After gaining years of experience as an artist, I think photo is an interesting form. It is 2D, but giving us a 3D insight of a story and making us to generate emotional attachment. It is also a tool letting us to express ourselves.

How difficult it is to take a photo? Not at all, however, to take a good photo, you may need something more than a good camera. I am not talking about training, or techniques here. Indeed, it is personal experience which makes our works different. Even-though trends may ‘inspire’ photographers to follow them or even copy the look of them, the contents are different. After all, we take photos based on what we think are important and beautiful. If we take a photo of the same object, your photo and my photo could be totally different. It is all depends on how we see and interpret things.

There was a period of time I see photography as ‘money making business’, especially when I was still building up my fashion label, I need something to support my living which gives me lesser stress than doing fashion. I was not trained to be photographer, in fact, I knew nothing about photography before graduating from my fashion design degree. My first camera is Canon powershot, a handy digital camera which I used for recording lives around me, inspiration, clothing design progress and text on books for research projects. I think my tutor did teach us using photoshop ‘brightness and contrast’ to make a photo look better. The most amazing thing about photoshop I have learnt before learning photo retouch is how to drape patterns onto plain garments in digital form.

I still remember the first wedding photo I took after I became an assistant for a photographer. I was so scared to miss a shot, and not too happy about keep changing lenses, but I did some good shots, not a lot though. As an assistant, except lighting, camera control, editing, I also had to learn hair and make up and taking video. From all these tasks, I am glad to be inspired by amazing clients. There are special characters on each of them. They have different dreams, desires and styles. It is my honour to be able to communicate with them, to understand them and most importantly… To enjoy the time we have together. My focus changed from earning money to relationships.

Photography is a cutthroat business, since it is getting easier to take good shots. Everyone can claim themselves photographers. Clients compare your price with the others. It is getting harder to stand out, isn’t it? Then why I am still doing it? It is because I start to love it. Not about earning money, not just about building relationships, I start focusing on making art. When I shift my attention, it has became a natural thing to desire having better skills, better communication with subjects, better life-style too. Having a balance life-style does help making art. Taking photos is like a therapy for us and for the clients too. Gradually, I understand the power of photography and how this art form can change the world just like fashion which I always love. I have changed from having an observer view to a creator view when I take photos.

I have grew up a bit and want different things in my life. From following trends, making ‘wow-factors’ to seeking timelessness in my works with a touch of contemporary. We all love looking at old photos, to discover things which have passed our era. One day, perhaps 50 years later, our next generation will look for our photos and the big picture of our time. It is my wish to record and keep our memories for the future humanity. When we focus on this, there is no more competitor, just friends sharing the same mission.

——Tina Aileen (Facebook)

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