To finding myself

This might be post-new year’s syndrome, listening to Armin van Buuren on a New Year’s morning. Oh well..

Source: gracerife

Onwards to 2016

While many were readying to party the night away yesterday, I couldn’t help to only think of what do I aim to accomplish in the next year, as its hours counted down.

Looking back at this neglected online space which I call ‘my personal blog’ in 2015, its obvious highlight was my first trip to Korea.

Outside of this space…

  • Managed to finish reading:
    • Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It
      (Marshall Goldsmith)
    • Blogging for a living (Grace Tan)
    • Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in  (Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton)
    • 21 irrefutable laws of leadership (John C. Maxwell)
    • Today matters (John C. Maxwell)
  • Exhausted my thoughts with work
  • Celebrated friends’ weddings
  • Designed a cat cafe logo
  • Became a ‘heng tai’ for the first time
  • Partied at a notable blogger’s anniversary
  • Purchased my very own badminton racquet
  • Added 5 new Nendoroid to my collection

And I guess that’s it. Not too bad, right.

Goals of 2016

This year, I do hope and want to:

  • Read 1 book a month (max. within 2 months – I’m a slow reader)
  • Take 10 minutes before work to clear my mind with meditation (self-experiment)
  • Write playfully with a brush pen (inspired by calligraphy I’ve seen on Instagram)
  • Remind myself of my goals every night and take steps to fulfill them
  • Note down what am I truly grateful towards

A simple list, while my big-but-attainable dream this year would be to take a sabbatical and find myself again.

There used to be so much joy and satisfaction from what I did in my career and life, but something changed and it feels like I lost that something. I want to give myself, time alone, with my thoughts, an absence from the present to realize what was that something and what I have to do to keep it with me, for as long I live.

Finding My Mojo with Red Ninja

I attended the Got Mojo? photography seminar by Red Ninja on Friday. While photography has been a long standing hobby for me and my 3 year plus Canon 400D, I do plan to have this passion pay for itself.

Let me introduce to you the emcee of the night.

Alex TheBackpackR

Get a Ruum

And before the official speaker came up to help us find our mojo, James from Ruumz came up to share a few things about their social network and the campaign they’re running now.

James from Ruumz

Ruumz is in support of the ongoing AIDS Aware campaign. It was also shared there’ll be a photography contest run in support of this campaign. Plus if you didn’t know, Ruumz also offers photo printing services.

aids aware campaign
James talking about AIDS aware

I should also quote. It was said, Ruumz kicks Facebook’s ass in terms of photo compression – quality and size. Though I’ve not personally tried it out since I’m more connected on Facebook. 😛

Introducing Wiki Lee

After James was done, the speaker of the night; Wiki Lee, came up to share his life experience turn IT Project Manager into wedding photographer. I was really looking forward to take back the answer on the all important question:

How to find your unique photography style?

wiki lee
Wiki starting his talk

Wiki calls it, how to find your philosophy? As he spoke more in depth of it, slowly but surely I already knew what it meant was to find the answer of why you want to do what you are going to do.

How to find your photography style?

Quick tips on how to find your philosophy:

  • Find a role model
  • Identify your customer
  • Know your customer

Then, Wiki had a slide defining what style meant to him. The title said:

Style = Customer approach + Post production + Photography style

When he elaborated a little more, the customer approach from my understand was about art direction. The photography style is the uniqueness you bring into your photos. Which can take time before you find it.

wiki lee
Wiki standing behind the podium

By the way, Wiki shared it took him 3 years to find his style. Which made me think, how long would I want to take?

Are you a Samurai or Ninja photographer?

Wiki also mentioned there were 2 types of wedding photographers – samurai and ninja.

The samurais are known as portrait types. Their aim is to capture beauty in an editorial style. Wiki jokingly said the samurais can be control freaks. LOL! But they’ve got to have good communication skills and they know what they want.

The ninjas on the other hand are photojournalist types. They’ve the skillset of being unnoticeable.

It was being said, it’s fine for you to be both. But it’s important to know which is really your path. I guess for me, it’s how you could translate your style into both if you were really a samurai and ninja.

Marketing yourself as a wedding photographer

Wiki and his wife; Illona, emphasized it’s important as a wedding photographer to know how to market your difference. He said in short, be yourself and be interesting.

wiki and lorna
Illona and Wiki

You’ll pick up clients by being unique. And it’s better to target your segments with this uniqueness. Wiki defined segments as different communities of people. I’m sure the attendees during the bootcamp got a more detailed explanation on this. Sigh.

An important note Wiki shared was when you have a unique style, not everyone may like it. However, ones who can relate to it will love it.

Then, in another slide came this line:

Know what you get and get what you want

The important lesson I took back here is something which I practice in my BNI meetings. Don’t be greedy and target everyone. Be focus and know what you want.

It was mentioned being a wedding photographer isn’t only knowing how to take your photos, but how you creatively market your business.

Bonus tips from the Q&A session

Wiki was joined by his wife; Illona, during the Q&A session. The both of them had experiences to share as Wiki is now focusing on the wedding photography side while Illona is managing the photography studio.

wiki and lorna
Illona and Wiki loving the questions

One of the questions was, what if the client only knew what style they want after you had shot the wedding? Wiki said we (photographers) need to educate our clients of our style. One was of doing this is to ask potential clients to point out the styles they like from your portfolio. And I do know where he’s coming from. Because even in website design, the corporate style can be very different from retail.

When asked how did he kickstart his wedding photography service, Wiki said he had past experience doing it on a freelance basis. However, he was suggesting for us to get some practice and build our portfolio by offering a form of favor to our friends.

A number of attendees still vaguely understood on how to find their style.Well, to be honest, I too vaguely had an idea. But I do hope the attendees of the bootcamp did find their answer.

When I asked Jon Low about workshops, he shared that he attended a number of them. It did burn a hole (somewhat) in his pocket but he personally found it beneficial. He feels he’s improved further after attending them. Well, I guess besides gear it’s also about education. 🙂

Here are some additional random shots whilst at the event.

grace tan
Grace the ShootDiva
jon low
Jon the official event photographer

And, I also met saimatkong at this event.

Thumbs up

Well, that’s basically what happened at the Got Mojo? seminar. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look for my style. *looks under rock*

P.S.: Met the hot Jenny Sun and will be sharing the surprise gift I got from her for taking part in the ShootSac competition. 🙂

I want to be a Ninja photographer!


Sensei, please teach me how to photograph lovely women and sharp smiles with hidden presence from the shadows.

red ninja

And also, I hear you have good mojo. Will that be taught too at Got Mojo?seminar. Please sensei, I need your blessing.

Date: Friday, 23 April 2010

Time: 8pm

Venue: P1 Auditorium, Packet Hub, 159 Jalan Templer, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Seminar details can be found at RedNinja. Watcha!

P.S.: If you too want win free passes to sensei’s mojo, details here.