Congratulations to Raymond Phang for the 2016 PPAC Grand Platinum Award, 2016 PPAC TOP 10 International Photographers, Gold Award in Pre-wedding Category and 3 entries with Gold Level scores in Final Print Competition. Raymond is also PPAC Singapore ambassador. Let’s know more about Raymond’s story:
Raymond Phang - Singapore
Bold and quietly confident, photography has provided a rich environment of opportunity for Raymond Phang to express himself artistically and creatively. Particularly proficient at shoots when it comes to photographing people in their most candid moments, Raymond Phang clearly has a natural flair for the finest detail and exudes photography talent that extends beyond his camera mastery.
Possessing unparalleled imagination and brilliance, his style of humor in story-telling, camera techniques/lighting and strong participation of subjects contribute to his award winning conceptualized photography that can be applied to other forms of photography.
Besides Wedding, Raymond has also worked with prestigious Advertising & PR Agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Pico for Commercial and Event photography. The biggest regional aerospace event – Singapore Airshow, adverting campaigns for automobile brands such as Borneo Motors were also part of his regular commissioned assignments.
To date, Raymond Phang has garnered more than 230 local and international photography awards. Recognized as a benchmark of excellence across the world, Raymond has also attained the Associate (AMPA) level of qualification in the Master Photographers Association – a prestigious UK qualifying body for professional photographers worldwide. His most recent photographic achievement sees him garnering the Gold Award and First Prize Award in the Wedding Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) wedding photography competition (creative division), 2016 Grand Platinum Award and 2016 Top 10 International Photographers award from PPAC.
Raymond’s photography work has been widely exhibited in Leica Gallery, National Museum of Singapore, Republic Plaza (Singapore), Former Command House, and also published in the book Resonance: Songs of our Forefathers. Besides casual sharing sessions with budding photographers in his free time, Raymond Phang has also received constant invitation by Canon Singapore to share at various photography talks and seminars. Other than local photography workshops and seminars, Raymond was also invited by Asia WPA to give a talk in Beijing (China) to a group of aspiring photographers. Photography as a platform not only allowed him to express himself, but also became a much cherished opportunity to form bonds of friendships, to inspire and be inspired.
For us to understand Raymond more, PPAC Editor also did an interview with him.
PPAC Editor: How many years in the photography industry?
Raymond: I can't say exactly how many years but I started doing photography freelance since year 2002 and decided to turn full time professional in year 2008 after I receive the Singapore Young Photographers Award in the same year.
PPAC Editor: Why you join the photography life in early start?
Raymond: I was extremely fascinated with how a small little box can reproduce what our eyes see! That "fascination" then grew into "curiosity". After exploring the rudiments of lights and the mechanism of a camera, "passion" became the fuel to propel me to where I am today.
PPAC Editor: Any happiness or sadness would like to share with us in the past years in the photography life?
Raymond: I cannot imagine myself doing anything else other than Photography. I eat and breathe Photography. It's been my source of happiness as I get to capture precious moments for people who cherish and value the importance of memories. I get to create wacky images for like-minded people and in the process of doing so, I get to enjoy the fun. I get the opportunity to meet a lot of people from all walks of life, and also formed beautiful friendships with not only couples, but with photographers and sometimes random strangers all over the world.
If you ask me if there's any sad memories in Photography life, I guess that would be the rise of technology, leading to the downfall of analog photography. The convenience of technology and simplification of user intuitive camera makes it easy for anyone to access photography. This convenience causes people to become lazy. Instead of understanding the principle of light and how a camera actually works to capture an image, most people will just skip that part and jump straight to shooting and some even choose to copy another photographer's work taking it as their own which is sad.
PPAC Editor: How to have more ideas and creative inspirations and let you create the beautiful image?
Raymond: My inspiration and creativity can come from anywhere, from the way a hawker cook his noodles and even from cartoon films. Of course my work is largely influenced by my wife who has been my pillar of support since the very beginning. In school there's always a school teacher who will mark your homework. For me, she is that teacher who will give me feedback on the photos I bring back for each shoot. She's my biggest influence in work and life because her comments affect how I do things and even the way I shoot - from doing the typical bridal pre-wedding many years ago, we evolved to finding a niche in the market doing conceptualized pre-wedding today. People say the sky is the limit, but actually your mind is the limit. Always allow yourself some time to daydream and creative inspiration will flow naturally.
PPAC Editor: Any words would like to share after got the prize?
Raymond: To be honest I was quite surprised when Erich Caparas facebook and congratulated me. I've been extremely busy tending to my newborn baby and lost track of time. Of course I was overjoyed upon receiving the news! Special thanks to the organizers at PPAC and especially the judges from all over the world for taking the time amidst their busy schedule to make this possible. Also to Dave for receiving the awards on my behalf as I was unable to travel during this period. To all photographers who have participated in the competition, you guys have done great regardless of your results/achievement in this competition. I've always believe that competition is not about winning or losing. It's about the things you learn from the competition - feedback from judges which helps improve your photography tremendously, admiring other photographers' work and vision, making new friendships with photographers from all different parts of the world, learning from each other. It's altogether a very humbling experience. Never give up on your true self and keep the passion burning!