Engaging Street Portraits – Workshop

In conjunction with the 10th Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards 2018 exhibition in KL (8 – 17 September 2018) I will be hosting a ‘walkabout’ practice session in photographing strangers we meet on the street.

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Many people find taking pictures of strangers difficult, and so they end up photographing from a distance or the backs of them. We will practice how to engage strangers and capture their portraits, with their consent mostly.

This is a totally ‘free to join’ session for 2 – 3 hours, where you will practice approaching strangers and making engaging portraits, and having fun at the same time.

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Who is this for?

Anyone who appreciates the challenges and reward of street photography and making portraits that communicate with the audience.

Skill level

You must be well versed in using your camera and its exposure settings. This will not be a tutorial on camera settings and functions, just taking great portraits. Do not let the camera controls hinder your picture taking. Carry a camera and one lens, preferably 50mm or 85mm. Avoid long zooms. It should be an enjoyable experience.

Group size & Registration

10 maximum. Free to join. Advance registration required.

Email : steven@klphotoawards.com

Date and Time

11.00 am to 2:00 pm  |  Saturday 15 September, 2018

Meeting Point

KL city centre – to be confirmed


 

Steven Lee is the founder director of Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards.

He began his photographic career as a documentary, travel and fashion photographer in the late 90’s when began writing travel related articles for magazines and journals. In 2000, he published his first coffee-table book titled Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, which received the Asian Prize at PhotoCity Sagamihara Festival of the Image, Japan in 2007.

In 2007 he published his second coffee-table book MALAYSIANS, with 500 faces of diverse Malaysians.  In 2008, he released MUSEO, comprising a collection of black & white abstract studies of antiquities, statuary, and architecture photographed in Europe from 2001 – 2005 is now available as a print-on-demand publication. Steven released LUMINA in 2011 his fourth book.

In 2009, Steven initiated the KUALA LUMPUR INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS, an annual international portrait photography competition centred in Malaysia, focussing on the best in contemporary portrait photography and has attracted the participation of some top international photographers. Steven continues to run photography educational workshops through EXPOSURE+ Photo Mentoring platform in Kuala Lumpur with other Malaysian photographers, and has been a portfolio reviewer and judge at international photo festivals and contests.

Steven ran classes on Documentary and Lifestyle / Street photography at City Academy, London from 2014-2016 and his latest initiative was organising the first PhotoSymposium Asia in 2017 and 2018.

www.stevenleephotography.com

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Merry Crimbo!

Wishing everyone a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

With a little over a week till Christmas, and soon 2016 comes to an end,  I look forward to another awesome year ahead to new projects, new friends and more personal photography projects.

Coming straight up, in February – KLPA2017 will be launched with a brand new and exciting theme. In May, we will hosting the first ever Photography Symposium Asia in Kuala Lumpur, promising a great line up of presenters and focusing on Education and Opportunities.

2017, also sees the second phase of the Two Mountains Photo Project taking shape. Six photographers from Japan and Malaysia have been commissioned to photograph stories surrounding the mythology, socio dynamics and natural aspects of Mount Fuji and Mount Kinabalu.

KL-Ga was also launched this year and we continue with this photoblog for 2017. We have already seen some great single images and stories about the city, as we take on new photographers.

In the pipeline also  – is a personal project centred around the printed image and more details will follow.

Happy Holidays!

Steven

 

Heavenly bodies

Depictions of Kuan Yin, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Time to depart Kuala Lumpur after a short visit to oversee the judging of KLPA2016. What an intense week focussing on portrait photography, discussions about ethics and integrity – the unfolding McCurry saga, and great plans in the near future for photography in KL.

I can’t wait to announce the shortlisted finalists, and once all the backroom validations etc have been done, I will do so. Meanwhile, there are exhibitions and events to plan, and the groundwork for a new KL project has started following my announcement on 6 May. This new and exciting project will involve KL photographers and will begin a new chapter in visual mapping and documentation, illuminated by the myriad lights of the city.

Photo books, Galore!

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Self-published photography books are all the rave at the moment in the photography world. Although photo books have been around, the advent of print-on-demand online services allowed the cost-conscious photographer to order single or multiple copies at very low costs, where before, the creation of photography books had to go through the usual route of seeking a publisher, raising the necessary funds as well, to stocking and retailing. Wedding photographers today never had it so good. Only five to ten years ago, producing one-off wedding albums for clients were either DIY scrap-book material or prohibitively costly industry printed glossy affairs.

Today, many specialist printers are springing up to offer low run orders strictly geared towards the enthusiast photographer with a portfolio or two to show, and the design tools are becoming extremely sophisticated.

In October, along with the other mentors on the KLPA Exposure+ Photo Project Mentoring Program,  and our participants attended the second IPA Photo Books Show in Singapore organised by Kevin WY Lee of Invisible Photographer Asia. It was timely as the participants duly completed their 3 month-based photo projects earlier in June, and had further time to develop and design their photo books to coincide with this event. Not knowing what to expect, they were all geared up to self-promote their publications with great enthusiasm.

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The event was hosted by the National Museum of Singapore and stretched out for two whole days of the weekend, with Saturday morning allocated for setting up our ‘Malaysian’ stand.  The day was interspersed with several book launches and talks at regular intervals with the public mingling and browsing rows and rows of photography books from many different genres. There were at least 200+ titles available for viewing, and many of the photographers were present also. For this event, the organiser called in books from SE Asia so there were publications and mock-ups from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and also Japan.

Also launching at the event was Kevin WY Lee’s instalment of the TwentyFifiteen.sg photo book initiative by Platform titled Bay of Dreams. More about this project in the link.

The weekend generated much publicity for our participants, who also had the opportunity to ‘plug’ their own books to the gathered public on the rostrum, and this is a great way to bring identity and visibility and also confidence to the photographer, as often is the case, ‘the artist is the art, and the photograph is the commemorative’.

As the weekend came to a close, Kevin indicated that this second Photo Books Show generated sales of about SGD$20,000 and attracted  1,200 visitors. There were also 15 new book launches over the weekend and much publicity was generated online. For our contingent, everyone went home satisfied and pumped up, each with several sales of their ‘first’ book under their belt, and many new friends made. The event opened our eyes to the growing interest in self-published books, especially in Asia, and that sales can be a reality, if you have a genuine and interesting series of photographic works to be printed into a book. Definitely back for more next year. On a more personal scale, photography books also help photographers focus more on their projects in definite ways, in terms of editing and presentation, allowing serious in-depth thought, through the development and progression of their creative processes.

I would like to extend our thanks to IPA and the Platform bunch for inviting us to the event. We hope for a bigger event next year.

More here on the IPA website and more on EXPOSURE+ here.

Addendum

Still on the subject of photography books, I had the honour of meeting Fabrice Wagner who runs Le Caillou Bleu – a specialist fine art publisher based in Brussels, recently at the Mt Rokko International Photography Festival, in Kobe, Japan. Do check out his online catalog of some fine collectable books by emerging and established photographers. I came away from this festival with several self-published photobooks presented to me by the photographers I reviewed. The most amazing little photobook one could ever receive was from Miki Hasegawa, titled Jewels, a handmade ‘accordion’ style book, no more than 3 inches square, with pastel images of  photographs about her home taken from a child’s eye level of her daughter. Simply gorgeous.

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