Tips for aspiring photographers

For those who aspires to be a full-time professional photographer, I have some tips for you. I have gone through that phase of life myself and I certainly know the journey will not be easy (read more about my photography journey here). Despite the hardship and uncertainty, the end result will be worth it if you manage to persevere through it all.

Tips for aspiring photographers:
1. Build up your knowledge and skills on photography. The most important asset for photographers is your photography knowledge and skills. Your soft skills and itinerary planning skills are secondary. If you have strong photography knowledge and skills, you will be able to take good pictures consistently. Gradually, words will spread about your expert photography skills and your reputation will improve in the country. People will then start to look for you to engage your photography services.

2. Build up your portfolio
When your photography skills improve, you should compile the nice-looking photographs and form portfolios of your own. This portfolio will serve as the best evidence/testimonial of your photography capability. Every photographers should have his own portfolio.

3. Market your portfolio well
It is not enough to own a portfolio. You should market it well. There is no point for the portfolio if no one knows about it. Expand your reputation and market awareness through effective marketing. If you do not know how to market your portfolio well yourself, you should outsource it to a marketing professional.

4. Mingle with other top photographers
Find chances to meet and mingle around with other top photographers. You can share and gain more information by learning from others in the group. You will definitely grow faster learning in a group as compared to learning yourself.

5. Remind yourself why you started
When the going is tough, remind yourself why you choose to embark on this photography journey. Is it for the work-life balance, passion, or other reasons? This reminder could keep you going through the tough times.

Renting A Wedding Gown – What You Must Know!

Here are some of the things you need to know when it comes to your bridal gown rental in Singapore.

Firstly, even though most brides rent their wedding dress, you actually have the option of buying your own wedding gown in Singapore. There are lots of boutiques in Singapore which offer both renting as well as purchasing. However, most bridal gowns make more money by renting the wedding dresses out instead of selling it outright. Therefore, they usually only recommend people to rent the bridal gowns instead. In most cases, I would also recommend you to rent the wedding dress unless you really want to keep it for memory sake and know how to take care of it.

Secondly, when renting a wedding gown, or perhaps, before even deciding to rent it, you should check whether you have a free trial. Most Singapore bridal gown boutiques offer free trials for brides up to 1 or 2 trials. Make sure to fully utilize this before committing to a particular bridal gown. This is because a wedding gown which looks great on a mannequin may not necessarily look very good on a bride with a body type which is significantly different from that of the mannequin.

Thirdly, there are 2 main things you need to note about your own body when it comes to choosing the wedding dress – your body shape as well as your body size. Some brides make the mistake of only looking at either body shape or body size when it comes to picking a wedding dress.

Fourth of all, there are wedding dresses which are trendy only for the few years while others look timeless. Make sure only to pick those timeless pieces no matter how much you like the trendy one. This is because many years later when you look back at your wedding photographs, you want to still find the style attractive. There are lots of timeless wedding gowns – just make sure to ask the bridal gown boutique assistant to help you out.

Should You Get Wedding Videography?

Of course, there are no real and definitive answers as to whether you should get wedding videography services. However, I’ll try to help you out in making the decision a simpler one for you.

  • What is your budget for your wedding? Realistically, you should expect to have at least $5000 if you want both good quality wedding photography as well as videography services. If you only have $1000 or $2000, do not expect to have both the services of a wedding photographer and a videographer. Even if the same person whose services you engaged is able to perform both services at such prices, how can the person do 2 things at once? Since it is not possible, if you do not have a budget of around $4000 or more, simply do not even bother looking for a videographer or consider wedding videography packages.
  • Do you value quality and memories over prices? If so, then getting wedding videography services is definitely a must for you! If you want to encapsulate the precious memories of your special one and only wedding day, then it is absolutely important that you get a videographer for your wedding day. By doing so, you would be able to capture every aspect and dimension of your wedding – much fuller than if you had only used a photographer’s services!
  • Are you going to be dancing and / or performing at your own wedding? If so, then make sure to get a bridal videographer! Do not make the mistake of failing to hire a wedding videographer and only see random snapshots of your dance. Make sure you get a wedding videographer so you can capture all of the fun and excitement.

If you have read the above and decided that videography is not for you, then sure. If you have read and considered the above factors thoroughly and are now convinced why you should engage a videographer, then contact Grandeur Wedding – they have a lot of talented wedding videographers!

Interaction and life-long learning is key

Are you very passionate in photography and wants to make a living out of it? If you are, then you are just like me. I have my own photography journey and I have never regretted stepping into this industry. On the contrary, I felt a strong sense of fulfillment and enjoyment being a full time wedding photographer. The starting is definitely not easy, but eventually things will work out if we persevere.

If you want to become a real professional in wedding photography, interaction and life-long learning is key. There are always ways to improve ourselves and our photography skills. Do not adopt the mindset that your photography skills are good enough. That’s when you will start to become full of yourself and stagnant your photography skills.

By interacting with other photographers, you can exchange ideas and insights with each other. You can learn from each others’ mistakes and experiences. That will save you a lot of time trying to figure out the lesson learnt yourself. It will be much faster learning from others’ mistakes than to make the mistakes yourself and learn through them. Personally, I have the opportunity with mingle and learn with some of the best wedding photographers in Singapore. Most of them are my colleagues now at Grandeur Wedding Studio. Some others went to take part in photography competitions around the world. I can guarantee that you can definitely improve much faster if you learn in a group.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, at any point in time, you should not think that your photography skills are good enough. You should adopt the life-long learning mindset. If you are willing to learn continuously, your photography skills will definitely improve. Read up more books or online materials to gain more photography knowledge. Mingle with other photographers to get more knowledge and insights. Go for more photography competitions to expand your photography network and also let you see where your photography skills stand among the rest.

Working with an incredible wedding photography company

When you work with a great Singapore wedding photography company, you will understand why I love talking about wedding photography. Working with a good wedding photography studio will make or break your opinion about the wedding industry in general. That is why I recommend friends and family to go for a higher priced, premium quality wedding photographer. The long term payoffs and the good feelings you get from working with such a company will outweigh the price that they charge.

Here are the reasons why I love working with a good wedding photography studio. A good wedding photographer will have very good two way communications with the couple. A bad photographer is one who is either always too demanding or too passive. A wedding photographer who is too demanding will constantly demand poses and places on the couple. On the other hand, a photographer who is too passive will not do anything unless the couple request for it. You do not want to work with a person or studio which is like that. You want to engage in a relationship between client and photographer where the communication is mutual and not one way. That way you will feel happy working together alongside them.

Second of all, a good Singapore wedding photography company will provide you with excellent levels of customer service support. This is very important. You will rarely go wrong with a company that provides good customer service support and also provides good quality photographs. Working with a customer focused wedding photography studio or photographer in Singapore will ensure that your entire experience will be pleasant. This is particularly crucial because you do not want any hiccups or unhappiness to be associated with your marriage.

At the end of the day, although you might need to pay more for the higher quality wedding photographer(s), the benefits that you can derive from it is truly tremendous.

Different standards of wedding photography services

Wedding photography services have long being stereotyped to be expensive. Many people thinks that wedding photography services cost at least a thousand dollars, with some vendors even charging up to tens of thousands of dollars for their wedding photography services. Well, that is partially true. The fact is there are a huge range of wedding photography services with different price and standards. Certainly, there are some wedding photographers who are willing to charge hundreds for their wedding photography services. No matter your budget, you will be able to find a wedding photography package in Singapore that you can afford.

For the low budget people, there are basic and standard wedding photography services in the market. Their prices start from hundreds of dollars. In fact, I have seen a full day wedding photography package going for four hundred dollars in Singapore. Usually, the reason for these extremely low prices is due to the lower expertise of the wedding photographers. These wedding photographers may be just starting out and wants to quickly build up their portfolio, hence enticing customers with low prices. Of course, you cannot really expect much quality from their wedding photography services.

For the ones who have more spending power, there are premium wedding photography services for them. Usually, these wedding photography services are offered by experienced wedding photographers whose wedding photography skills are considered really polished. You can expect these wedding photographers to do a good job by taking beautiful wedding photographs for you. In addition, there may be premium add-ons to these wedding photography packages such as the inclusion of the flush mount wedding album, frames, and canvas. Some wedding photographers will even recommend pocket-sized wedding albums for you to give out to your family members and close friends.

Personally, I will never compromise on quality and high standards. I will always engage vendors who can provide quality services. This is especially important for wedding photographs which I would think serves as one of the most memorable items in our lives. Just imagine if you want to look at beautifully taken or poorly taken wedding photographs when you are in your old age.

How I started my photography journey

My name is Johnny. I am a professional wedding photographer in Singapore and have nine years of photography experience under my belt.

The road to becoming a professional photographer in Singapore is certainly not easy, given that the Arts industry in Singapore is not widely appreciated. It takes someone with pure passion, determination, and hard work to succeed in the Arts industry. There are certainly lots of challenges for rookies to overcome which will test their desire to work in the Arts industry. One may have talent for Arts, but without hard work, talent is wasted.

For all the people who aspire to become a professional photographer in Singapore, here’s my simple story:

Initially, I wanted to become a lawyer in Singapore. I had that thought till I joined the photography club in Temasek Junior College. I literally fell in love with photography, and it never failed to amaze me since day one. During the course of learning the Art of photography, I was constantly amazed by the different outcomes given different approaches to taking the pictures. There are a lot of combination techniques to take pictures, and there can be thousands of different outcomes and effects when taking pictures. Intrigued by it, my passion for photography slowly grew over time as I experiment with photography daily. I would carry my camera around with me daily and simply take pictures of anything interesting I can find – trees, surrounding landscapes, people, and etc. It was one day when my camera broke down that I felt really upset and realized the deep desire to continue this photography path and become a photographer in Singapore.

There are not a lot of photographers in Singapore and few of them are willing to impart others their photography knowledge and skills. Those really good photography classes are conducted only overseas. Without much financial backup, my only feasible choice is to self-learn photography via online research. There are some really good photography materials online. If you want them, drop me an email @ johnnytay810_gmail.com. As I acquire more photography knowledge and skills, I began to offer my photography services to others. At the start, I offer my services for free in a bid to build up my portfolio and experience. I would go for graduation photo shoot, family photo shoot, or any other ad hoc shoots.

Once I have attained a certain level of photography standard and a rather well-established portfolio, people started to look for me to seek my services. From then on, I derived stable income from photography and even ventured into wedding photography which is the most premium type of photography services in the market. You may have heard of Johnny Tay Wedding Studio in Singapore which is founded by me.

Later on, I joined a few other wedding photographers in Singapore in Grandeur Wedding Studio (http://www.grandeurweddingstudio.com). Currently, I am earning a decent high four digits monthly income. I have certainly no financial issues. Apart from this, I have a good work-life balance and most importantly, really loves my job.

If you would like to make a living being a professional photographer in Singapore, you just have to bite the bullet and put a lot of effort into learning in the first few years. It will all pay off in the future. It can be done.