Interview #13 - Fitty Sense
I constantly try to look for new photographers, not just to add content for the site but to understand a certain aesthetic of their work. I find FittySense’s images fascinating because his work encapsulates a modern Singapore - the buildings, night life, lifestyle and the subjects. I’m glad to have him spend time for the interview despite his busy schedule.
Give a little description about yourself?
FittySense came about because I started shooting with a 50mm lens and I was trying to make sense of it. Outside of Instagram, I’m known as Khairulazmas and I am a freelance photographer from Singapore. My dad is half Indian and half Chinese while my mum is Malay so you could say that I’m multi-racial. Oh, and I just turned 31 years old.
What made you started taking pictures?
What attracts you into shooting portraits?
After shooting landscapes for a bit, I realized that I enjoy shooting people more because I love meeting new people and listening to their stories.
I’m not that familiar with the photography scene in Singapore. Maybe you can tell me about it?
The photography scene, especially the ones who are on Instagram, are mainly made up of street photographers and iPhoneographers.
How strong is the community of photographers over there?
It’s not as strong as compared to Indonesia or Malaysia but it’s growing quite rapidly recently.
Has living in Singapore influenced the way you shoot?
Yes. Being surrounded by tall buildings makes me appreciate architecture a lot more and I pay attention to details, especially on ceilings.
Do you remember your first ever shoot?
My first ever shoot with a model was with Janelle Jaw. She’s the coolest.
It seems to me that you shoot almost everyday.
Yes, I shoot everyday.
What are you exploring or seeking around the places that you go to?
Lights, interesting ceilings and nice backdrops for when I have a model to shoot.
What elements in the streets that fascinate you?
I love neon lights, billboards and signboards.
Do you favour shooting in daylight or night time?
Night time, definitely.
How do you choose your subjects for your photos?
I like introducing new faces to the scene so I scout for them, preferably someone with a good fashion sense or distinctive facial features.
How do you prepare before a shoot?
I’ll search for images on the web suitable for the theme of my shoot that day and get my insulated bottle of Iced Ribena ready.
Take me to the process of doing the shoot on the day?
I usually start shooting from 5 or 6pm, just before the sun sets because I don’t like shooting when it’s too bright and warm. I would have briefed the model on what to wear and what kind of theme I’m going for by then. I might even grab dinner with the model before that. Batteries all charged definitely.
What’s your favourite place to shoot in Singapore?
Favourite place to shoot right now is Coney Island because it’s newly opened.
You have this signature bluish tone on your photos. Is it intentional or does it describe the mood you want to portray?
Yes, it is intentional. Because I love the colour blue and I want people to see an image and instantly know I took it just from the edit. I’m glad you noticed it though.
Do you feel other photographers always check out your work?
I think so. I do get other photographers sending me DMs on a daily basis, asking me about my workflow and tips.
I read somewhere that you feel others buy their Instagram followers. What’s your opinion on that?
Yeah, I saw a ridiculous spike in followers on some accounts and I think it’s disgusting that people have to resort to that to get attention. Hopefully, Instagram will do another purge so we can see who the culprits are.
Do you feel that Instagram likes matter to you?
I think it does in some way. Because it’s nice to know that people appreciate your work. Although, I appreciate comments more than likes.
What do you expect when people see your work?
I expect them to feel something when they look at my work. If I could portray an emotion without writing a caption, that would be ideal.
Any photographers that you follow or inspire you?
People who inspire me are @trashhand, @_adli, and recently @blvnkminds. @blvnkminds is really an underrated photographer in my opinion. His photo editing is amazing. He’s very humble about it too!
Are you earning enough as a photographer?
Not as much as I want to at the moment but it’s picking up.
Any music that you listen to lately or movies that you see or books that you read?
Listening to The Weeknd inspires me. It also influences my shooting style. My all time favourite is “Wicked Games”
What’s your next project?
My next project is to organise another Instameet some time this year.
What’s your future plans?
To make more money from shooting and fly to New York City already.
You have a streetwear brand called yungazzkillaz. How did that happen?
It started off as a passionate project because I was bored in the office and I really liked brands like Stampd and DopeChef. And since the Singapore streetwear scene isn’t really that prominent, I decided to start my own.
How did you incorporate your brand to your photography?
It wasn’t in the plan initially but it just happened. Because I started shooting more and mixing with like-minded individuals who are also into photography and streetwear, that was when I knew I had to incorporate both together.
Any last words?
Someone once said to me that my online persona can be seen as cocky and arrogant but I’m just self-assured really. If you have the chance to hang out with me, you’ll find out that I’m just a chilled-out guy