PEOPLE • AUG 2015
During my research in Instagram of exciting things to do in New York, I chanced upon Rudolf's profile and so my first portrait shoot over at this exciting, new playground was arranged. Naturally, the backdrop features one the top destination in my off-the-tourist-map spots list - this really cool underground metro station on 9th street. And we also threw in a visit to the High Line Park to take advantage of a sunny summer afternoon.
The minimalist movement has taken over Instagram by storm. A huge group of ardent believers are dedicating their effort to producing sets after sets of clean, uncluttered, almost OCD-like images that celebrates the simplicity of life around us.
This is a movement that I have just recently picked up myself, and while Turkey, with its cacophony of mess, is most certainly not the best place to start, it was nevertheless a fun experience attempting to intepret my surrounding in a whole new way.
Many things can happen over a cup of tea.
Perhaps the most compelling question of the night is why has a photographer allowed the tragic reality of having not even one proper portrait album of himself after almost a decade of portrait shoots. I hereby dedicate People 100 to myself, the one person who have diligently stayed behind the lens as others walk away with albums after albums of memories.
This album will be continuously updated until I reached the final objective of, yes, 100 satisfactory published selfie shots.
My twelfth trip to the city of angels, and I'm not sure why I'm still counting anymore. The agenda has seen some much-needed refresh, with the last few being the need to check out the latest list of hipster cafes in town.
HeartAbode v3.0 has not seen as much giggles as this fun-filled morning in March 2015.
The grandeur that is the Angkor Architectural park, spanning a few hundreds of square kilometers, is perhaps only matched in scale by the brutality of the Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 1970's that wiped out one fourth of the country's population. And thus the perfect contrast of Cambodia's rich history is presented.
A little sneak peek into the atmospheric christmas season over in this part of the world.
A coincidental acquaintance with Mr Chueamueangphan brought us People 111.
And the infatuation continues.
Gene becomes this unsuspecting victim for a Heartpatrick studio shoot try out.
My eleventh trip to Bangkok, but who really is counting? Yet I have found another slice of the city life to experience, this time in the form of chic hostels and artsy cafes. And so the pull of the city of angels continues.
Heartpatrick proudly launches Heartifacts, a product line-up of handmade, heartfelt industrial vintage furniture pieces that are destined to be the centerpiece of any matching interiors.
An unsuspecting neighbour's adorable toddler became the target of Heartpatrick's attention on a boring afternoon at home.
I wasn't sure when exactly Saigon joined this whole industrial vintage cafe rush but it couldn't have been more than 3 years ago when I last left the city feeling accomplished for having spent a quiet afternoon being seen in Highlands Coffee. With its abundance of old buildings and vintage ware (some still in use), I suppose it is not hard at all to get something going, and I'm certainly delighted to have found a string of charming cafes dotting the entire District 1 area.
Kids! Shooting them is one-half pain, and one-half joy. These stills are in done conjunction with the TVC of a children milk powder brand, truly an experience that I absolutely enjoyed.
Special thanks to Charles for entrusting Mum and I with his 4-month-old fur kid for a few days. We have enjoyed every single minute of the company of this sweet bundle of joy. Now the space below the spiral staircase where Ho Lok's puppy house was set up is now a permanent void, perhaps waiting to be filled up again by a more permanent new member of the family that we can finally call our own. :">
A census from year 2011 puts the number of Nepalese workers in Malaysia at 400000, yet many times this quiet, unassuming group of labourers and general workers in the service industry remains but just some nameless faces, a mere backdrop in our bustling urban life.
In this journey deep into the homeland of our Nepalese friends, we stayed away from the beaten tracks of the usual tourists and ventured into the local neighbourhoods instead to experience the street scenes, uncovering a group of warm and friendly folks, who, just like us, have dreams and aspirations, and with loved ones who too left the country in pursue of a better future.
The next time you come in contact with a Nepalese, try a local greeting that is close to his heart. While that may not necessarily nurse his aching longing for home, at least you have reminded him of the purpose of his hard work here.
The search for the next playground for Heartpatrick took two years, but the pleasant discovery of this quaint little low-density and low-rise property at Centrio Pantai Hillpark is worth every single day of it. It's been awhile since I last came across a place that excites me this much, and to be actually waking up to a place that I have spent one full year researching for, and three months renovating, surreal is an understatement.
What started as a practise session for an upcoming studio shoot has churned out results more interesting then what I have expected, so here goes. :">
The search for that perfect gym for a long-pending shoot finally ended with the discovery of The War3house, this rough and tough outlet built out of a former warehouse in Subang Jaya. And there won't be any better model to grace this charming backdrop other than the super committed Chris Wu himself.
Special thanks to the friendly folks behind The War3house for the permission to use this venue.
PEOPLE • JUL 2015
It's a fun afternoon over at Futagoza Studio for a shoot with my beloved Fitness First Menara Manulife Bodyjam gang. After having jammed together for what feels like the last decade, it's refreshing to see each other in anything but gym wear and posing not for the mirror in the studio, but for the camera.
PEOPLE • JUL 2015
Been awhile since my last female portrait, but Lee Sin is simply one of those fresh young faces that you cannot say no to. And for a self-declared "cafe rat", there is no better place to shoot her than in the company of one of her favourite cafes in town.
Thank you Awesome Canteen and Prologue in Petaling Jaya for the opportunity to use your beautiful space.
URBAN HERITAGE • JUL 2015
As the fading trades lose in limelight to new hipster cafes, chic homestays and other artsy establishments, the revival of the Jonker neighbourhood marches on as I start a second set on one of my favourite Malaysian cities.
SPACES • JUN 2015
Having established himself well in the interior design space for commercial projects, Joe certainly got a head start in his first foray into the f&b industry. Stubborn Joe's interior is a marriage of the aesthetics of vintage materials and furniture items, and the functionality of a well-designed space.
TRAVEL • MAY 2015
Turkey sets me off at a part of the world that is until now been alien to me. While I'm used to identifying a travel experience based on the association to very distinct cultural elements of a country, here's one place that can be pretty confusing when it comes to that.
Sights of women dressed in black abayas are common amongst their modern counterparts sporting the latest European fashion trends. Echoes of prayers from nearby mosques chime in to the latest Western pop culture-influenced music from bars and trendy cafes in town. Our intepretation of Turkey seems to take on different sides as we traverse from one street to the next, and from one neighbourhood to the others.
This charming crossroad of the East and the West, our journey has just begun.
In between admiring the handsome copper piping pendant structure looming above you and admiring the beautiful brunch presentation, I'm finally unsure of which one to give more attention to. Rocket Coffee Bar is this bright, airy, and modern space that makes every Instagrammer's dream come true.
People 114 is a relaunch of the Heartpatrick portraits series into the realms of artistic nudes, fueled by the inspiration gained from the string of liberalised tumblr users. It helps too that I've got Joseph as the model to reboot this style, a super accommodative and sporting model that every photographer would have no trouble working with.
It's fun to be exploring new themes again. Dunno what took me so long to play with mirrors, but this is definitely just the beginning.
Been awhile since my last full-fledged traditional Indian wedding, complete with all the elaborate traditional custom and practises in the Sri Sakthi Easwari Indian temple in Petaling Jaya, so am truly excited to be covering this beautiful day for my client
The eastern block of Europe has until now remained as this forgotten, faraway place that I have continuously put at the end of my long list of to-explore priorities, with Asian cities dominating most of it, but a recent work assignment brought me right to the heart of it.
And so the sights of glitzy modern Europe give way to a scene that exudes this special kind of modest old-school charm that borders on neglect and dilapidation. Somehow the careless graffiti, cracked pavements and rattling trams form the perfect compliment to the rich history of the city. It's the kinda beauty that you tend to appreciate more after having spent time rubbing through the smut.
The Happy Mansion Apartment blocks in Seksyen 17 has been in my to-shoot list for awhile. Today I checked that off in the company of a sweet couple in this themed shoot done in commemoration of a recent heart-breaking event.
Collab for gospel singer Carmen Sarah Chung for her second gospel music album, slated for release this Oct. My possibly sixth portrait album in the charming labyrinthine landscape of Centrio, and I'm still finding angles and spots that I have not explored. :">
Pilates on a sweet, sun-kissed morning in the quiet enclave of the Embassy Row in Jalan Ampang. This recently opened studio seems right on track.
Tying together a few loose ends of places that I've always wanted to explore.
Cut short my Bangkok trip to fly in to Singapore to cover this luncheon wedding reception for a small group of well-wishers who came together at Flutes at the National Museum, for the wedding reception of Richard and Vivien. But It was all worth it to be in the embrace of happy people whose memories of the blessed day will be forever sealed thank to this coverage.
This marvellously muhibbah market is the perfect place for beginners to practise their street photography skills.
The pleasant nostalgic warmth of The Majestic Hotel demands no less than an executive look of which Kempes pulled off effortlessly. Been awhile since I dress my model this way, but it's always refreshing to redo a set that is simple and clean.
Finally, after shooting for almost a decade, I've got my first official set of studio lighting, and I couldn't understand now what took me so long. So here's a set done with that single light source.
Never thought that this day will come, but it looks like I'm finally staring at the end of my double-digit running number for my people series.
Can't help but retrace the journey so far, those wonderful models that I've met along the way, these are the beautiful people to whom I owe the deepest gratitude for giving me the opportunity to grow and to experiment.
I guess I have always ponder what the future may bring, but regardless, the past seven years has been one hell of a joyride.
Thank you all for your love and support. :">
And so, a proper portrait shoot against the freshly renovated interiors of HeartAbode v3.0 is born, in this second collaboration with Justin Wong.
SPACES • AUG 2015
Kicking off an engagement for the string of The Morning After chain of cafes is the coverage of this relatively new outlet at Oasis Square. Am definitely looking forward to spending some good quality time at the other TMA locations. :">
So three years have passed since my last prewedding assignment in Melaka and this pretty happy couple is all it takes to reignite another round of passionate recollection of my beloved heritage town as we brave our way through the throngs of weekend crowd from the Stadthuys to Riverwalk to Jonker.
PEOPLE • JUL 2015
Wallace operates a pet shop and hotel and dropped by one afternoon to pick Gizelle the cute little toy poodle up. And so the art direction for this follow-up shoot was set. I have always wanted to marry the pet theme with my male portraits series, but while my original intention was more for a studio-like approach, this album is definitely one of those accidental theme that turns out to be pretty share-worthy as well.
SPACES • JUN 2015
Clean and minimalist is this sun-kissed space that works marvellously for any OCD instagrammers and incidentally serves great matcha latte and aglio olio pasta too!
TRAVEL • MAY 2015
As the camera and image quality of photos shot on smartphones improve over the years, I'm finding more and more occasions during my trips where I have reached out for my phone for those photogenic moments rather than my SLR. And what a waste it would be to just have the shots be kept in the camera roll of my phone instead of in my portfolio. So here goes. :">
Dawei is a freelance fitness instructor and an aspiring song-writer, but this weekend morning in April, he really is this quiet, contemplative self waking up to the silent warmth of the sun.
Three years since our first collab, Seamus is back, spotting a cool new refreshed look and a set of fresh tattoos for our second album together, this time set against the backdrop of an excellent array of artwork and vintage goods at ARTfordable Gallery, Damansara Uptown, Kuala Lumpur.
Monologue is a celebration of the clean space minimalist movement that somehow has escaped me until now. Got a studio rented for this high-key studio shoot, quite a rare effort in my line-up of the People series, but I'm truly happy that for once I'm making baby steps forward to recreate some new mood and composition styles as a departure from the earlier work that is frankly beginning to smell a little stale. .
As the dust settles on the renovation work, here's a collection of photos showcasing the transformation of the HeartAbode space from the standard modern look into the vintage industrial space that is now used as the backdrop for many of the recent portrait shoots done here.
Once in awhile, a family portrait assignment comes along to break the monotony and to remind me that girls and their thing for flowers are built right into their DNA.
The collaboration with the team behind Butter and Beans continues with their latest venture - Feeka along the charming Jalan Mesui.
The exploration of the matcha country continues with Kansai region.
Sweet and emotionally-charged, this set of memories are peppered with laughters and sobs of joy that will be cherished for many decades to come. Conducted entirely within the charming compound of the beautiful Macalister Mansion in Penang.
In remembrance of the loved ones who left us behind, and of the last leg of their journey that we accompanied them for.
Nine sounds like the number of pax in a group portrait project that is bordering on havoc but this gang works like a charm with the kind of chemistry only life-lo ng besties could identify with. I could do this again any day! :">
I'm increasingly interested to consider this charming town as the place to retire in. :">
The only lines between gluttony and lust are those formed by the gentle curves of a human body. Welcome to the next installment of Heartpatrick's food fetish theme, now featuring a local item common to the Malaysian's rich tapestry of food culture.
One of the most vivid experience of a recent short weekend getaway to Ipoh was the discovery of Waller Courts, a collection of low-cost flats built in the 1960s of which remaining residents are mostly a handful of senior folks still quietly going about their daily lives. If you have an old folk waiting for you somewhere, it's time to go home.
This album is special, not just because it's the first wedding album of the year 2014, but italso marks Heartpatrick's reboot into the wedding photography market after a well-deserved energising break, and what better way to kick this off than a full-fledged romantic and beautiful wedding on the beach in the charming setting of the Andaman, Langkawi.
GODS & GHATS VIDEO COMPILATION (INDIA: KOLKATA/ BODHGAYA/ VARANASI)
Varanasi has always been on the top of my to-do list for India, and I'm glad that I'm able to now check that off in the company of my beloved travel mates. I have also successfully kept the video-taking momentum going throughout most part of the trip to have enough footages to compile these short clips as a compliment to the album that will come next. :">
The grand trip of the year brings us back to the embrace of India where we embarked on a spiritual trip to the heart of Mother Ganga. In between navigating around generous lumps of cow dungs and the throngs of eager pilgrims and other locals alike, enlightenment is perhaps a blink of an eye away. Life begins and ends at the gentle sloping ghats along the banks.