With the exponential rise of influencer marketing in Singapore, it’s refreshing to discover a collection of Singaporean photographers using Instagram as a platform to showcase their art. While there’s no shortage of local talent in this field, this is just a handful of those using the social media site as a jumping-off point into Singaporean photography. For even more inspiration, follow the account @exploresingapore, a gallery of images curated from the hashtag #exploresingapore.
Alvin Ng @alvinnzh
Alvin originally became interested in photography as a hobby after seeing some of his friends using their cameras. As the years passed, it became a passion for him and, these days, it’s something he loves he can do both as a profession and a personal interest.
When asked about the strangest situation he’s found himself in as a photographer, Alvin shows his adaptability and natural curiosity, explaining that what he finds strange are the foreign cultures and interactions he experiences while abroad, whether on assignment or holiday. His reaction to seeing things that are out of the ordinary is to follow it up and learn more in order to satisfy his curiosity – and hopefully snap a great picture at the same time!
Chia Joel @idroneman
Chia Joel, who shoots under the moniker ‘idroneman’, was first inspired to pick up a camera when he borrowed a friend’s DSLR for an overseas trip. Amazed by the quality of his landscape images, he was keen to get more experience with all the settings on the camera. It wasn’t long after that trip that he purchased his own.
The oddest scenario Chia has found himself in is one that all creatives can identify with: the awkward feeling when you show some of your best work to a friend, who isn’t very impressed. Maybe his friend would reconsider after scrolling down through his feed to his drone images of Singapore, like the one below of the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City.
Chrystal Lim @chrystlm
Chrystal grew up travelling extensively with her family, which prompted her to get behind the lens four years ago, so she could document the people and places she came across. Like anyone bitten by the travel (and photography) bug, the more she explores, the longer the list of places she wants to go becomes.
So far, Chrystal’s favourite destination is the island of Naoshima, Japan, because of the architecture, art and the isle’s rich culture and history. When she visited this small speck in the Seto Inland Sea, she was awed by the quaint towns, beautiful museums and calm, blue waters.
Yafiq Yusman @_yafiqyusman_
Unlike many photographers, Yafiq is content to shoot with his iPhone. It all started when he was amazed by the quality of images that could be captured by his iPhone 4. Since then, the sudden fame of Yafiq’s Instagram account has left him reeling, and he finds it all the more puzzling that people recognise him on the street, even though he rarely appears on his feed.
Ashok Kumar @zomgitsashok
Ashok’s inspiration to become a photographer was two-fold. First, he enjoys seeing things from different angles, like when other people tell him how his images offer a unique perspective to real life. This is especially true with his favourite subject – street photography – where people rarely expect to see beauty and so don’t bother looking. Second, he loves that photography is a good excuse to get lost while you’re travelling, because it heightens your senses to your surroundings and makes it more likely you’ll capture something extraordinary.
One particularly bizarre experience that stands out for Ashok was when he was in Ho Chi Minh City and came across a man who was balancing an entire tray of doughnuts on his head to sell to tourists. From seeing something so unexpected, Ashok did what any photographer would do and snapped a shot. However, the man noticed and immediately demanded money for having his picture taken. Luckily, Ashok kept his wits about him and left the situation quickly.