Another Bad Photoshoot Experience

I have just deleted a set of photos. I’m feeling relieved actually because they require lots of time to edit and the end result may not be up to my expectation; most of all, the model is not as nice as I think in term of character. Tricia almost wanted to “kill” me for my taste of “model” in term of appearance, but I was more of looking for the experience with “model” of good character.
The model is my net friend, a Thai expat, whom I have not met before the shoot. Anyway, I used to think she is a fun-loving person and definitely easygoing, but it turned out that I was wrong all the while. Other than her usual slow or no-reply response, I really thought she was just too busy. After a few years of knowing each other with just very rarely short chats, I thought she could help me to practise with my new gears. Most of all, since I was expecting her to be very nice, it would be an enjoyable experience.
She was supposed to send me photos of her outfits the night before but she failed to. I had actually looked through all her photos in Facebook but she rejected my suggestion of outfits because they were old. Our plan was to do fashion shoot at Boat Quay area since she was staying very near Quake Quay. I woke up early right after sunrise to wait for her late confirmation of the shoot, which I thought I should just go back to sleep. Then I went to the bus-stop in front of The Central to meet her without seeing her outfit.
I had been updating her of my location on the way but I did not see her at the bus-stop even though she was staying very near. After some time, she suggested shooting at the beach instead and I agreed since I thought she was afraid of the crowds at city area. At the same time, she amazed me by saying that she had just left her house. Next, she told me to wait downstairs her house for her to pack her stuffs. It was an hour after arriving at the bus-stop and finally to the gate of her place, I got to see her. I tried to turn a blind eye to her lateness since she was my net friend after all and that she seemed to be really friendly.
The first thing I noticed was that she was not wearing any makeup. Her hair was also very dried. The weird thing was that I could smell alcohol in her.
We took a cab to Sentosa in my jeans and shoes, which made me look like crap. On the way, she admitted that she had gone drinking with her friend till late hour. Our initial location was at the far end of Tanjong Beach but there were presence of a few outsiders around. Then, she wanted to find a place with fewer people. We ended up walking to Palawan beach and crossed over the famous bridge and to the two towers. I was able to take a few warm-up shots before more people arrived. She wanted to go back to Tanjong beach after that and we decided to shoot along the way where there were many trees. I had quite some fun instructing her to turn and hide the meaty parts of her body and in fact, I was quite impressed with myself. Since the path was quite narrow with cyclists travelling to and fro frequently, I was not able to take out my speedlite and umbrella. We had to end the photoshoot when she began to be drained. We took a cab out. After I got home, I used Whatsapp to text her but she did not reply.
A few days later, she started asking me for her photos when I was busy. She wanted the raw photos without editing. Nearly three weeks after the shoot, she finally messaged me again in Facebook when I was watching TV. When I went back to my laptop, which was less than half an hour, I was shocked to see very nasty words to know her true character. So, I decided to delete all the photos and I was stunned by her reply, suspecting I would use her photos. I did not want to tell her the facts that her outlook at that point of time was too terrible for anyone to see, in order not to sound nasty.
I have a webpage written specially for TFCD photo shoot at and people who have seen my work before are likely to have seen it before agreeing to have TFCD photo shoot with me. For this case, I’m partly at fault for not forcing her to look through the rules stated.
Which established photographer will give away photo for portrait without editing if the model does not put on proper makeup, especially when the model has very bad complexion? If you have a proper brain, you will probably know that it will only spoil the photographer’s reputation.
As for the timeframe, I will never over-promise anyone. I have in fact rejected quite a number of photo shoot requests because I understand I’m not able to produce the final work fast enough due to my current workload. The exceptional cases that I have taken up the shots are because I know the models’ schedules are tight. I have my own small business to run and it is taking far too much time for my hobby. Whereas, I have just upgraded to a different camera and started using speedlite, and still trying to figure out the settings. Lastly, there have been quite a number of events shots for me to process and I will definitely priortise them over FREE portraiture photo shoot.
Below is the transcript of our chats in Facebook.
A couple of days after the shoot…
Hey photographer
Can I have my photos ?
Which way is easy to load ?
haha. you need to wait. i got quite some photos to go through
Dont need to go through so much lah
Anyway not like I going be top model ha
Look so ugly
Less than three weeks after the shoot…
Hey I want my photo without ur edit
Please send me
Please I don’t like to ask many time
Just tell me how u gonna send
Why no reply?
Let’s me know by today thanks.. Be a man don’t hide under skit
i will send you after editing
if you insist, i will just delete all photos
let’s treat it that we didn’t shoot before
this is the rule of tfcd photoshoot
no photographer will send non edited photos if model has no makeup
U can delete make sure u do don’t let me see my photo out there
don’t worry. you don’t think too well of yourself.
I never think but u don’t wanna let me have it or just play around.. I not smell kid
Just be honest that all.. I never any photographer take a month to edit photo
I just want my photo that all why so hard? And I thought u r a friend after photo shoot I never tell me anything
Be understand.
If u really delate it I want evident make sure u do
oh you are the big model who has lots of photographers doing professional photoshoot for you. sorry i didn’t know you are so great. i must be blind that i can’t see any professional photos that you have uploaded. but well, i’m not as professional as your professional photographers and i have my own work to do and photos that i have to give to other models and people from bigger events. and i’m not going to give you any evident. you can go ahead and sue me if you ever see your photos.
If u r not then why u want to keep my photo? This is so funny.
what for i want to keep your photo now???
dream on
Honestly I never thought u r this kind of guy
honestly i never thought you are this kind of girl
Good if u r don’t keep
you think you are paying me big bucks to do photoshoot and expect me to give you fast???
Just do me favor delete it all thanks
that’s for sure.
just remember to sue me if you ever see them.
Sure will do
I would have explained nicely to her but she started turning nasty before I read her messages. She was very naive to think that I would keep her photos as my portfolio or whatever, and she was brainless to ask me to produce evidence that I had deleted her not-so-impressive photos.
I have been judging people too quickly, thinking most people are nice people. it is not easy to judge people clearly before you start working with them.
However, people should start to learn that if they have been replying to other people’s messages late or sometimes, do not even reply at all, don’t expect others reply to them immediately.

Year 2012 – The Stagnant, The Beginning

I started going back for volleyball with my buddies but things had changed tremendously. I found myself landing in a “foreign place”. My gang was sidelined somehow for we were playing too causally whereas all the competitive players took the main court. I supposed nobody was at fault since everyone had different goals in the sport. However, I was very upset over the distancing of some friends. I did not get to play very often since my team was busy and seldom could make it.
My health was not in good shape. Apart from the long term back injury (frequent aches) from volleyball and feet aching suffered during national service, I had problems with my gums and complexion.
I might have accidentally hit my gum with toothbrush a few times when I was trying to brush my teeth fast. It ended up with a tiny hole where food always got struck inside. I did go to the polyclinic once but the unprofessional doctor turned a blind eye in order to knock off early from his work. Finally I went back and a better doctor assigned me to the National Dental Centre (NDC). I did a minor surgery to borrow some flesh from the upper gum to fill the “hole” before pulling the “skin” up to cover it. The pain lasted for more than a week and I could hardly eat since the donor’s wound was at the centre. Within a week, my weight went down from 54kg to slightly below 50kg. As expected, upon recovery, the gum could only cover the root level and tiny food would still get stuck inside. It was quite a costy surgery that I was not even use my Medisave to pay, which was ridiculous.
On the same consultation day with the better polyclinic doctor, he also assigned me to National Skin Centre (NSC). My main concern was a tiny lump right below my nose, which looked like an acne. I did try to pluck it out with my nails but the wound would stay bloody for some hours before it reinstated. I was told by a friend that it could be due to hardening of pimple that I did not take good care of. While keeping it under observation for months, I also had medication for my acne problems. In the end, I had it extracted, which was a fast surgery.
My only source of income from Smart Tuition was stagnant and decreased tremendously towards end of the year. With the increase in living expenses, life began to get tough and I started to feel the pinch on my pocket. I was poorest during polytechnic days but at least I did not have the pressure of supporting the family.
I continued to stray away from friends as everyone progressed with their own lives. Occasionally I went out for volleyball with my gang and other than that, there was very few meet-up with other friends. I did make new friends but none of them was free enough to spend more time with me.
We had a big setback as my younger brother was diagnosed with mild stroke a few days right before Chinese New Year. He had numbness over half of his entire body from head to feet, even though it did not affect his strength. We were all surprised since he was a very disciplined and active guy with no bad habit. All along I thought he would be the most successful guy in my family who could help to take care of my mum if I were to vanish someday.
My photography journey started after I bought my first decent camera – Sony NEX F3 – a mirrorless camera. I started helping Eng Teck with phototaking of his performance during Sunsilk Academy Fantasia competition. After that, I tried portrait photoshoot and started to learn more. It was a very tough journey for me. I faced countless rejection and many models would “back out” halfway or a day before the shoot after wasting lots of my time. Apart from pre-shoot planning and the actual shooting, filtering and editing the photos robbed me of my time.
I had another year of clean sheet with relationship. Other than being busy with my tuition agency work and photography, there was no drive for me to get a girlfriend. I did meet many nice girls but they were never free for me to begin as friends.

My New Girlfriend – Sony NEX F3

I have gotten myself a decent camera finally after many years of daydreaming. The credit goes to Weitat and Gin for accompany me to the showroom, especially Weitat for the special discount he has gotten for me.
My new girlfriend, Sony NEX F3, is a mirrorless camera, which ranges between a normal compact camera and DSLR. According to some reviews I have read online, newer versions of mirrorless cameras are equivalent to entry level DSLR.
Mirrorless cameras lose to DSLR in autofocus speed. This means that mirrorless camera users may not be able to capture moments as fast as DSLR users. As a user who has just upgraded from sub quality compact cameras and having a few touches of my friends’ DSLR, I find my Sony NEX F3 satisfying.
The thing I quite dislike about my new girlfriend, F3, is that it does not have a viewfinder. I do not like the feeling of having another person seeing what I’m exactly focusing on. Therefore, it strongly discourages me from capturing some great moments, people and especially eyes candies. After all, mirrorless cameras are designed to be used without optical viewfinder, hence, have smaller bodies.
The main reason I have chosen a mirrorless camera over DSLR is that it is much more portable given its size and weight. My brothers will be using it then, which makes purchasing of the camera more worthwhile. Other than that, the discount in price is a big bonus. Luckily, Canon has yet to come up with a mirrorless camera, otherwise I would have to make more comparisons.
I was, in fact, stuck between Sony NEX 5N and F3. NEX 5N is an improved version of NEX 5 and it has been out in the market for about a year. NEX 7 has recently being launched and is out of stock, but the price difference is far too high – around $600 to $700 more. My girlfriend, NEX F3, is new as well, however, is said to be a lower-end version of NEX 5N, which is around $200 cheaper.
– Resolution of images
NEX 5N is the winner despite NEX F3 is about a year newer. However, I do not need extremely high resolution images.
– Design
Both models look quite alike at first glance but NEX F3 looks more like a box, which is uglier. Looks of the camera is of a lower priority to me, just like a girlfriend, which nobody knows.
– Flash and external gadget
NEX F3 has a built-in flash, which is stronger than the external flash that comes with NEX 5N. I do not like attaching and removing of external flash. The main issue is that both cameras have only a connector for external gadget, including the external flash. Therefore, NEX 5N users may have problems attaching an external microphone in future for video taking, but of course, this is not a good example since you do not need flash when doing video shot.
– Price
As mentioned earlier on, NEX F3 costs around $200 cheaper.
Both cameras depend solely on the LCD for phototaking. Both of their LCDs can be adjusted. NEX 5N’s screen can be adjusted to face downwards more, so that the user can hold the camera higher and still be able to view the screen. NEX F3 can instead, flip the LCD screen 180 degrees to face the front, so that the user can take self portrait. Both are useful but I think the latter is more useful for causal shooting, especially with friends.
The Sony salesman, Jose, was a very honest man. He did not persuade me to buy NEX 5N, which was the more expensive model. Instead, he advised me to get a camera as accordingly to my need. He did his work professionally such as showing me how to attach the external flash and the power of them. He also reminded me that NEX F3 was very new and thus there would be fewer online reviews about it, which could be the reason why I felt NEX 5N was much better.
I love my girlfriend – Sony NEX F3.
Photography has been my hobby since young. I may not be very good in it but I put in extra effort than most people to make sure my photos turn out better. I wish to capture all the greatest moments and people of my life, and bring out their best smiles in my unique angle. I want to be appreciated through my work and not words.
I hope I can get some models and improve on my photography skill for photoshooting.

On the Verge of Collapsing

Life has become more unpredictable than ever since the beginning of this year.

My younger brother and I were always at loggerheads when we were young. He has, however, grown up to become a very sensible person and we become very close.

As I have been putting stress on myself without taking much rest, I am prepared to die of brain cancer or similar illness at a young age. I used to think that I can depend on him to take care of my mum when I am gone.

When he notified me that his body was acting weird, I was lost.

A few days later, when he returned from Bali, we went straight to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of Singapore General Hospital (SGH). It was one of my most hated places. Scenes over there were nasty, especially when I had to witness foreigners crying over to the lost of their friend.

Half of my brother’s body was experiencing numbness on the right side and it seemed like needles were poking him. Doctors and nurses began to get worried after they conducted X-ray and CT scan. Initial finding was either brain bleeding or blood clot, as we were told different stories by the staffs.

I had to lie to my gullible mum that my brother went over purposely just because he had bought travel insurance and wanted to make full use of it. My acting skill excelled as I remained calm in front of my mum even when my brother was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Perhaps, his condition was not so critical at the moment but it happened that the high dependency (HD) ward was full and he had to be admitted inside the more critical ward.

When my relatives started to find out about my brother’s condition, I had to answer them on the phone besides my mum, pausing for a few seconds to suppress the urge to burst out, before explaining in a relaxing tone. That was what grown-ups had to learn to do.

There was no feeling of festive season. I was glad enough that we could get time-off for him to go out for our reunion dinner. My brother was hospitalized until the second day of Chinese New Year. We did not manage to see the doctor in charge to ask about his condition. We were also disappointed with the management of the hospital.

My brother needs no medication at the moment and we are all clueless about what will happen next. His illness is likely to be “Post Thalamic Syndrome” as researched online. I cannot imagine myself feeling the numbness over half of my body symmetrically and boiling over my leg occasionally.

I’m beginning to feel numb as well. Staying alive is mainly to face hardship. My work alone has already taken away half of my smiles.

Regaining Freedom

The three weeks of torment has finally ended. To others, they might enjoy it for it was a break from their work. They were being paid as normal to slack and basically needed not use their brain at all. I felt the opposite because I was running my own business and the opportunity cost was high to halt my development. This further made me realise how tough it was to become a young entrepreneur in Singapore. I could not stand wasting my day rotting around and not able to proceed on my website development. The travelling distance was a major turn-off. This time, somehow Terry was allocated to the next batch even though we had attended two sessions together without deferring. I was definitely luckier than most people. Not many could have an easy life when they put on the ugly green skin. There were two car owners and I managed to get free lift. Apart from the first week that I caught the car near the gate, I started travelling down to Hougang to get my free ride. I get daily tea breaks at the canteens. The people were very friendly, which made the experience even better.

Story of My First Smart Phone

I must admit that I have a very good tolerance towards certain things.
Being a broke guy who was out of job for more than half a year, I started using a very old Nokia phone after my Sony Ericsson phone G905 died on me ridiculously. A side note: I would never trust their products and service centre again.
It was hell for me during those few months when communication almost broke down between friends and I due to the fact that the phone was too old to support 3G sim cards. Half of my contacts list could not be read. I was unable to sort out who were “not in my contact list”.
When I was catching up with Mike after more than a year, I realised I could not find his contact in my phone. It happened that he was holding my old number and that was one of the worst cases that almost drove me insane.
I had to skip my habit of forwarding greeting messages to my friends during festival seasons because sending sms to multiple contacts was a great challenge. In fact, I was trained to hate replying to sms.
After tolerating the life of “living in the mountain” for at least a quarter year, I finally bought my first smart phone, HTC Incredible S. It had helped me to become more productive, such that I was able to do simple web updating when travelling and also, update myself with current affairs in news websites.
However, there was one great problem that had reduced productivity greatly – the original plastic protection from HTC with some notes at the centre of the screen. The phone model was too new that mobile phone shops did not sell its screen protector and casing. I had to resolve to keep the plastic in place to avoid scratching my new baby’s face. I often had to move the text on screen up or down in order not to be blocked by the plastic.
It was pathetic weeks of tolerance with the plastic starting to wrinkle day by day. Even though it did not hurt me as much as using the old Nokia phone, every friend found it hilarious.
I had lost track of the time I waited for my elder brother’s online purchase of the protection gears to arrive. The casing reached last week while the screen protector came this Monday.
I was finally able to utilize my new phone fully.

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Mike and I were Criminals for a Few Minutes

Mike and I were crossing Pinnacle Duxton towards the Kopi Tiam on Friday early evening. We saw three policemen talking to a guy from a distance away. Just a few seconds later as we were reaching our destination, we were stopped by the police from behind at the stairs. They requested for our identification cards immediately without telling us what was going on.

Since we were wearing smart causal and our faces were more than pleasant that we hit up well with any stranger soon, it was really weird for us to be checked; moreover, we were empty-handed. Judging from the distance they had tried to catch up with us after they finished the business with the previous guy, they were trying hard to hit a quota before their dinner.

One of them was doing the job of verifying our identification cards by calling back to probably their office while the other two, including a lady, were looking around rather than to chat with us. I thought they could be friendlier and also try to get some feedback from us, rather than treating us as suspects.

I was very delighted to finally witness policemen doing patrolling in Tanjong Pagar like this. I might not have walked around the neighbourhood everyday but it really showed how rare it was because I had already stayed here for over twenty years. Of course, I had met policemen in the neighbourhood before but they were busy doing investigation probably because someone had called to seek their help.

During the period of time, I felt quite awkward because the passers-by might mistake that we had done something illegal. If I were among the policemen, I would definitely try to initiate conversations and smile.

After that, I kept wondering why the policemen were doing their patrolling at such early hour when the sky was still bright. In my opinion, crimes such as robbery would more likely to happen at night. I am very sure that there is no patrolling around Tanjong Pagar Plaza at night because there are still many topless guys sleeping all over the places, such as resident corners.

I hope things will start to improve.


Tze Khit and Bobby’s Visit to the Office

[Wednesday, 12 January, 2011]

I had some nasty hours working on the tuition agency website, trying to do a more presentable way to stop duplicate tutor registration. It was after 4am and I went to bed.

At noon, I woke up and started clearing my desktop and Gmail task list. I took some time to blog and it started to rain. Mike came over to Tanjong Pagar and we packeted Burger King before taking a cab over to the office. Before I could start eat my burger, I saw a missed call from Tze Khit and he told me he would be dropping by with Bobby in a while. We had some chat before they left. I was glad that they were impressed with our office’s design.

It took me hours to continue with my work that I had stopped before going to bed. It did not turn out good for the script seemed to be undergoing frequent mood swing more than anyone could expect. In the end, I took the easy way out.

Mike started his Starcraft 2 again while I worked on SEO after he gave me a list of websites that could help to draw myself nearer to Google. We left the office at 10pm and I continued with work at home.


Cheapo Took My Old Umbrella

[Friday, 7 January, 2011]

I started my day working on the new “Personal Tutors Needed” page for the tuition agency. I dozed off many times on the bed and went to sleep at 4.30am.

I woke up after 10am and took the noodle cooked by my mum. I continued working on the tuition agency website while chatting with my younger brother.

After 1pm, I went to the office under the dripping sky water. I was extremely unmotivated by the weather. I did some Facebook marketing before Mike wanted to leave at 4pm to try our luck for the “Dou Hua You Tiao” stall again. It was, however, closed as usual.

We took our meal at Burger King at the Amara Hotel, which was my lunch in fact. Mike went for his dental appointment while I went home. Upon putting down my bag, I realised my umbrella was missing and I went straight to the Burger King but despite the short interval, I could not find it. The staff was helpful but not useful enough.

I was gloomy for the umbrella was from my ex colleagues in the web solution company and it had accompanied me for years.

I spent the rest of the night working on SEO for the tuition agency.