Interview with Catherhea Teoh

Catherhea Teoh is a photographer from Malaysia. She is better known for her Instagram moniker as @dreamerehab.  Her style leans towards portraiture, fashion and conceptual themes.

“Is it weird that I have a fear of being photographed? It absolutely stresses me out. I get anxiety attacks every time and it’s worse when I get to look at the pictures after.”

You can find more her work on Instagram

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What is your most favorite photo that you’ve taken and why?

Can’t really say I have a favorite at this point, because my work needs to be viewed collectively, and I’m always doing something that’s different from my previous attempt(s). Plus, it’s really difficult to be content. After one concept is done, I just wanna move on to the next thing.


What inspires you in doing your photography?

One time, I received a text from a friend, who told me the pictures I took of her reminded her that she quite likes herself. It’s the beauty I see in people around me, and how much I want them to see what I see. When they go ‘wow’ at their own pictures, that’s exactly how I feel when I look at them.

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How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?

Some research, and a lot of winging it to be honest

What is your one tip/tool/mantra when you’re shooting or creating work?

Tear sheets or mood boards. Those things are very useful, when you’re trying to build a solid concept, art direction, a collection of poses, styling, etc.

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Is there an element that you incorporate in your photos?

Diversity. I’m not sure if I’m getting there yet, but I’m attempting a collective of diverse people in somewhat more glossy-type photographs. Given my work experience in the fashion industry, I do have the resources to reach out to industry-standard models but there is a reason behind my selection of muses, and I’m quite picky.

What are your go-to songs when you’re shooting?

I got a playlist called issa.vibe// on Spotify, 

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What is ultimate goal in your photography?

We’re so used to consuming mainstream media, that anything we see outside of that is received as negative. Even ourselves, which is where a huge chunk of our insecurities stemmed from anyway. I’m hoping people see their own, and others’ beauty through my work. Having dark skin is beautiful, and I mean people who are born in black and/or brown skin, not your regular went-to-the-beach tan. 

Chubby people are the shit but you don’t see as many plus-size models in pictures. Round noses with undefined bridges are cute. Chinky eyes are the bomb, and fuck double eye-lid surgery! The list goes on, but you get the drift. 

My point is, I’m hoping to change the perception of what beauty is, so that the concept of ‘being comfortable in your skin’ doesn’t end when you see how people around you treats you differently. Both sides of the table need to be educated.

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What is your advice to other photographers?

Honestly don’t think I’m in a position to advise other photographers, but there are a few things I try to remind myself - keep moving and creating. Don’t lose yourself in the numbers and whether or not you’ll make it big. You’ll never be as good as that artist/photographer you look up to, because you’ll only be as good as you, and you’ll only keep getting better. You’ll eventually find your own voice in your art, as long as you keep going. Also, humble the fuck down! Stay low key and keep grinding.

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"Tricia" by Kix Navidad

This week’s feature comes from Kix Navidad, a portrait photographer from Cavite, Philippines

It's focusing on Tricia's beauty and character, baring what most people don't normally see about her. Knowing a person socially and online creates an illusion of false assumptions about a person.

That's why in my series I try to capture each model's essence through her eyes, gestures and the simplest clothing she can wear, so I’m not tainting any of her beautiful qualities inside and out. Without makeup and jewelry to hide and glorify the feminine side.

Simplicity - that's what I want to achieve.

You can find more of Kix’s work on Instagram

Model: Tricia Mateo // @triciamateo

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Interview with John Bulos

John Bulos is a photographer from Manila, Philippines. His main work comprises of portraits, fashion and commercials. He is also a business and marketing student, deciding to take photography after he graduated college. He has been incorporating his marketing background into his photography through commercial works

You can find more of his work on Instagram.

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What is your most favorite photo that you’ve taken and why?

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I love the aesthetics of the scene. It somehow reminds me of Pop’s Diner in Riverdale. Or it probably reminds me of burgers and milkshakes. lol

What inspires you in doing your photography?

I love fashion and aesthetics. I like to believe that putting on clothes is so much more than just the way it looks, but rather a form of self-expression. The way it defines different people and personalities. Your style defines who you are. I absolutely love seeing that distinct personality and attitude of my model every time I look through the viewfinder of my camera.

How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?

I surround myself with positivity and avoid the negatives. I am the type of person who’s easily swayed by the things around me, but I’m trying to overcome it. So I make it a point to always stay inspired and in the mood to curate. Your mood affects the overall creative output of the shoot.

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What is your one tip/tool/mantra when you’re shooting or creating work?

Be flexible. Sometimes, if not most of the times, things don’t go always as planned.

What is your signature style?

I like shooting street fashion - pulling off that undone look. There’s something about street fashion for me that is so full of attitude and personality.

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Any songs that sets the mood with when you’re shooting?

I have a lot on my playlist! Haha. But here are some of them:

  • I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd
  • One For Kenny by Idjut Boys
  • Slide by Calvin Harris

What is ultimate goal in your photography?

To be acknowledged and become an inspiration to other people. I’ve always wanted to be an influence to create. Put your work out there!

What is your advice to other photographers?

Never doubt yourself. There will be times when you’re just not into it. A creative block as most artists like to call it. I get it a lot. I look up to different photographers and artists who are already way up the ladder of success. I envy them, honestly. Sometimes I even ask myself if I can make it to where they are or is there even a point to what I am doing? In a way, my mind somehow creates this ’excuse’ to not even bother creating. FIGHT that resistance! Stay true to your direction, your goal, your passion. As long as you are passionate and love what you are doing, you’re on the right track.

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Weekly Digest 001

Welcome to our first ever weekly digest. This is where I share few things, related to We Shoot Souls or photography and anything interesting.

WSS Updates

If you're new to We Shoot Souls or have missed our previous two digital issues, you can download Issue 001 and 002 for free.

The 3rd issue is put on hold for now, but it will see the light of the day by the end of this year or next year.

WSS Instagram Pick

This week's Instagram pick goes to Izzy Osman. All you need to do is tag on your photos using We Shoot Souls for a chance to get featured on the site.

Check This Out!

* Mango Street  is a content creative studio from Los Angeles, where they release photography & videography tutorials every week. You can subscribe to their channel on Youtube

* Cole Sprouse photographed Sophie Turner

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https://www.wmagazine.com/story/cole-sprouse-photographer-sophie-turner

http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-40493098

Listen

Haim - Something to Tell You

Haim is a talented trio, has recently released an album with a fresh blend of 70s and 80s pop-rock sound with infectious melodies. You can check them out on your favorite music streaming service

Follow

Lennart Bader is a photographer based in Bali and Cologne, Germany. I'm more of a fan for his personal portraiture work that brings an organic and sensual feel to his images.

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You can find more of his work on Instagram

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If you have any interesting article or recommendation to share with us, please let us know here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Chester Ng

Chester Ng is a portrait and lifestyle/fashion photographer from Manila, Philippines. He wants to be a filmmaker and he can eat a Big Mac in 2 bites!

What is your most favorite photo that you’ve taken and why?

I took this photo 3 years ago. I was just starting photography, and to this day, I’m still in love with this image. In ballet terms, I think this is called the firebird leap. This was shot at an empty lot at the side of a building. I’ll admit, this was sort of a lucky shot. But ultimately, I think this has been my favorite. It’s a mix of the gracefulness of ballet, the urban/modern feel of her wardrobe, the way her arms rest off the side as she leaps and her hair keeps up as her head tilts back, the pain of kneeling on hard soil and little sharp rocks piercing through my knees under the hot Manila sun as I tried to get this shot, and finally, the joy of seeing this shot finally coming through the LCD screen of my camera.

What inspires you in doing your photography?

Anything, really. Sometimes I would see a location (usually with a good window light), or a model then a certain idea instantly pops up. Sometimes, a song will inspire me and give a certain mood for a shoot I want to do, or even a photo from another photographer that makes me want to do something like it or makes me say “why didn’t I think of that?” But really, it’s the people who appreciates my work that inspires me.

The critiques (good and bad) that I get from people who are much more experienced that I am, help a lot. Even the ones who bring me down, those naysayers, they light up some sort of fire inside me. But also, it’s the community. You get to meet new people and make friends, who can help you in your works and vice versa. You can also teach and learn from the people you meet.

Of course, not everyone will like you or get along with you, but it’s just a part of the dynamic. The entirety of it all and the experiences you go through as a photographer is amazing. It really inspires me and it’s what keeps me going.

How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?

Usually, I would look up  for “inspirations” on the web or a shoot that has been done with the same concept or something close to it. Then I try to study it, ‘how was it done?’, ‘why it was done a certain way?’, put it all in a mood board (in an album, folder, Pinterest, etc.) then I try to get the idea behind it and hopefully I’d end up with something of my own.

For my gear, I make sure everything on my cards are backed up and all the batteries are charged. And make sure you have extra cards and extra batteries and few extra shirts as well! You’ll never know when you might need it.

What is your one tip/tool/mantra when you’re shooting or creating work?

Be professional but also have fun. Get your subjects to trust you and make them feel comfortable. The last thing you want in a shoot is some hostile vibe. Making sure that the people you’re gonna be working with is comfortable with you is very important. Especially if you’re working with them for the first time. If the subject trusts you and is comfortable working with you then most probably everything is gonna go well.

What is your signature style?

I'm not sure what my signature style is, but I think I do have a certain look to my photos. I know this because people start telling me that they know it’s my photo based on the look and vibe. And maybe the way I edit because I pull a lot of inspiration from photographers that I look up to, I’m sure that plays a big role too.

Any songs that sets the mood with when you’re shooting?

Yeah, I really like listening to Calvin Harris during shoots, also a little bit of Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. I like putting on chill music too, they usually have a playlist set on Spotify. Or jazz, sometimes, when I’m editing. But lately, I really like listening to Khalid.

What is ultimate goal in your photography?

Well, I haven’t really thought about that. I don't know, but I do have a lot of things that I have yet to check off my photographer’s bucket list. Like getting to be part of an exhibition, or shooting ad campaigns for the more famous brands, both locally and internationally, and I’d really like to help out others, those who are just starting out, just basic stuff, just to get to know the ropes. 

What is your advice to other photographers?

Just keep shooting. That’s really all you need to do. You get better and better every time. Don’t try to be a know-it-all because you don’t know who you might be talking to. They might be smiling and nodding to whatever you’re saying but really, they just want you to shut up. Take all the criticism in. Take it all in. Analyze what they had to say and why they said it. Look up other photographers, especially the legends. They had to work with film. Our generation works digitally. We are spoiled by the digital age, might as well make the most out of it. All the information we need is on our smartphones. We can get information about anything and everything in just a few clicks. Watch movies, listen to music, look at paintings, or even stare blankly into a wall. Anything that will draw inspiration to you and try setting the bar higher after every shoot to challenge yourself. Sometimes a little alcohol helps too. Get lost in it. Photography, not alcohol.

You can find more of Chester's work on Facebook and Instagram

He is also on Twitter, Tumblr and Vimeo

 

Updates

First of all, I want to say thank you for supporting We Shoot Souls.

Moving forward, I decided to make some changes regarding the content and these changes would benefit you as photographers.

1. The Favourite Five feature will be no more. You can still check them in the 'archives' section.

2. The interviews will be shorter, and focusing more on the process and tips by photographers.

3. The features will stay, since it's been a popular piece for We Shoot Souls.

4. There will be a weekly digest, mainly focusing on photography-related articles, photographers that I've been checking out lately, recent posts hat you've might missed on etc.

Plus, few other subtle changes in the future. I also love to hear from your feedback on how I can improve We Shoot Souls.

Thanks again!

Ezra