Forging Paths

Featuring

Ben
Photographer

Wearing

Jacket

GORE-TEX

Pants

ASOS

How would you describe your sense of style?
I love adding colour to my outfit. Even my hair is part of the outfit—my girlfriend and I like to experiment with different hair colours. We started off quite shakily at this but after years of trial and error, we can easily dye each other’s hair with a box dye (laughs). I think bringing in varied colours brings a different layer to my look.

As a freelance photographer, how has your journey been?
A lot of freelance photographers start out with wedding or event photography, but I told myself I wasn’t going down that route. I felt that once I started on this, I’d get too comfortable and not want to venture out of the comfort zone I’ve created for myself. Of course, if you want to shoot weddings, that’s a different matter. Personally, I want to try shoots that are more fine-arts or fashion-related—that’s where my passion lies. Call it a bad life decision (laughs), but I’m hoping to try a different path.

What do you think is the toughest part about being a freelancer?
Getting consistent and reasonable gigs. I’ve been applying to different places since last year, and as a freelancer, I can do both social media management and photography—but even that’s not enough these days. If you look at job listings, they expect you to do two jobs’ worth of tasks for one position, and this practice has gotten even worse post-Covid-19. I’ll usually call out some of these job ads whenever I can, so more people are aware about this.

If you could change something about your industry, what would it be?
Apart from photography, I do social media management too—some clients approach me with photography requests, but they’re unsure what to do with that content. It can feel like they’re ticking off a checklist rather than creating content with thought.

What do you think is a common assumption that people have about your line of work?
There’s an assumption that photography by itself can make a very big difference to brand perception. This isn’t really true—there are a lot of other things that need to be taken into consideration, like how the campaign is run or how ads are bought.

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