Taking wedding photos is demanding
Wedding photographer John Lin is known for his quirky photos of newlyweds.
Some of his iconic shots include a couple rock-climbing in full wedding gear, a bride levitating and another standing on top of an old cupboard.
My Paper spoke to the 36-year-old founder of John15 Photography and associate master photographer about how his brand of edgy and adventurous portraits challenges the norm of wedding photography.
How did you get started on photography?
It started with fishkeeping. I wanted to take better pictures of my fish families with a manual film camera.
From there, I experimented with film and darkroom techniques, and discovered that I had a talent for photography.
I took to the streets to shoot "angry" street images and shared them online. The response the pictures aroused was a great motivator for me to shoot more and improve.
What is the quirkiest item in your camera bag?
I must have Panadol on hand when I am out shooting, (because) I have to focus doubly hard through two lenses - my spectacles and my viewfinder.
What are the physical demands of the job?
I go to great lengths to get the angle that I want. Very often, I'll be climbing, contorting my body to get an angle and having to hold the position (before taking a picture). So a sturdy core is definitely a requirement. Your fitness level has to match the (heaviness) of the equipment you carry for a shoot.
The working hours are long. People mistake what I do as simple point-and-shoot work, but there is backend work like editing that (they don't see).
How are your shoots conceptualised?
It is very important to communicate with your clients before any shoot.
We get to know them and, from there, (share ideas on) the drawing board. We will also outline our expectations of the shoot with the clients. We never go into any shoot (unprepared).
What was your most memorable shoot?
My first outdoor wedding shoot for a friend. It was shot for free, but I had prepared for days before the shoot. I read books and spoke to many friends. That shoot launched my career and gave birth to John15 Photography.
What advice would you give budding photo- graphers looking to turn professional in the wedding industry?
Always believe in strong fundamentals. True quality will always stay. "Fads" will fade. Commit yourself to learning and improving. Pick up good business practices.
How would you want your own wedding photos to be taken?
I'd love to shoot my own wedding. However, to do that, I'd have to train and run really fast to be in time in front of the timer. The self-timer will be my best man (laughs).
John15 Photography will be at the Icon Wedding Show at St. Regis on Nov 10. Visit www.john15photography.com