If you’ve stumbled across my page - welcome! Considering this is my first post, I thought I’d dive deeper into story and sharing more about myself. I am a half white, half Malay woman living in Dallas, Texas. This year, I am taking on my third year of pursuing photography as my business. I was born and raised in Singapore around the Malay side of my family. I’ve always been exposed to my Malay roots and culture, I grew up surrounded by my cousins that I’m incredibly close to. My father passed away when I was 4 years old and my mother raised my brother and I as a single parent. Even though my dad wasn’t physically around, I always was reminded of his presence. He was always taking photos and recording home videos, so I grew up flipping through stacks of photo albums from the day I was born and rewatching our home videos on VHS tapes. My mom saved a box of my dad’s old electronics and when I was a child, I went through it and found several vintage cameras and I became obsessed with them. My love for photography grew from the moment I found that box.

I started bringing disposable cameras or our family camera at the time on school trips to capture all the little moments. I loved taking photos of my friends and my family. My mom got me a little purple digital camera and I kept it in my bag everywhere I went as a teenager. Being a Gen Z, I grew up chronically online. I drew my inspiration from endlessly scrolling through Tumblr and I loved seeing and embracing different styles and aesthetics. I started exploring different fashion styles to take photo of myself, and I started taking photos of trends I saw online and recreating them.

In 2014, my mom moved us halfway across the world to Houston, Texas. We left our friendly and our friends behind, everything we knew, and we began a new adventure together. I spent a lot of time alone and I made a friend when I started high school and she’s still one of my best friends today. Regardless, I still felt lonely and I needed an outlet for myself. I told my mom that I wanted a DSLR camera and she got me my very first one - a Cann T3i. I began taking lots of photos on my camera using he lenses provided in the kit. I started making Youtube videos for fun and slowly started to be more comfortable with my personality. I also brought my camera everywhere with me, like on a trip to England and a trip back home to Singapore. When I started making friends and connections in high school, I took senior photos for my friends, I took photos for my friends at our senior prom, and I embraced my talent by being involved in the yearbook and being the historian for a school club. I loved what I did and my camera was basically an extension of my arm.

When I left Houston and moved to Dallas for college, there was less time to pursue photography outside of my life. I was occupied with classes, I joined a sorority, and somewhere along the way my trusted Canon T3i stopped working and was left in the corner to collect dust. Life got in the way after some hard struggles, some losses, and I felt a loss of identity. I ended up getting a little Sony a5000 camera and did small shoots here and there for friends that graduated, but I never picked it up to pursue it creatively. During the pandemic, I was incredibly depressed. I went through an intense separation from my family and I needed to be financially independent as well as build my own identity. After being cooped up for months, I finally decided to get out the house and dust off my little mirrorless Sony camera and shoot for fun. I started to take my photography more seriously after deciding to drop out of school and focus on working full time. I chose to create this business and shoot on weekends to make a little extra money to move into a new apartment. I contacted close friends and asked if they would model for me and I ran around North Dallas taking photos of them. I was grateful to my friends who believed in me and liked my work enough to ask me to take their graduation photos. I began posting my work on Instagram and tried to post as consistently as possible. From the little money I made I was able to purchase a used Canon 5D Mark II with a 50mm 1.8 lens on Facebook Marketplace.

In 2021, I decided to launch my website and start investing in myself. I educated myself as best as I could about shooting in manual, learning to use Lightroom Classic, and using HoneyBook to organize my bookings and clients. Constantly educating myself was a big priority because things are always changing, whether it’s trends, algorithms, and fashion, I started to realize that I needed to embrace change and the best way to do that was to learn as much as possible. As a Taurus sun, change is hard for me so education helps make it easier. I watched endless Youtube videos, I read posts on Reddit, I signed up for Marina Williams’ Made to Make Patreon - all in the name of growing and finding my identity as a photographer. By 2023 I was so much more comfortable being behind the camera, and started to be comfortable being in front of the camera too. I learned how to take self portraits, taught my boyfriend the basics of operating my camera so he could take photos of me, and I started posting content on my TikTok. I was able to set attainable goals for myself to evolve, which led to really figuring out my editing style. I started to build a clientele through my following on Instagram and my amazing returning clients, who stuck with me through my entire journey. Hosting mini sessions was a great way for me to meet new people and was a low commitment opportunity for new clients to get to know me and my work. I began shooting in studios with my clients and embracing the beauty of working in a studio. I’ve continued to pursue and elevate my business all while maintaining my full-time job, which I’m so grateful for.

Now in 2023 I know I what niche I want to pursue and I want to actively take the steps to get there.. I hope to be pursuing photography full time soon so I can travel and work with more amazing people all over the country and the world. One day I hope to move to the Bay Area and open my own natural light studio, and be an inclusive space for all photographers to create, to learn, and to feel safe. Some of my goals for 2023 are: to host 4 successful mini sessions over the year, to shoot with clients in the cities I’m traveling to, to master shooting on film. My biggest advice to everyone who aspires to purse a career in photography is to just pick up the camera and shoot. text your friends or your family, ask them to model for you in exchange for free photos. There is a vast amount of resources available for free online on YouTube, on Instagram, and on TikTok. Being a part of the photography community has been a breath of fresh air when you realize it’s not a competition.. Each artist offers a different and unique experience that every other person, no one photographer is the same as the other. Don’t let the fear of thinking the community is over saturated or being new at it take over you, everyone has to start somewhere! I always encourage new photographers to engage with other photographers in their local communities and build those relationships with them because it leads to networking and great opportunities. I’m able to refer my clients to them in the event I’m not available or if I feel they are not my target audience. The more you grow, the higher you can set your prices with the quality of your work experience. So I hope this was a lovely introduction into my journey as a photographer. I hope to be able to share my experiences, my sessions, and everything I’ve learned with all of you.