Get to know our featured photographer for the month, TakePikChua
How long have you been a photographer?
When I was 19, I first photographed portraits and events at my 5D4N church camp. After I published the photos, I was in awe at how the photos helped everyone to relive the camp. The photographs brought about laughter through the rekindled jokes; goosebumps from the scary night games; the silence and the fun; the warmth in memory of heartfelt conversations and deepened relationships. I found the effects of photography powerful, and almost magical as the reminiscent brought life to moments that happened. I have never stopped photographing since then.
What got you into photographing weddings?
As I travelled solo in my early 20s, I was fascinated to see the human-to-human interactions frozen in time within the frames. Across cultures, age, gender.., places- be it along the cold and challenging terrains of Everest Base Camp trek or a warm and cosy cafe in Melbourne, there was always the availability of stories undiscovered and undocumented. As cliché as it sounds, that was when I understood “a picture speaks a thousand words” – the facial expressions and body languages of people reveal minute details, and these frames can all speak a different story of someone’s unique world. Before becoming a full-time photographer, I was a Storyboard Artist in the TV animation industry, ideating and drawing frame by frame visual representation of an entire animation’s narrative- including character poses, facial expressions, and backgrounds.
With photographing life and storyboarding, my decision to delve into wedding photography was rooted in a deep passion in storytelling raw feelings in people, relationships and experiences through frame by frame and along with my desire to highlight the beauty of life and people's worlds. On a wedding day, in the presence of the couple’s loved ones and amidst the sea of emotions, it is with great honour and responsibility to capture relationships and the flow of events as authentically as possible. Every frame documents a slice of each person’s world. Wedding photography has been exceptionally enjoyable and purposeful.
What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve shot?
It’s a wedding held at a Singapore fish farm in 2021. When I alighted the cab at the farm at 5.30am, I was greeted by the croaks of an army of frogs. What a start to the 13-hour wedding day!
I was in awe of the morning view of the farm when the first morning golden light illuminated around 24 fish ponds that fitted snug like tetris blocks. It reminded me of the familiar sights of fish farms in Vietnam- so beautiful. During the couple and bridal party photoshoot, we walked along the perimeters of the fish ponds, with paths that were lined with lalang. The morning was radiant with the fresh morning air, glistening waters and the fun and laughter that we shared.
On top of the scenic view, it is a special location as the fish farm was where the bride and her family owned and resided. It was a home and a place of heartfelt memories that people grew up and grew older together, worked hard, and had significant life highlights like the couple’s marriage proposal. Their solemnisation and 3 scaled-down receptions were held under an event gazebo, in front of their home and with the farm in the background. It was a meaningful location for the celebration of love and home. The couple’s union, conversations and games, tears and joy that day together with the couple’s loved ones were definitely great memories added onto their stories of their home.