For the love of photography
Claymond Leong, president of Sarawak Photo-Art Society (SPAS)By Jude Hibb @judetbpseeds
I RECENTLY met Claymond Leong, one of the renowned photographers involved in the photo exhibition at Plaza Merdeka in December.
Claymond, a local Sarawakian is the life member as well as President of Sarawak Photo-Art Society (SPAS) in Kuching and he has gained distinction from other photographic societies around the world.
I found his photography really inspiring and was attracted to some of his photos which are simple, yet powerful images that depict aspects of everyday human life.
I believe that each photographer has someone or something which inspires their life and work. Can you tell us the source of your inspiration?
Yes, you’re right. Most aspiring photos are inspired by someone else’s artwork or other things that come along in their life. Whereas for myself, I was an active member in my school photography club and that was what brought me to where I am today.
What was the objective of the exhibition held at Plaza Merdeka by the Sarawak Photo-Art Society (SPAS) and what do you hope to achieve?
The objective of the exhibition was to exhibit the creativity of salon photography for the general public. SPAS hopes to create the awareness among the public on photography creativity thereby including more appreciation for the art of photography.
What genre/method of photography do you like most?
I like natural ambience photography.
How long have you been involved in photography?
I have been in the business since 1999, and this is my 14th year.
Describe your photography style; how did you develop it?
My photography style deals with the theme of love. I understand “Love” as I have a very loving family.
You have been in business for 14 years now, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way in this business is “love” again. Loving ‘Love’ which makes me appreciate my family more.
What makes a good picture stand out from the average?
The thing that makes good pictures stands out from the average ones is lighting.
What advice or tips would you have for somebody who wants to pursue their love of photography or want to start a business?
My advice would be to always be analytical, explore and expand.
Describe a typical day in the life of Claymond Leong.
My typical day will be sending my boy to playschool, opening my bridal shop for business, and looking forward to create lovelier artwork.
Did you go to school to study photography? Do you have any formal training?
Yes, I do have formal training in photography from my school years.
What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?
The most challenging part for photographers would be the changing weather during outdoor photography.
What type of camera do you shoot with? What equipment you usually bring along with you?
I shoot photos with my professional camera body, lenses that I require and other necessary lighting.
What would you say is more important: a good knowledge base or good equipment?
For me, I would say that a good knowledge base is more important than good equipment, since what makes the photographer stand out from the rest is good photography techniques (how they take photos), not what equipment they used to photograph it.
What does photography mean to you, and how do you become a professional photographer?
Photography for me is documenting today for tomorrow, in other words, creating memories. I went into professional photography since it has been my passion since I was a child.
What goals are you working towards in your photography and when will you know you’ve reached it?
My goals are to create as many sweet memories as possible for loving couples (as I am involved in the bridal business) and I will continue doing it as long as I am capable of lifting my heavy camera.
If you could work alongside any one photographer, who would it be and why?
If I could work alongside any photographer, I would choose the portrait photographers from National Geography. Their work on human lives are really inspiring.
How can people find you? Website, blog, Facebook, etc.?
People can find me through my Facebook, through art and photography roadshows available around the cities, as well as in the newspapers.
What are some of the words people use to describe you?
Efficient, fast, trustworthy, reliable.
What would you like to be doing five years from now?
I would like to bring as much joy as possible to loving couples through my artwork.
How did you go about selling your photographs?
I sell my photographs through my Facebook page, roadshows and also newspapers.
I’ve learned the most from…
My own curiosity and my love and passion for photography.
Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
What is your best photography tip?
Be attentive, be analytical and expand.