Three Singaporean photographers featured in new season of Photo Face-Off

Imagine TV Network speaks to three contestants from Singapore about their photography style and how they cope with the photography challenges.

Words by Imagine TV Network

In the new season of Photo Face-off,  hosted by Sarah Lian, 16 amateur photographers from six countries will vie for the title of champion. Each of the six hourly episodes has a Speed, Theme and Extreme Challenge and the final six contestants will be flown to Cebu, Philippines

Returning as the series' resident professional photographer, Justin Mott reveals that the contestants were involved in abseiling and photographing the Ultimate Fighting Championship as part of the challenges.

Image credit: HISTORY

One of three contestants representing Singapore, Shaun Tan, a current photojournalism student, says the Extreme Challenge was the most challenging. In order not to have preconceived expectations about how the show would be filmed, he only watched snippets of the previous season.

"I went into it thinking I was used to shooting fast-paced stuff, but downhill mountain biking is a whole other level," he says. When the first biker sped past him, he recalls that he only got one frame and even then, it was a bad shot.

Although he has experience with music photography and had his works exhibited in Noise Singapore 2013, he shares that he had to change his approach to shooting, framing and setting focus on-the-go in order to complete the challenge.

Business analyst Cheng Kok Hou, on the other hand, considers his strength to be his ability to follow the client's brief to a tee, a trait he considers to be very Singaporean. Explaining why the brief prevents a photographer from going off tangent, he says, "The brief brief gives you a yardstick on what the client wants and from there, gives you the leeway to be creative."

At the same time, he shares that he had to ditch his paparazzi-style of street photography, which requires patience but little communication, and provide his models with directions and instructions on their poses.

Image credit: HISTORY

For Mohamed Yusof Bin Noor, he sees his participation as an opportunity to get into "deeper water and swim with the sharks and whales." He has won The Big Picture contest organised by The New Paper several times but says that filming for the show presents him with the challenge of having to narrate his thoughts when executing the challenges.

"I find interacting with people to be one of my weaknesses... [but] it became my strength instead. I feel that I will still have to work on my weakness of putting my thoughts into words," he remarks.

Away from the cameras and the stress of the competition, Tan shares that the contestants are on friendly terms with each other. "I'd say it wasn't the challenges that stay with me, but just hanging out with the contestants, chilling behind the scenes and chatting about our lives."

Photo Face-Off broadcasts every Tuesday at 10pm on HISTORY (StarHub Channel 401).



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