[NSFW] Sometimes it does not take too much planning

It just takes good timing, and two persons who want to work together.

I’m not a person who enjoys holiday seasons, especially major ones. I tend to get cranky at having to fulfill certain obligations and showing face time to people I’m not particularly keen on sharing any of my time with. Don’t even get me started on the non-stop barrage of annoying songs that are played everywhere.

So when Roarie told me she was available on the first day of this Chinese New Year, a day before, we quickly made plans to shoot. It was the first time we worked together, but it was an absolute blast. During the shoot we were talking about food, sharing stories, and even managed to get some pretty good photos. Like this one.

I’ve still got 5 rolls of medium format film and 2 rolls of 35mm film to process, and we should get plenty more from there. Best way to spend the first day of a draining holiday season. I’m sure we’ll get to shoot again, hopefully soon!


[NSFW] April 26th 2015 — Art Nude Workshop with Sara and Riona

I will be conducting an art nude photography workshop with two experienced and great models, Sara Scarlet and Riona Noire on Sunday, April 26th, 2015, from 10am to 2pm.
Art Nude Workshop with Sara and Riona
Date: April 26th, 2015 (Sunday)
Venue: The Pond studio, 153 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427881
Time: 10am to 2pm
Fee: $300/person

The 4-hour workshop will be held at The Pond studio, owned by my friend, the supremely talented artist Tan Ngiap Heng, and used extensively for his beautiful dance photographs. It’s a great space for photography, conducive to learning, and easily accessible.

To give every participant enough time for guidance and with Sara and Riona, the workshop will only be open to 4 participants, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The price per person is S$300, but if you sign up for the workshop before end of February, the fee is S$270 per person. (Update: Early sign-up has ended.)

Both Sara and Riona are experienced models hailing from Belgium; I worked with Sara while I was in Paris and came away with some beautiful photos. Her stature and versatility shows in her work. Riona also brings her aesthetics and form, honed by her work as a fashion designer, to the fore in her shoots.

Contact me via email at callan@callantham.org for bookings and more information. Participants must pay full fees upfront to secure their spot; payment details will be provided via email. Help spread the word, and hope to see you there on April 26th.


Relevant reads

Just wanted to share two articles today.

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) commissioned a study “to help us understand what people value in journalistic photography”, and the results shouldn’t be surprising to any photographer.
For those who wish to learn nude photography (and really, who doesn’t?), here’s an article by experienced model, Ella Rose, that will be a useful primer. It’s great having a model write this, and most of the points are what I teach and reinforce at my workshops (I’m planning one as I type this). It applies to any sort of photography that involves models.
And here’s an old snapshot I took about 3 years ago, back when I still had my M6. Just thought I’d plonk it in here. On a similarly unrelated note, I’m beginning to find that blogging on Format is an experience that is…lacking. The feature still feels like an afterthought, and for sharing photos, nothing really beats Tumblr. It’s useful for news and updates, but the conspicuous lack of an RSS feed means it is incomplete.

Which means I’ve come to the conclusion that this will be used just for updates, not so much for sharing my snapshots and personal projects-in-progress. You can go to my Tumblr for that. There will still be photos and other posts here, but more sporadic, at least until Format improves the blog feature.


"Quick, dirty, and a bit out of control"

“I do a lot of smallish side projects: zines, online slideshows, that sort of thing. This sort of activity is analogous to a band playing in the garage: it is meant to be quick, dirty, and a bit out of control.Alec Soth [1]

That is essentially why I keep doing Nisshi; it was never meant to be super-tight, edited-to-death long-form photography. That isn’t how I see my photography, or even life in general, where most things are out of my control, no matter how much I’d like to think otherwise.

Embracing that chaos is what makes life enjoyable, and that is perhaps the central guiding principle behind any photography I do for myself. Commissions and commercial assignments are, of course, different—control over every part of the process is crucial—and that drives me further into the chaotic part of photography, where I take what I can find where I can find them, rather than set things up meticulously.

I am working on a couple of long-term projects, and once I figure out how they should be presented, I’ll have more to say about them. Until then, I’ll be doing Nisshi till I’m sick of it.

[1] http://www.aperture.org/blog/hold-em-fold-em-conversation-alec-soth/


Starting 2015 with a website update

2014 has been a mixed bag at best. High points for me included 5ive Foot Way’s second exhibition, shooting the DBS Marina Regatta, being a part of Photovoice SG, and finding a day job I enjoy. The low points? Surviving the painkillers my back required just to be functional for a large chunk of the year that cost me many opportunities, and personal life suffered somewhat due to unforeseen circumstances. I’m not one for regrets, but I do think about the what-ifs a bit more than I’d like.

I managed to update some parts of the portfolio over the past couple of days, despite a niggly and annoying cold. It’s pretty amazing what we can find when going through the archives and making sure things are backed up and working smoothly.

Found this one languishing in the archives. Dug out the slide and looked at it through a loupe. And wondered why I ignored it. I like it well enough to put it up now. It could be the intoxicating effects of the beautiful Alix and Astia talking, but that’s as good a reason as any.

Updating the site meant also gave me a good overview of what kind of work I need to do more of: portraits. Haven’t done a session in ages. Gonna make that a priority for the first couple months of the year, along with finishing up Nisshi Vol. V and starting work on Vol. VI, and planning 5ive Foot Way’s next exhibition.

Stay tuned, and I wish all of you good hunting and great health for the year ahead.

Using Format