"You're one of the most inspiring travel, street and portrait photographer that I've ever met. It's such an honor to meet you!"
~ Allan T. (Agora Images)
From Industrial Engineering to Photography
My professional career began in a field that's barely connected to photography: Industrial Engineering. I was trained to create, maintain or optimize a system for a business. It never crossed my mind that I will become an award winning photographer one day.
Shortly after my graduation, I worked at a factory in North California. It was fun creating and tweaking the business process at first but after a while, I felt I needed a new challenge to escape from my routine.
One of the hottest thing back then was e-Commerce. eBay was a big hit at that time and so I decided to experiment selling some of my unused stuff there. During my research, I noticed one peculiar thing on eBay: an identical item can sell for higher price if it has better photograph.
By better photograph here I mean the item is in even light, sharply in focus with clean, white background. Here's an example of such photograph.
Now, it might look easy to produce such photograph but for me it was not at the beginning. Not only because I have no art or photography background, but also I could not find reliable photography tutorials back then.
So, I decided to learn from as many sources as possible just to produce a photo with that look. I read books, magazines, videos and even took some courses.
Eventually I was able to get the result that I wanted. However, I didn't want to stop there. I found myself enjoying photography more and more. I tried shooting different things: landscape, portraits, street, wildlife.
I love them all.
And I found a type of photography that embraces them all: travel photography.
Because there were very few educational resources on travel photography, I decided to use my old skill and created my own photography system that enables me to get better at it the more I practiced it.
My practice paid off in 2015. I was awarded 1st prize in World Photography Organization's National Award and got Honorable Mention in National Geographic's Annual Photo Contest. Here's my winning photograph.
Winning those awards opened many doors for me in the international photography landscape.
As of now, my photographs have been published in 15 different countries for museums, airports, gallery exhibitions, books and magazines. Below is a photo of my image displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, USA.
In 2016 I went full time as a photographer. Despite being a full time photographer, I am still an industrial engineer at heart. I apply many industrial engineering practices in my business such as Kaizen and Six Sigma to satisfy my clients' demand.
4 Ways People from 15 Different Countries Use My Photography Skills
The first obvious answer is that you can (1) license my photograph for your needs. You can find many photographs that I took on this site that might suit your needs.
An advice that I can give you is to find the ones that speak or resonate greatly with your customer or readers. Don't just pick one that you think is beautiful for you. Always think with your customer or reader in mind.
If you need help, I am open to discussion.
If you don't find the photos that you're looking for or if you need a series of photos from a place, we can talk about (2) photography assignment. This is where you send me your requirements and I will specifically go out and shoot the photographs for you according to your needs.
Feel free to discuss or send me your assignment requirements when you are ready.
Apart from photo licensing and assignment, I love to (3) share my photography system with people who want to learn photography in a systematic, engaging and easy to follow instruction. The photography learning system that I have created can be learned by anyone wanting to get better at photography, even when they have no photography background at all.
I have been invited to teach classes and do workshops to as many as 250 people in one room. See the picture below.
Hopefully you can spot my face among all the participants. If you can't, I'll change my name to Waldo.
If you want me to do a photography workshop or be a speaker at your event, please get in touch.
Finally, I also (4) help photographers improve their business in a systematic way. I found that many photographers are having a hard time surviving in today's environment not because they are not good photographers, but because they lack the necessary business skills. This is where my previous skill as an Industrial Engineer comes in handy.
If you're struggling and having a hard time in your photography business, feel free to contact me.
My Photography Business Target: Six Sigma
If you own a factory and you produce 1,000,000 widgets with only 3 defects, you have achieved the Six Sigma level. Your factory is 99.99966% free of errors which is as close to perfect as you can get.
This is a goal that I aim to achieve in my photography business. Now I haven't gotten close to serving 1 million clients yet but so far I haven't gotten any complaints from clients which includes small and big publishers, students and fellow photographers.
I have enjoyed good working relationships with all of them and if you've been reading this far, I would love to have you in the group. I'll close this About Me with a Process Map. This will give you an overview of what you'll experience if you decide to work with me. Explain steps. You can start the fun process by contacting me here.
It might look complex but it's not. Let me explain the steps to you.
(Create Request) First you start by contacting me and telling me about your requirements.
(Review Request) I review your requirements and decide whether I can do it or not. If I cannot do it, I will wish you luck for the project or give referrals if possible.
(Create Agreement) If I can do it, I will create the draft of the agreements with you.
(Review Agreement) You then review the agreement that I have created for you. If you are not OK with the Agreement you can finish the process or you can discuss with me to revise the agreement.
(Make Payment) If you're OK with the Agreement, you can make a payment according to the agreement that we've both agreed on.
(Deliver Request) I will deliver the request according to the agreement and I'll buy you a drink or two if we ever meet.
You can start the fun process by contacting me here.
Thank you and hopefully I'll see you someday in Indonesia!
"Everyone loves your shot!"
~ Christopher M. (Vice President of Creative, National Geographic)
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