KDU student featured on hit reality tv show

SHAH ALAM: People say that the years you spend in university are some of the best years of your life. Whether it’s finally pursuing your dreams or embarking on a journey of self-discovery, your university days are crucial and might well shape who you are in the future. The saying proves to be true for Desmond Teoh, a 25-year-old media planner whose passion in photography raised him into the spotlight.

The recent graduate of KDU University College was given an opportunity of a lifetime to be a contestant in the second season of the hit reality television show – Photo Face-Off.

Currently airing across the region, Photo Face-Off is Asia’s leading reality photography competition, and now returning for Season 2, slated to be bigger, better and even more competitive than before. Each episode features three photo challenges, centred on main categories of Speed, Theme and Extreme – designed to test the skills, knowledge, creativity and limits of each photographer/contestant from different countries in Asia.


Desmond Teoh

Desmond Teoh


After actively participating in photography competitions such as the annual Canon Photomarathon competition, Desmond finally took the leap and applied for the second season of Photo Face-Off where he was chosen to be part of the regional hit reality television show.

“The competition was intense and tough, especially being in the running against more experienced photographers and being up against Justin Mott, the resident photographer on the series,” he shared. “It may look a lot simpler on television as compared to behind the scenes where we had almost every factor against us; time, weather and being acquainted to the equipment in a short span of time.”

Desmond’s passion for photography goes back to his childhood.


Azril Azam, Ignitius Kong, Desmond Teoh and Pro Photographer Justin Mott speaking to the media at the launch of Photo Face-Off Season 2.

Azril Azam, Ignitius Kong, Desmond Teoh and Pro Photographer Justin Mott speaking to the media at the launch of Photo Face-Off Season 2.


“When I was a little boy, I’ve always been known to be pestering my mother for her camera. Apparently I enjoyed clicking the shutter very much,” he said, adding that it wasn’t until he took Photo Communications when he was doing his Diploma in Mass Communications at KDU, that he really fell in love with photography.

“The module taught students the very basic of photography from scratch. My lecturer, Mr. Valen Foong, was experienced in different areas of photography such as portraiture, high speed and landscape so we were given very technical and detailed instructions,” he recalled.

Desmond noted his gratitude towards his lecturer for the extensive amount of guidance provided even outside of the classroom.

“My lecturer was very patient in teaching. There were many occasions where I had sought for his advice outside of office hours, but never once did he complaint and he was always very generous with giving his students a chance to try their hands at his higher-ranged professional photography equipment,” he further elaborated, nothing that the practical module contributed significantly to his photography skills.


 One of Desmond’s personal favourite photography work.

One of Desmond’s personal favourite photography work.


“Most of the programmes in KDU are designed to give students a very holistic experience. With theory comes a lot of practical assessments. For instance, during the Photo Communications module, we were given practical assignments every week where we can actually see for ourselves how our techniques improve during that span of time.”

With the basics he developed through the module, Desmond has been able to compete effectively against the professionals and seized opportunities to link with the photographers he met through Photo Face-Off.

“The experience on Photo Face-Off gave me opportunities to connect with renowned professionals. For example, the resident pro; Justin Mott. His skills and techniques are beyond me and I am thankful that I have the chance to learn a couple of things from observing how he works,” Desmond elaborated.

When asked on his future plans, Desmond shared that he intends to pursue photography full time should the opportunity arise.

“Through the competition, I was able to discover my strengths and weaknesses, and I realized that my passion for photography has a real shot at making it in the industry. I will venture in wedding photography and portraitures as my next step in making photography a career.”

The wide array of modules available at KDU University College offers students a chance to discover new passion and talents, coupled with hands on assessments. Just like how Desmond’s passion for photography was ignited through undertaking a module, find out how you can hit the ground running with KDU University College, log on to www.kdu.edu.my or call 03-5565 0538 (KDU University College, Utropolis, Glenmarie) / 03-7953 6688 (KDU College, Damansara Jaya).

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