Aligning his shooting stars
TFCS Photography Mentor Eddie Teo shares his experience of working with clients from diverse industries, from celebrities and their four-legged furry friends, to interiors.
Eddie has shot Singaporean celebrity couple Darren Lim and Evelyn Tan when the couple decided to take their children sailing with them to see the world.
With a passion for creating images, TFCS Photography Mentor Eddie realised early on in his career that learning the ropes by assisting and working alongside the industry’s best is a sure-fire way to building a credible portfolio of his own.
This engineering graduate-turned-lensman started his career with freelancing and assisting some of the industry’s top photographers before deciding to take the leap into running his own photo studio. Managing his own photo studio presents constant challenges, and Eddie takes it in his stride by remaining flexible and thinking on his feet to address his clients’ requirements. These are the very qualities that make him a great collaborator with companies including MediaCorp, SPH and NTUC FairPrice to name a few. He has also worked with celebrities on editorial shoots including Jesseca Liu, Michelle Chong, Paige Chua, Pierre Png, and more.
When your client is rushing a deadline, and you’re trying to nail the shoot within a very short period, that’s when the work gets exciting.
TFCS: Could you share with us a little on your background?
Eddie: I have been a professional photographer for about seven years. I started off freelancing for two years, became an assistant for about three years before starting my own studio.
TFCS: What ignited your passion for photography?
Eddie: It was during my engineering studies when I picked up photography as a hobby. I started researching on editorial shoots and experimented with shooting different subjects. I shot for a few magazines including Epicure, Japanese magazine NTH, TV ads, M and 赞(Zan).
TFCS: As a self-taught photographer, did you find there were many challenges you had to overcome while trying to find your feet?
Eddie: Time is usually a constraint, as clients may be on a tight timeline and give you that little amount of time to achieve what they need. So you have to make use of all your skills and knowledge to nail the shoot within that small window. That’s what makes the work challenging.
TFCS: What is the most satisfying element of being a professional photographer and working for yourself?
Eddie: The upside of working for myself is that it’s self-sustaining and gives me the opportunity to work with some great clients. At the same time, it also means I have to proactively create a steady stream of work by meeting potential clients, such as advertising agencies.
TFCS: Where do you turn to for creative inspiration?
Eddie: For me, inspiration comes from observing works from famous photographers, designers and stylists on several websites. If there is a specific theme or look and feel for a shoot, I would research local and overseas magazines for visual references. Another way to research is to go on the streets or stores to look at how products and collections are presented.
TFCS: Which type of subjects poses more challenges?
Eddie: In general, artistes are easier to photograph as they are professionals. Some are more particular about their angles so it’s important to take time to communicate with them to find out their preferences. On the other hand, real people are more reserved and tend to be a bit stiff in front of the camera, and may need a bit more time to warm up to the camera.
TFCS: What advice would you give to someone who wants to turn photography into a career?
Eddie: Start early and shoot as many different subjects if you can. You may feel demoralised at times, but try to learn fast. Most importantly, keep looking out for opportunities where you can stretch your creativity.
Follow Eddie on Instagram @eddieteophotography and check out more of his work @TheFashionCollectiveSG. Keen to come on board and start building your portfolio, or interested in collaborating with us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep looking out for opportunities where you can stretch your creativity.