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My Life's Journey

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jurugambar perempuan?Sesuai ke?..

Photos from the heart


Four female photographers share what it takes to succeed behind the lens.

ASK a room full of established photographers and most of them will probably tell you that it all began as a hobby before they pursued photography as a career. Famous women photographers like Margaret Bourke-White (leading American photojournalist and the world’s first female war correspondent), Annie Leibovitz (the world’s leading entertainment photographer, who has worked with Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair) or Anne Geddes (popular for her work with babies) have proven that women are just as capable as men in telling stories through their pictures.

StarTwo talks to four female photographers – all of whom use Canon cameras in their line of work – about why they chose to be behind the lens.

Armed to shoot: These women believe that photography is not just for the boys and that more women should venture into this field. (Clockwise from left) Norafifi Ehsan, Evelyn Lam, Shuhada Hasim and Bonnie Yap.

Shuhada Hasim, 34

Shuhada is a part-time photographer with a full-time job in the procurement department of an oil and gas company. This self-taught photographer started out as a wedding photographer, and now specialises in lifestyle and portraitshots. To improve her skills, Shuhada is pursuing an executive diploma in creative photography and digital imaging at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She hopes to one day own a studio.

“I’ve loved photography since I was young. I found it so beautiful, that photographers were able to capture the details and emotions on the faces of their subjects, especially during weddings. That’s what got me hooked in the first place,” she says.

To get her business off the ground, Shuhada shot pictures for friends and family members for free. She published her work online and posted her pictures on her blog (shuhadahasim.wordpress.com).

She started with a basic model by Canon, the EOS 350D, and upgraded to an EOS 40D. “I’m currently using the EOS 5D Mark II. And, because I love to shoot portraits, the Mark II captures the real tone and colours. The photos looks more realistic. It works well in low light. With the Mark II, I feel more confident,” she adds.

What are the differences between a compact camera and a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera?

“To be honest I’ve never had a ‘point and shoot’ camera. When I fell in love with photography, I invested in a DSLR from the start. For the price you pay (for a DSLR), you get more advantages compared with compact cameras. The beauty of the lenses and the many functions are useful for my business.”

To aspiring female photographers, Shuhada’s advice is “be original in personality and attitude”.

“By knowing who she is, she’ll be better able to define herself and brand herself. I believe potential clients will appreciate a photographer who stands out.”

Evelyn Lam, 36

Lam has been shooting wedding pictures for the past two years. Although she’s considered a “baby” in the industry, she has already made her mark. Certified a Master Photographer by the Master Photographers Association (MPA) Britain, she was recently nominated one of the Top 10 Female Wedding Photographers in Malaysia by Faces magazine.

Lam hopes to one day be a full-time photographer.

“I didn’t expect to end up as a wedding photographer. I’ve worked in various industries but didn’t get any job satisfaction. I was jumping from one industry to another, until I stumbled upon photography through an old classmate of mine,” Lam explains.

“I love capturing the intimacy and passion of the couple in pictures, purely because I want them to remember that emotional connection for many years to come.” Presently, Lam is using the EOS 5D Mark II.

“I need cameras with a quick sensor, which is important for weddings because things happen very fast,” she says.

Most pictures these days can be edited on the computer with the proper software but Lam says that some occasions need that spontaneous touch.

“For weddings, we actually need to get it right with the camera most of the time because these days, whatever happens in the morning (at the reception) will usually be shown in a slide show in the evening (during the wedding dinner). We don’t have time to edit photos so we have to get the colours and lighting right the first time. For pre-wedding photo shoots, however, we can take our time to edit.”

So, does Lam see the DSLR as a toy only for the boys?

“I see it as a tool to capture the moment, which later goes on print. I don’t see it as a gender-specific device. People shouldn’t stereotype but seeing how (photography) has always been a man’s game, it’s understandable. But there are advantages to being a female photographer as I get to tap into a niche market for women clientele who wants to capture more intimate photos,” she says.

Norafifi Ehsan, 38

Norafifi (or Fifi, as she is known among friends) has been a photographer for the press for 17 years. The mother of three had nine years working experience at the English daily (free paper) The Sun before joining The Star. She says she can’t live without the adrenaline rush she gets from her line of work.

“I wasn’t very good in my studies. I didn’t do too well academically. I know that I’m better with things hands-on. So, I pursued a diploma in photography. It was the only way I didn’t have to study too much! And I did quite well (in college)!

Fifi loves the challenges she faces in her job. And sometimes, it’s fun “to fight with the male photographers”.

“Sometimes, the guys can be kind and they give me some leeway,” she says.

When asked about the cameras she has used so far, Fifi says that she started out with an old camera, a Yashica. “They taught us with that in school. I’m now using Canon’s EOS 40D and I’m very happy with it. I love the colours it brings out in the pictures. And for work, I rely heavily on wide-angle lens. I can’t live without them.”

She advises female photographer to be patient.

“You must love your job and you need a lot of patience in this line of work. Take every day as a chance to learn something new and always give 100% to your job,” she says.

Bonnie Yap, 39

Yap still cites The Star as her training ground. The commercial photographer was with the English daily for 12 years and was the only female photographer in the media circles at the time. She covered general news, events, food and fashion.

She left the newspaper to fulfil her dream of owning her own business in 2004. Today, Yap’s photography work includes high-society events, styled food shots, weddings, interior decor and portraits.

She admits that it was tough to take that first step and leave a stable job to freelance on her own in the beginning. “It took me a while to decide to come out on my own. A lot of friends told me not to leave. The people around me said that after I leave, I will be a ‘nobody’. But I did and I’m still referred to as Bonnie Yap (who used to be) from The Star, and I’m proud to hear that.”

The best part about her work, Yap says, is meeting people.

“I love to brainstorm about various photo angles with my clients, and even though some may consider that the work of a consultant, I do it for free because I enjoy it. I also love that I’m always out and about, and that I have a variety of subjects for my work. “I’ve used the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, the 1D Mark III and now the 1D Mark IV.

“A good photographer should always be on the lookout for good photo angles. One should know what story angle the writer is coming from so that your photo tallies with the story. A photographer has to remember that a good photo relies on a good eye (for angles) and skill, and that the camera is just a supporting tool.”

Yap only uses editing software for some interior or exterior decor shots, and advertising photos.

“A lot of my event photos go directly to the clients.”

So, what tips does Yap have to share with aspiring photographers?

“DSLR cameras can make anyone a photographer, if you know how to use them correctly. But always remember that it is you handling the camera, and not the camera that’s handling you. Also, it’s good to enjoy your work because when you are enjoying yourself, you take photos from the heart,” she concludes.

> Canon is one of the household brands participating in FemmeCity. For more exciting developments on Canon, drop by FemmeCity (organised by Clove) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from July 30 to Aug 1. For more information, log onto www.clovetwo.com/femmecity/.

Source: The Star Online, Thursday July 1,2010


Rasanya dah semakin ramai jurugambar profesional perempuan sekarang ni..Ramai wanita yang meminati bidang ni dan berani menceburi bidang ni sebagai kerjaya samada secara full-time atau part-time dan tak kurang juga yang menjadikannya sebagai hobi. Hobi ni memang tak dinafikan merupakan hobi yang mahal..Bleh mencapai puluhan ribu gak la utk menyediakan gear yg sesuai..Tetapi memang mengasyikkan bila gambar2 yg diambil tu cantik dan terbaik..lain dr yang lain..Satu cara untuk menikmati keindahan alam ciptaan Allah juga kan?Kagum melihat landscape alam yang cukup indah..Ditambah dengan editing yang sesuai..Maka superb lah gambar2 tersebut..

.Ramai rakan2 perempuan yang diriku kenal yang memang hebat tho bukan profesional lagi..One day, pasti mereka juga akan berdiri sebaris dengan fotografer2 lelaki terkenal masa kini..Bukan sesuatu yang mustahil..InsyaAllah..

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