DELEGATE: Tell us more about yourself!
Everyone knows me by my middle name, KAI. Through the incessant support of my father when I was in my teens, I developed deep rich affections for portrait & wedding photography. For 10 years, I apprenticed with three different Masters of PRACTICAL wedding day photography, hence, my approach is technically direct and engaging, i.e. Reportage styling. This is a very crucial ingredient for my photography work.
I am a travelling wedding photographer who frequents neighbouring countries to document the traditional wedding day celebrations of different cultures. Although my current medium is digital photography; I reckon I may be one of a remaining handful of active photographers who are still able to carry out a full day customary wedding day assignment based solely on 35mm film.
D: What is the vision/mission for your company?
I specialise in exclusive private weddings and events, that are intimately smaller than common mass market ones. My vision for Kalyedoscope is to broaden the brand’s reach to higher society platforms through collaborations with various exclusive partners.
From the arts and cultural perspective, my mission is also to further enrich our wedding and festivities portfolio across this region (and hopefully European continents, in the very near future) through collaborations with more overseas establishments; be it a modern celebration at a fancy hotel in Singapore to a village up in the mountain countryside of Thailand or Vietnam.
D: How did you start your business? What were some adversities when you first started out?
I began learning wedding day photography, on 35mm film, since I was 19 years old, hence, it was natural I began my full-time wedding photography career, after 10 years of apprenticeship.
Brand recognition was the most important for me, as back in 2001, there were so many creditable wedding masters. Customers only trusted those who owned a proper business realty, while payment collections were an unremitting bother. The hardest was when a few different brides insisted on reserving my presence on their wedding day (because they were impressed with my photography works), and I had to make the difficult choice of accepting only the most desirable bride.
D: Any trade secrets you can reveal?
I have an extremely unshakable, deep affection for documenting wedding days of different cultures and this is the sole driving dynamism that kept me going for so many years.
One has to love what weddings bring to our inner hearts and emotions, in order to enjoy longevity in this business. When my customers are happy and enjoying what my presence brings to their weddings or private events, my work is fulfilled.
D: Most memorable experience since starting your business?
Back in the mid-2000s, a 4-day wedding (in Singapore and Bintan island) of the daughter of a Korean electronic giant company. She requested 35mm film photography for her wedding and I fired away almost 100 rolls of 35mm colour film.
D: What is one thing you would like customers to know about your company?
Kalyedoscope is about relationships we establish with our customers to fulfil the objectives of a proper and meaningful celebration, with memories our customers can take away with them.
D: What was your first job?
My first gig belonged to the wedding day of my manager of a fast food chain in which I worked part time. I fired away 25 rolls of colour film (36 exposures each) to the surprise of the bride. That was a very memorable first-time experience.
D: What aspects of your personality can we see in your work?
Witty, dynamic, adaptive and spontaneous.
D: What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I have been involved in wedding photography for more than 20 years, and shot countless pre-wedding and customary wedding day pictures. I am still waiting to have my very own wedding, too!
D: How would you describe your personal style?
My photography style presents the old school reportage journalism with hints of modern artistic approach.
D: What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
I am an audiophile who loves accompany of folk, jazz, and blues music over a cup of joe.
D: Which habits of yours have gotten you to where you are today?
Curiosity, self-improvement and taking the responsibility of seeing my tasks all the way through.
D: Any future plans in the pipeline?
I developed keen interests in documenting wedding traditions of other cultures as well as theatre plays of various countries and will continue to pursue these as I move towards a broader repertoire.
D: Who was your biggest influence when you were starting out?
Definitely my 師父 (master/tutor), Mr. Frederick Foo, who took me in as his apprentice to pass down his skills and philosophy of photography.
D: In your own words, starting your own business is…
Living a lifelong dream of being able to express myself through my photography and to carry on the skill sets taught by my 3 practical photography masters.
D: Top 3 things you would do with a friend who is visiting Singapore for the first time.
Take my friend to (a) eat at an authentic street hawker 肉骨茶, and Nonya Laksa and Nonya food, (b) visit Orchard Road during Christmas season, and (c) experience the local hip culture at Haji Lane area.
D: One quote you live by.
“Have Faith and make the first move for the better.”
D: Where else can we find you online?