Meet Grace “Paparazzi” Tan

Some people around Singapore know me as “Grace Paparazzi Tan”, even Minister Chan Chun Sing. And all because of a certain tee I wore to a certain event. :D

Unfortunately, I’m not really cut out for the job of paparazzi. So no sneaky shots to share with you, but there are lots of fun ones.

The day began with participants meeting some really cool photographers, like this one:

I also popped by the Mazda *zoom zoom* showroom where I met some cute kids and their Smurfs…

My prized paparazzi moments:

1) With actor Jacky Goh (hope I got his name spelt right)

2) Another (as yet unidentified) actor. He rushed to put on that cap every time someone asked to take a photo with him. XD

3) With Minister Chan Chun Sing

He was laughing out loud when a photographer asked if he’d like to wear my Hello Kitty specs:

And here’s something you have NEVER seen before: Paparazzi getting interviewed!

I guess I like being in front of the camera more. XD

And finally, this staged shooting match with a professional photographer. Don’t ask me who won lah! :P

I had a fun day as paparazzi. I think I’ll reprise this role again soon! :D

Interview with Angelina Pradana from The Studio www.thestudiobar.sg

Angelina Pradana

Managing Director, The Studio Cocktail Bar

(All beautiful photos courtesy of Jiahe from Hearted Moments Photography)

Grace: Earlier this month, I got an invite to attend The Studio’s media launch and after that, post-hangover (just kidding!), I got to interview the 23-year-old(!) lady boss.

1) Why did you decide to start a cocktail bar and what do you love most about the work you do?

I wanted to do something fun on my own and I always wanted to go into the F&B industry. Opening a bar seems to be the most fun of all. What I love most is enjoying my drinks with great people. The feeling of being part of every party, meeting different people everyday, making new friends and getting some drunk for the first time! That’s something that makes them remember The Studio as a fun place to hang out and that just makes my day all the time.

Bartender & Photographer forced to drink:

2) What sort of challenges did you face being a female and also being very young, in starting this business? How did you overcome them?

People did not respect me at the start, especially during the renovation phase. Having to sort out the renovation details with contractors was no easy task. To them, I was just a small girl trying something for the fun of it and eventually fail.

It was difficult having to meet people who put you down. I also had staff walking out on me initially due to the lack of respect and that taught me a very important lesson of not trusting people too easily and always watch your back.

3) Who are the people you are thankful for? (Those who have given you business tips, invested in your business, or who have inspired you?)

My parents. Without them, all these will never come true, both monetarily and mentally. They have been my advisers whenever I faced any problems. My boyfriend, Wilfred who have been of great help in running the place. My sister, Jessica who has helped me with all the design work. My mixologist, Sam, without him, there will not be the wonderful cocktails on the menu and he is also such a fun person to work with.

Sam:

My friend, Joash who has always been there when I needed IT advice and help like my website! Lastly all my friends who have dropped by to show their support and have helped me in any other way.

4) What are your plans for The Studio?

To stabilize this outlet and eventually turn the Studio into a chain of concept bars. Hopefully, you can see my second outlet in about 2 years. Haha..

5) What advice do you have for young people like you, who may be studying right now but have dreams of becoming entrepreneurs?

Go for your dreams. Many people told me that I won’t make it. Some thought that I should be working for companies before jumping into starting my own business. Don’t be discouraged by them! When you have the passion to do something, you should strive for it while you still have the drive and energy. Starting your own business is never easy, so you really need to be passionate about it to keep you going!

Grace says: I had a lot of fun with the DIY cocktail segment. :D Bigger pics so you catch all the action…

Bloggers galore:

Some Blogger-volunteers mixed their own Cosmopolitan:

I made my own Whiskey Sour:

Shake up all the ingredients and don’t forget to SMILE:

Pour your drink out:

And ENJOY!

All these would not have been possible without these 2 gentlemen:

My new friend Smith

and Jiahe from Hearted Moments Photography

Cheers and Happy Chinese New Year! Get Drunk! <- The Studio’s tagline

I loved the place! The intimate setting makes The Studio a great place for parties and chill-out sessions with friends.

Check out their menu and promotions.

The Studio Cocktail Bar is located at:

778 North Bridge Road

Directions and Opening Hours here

Interview with Kymberley Teo

Kymberley Teo

Children & Family Photographer, Blue Bambino Children Photography

1) Why did you choose to become a children & family photographer and what do you love most about the work you do?

I had been a marketing and advertising person most of my career life. The term DSLR was foreign to me up until I had my first child. Having a new family addition and a new love is what transformed me. The most part is because I love children and because they are so real and truthful. I don’t think there will ever be another subject that is like that for me. I love being inspired and pictures I see of young children with the most whimsical colours and dreamy eyes always inspire me. On top of that, every day of my work is a new surprise- when do you get opportunities when babies pee on your blankets and you could still laugh about it? I have had sessions when it was sunny one minute and raining cats and dogs the next, then we’d all have a good laugh kicking muddy water- mummy, daddy and baby. I also had sessions where all we do is just eat, and I get to photograph what we ate- isn’t that just heaven? I started out wanting to achieve great pictures of my daughter but I found that I was also enjoying the process of it all. Every child is different, sometimes they can be funny, and sometimes they can be very poignant.  That is when I knew I had found what I had been looking for!

2) What are the challenges of being a working mother and how do you overcome these challenges?

The biggest challenge of working and raising children at the same time is definitely dividing and finding adequate time for all the things you wish to conquer. It is never easy to be able to have to focus on two or even three tasks at the same time. I have had episodes where I focused entirely on work for a couple of days on end, then I find myself feeling extremely guilty for not paying attention to the children after those episodes. I concede that children are not like work- you can’t just scuttle to complete a piece of project – and it really took me a lot of courage and self-talk to put down work and give them undivided attention for a couple of hours everyday. I also constantly read and make up routines in my head to make sure things click and work together. Parenting is wisdom in itself and it takes a lot of practice and balancing to become adequate parents.

3) What are some of Life’s lessons you’d want to share with your children as they are growing up?

I hope as I continue to photograph and take pictures of beautiful children and families, my own children will also learn to appreciate beautiful things and create beautiful things for themselves. I wish for them to learn that it takes a lot to make something good and beautiful. Learning to look at things in different perspectives is paramount to the thought process. I want for my children to never see something in just the way it is – there is always a new diamond to harvest and a new tree that can be grown.

4) What qualities or characteristics should a children photographer possess?

Have an eye for the good things. Children just want to have fun but it is not all glamorous and easy to capture them having fun! It is not like sports photography, landscape photography or product photography. You need to get down to the children’s level, play their toys like they play it, get into the water with them and wipe their tears or clean their sweat when they throw tantrums. You need to see beyond all these to be able to see things they do. Only then will your pictures portray all the good things! Of course, you also need to be able to manage parents’ expectations, have digital editing skills, marketing skills, an organized workflow on how to process your images and a good relationship with your suppliers.

5) What do you strive to convey through the photographs you take?

More sunny happiness and less seriousness! I love to capture children in their natural habitat- under the sun, in the water, on the grass, within their homes. It is only when children are in their most natural state of being that they are most happy. Children are the world’s happiest and most beautiful things no matter how you see them. The smiles they give you when you hand them a candy, the pondering face on whether to hold my hand, and of course nothing beats the amusement peek-a-boos with a one year old brings. That is the kind of happiness I wish to convey through my images. 

Grace says: I remember meeting Kymberley at a Toastmasters meeting and how amusing the entire situation went. She had been invited by a mutual friend (a guy who’s single) and everyone got quite excited that he had brought Kymberley, who’s very pretty. We were all so happy for him , up to the point when she revealed that she’s already married! :D I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised.

I met her for lunch one day, and was once again struck by how she ‘glowed’. Literally. I guess she is only one of two women I know who ‘glow’, the other being Merry Riana. They both look as if they have just returned from a spa holiday. On good days, I believe I glow too, however faintly. :D What I REALLY want to know is how they keep glowing like that! I suppose key ingredients for their beauty concoction are: fulfilling work they enjoy, a pleasant disposition, a supportive and encouraging family, and a love for people. Correct me if I’m wrong! :)

By the way, Kymberley takes the most awesome children photos. I find myself drawn to the facebook albums ‘cos they are oh-so-cute and the photos are so well taken. They definitely don’t come easy. I know a thing or two about how necessary it is to manage parents’ expectations, and the unpredictability of the weather (my moods are like that!). Haha!

Come back again for: The interview with Memory Champion, Nishant Kasibhatla, on 15th April 2011.

Enter your email address in the subscription field on your right to receive instant updates on new posts!~

Working with Kym: A Day In The Life Of A Photographer

How difficult can it be to be a child/family photographer? Very, as my day with Kym revealed. We went for shoots at 3 locations – the client’s home, the MICA Building, and Duxton Road.

If you’re looking for photography tips & tricks, you’re better off surfing other sites. This post is about the realities of the commercial child/family photography business.

The photo you see above was taken by me, using my non-pro digital camera. :D Kim was very nice and said I have “potential”. That probably means “the lighting’s all wrong but at least you got everyone into the picture.” Haha!

The couple photographed are working parents – dad’s a designer, mum’s an investment banker- with their little girl, Charlotte, who will turn 2 in 2 days’ time.

After an hour-long shoot at their Toa Payoh home, we head over to the MICA Building.

See how perilous it is? Kym risks a limb in order to get a good shot! The family’s very zealous and hardworking maid looks on. She often chips in with calling out the child’s name, singing songs, waving objects to get Charlotte’s attention, so that the girl will look straight at the camera.

At some point, Mummy gets a little self-conscious. “Ahhhh.. my face looks so fat”, she exclaims as she is shown the photos that were just taken. “How ar? My face looks so fat!” Kym handles this outburst with panache, assures the good lady, and the two mothers start comparing post-baby tummies. Kym wins the battle of “who has the biggest bulge” with just one statement: “You’ve had one baby. I’ve had two!” :D

Next, we are off to Duxton.

Kym checks out the place:

It gets especially scary when Baby gets cranky.

Here the parents have to coax the kid. Largely unsuccessful because Baby is sick of being photographed by now. While Kym turns to the maid to ask for more biscuits to bribe the kid with. :) Bribes ALWAYS work. Always.

Baby Charlotte was placed on her pedestal. She seemed very stunned when she realised how far away the ground was. She froze for quite a while but resumed munching on her biscuit soon enough. Mommy there is deathly afraid that Baby will fall, even though Charlotte seemed to know she should not move at all. First-time moms are so nice. Those who aren’t, usually let their tots trail behind them in shopping malls. Tsk tsk.

I love this picture lots. It says so much about this business. You have to get down and dirty. They went belly-down on the shophouse pavement! AND were later shoo-ed away by the occupants running an architectural business there. I was secretly amused that parents would fork out quite a bit to be made to pose, lie on the floor, sit on a window ledge, etc etc. :D

After about 4+ hours, it’s a wrap, and Baby is sent off home. Meanwhile, Kym goes to her hubby’s office to help out with his business.

Dear Kym, I really have to take my hat off to you. You had a shoot before meeting me. And then you brought me to the 3 locations with Charlotte’s family. After which, you still had to help your hubby. You are simply amazing! When I become a mother, I want to be just like you! :)

Watch out for: The interview with Kym, out on April 8th. :)