16 Sep 2012

PIXELS 2012: I Dare – nEbO’s First Photography Career Symposium for Youths

Some 100 youths attended a two-day photography symposium over the weekend, learning from professional photographers about breaking into the industry, and picking up tips on improving their skills and techniques. ‘PIXELS 2012: I Dare’ was the first ever symposium organised by youths from nEbO’s photography interest group, targeted at youths aged 18 to 25 who were considering photography as a potential career.

Participants had the opportunity to meet renowned names in the industry through a dialogue session and practical workshops centring on five different areas – advertising/commercial, fashion, food, weddings and gigs. Guest speakers and instructors included fashion photographer Geoff Ang, advertising photographer Jimmy Fok and wedding photographer Justin Ng, who was the first photographer in Singapore to create an iPhone application that allows people to view his photos taken in real time. Eager to make the most of the session, the youths posed question after question about the challenges of pursuing the profession, industry myths, and issues in the trade which bug photographers.

Twenty-two year-old participant Ng Ding Jie said, “I was drawn by the list of guest speakers and workshop instructors, who are all well-known in the industry. My foremost aim was to learn from the life experience of these professionals who have spent years in the business, I especially wanted to hear from photographer Justin Ng and how he used social media to promote his service.”

A photo hunt competition was held on the second day to test the participants’ creativity, technical skills and more importantly, the ability to work together as a team. Contrary to popular belief, a photographer does not always work alone, but usually with a team of assistants, stylists and creative directors on a project. Within a span of three hours, teams had to capture and submit four images reflecting four different themes provided by the organisers – Pixels, I Dare, Nobody Enjoys Being Ordinary and Reflection.

“There are many photography symposiums out there, but they are mainly targeted at hobbyists looking to improve their skills. So we wanted to organise this event so that youths like us who are contemplating a career in this field will be able to get first-hand knowledge from professionals in the industry and the competition is designed so that they will go through some of the same challenges faced by professional photographers,” said Chua Cai Bei, Chairperson of PIXELS 2012 and member of nEbO’s photography interest group Captura.

Recognising photography as a growing hobby, the interest group Captura was set up in 2010 to engage and provide a community for youths keen on photography. Besides allowing members to develop their interest through courses and competitions, they also get to hone their leadership qualities by planning and organising community-related activities. Members of the interest group often volunteer as official event photographers for nEbO’s events, taking the opportunity to practise and work on projects.  

“With cameras becoming more widespread and affordable, and many photography apps available, there is definitely a growing interest in photography among youths. nEbO organises such events and activities to engage youths in ways that appeal to their interests and provide a fun, learning experience. We hope that they will be able to develop their skills further and showcase their talents,” said Mr Lim Eng Lee, Alignment Director (nEbO), NTUC.

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