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FASHION - INTERVIEW

Interview with Photographer Ivan Joshua Loh

Ivan Joshua Loh has started his photography career with a roll of black/white film and he decorated his career with many national and international awards that he received over the years. I talked with Ivan Joshua Loh about his career and photography.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ivan Joshua Loh

Ivan Joshua Loh

FASHION - INTERVIEW

by Melisa Kaya

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Ivan Joshua Loh has first started out shooting different types of photo and then he discovered his passion of photographing people. In 1997, Ivan decided to establish his own studio, Pigs Can Fly Photography. From portraits to fashion, lifestyle to travel, food to architecture, he has been creating photo projects and shooting photos at a wide range of style for different industries. Ivan describes his style with three words; Funky, Quirky, Stunning. I talked with Ivan Joshua Loh about his career, photographic approach and the importance of photography for the business world.

Ivan, how did you discover the photography passion? Who or what encouraged you?

I discovered photography by accident. When I was in the army, I borrowed my mother’s compact film Ricoh camera.

Brought a roll of Kodak B/W film and ask her to help load as I know nothing about photography. All I wanted to do was to shoot some B/W shoot during jungle training. Lo and behold after 36 frames I could still shoot. 37,38,39!

I told myself I better stop. Next, I brought it to a photo lab. The Lab technician put the Ricoh in a black bag. After opening the back case; he told me that the film was loaded by it didn’t catch on the camera gear. Therefore I have not taken a single shot! I was really upset with my Mother. My Dad took out his old Nikon FM camera with a zoom lens and told me not to be upset with my mother and give photography a try. This is how this amazing journey started.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

How did you decide to pursue a career in photography? Could you tell us about yourself?

I started to like all photography enthusiast; shooting landscape, macro, and street. This happened for a couple of years. Until a friend that knew that I love photography; ask if I would like to be an assistant photographer at a Make-over Studio? This is where my love of photographing people started.

What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?

I have always loved photographing people. They certainly are the most fun, engaging, challenging, unpredictable, occasionally scary and also rewarding to photograph.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

You have worked with many notable brands and athletes, could you tell us about your previous works?

I have campaign many projects in a different genre. Here are a few names. Singapore Airlines, Caltex, DHL, TNT, Diageo, Fujifilm, Embraer, Hilton Group, Nike, Intercontinental Hotel Group.

What was the first commercial project that you photographed? What has changed in the photography world since that day?

I can’t really remember as it’s very early in my career and I probably think its some product shots. Could be for Caltex.

That was the film days. I remembered it was a Mamiya Medium Format camera. 20 years later; It’s now digital. I shoot with a Fujifilm GFX.

Angie Vu Ha - Top 10 Sexiest Supermodel DJs in The World - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Angie Vu Ha - Top 10 Sexiest Supermodel DJs in The World - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

What do you think about the effect of previous works on the clients' decision?

Having a good portfolio is key. To created a good portfolio takes time. Like in all business slow and steady is the way to go. Even up to today when there is low season my business; I will take this opportunity to try new photography concept. Updating one’s portfolio should be a constant activity.

What are the most common mistakes of brands? What do they think wrong about the importance of photography?

In this era of the website and social media, a good and well-executed photo is important to ALL business. Unfortunately, not all business owners know how much milage a good photo could do. Photography is sometimes at a lower priority in their business.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

What type of services do you offer to your clients?

I am basically a photographer who wanna offer the client, not just a good photo. A good photo is important.

Again there are many good and talented photographers in this crowded arena that could produce a good shot. To stand out I will always need to have a chat with the client and offer them photo concepts that is much better or even crazier than what they have in mind. I am always known for quirky style.

Ix Shen - Extreme Sports Addict and Actor - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Ix Shen - Extreme Sports Addict and Actor - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

It is possible to work with abroad clients on a regular product photo. How is this situation in portrait photography? Do you like traveling?

Cost is a major factor for an overseas client. This is only possible for a client that has an international presence. They certainly have a bigger budget. Which also mean such project is more demanding. As for portrait photography; there will always be a demand. Everyone needs a great profile. Be it corporate, personal or family. We need to show our best to the world.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Business owners want to solve their problems with the lowest possible costs. Despite this, why should they work with a professional photographer?

That is certainly understandable. Cost is always a concern in any business. As long as they value their business they will understand a good visual interpretation of their, products, services and people is an important element in this whole set-up.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Which factors determine the project budget?

Many factors. Every project is different. Some factors are: number of days, location fees, equipment fees, loading fees, studio fees, photographer and assistants fees, producer fees, transport fees. This varies on the complexity or simplicity of the shoot.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

What is the most important component of a spectacular photograph?

I would have to rate concept of the shoot right at the top. Having all things equal; it is your idea that makes it spectacular.

What are your expectations from your clients for a successful collaboration?

I don’t really have an expectation as it a job. For a successful collaboration, good communication is key. Just like in any relationship. Be it personal or work.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

How do you protect the rights of your photographs in this online era?

This is really an uphill task and I don't have a solution too. If I do see a picture online without my permission, I will email them and ask them to take it off.

Could your clients use the photographs in any publication, catalog, website, ad or other platforms in the future?

Yes, they could. This will be classified as loading fees. This is iron out prior to the shoot.

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in photography?

The camera doesn’t make the man. It’s the man that makes the camera. Professional gears are important. Don’t get me wrong. The famous Ansel Adams said: "You don’t take a photograph, you make it."

What is even more important is how you hone your creativity in photography. That is what makes an outstanding photographer not just gears.

Jamie Yeo - Sizzling Hot TV Host, Radio DJ and Actress - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

Jamie Yeo - Sizzling Hot TV Host, Radio DJ and Actress - Photo by Ivan Joshua Loh

What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?

It’s a great place to showcase your work and connect with everyone. It’s also extremely crowded. Just remember to have fun in social media.

Readers could follow my Instagram @ivanjoshualoh

Blog: www.ivanjoshualoh.com and website www.pigscanfly.com

Thank you Ivan Joshua for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please visit the website of Ivan Joshua Loh





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