Interview #11 - Shaun See


Shaun See is a photographer from Malaysia. His field of interest are portraits and capturing the lifestyle of any place that he goes to. His experience staying in London has broadened his vision and purpose in capturing images.

You can find more of Shaun's work on his website, Facebook and Instagram

Introduce yourself

Where do I begin? I’m Shaun aka shaunzsee. I'm 23 and Malaysian. I love my coffee, sneakers and travels

What’s happening lately?

I’m working in NomNom Media. We’re not very well known until we mention Nuffnang & ChurpChurp. Also, I’m in this phase where I photograph less but think more. 

What draws you into photography?

I love capturing the essence of an emotion but I’m a terrible with a brush. So it seems photography is my only freedom of expression. 

What attracts you into shooting portraits?

I love meeting people. It’s another way to get in touch with people instead of sitting down at a mamak stall or mingling at an event. Besides, it’s inspiring by getting to know what’s behind the mask of someone and revealing it through photography.

(Ed: Mamak is a street eating stall or restaurant in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia)

What was your first shoot like? 

I had no idea what I was doing.

How does the environment (the place you live at) influence the way you shoot?

I’ve been shooting in KL for a couple of years now. But the scene in the UK has heavily influenced me, especially London. It’s a 10 million-stronghold metropolis and the exposure you get from this just transforms the way you look at things. Instead of looking at one or two angles in creating, you get multiple point-of-views. 

What is the photography scene like over there? Is it welcoming, competitive or intimidating?

It’s a little of both – welcoming and intimidating. You just hook up on the Internet to see what kind of work that artists produce in the UK and it’s stunning. But I find that motivating as well to keep pushing forward.

How do you prepare before doing a shoot?

Most people tend to follow mood boards or refer to other photographs similar to their aesthetic. I just go with a specific feeling.

Do you have specifics on models or subjects?

It all depends on whether we click well or not.  Apart from that, I’m very open.

Go through the process of doing the actual shoot?

It generally begins with an idea; it can either come from a sudden spark of inspiration or anything that I come across which captures my interest. I then ensure that stays in my head (I’m quite the forgetful lad) and let my imagination go wild. The rest is too vague.

Any works of other photographers that you follow?

Rich Stapleton, Vivian Maier and Adam Katz (@le21eme).

Do gears or camera apps matter to you in creating images?

I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t. Geeks can talk about all the specs that they want but it’s not the end all and be all. Ultimately, it’s how you master the art with whatever tools you have.

Are you earning enough as a photographer?

There’s a reason why I’m in management and marketing.

How much you think people will value your work?

Not many, really. But that’s okay. I don’t aim to please the majority.

Do you still enjoy shooting like before?

I struggle to wake up at 4.30am to hit the gym. I don’t find that happening when it’s a photo shoot. I think that speaks for itself.

How do you deal with the attention you get as a photographer?

It depends. It can be pretty annoying that people associate me in a particular stereotype. But there are times where it gets inspiring, especially if they’re genuine. Simply amazing!

What do you want out of photography?

I just want to express the channels of my imagination; and I want others to do the same as well. Many photographers try too hard in becoming someone else.

What current music are you listening to?

Magnets (feat. Lorde) by Disclosure

If you’re not shooting, what do you do to wind down or relax?

Cupping (coffee-tasting), working out at the gym, socialising with my beloved friends and putting on clothes. I’m not very fashionable myself but I enjoy the overall process. 

Do you enjoy the process of shooting or just the end results?

Both. It’s not just about the destination, the journey itself is beautiful.

Final words

Embrace the inner you.