Featured in The Edge Financial Daily 10th Nov 2014





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Blissful Pictures: The secret life of a wedding photographer

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couple_carousel A perfectly composed shot by Tan of a couple standing on a carousel.

IT IS an especially unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime day for many; and for some, the most important day of their lives. Brides and grooms spend months, sometimes years, preparing for their magical day, and what way to memorialise the event better than to hire a talented photographer to capture the moments?

In the technological age that we are currently living, we see all sorts of people — young, old, professionals and novices alike — splurging money on fancy cameras, and some even calling themselves ‘professional photographers’ with little or no experience or even training.

The vast majority of couples, however, are willing to pay top dollar for the best they can find. To many of them, cost isn’t an issue when searching for the right photographer to immortalise their wedding day.

The Edge Financial Daily spoke to two local wedding photographers, Edwin Tan and Nicholas Kong, both of whom have not only been hired by Malaysians to shoot their weddings, but by foreigners as well. Collectively, these two — who are proprietors of their own wedding photography companies—have flown to numerous countries including Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Greece, the US, and Germany to shoot wedding photographs.

Some of their clients reside in those countries, but most are Malaysian couples who wanted memorable pictures, taken at iconic landmarks set to take anyone’s breath away. The best part? The fact that these couples are willing to fork out an arm and a leg to fly a talented photographer there with them to capture it all.

Just last month, Tan found himself in Oia, on one of the Greek islands of Santorini — a dream location for any photographer — with its sapphire blue sea, towering cliffs lined with pure white and blue roofed traditional Greek homes and arguably, the place where the world’s most beautiful sunset can be seen.

Both these talented men found themselves delving into the world of professional wedding photography just a couple of years ago. From then, they have cultivated their skills and have been working hard to perfect their craft.

While Kong has always known he wanted to be a wedding photographer, Tan initially started off photographing children. Both initially found it hard to break into the industry, but once the ball started rolling, it really got rolling!

Every month, each of them are assigned  four to eight wedding shoots, and these typically cover pre-wedding shoots and the wedding day itself. Unlike many photographers who take shots in the studio which has controlled lighting conditions and moveable backdrops, Kong and Tan take pride in their work that typically occurs outdoors with couples in natural settings and most importantly, are not posed!

There is nothing more unsightly than photos of a couple wearing plastered smiles on their faces on all their wedding photos; therefore talented photographers usually give minimal direction, and allow the couple to interact freely with each other, capturing tender moments as they unfold.

“I try to get my clients to relax and express themselves however they wish. I think about a storyline, play it out in my mind, and then find the emotional moments that reflect the story of the day.

“Every minor detail is important. From loving glances, smiles and even unseen tears,” explained Tan.

“I always tell clients to be themselves, and act the way that they usually do when there isn’t a photographer following them around,” said Kong.

Shooting once-in-a-lifetime events can be harrowing for some, but Tan and Kong believe that by truly paying attention to all the minute details, there is a wealth of emotion that can be captured.

With the rise of the use of cameras in smartphones and tablets, it is inevitable that guests would also try to take shots of the bride and groom, sometimes to the detriment of official photos taken by the photographers designated to do their jobs.

Just last year, American wedding photographer Corey Ann Balazowich suggested on the Huffington Post that couples host “unplugged” weddings whereby guests are not allowed to use phones and tablets to take pictures during the ceremony. Indeed, the Internet is filled with unceremonious photos taken by professional photographers featuring a beautiful couple with dozens and dozens of little phone screens as the unceremonious background.

“Yes, it can be distracting and annoying when guests ruin a special moment by holding up their phones and thereby obscuring the view of the photographer,” both Tan and Kong agreed.

“Therefore, clients are usually told to inform their guests not to take pictures during certain important moments of the wedding, such as when the couple walks down the aisle,” said Kong.

“The worst is when guests use cameras or phones with flash! These absolutely ruin the shots and there is no post-processing that can be done to save the picture.”

Fortunately, even with such obstructions, Tan and Kong have still been able to capture special moments perfectly, and their clients are obviously always very happy to see them.

Final words for aspiring photographers?

“Stay hungry and always look for the best image.”

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    About Edwin Tan


    Yes, this is a dream to me, I daydream a lot and let me share with you a few of my dreams here. I always dream of creating a website to record every moments of my life and share with my kiddo when their grow up one day and also dream about carrying my cameras and travel around the world, see the world thru my eye,yes, I love travel, it is my ultimate dream to travel around the world, learning thru travel is the best dream I ever have. Dream is an initial point to me. It help me to look at what I really want in my life. As Malaysia Wedding Photographer with international wedding photography membership (WPJA, AGWPJA, WPPI & PPA), I started my photography passion at the end of year 2007. Like most of the beginners, I was purely having fun with my DSLR capturing my family members portraits and events. After attend the talk by one of the master wedding photographer, it change my whole world. I was so touched by the slideshow shown on the projector for the showcase of prewedding and church wedding, the touching moments, the dramatic angles, all these impact was so strong that it hit direct into my heart and awake my passion towards wedding photography. From there onwards, I have focus all my passion on wedding photography and never feel more satisfied when I capture the moments for couple which last for a life time. Whenever I imagine the couple looking back those photos captured by me in ten, fifteen years from now and think, "yeah, that was the moments" "look, how silly you was!" "oh, I cried when I first saw you walks down the aisle i", "yes, I remember what your dad told me that day when he placed your hand in my right hand from his arm after walks down the aisle".. all these keep my heart warm and keep me going on & on for this long path without a single regret or tiredness ...

    Get In Touch


    Gallery Location

    Kota Damansara , Malaysia


    Hours: Tues-Sunday 11am to 8pm (By Appointment Basis)


    W. Contact Me
    email: edwin@edwintcg.com
    mobile: +60123040558

    Featured Work



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