Gary Wong profile photoIt’s about passion that kept me doing what I love to do!

I first picked up a camera in 2001. It was a prosumer digital camera that I bought to learn photography. At that point of time, I never thought how far I would go with this hobby. After reading lots of books and websites about photography, I started going out and play around with the digital camera. The good thing about digital camera is that I can see the result immediately and learn from the different settings. The more I learned, the sooner I found out that prosumer digital camera couldn’t develop extensive skills. So I bought myself a SLR film camera and took photography seriously.

While learning photography, I met many close photography buddies and they became my best mates. Every week we went out to photo whatever we have in mind. Sometimes landscape, sometimes portrait, we even tried macro. We also tried different type of films, negatives or slides. Tried push or pull or cross processed with films. All these knowledge came from continuous shooting and trying various settings. We had many discussions and many opinions on films and our equipments. At one point, I kept changing different equipments to fulfill my ideal results. From a prosumer to a professional body and from Canon to Leica to Hasselbald. All of these experience I had, but I never was focused on what types of photography I really like.

In 2004, I started to get in touch with wedding photography as a second shooter. I didn’t think wedding photography is what I really like. But being a second shooter, I had the chance to see things from another angle. I enjoy looking at photos of people that are in action. Those are naturally involved and not disturbed. From one wedding to another, I gained experience and I started to really like wedding photography. The learning process wasn’t taught by anyone, I had to learn from experience. I worked very hard to search for information from experts. Test shots in similar situation to make sure the result is what I wanted. I even changed all film bodies into digital bodies to speed up the learning process. But self taught took longer and inconsistency was an issue.

Eventually I slowed down and put my camera away. I lost focus and I couldn’t develop the style I want. Being a stubborn person, I didn’t want to give up what I really love. Even though I stopped taking photos, but never gave up studying photography. I became an active Flickr visitor to see people’s work. This is where I came across with HDR photography. I put wedding photography away and went out to photo landscape. I slowly developed HDR processing skills on my own and found my own method to get my style and desire results. I have my confidence back when more people acknowledged my works. I had companies who used my photos in their presentation and have won a photo competition within my community. I finally put myself on track again.

I picked up wedding photography once again when a friend invited me to team up. I started to take responsibility to be the main photographer. Controlled the flow and worked with the client to make sure the ideal photos are taken. But I still wasn’t satisfied with my photos. I couldn’t see the style belongs to me. I went searching for help on the web for photography workshops. Have checked some academies in the UK and US, and photographers’ blog to see who have the style that I admire. I finally found Jose Villa and realized what he does is what I wanted. His works are simple yet show details of each wedding. The natural light, color tone and the simplicity adds love and comfort. This is what Hong Kong weddings are lack of and I want to bring this style through my vision to show clients something different.

I’ve kept my style consistent since I came back from the workshop. Use as much natural light as possible, keep things simple but show lots of details. Moments should come naturally and I should not need to setup like a script. Honestly, I see myself improved and I could see the photography style that belongs to me, but I’m not satisfied. There are many areas that I could still improve. This is how passionate I am with photography. I never knew I could go this far, I only knew I can go much further.

Aug 2010

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