Why did you choose to be a professional photographer?
Actually, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in photography. It is a passion that I grew and cultivated through my younger days, and even in college where I took photography as my minor. I used to dabble in film photography, and made the transition to digital as technology became more advanced.
As for wedding photography, I love how it’s such a versatile genre that allows me to creatively experiment with many styles. In pre-wedding photography, I’m able to push the boundaries of traditional shoots by adding my own creative spin to get really unique and interesting shots. On the day of the actual wedding, I can then capture the tender, meaningful moments as they are.
What’s something most people find intimidating about portrait photography and how can one counter that?
Photographers and their subjects alike often find portraits daunting, and not everyone feels comfortable with the camera constantly aimed at them. I find it best to engage my subjects in conversation so that they feel at ease, and give them a simple task to do instead of always directing their poses.
What do you find most enjoyable about being a Nikon School instructor?
As an instructor, I not only get to impart my knowledge, skills and experiences to photography enthusiasts but also see them develop more confidence behind the lens.
Meeting people from all walks of life is probably one of the best things about Nikon School. Photography may be complex at times, but it’s also full of fun, and I like how Nikon School creates an opportunity to form a tighter photography community where we can learn from each other, regardless of whether we’re instructors or attendees.
How do you continue learning and improving your photography techniques?
I am my hardest critic, and make it a point to never be complacent. I find that a good way to keep myself up to date with the latest photography trends is through looking at other great photographers’ works. I also spend a majority of my time looking at the work of non-wedding photographers to gain inspirations and ideas, which I then bring into wedding photography to create something different.
Learning and improving is a constant process that never stops, and often involves risks. For example, even if you think you’re not ready, participate in a photo competition. The experience and responses you get from that could actually surprise you. You will also be in the company of so many other talented professionals so there will definitely be some key learnings.
What’s one photography trend which you’re interested in right now?
Surreal photography intrigues me – it is bizarre and unusual, yet incredibly interesting and requires a photographer to think out of the box.
Lastly, what’s in your go-to photography kit?
I can always rely on my trusty Nikon D750, which has seen me through many challenges and never fails to excel with its great dynamic range and image quality, even at higher ISO values. Its lightweight build makes it really easy to carry around.
To accompany my DSLR, I’m partial to the all-rounder AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G and the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED that’s brilliant at bringing out the best in my creative work. I also ensure that my external flash is packed into my photography kit so that I am well-prepared for any situation.
Based in Singapore, Cole is a renowned wedding photographer based in Singapore who constantly pushes the boundaries of creative wedding photography. To date, he has received 96 awards from panels such as Fearless Photographers, ISPWP, AsiaWPA & WPPI.