Photo Credit: Daniel Beh Photography
Daniel Beh (above image, with his wife, Wendy) is a good buddy of mine since my National Service days (feels like a very long time ago) and he is one of the few friends I know personally who is a full-time wedding photographer. He has kindly taken time off his busy work schedule to answer some questions with regards to his work and recent trends in wedding photography.
Dean: You have been a wedding photographer for a decade now. What were some of the most memorable assignments that you have worked on?
Daniel Beh: One of the most memorable assignments has to be a wedding photo-shoot at Nikoi Island. It’s located off Bintan and it’s an absolutely amazing private island which was booked by the couple. We had the entire island to ourselves and their 30+ guests, it was really fun photographing.
Dean: How has the wedding photography industry changed since you first started? What challenges do you face doing business in Singapore?
Daniel Beh: There’s definitely more photographers jumping into the wedding photography scene locally. Styles constantly change over the years, but I think the challenging part is to stay true to myself, and produce works that are consistent to what I always have been doing.
Dean: In your line of work, are there any popular styles or kinds of photography that couples request for?
Daniel Beh: Couples nowadays are very savvy. They know what they want, and those who come to me want photos which are non-intrusive, 100% natural with a knack for moments and expressions.
Dean: How would you describe your style of photography?
Daniel Beh: I tend to not pose my couples during their wedding day, and I like being an observer, always anticipating what’s going to happen next, to capture moments. I feel that by directing too much during the wedding tends to spoil the whole meaning of it.
Dean: What advice do you have for couples for are seeking the services of a wedding photographer?
Daniel Beh: Liking the photography style is important, but above that, you have to be very comfortable with your wedding photographer. He/she is probably the one you’re spending most of the wedding day apart from your better half. So being comfortable means we as photographers feel being part of the wedding, and the rapport is there.
Dean: We understand that you also travel overseas regularly for assignments as well. What are some of the challenges in doing overseas assignments?
Daniel Beh: I have to plan my schedule very carefully, and not having to cover a wedding in Singapore immediately the day after I arrive back in town. Flight delays or cancellations can happen, thus allowing 1-2 days of buffer is extremely important.
Dean: How do you make your clients feel comfortable during the photoshoot, especially those who are a bit shy?
Daniel Beh: It’s important to talk more to them during consultations before the photo-shoot. And get to understand them more by asking how they met, wedding planning stuffs, etc.. It helps to break the ice! During the photo-shoot itself, not everyone can hug and kiss in front of the camera without feeling shy. So normally we will start slow, to warm up and build up the momentum.
Dean: How was your first wedding photography assignment like?
Daniel Beh: My first wedding was done for a friend’s aunt, and I was stressed like hell! I charged really cheap though because I had to start somewhere and build up portfolio. After viewing the photos, the couple felt it was really good and I deserved to charge much more. I got a fat tip, and that’s how I gained my confidence in wedding photography.
Dean: You did your own pre-wedding shoot last year! (See top image of Daniel and his wife, Wendy) How was that experience like, especially when you are so used to being behind the camera than in front of it?
Daniel Beh: It all started when my wife (then girlfriend) joked we could do our own pre-wedding photos. I thought for a while and thought why not? So we went ahead and do it.
First in New Zealand which we started slow and getting used to setting up tripod, pre-focus the lens, and pose ourselves. Over the few days of shoots, we sped up the workflow, and embarked on our 2nd pre-wedding shoot at the United States. It has always been a dream to visit and photograph in Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley, so we made it a plan to do the shoot there. As the only time I could set aside for personal travel is in August, it coincides with summer in the States, so we were perspiring like nobody’s business in Antelope Canyon. It was even warmer than Singapore!
But the shoot turned out well, and our photos appeared in some of the top wedding blogs and Instagram in the world.
To find out more about Daniel and his work, visit his wedding photography page on Facebook.
We would like to thank him once again for taking time to do this interview with us!