Pretty in White, and each had to carry our cameras for the pic! The women featured were Fiona Lim, Jenny Sun, Anna-Rina, Evelyn Lam, Naomi Ching, Ning Liaw, Visithra Manikam, Nurul Suhaimi & Fatini Zulnaidi. Taken in The Professional Gallery’s studio, make up & hair by Michelle Touche team and photographed by Peter Tan. And thanks to Fiona for these scanned images of the mag!

For those of you getting married, do get a copy of FACES magazine this June 2010! They have awesome prizes to give away, including a RM5,000 diamond engagement ring, loan of a Mazda 2 for a lucky couple’s wedding day, a 3-tier wedding cake, over RM1500 in dining vouchers, AND a 5-day, 4-night honeymoon to Monaco, which includes airfare, hotel stay and a helicopter ride around the state! Wow that sounds amazing!

Basically, you have to keep the receipt to be eligible to enter. Closing date is 15 July 2010. FACES is available at MPH, Borders and Popular bookstores. Here’s the cover and my feature page.

Here are some behind the scenes shots that I took on that day. Since our photo sessions were split according to group, I only have photos with my group of girls. I think this shot of me getting ready was taken by Fiona, if I remember correctly!

Here’s Anna goofing around as usual! :)

And Fiona doing her usual pose while Jenny looks on… Thought bubble: “What’s Fiona doing!!???”

Darn I look short next to these girls. :P Now where’s my non-existent 4 inch heels!?

In the meantime while we were doing silly shots, Evelyn was posing for Peter.

My turn!

Here’s a shot with Michelle and Summer who did the make up and styling for the shoot.

And Patrick… who was our official iPhone photographer! I think we kept bombarding him with iPhones “Please take a behind the scenes shot with our iPhone!”.

It was a fun time. Now stop reading this blog post and go get yourself a magazine, and a trip to Monaco as well!!

Fashion savvy female photographers

Ever since I became a photographer, I have griped on and on about not having anything to wear for a shoot. To be honest, back then, I didn’t really know how to dress. I only knew that most photographers wear black (which to me, is really really boring, despite the many explanations of how black should be THE colour).

My choice of wardrobe was always linked to what I had to have on me at the time of shoot. During full day wedding shoots, I always carry my Think Tank pouch with me that contains memory cards, spare batteries, name cards, my phone, lens pen, and lenses (of course, duh!). I find that having a pouch helps alleviate the stress of carrying a heavy slingover bag on my shoulder. I don’t want to be carrying two camera bodies (with flash sometimes) on my shoulder AND lenses too. So the weight of the lenses rest on my waist and hips.

Ok so Lara Croft look-alike belt is ready.

So obviously, dresses are a no-no right? It’s fashion kill to combine both a pouch and a dress like how I did here:

I only wore a dress for this shoot because it was sooooo hot during that wedding! Photo taken by Mark.

So, most times, I am wearing pants and a shirt/nice top for a shoot. Like this:

Ok, I don’t always shoot barefooted! This was taken by Ian at Alfred & Geeta’s Hindu wedding last year.

I always believe that a photographer should look and dress well for the occasion. I don’t feel it is appropriate for a photographer to come for an event dressed shabbily when all the wedding guests are dressed so well. Round collared T-shirts are a no-no for formal wedding events!

But you know, ultimately, I would LOVE to wear something like this at shoots:

Minus heels of course. I cannot imagine running around for 10 hours on heels.

Lately, I won a Shootsac bag which means that I can ditch the pouch for short shoots. But after 5 hours of shoot, it is still a bit painful on the shoulders. However, the Shootsac enables me to wear dresses without butchering the entire look. :)

Alright, this is NOT a dress, but it’s a shot of how my Shootsac looks. Taken by Shu Wan.

A few years ago, Veralyne, a superb gown designer who used to work with Pretty in White, but now has her own label… told me that she’d design a dress for me for shoots. Recently, she gave me this design:

It looks lovely! I asked her, “Where to put lenses?” and she has yet to get back to me. Hehe…

Anyhow, I think for now, I’ll just stick to wearing pants, nice tops / shirts with the Think Tank pouch and occasionally a dress with the Shootsac.

Boudoir Photography

Boudoir photography is really popular in the US, UK and Australia, but something relatively new in Malaysia. Boudoir is a french word, derived from the meaning, ‘to pout’, or bedroom. These women, portrayed in a glamourous, sensual way, use the photos as gifts for their husbands or boyfriends. What a wonderful way to celebrate the human form!

I have been fascinated with this form of photography, but never had the opportunity to shoot one till recently. I think I have an edge as a female photographer – my client felt comfortable in front of me. I am really excited to share with you a few shots from this recent boudoir shoot. I have lots of ideas for this style of photography, so if any of you are interested… drop me a line and we can talk about it!

Of course, sexy lingerie and make up is a must for this shoot! Accessories are cool too.

And if you have lovely looking heels like this one – it’s a plus point!

Most women feel that they don’t really have it in them to pose for these type of shots. We tend to feel self conscious of our body and how it is portrayed. “Tummy too flabby, arms too fat, etc”. But at the end of the day, getting great images is really a collaborative effort with your photographer. You don’t have to worry about the poses, because you will be directed on what to do. We will know how to focus on the areas that you like and hide the parts that you are uncomfortable about. The final result will surprise your husband, and I am sure it is worth it!

Musings: God Made Me Female!

I’ve always considered the world of photography as a predominantly male industry (which it is!) and initially when I considered joining the ranks of wedding photographers, I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’ll have to grow a goatee, wear an ugly vest and talk tech all the time.” Well, that was like 2 years ago, and now, after having met lots and lots of cool female photographers like Jenny Sun, Fiona Lim, Anna-Rina, Asther Lau, and myself included *ahem*… I am jumping for joy. There’s hope for us yet!

I can look stylish and hot as a female photographer! It sounds incredibly vain, I know, but hey, at least I’m being honest!


I’ve thought through some of my strengths and weaknesses of being a female photographer, and thought I’d share some here:

– I can connect with the brides out there who are usually my first point of contact during any form of client consultation. I am genuinely excited to hear about their wedding plans, how they met their fiance and what kind of decorations they’ll be having on their big day. You know, girly talk.

– On the shoot day, I can get access where most male photographers cannot. For example, brides would usually allow me to be in the room while they change. They have no qualms cupping their breasts in front of me while my shutter goes clicking away.

– I have more wardrobe options than male photographers. Yay!

– When I started photography, I didn’t really focus a lot on the technical aspects of it, but rather the composition and story of each shot. I think that is still one of my greatest strengths. I look for emotions and storyline above everything else.

– I smile a lot to people. I think that warms them up and breaks the ice. Ok, ok, this is not really a gender difference.


– I’m female and small. Being small can be another blog post in itself, but the fact that I’m female, most people would tend to look at the male photographers first before looking at me. They probably think that I’m a guest taking photos. They are quite surprised when I command the situation especially during group shots etc!

– The other male photographers I shoot with can shoot off anything technical in one breath, talk about the latest gadgets in the market, explain ALL the features in the various camera bodies available in the market AND refer you to the websites that has great reviews about them. I am a little slow in these things. :)

– I cannot push large heng tais away, especially those that block my view during the chip san leong session.

– I like to be pampered way too much, so sometimes I spend my hard earned cash on things like massage sessions and pigging out sessions with my girlfriends.

So, what are your thoughts out there? What are the advantages or disadvantages of being a female/male photographer?