Insight: For the Love of Photography

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By Hendra R.

When I first picked up photography in January 2009, I was following the footsteps of my dear father, who has been an avid photographer since his teenage days.

The man is also a nature lover and he has been to all over Singapore exploring different nature spots. I fondly remember the days chasing after photographs of birds and sunsets. That was something to cure my restlessness – I had just graduated from NUS at that time, but the economic situation was such that it was extremely difficult to find a job, even more so for a foreign student like myself.

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I love the way nature is able to calm me down when I needed to escape from all the disappointments of failed jobs applications and opinionated friends about my inability to secure a job. I explored many different nooks and crannies of the island, and would spend many hours in the bush or wetlands feeding mosquitoes, getting myself wet up to my knees just to get a shot of that bird or a picture of the expressive sky.

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After each shoot, I would upload a photo album of the day’s shoot on Facebook. As my pictures got better with practice and experience, more friends took notice of my work.

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My lucky break came when a friend from NUS was getting married and asked me if I could be her ROM photographer. I was unsure because nature had been my subject of choice so far but she convinced me that I was good enough for it. When she finally received the pictures, she asked me why have I not considered about doing it professionally instead.
 
That really set me thinking and this is the turning point in my life. Rather than waiting for employment, I realized this would be an excellent opportunity for me to start up my own photography business, which was realised now as Hendra R. Photography.

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At first, there were mostly small photography assignments, from capturing small events to fashion blogshop modelling photos, I also took up photoshoots of our animals friends for a pet shop. But I need a bigger belief to motivate me to create images that has the ability to move people, emotive pictures which are sensitive and evocative. It was then that me and my sweetheart, Shi Lei, decided that my pictures would bear the theme “In Celebration of Love”.

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It had been a very trying time for me. Being jobless with a degree for so long and feeling the heat of others thinking that I was just bumming around and playing with my camera.

Nonetheless, the love and support from my family and friends saw me through this tough period and allow me to stand steadfast in turning my passion into business. It would not have been possible without the love of people around me. This in turn, gave me a reason and focus in telling the stories of love through my pictures.

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I believe that every couple has met with a lot of obstacles in their relationship. It is only from the strength of Love that we all can overcome the difficulties and this is surely enough reason to celebrate Love. Currently, a great part of my clients are people looking to celebrate Love with their loved ones and have the desire for these moments to be captured into timeless frames. I want my pictures to be subtle testimonies of the power of Love.

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At first, there were mostly small photography assignments, from capturing small events to fashion blogshop modelling photos, I also took up photoshoots of our animals friends for a pet shop. But I need a bigger belief to motivate me to create images that has the ability to move people, emotive pictures which are sensitive and evocative. It was then that me and my sweetheart, Shi Lei, decided that my pictures would bear the theme “In Celebration of Love”.

My best reward so far was to receive greetings from someone who saw my pictures on Facebook. She wrote an email especially to tell me that she was “very touched by the love subtly yet glowing in every pic taken. Breathtakingly sweet.” It really sums up what I hope to communicate across to my audiences: to celebrate and spread more Love through the frames I capture.

Looking back, if we have graduated during a good time, we might have been comfortably employed and would not have given entrepreneurship much thought.

But there is so much meaning in what we are doing now, preserving the beautiful memories of people that will be treasured for years to come. It was the Love from family members, friends that saw us through this difficult period, therefore most of our photos are subtle reminders of such love.

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It is still a trying period for us as we are very new and rely heavily on people around us, as well as words of referral. However, we believe that our sincerity in providing excellent and personalised services will see us growing from strength to strength.

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So, we'll say, follow your dreams! You’ll never know where it would take you to. As the saying goes, shoot for the moon! Passion, that is one sustainable powerful energy you can harness from within to turn dreams into reality. And even if you fail, you would still land among the stars…

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Related link: Hendra R. Photography website

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