Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The catwalk - runaway

Designer - NorArfah Batik and Naini Kifli
Models - my models for that day.
Photographer - myself

Batik by Norarfah.

Muslimah theme by Naini Kifli.

Our catwalk team can be booked..

Thursday, April 28, 2011


What is portraiture? Before taking photography seriously, I never would have used this word. And even during the time when I was photographing professionally, I would have only said that I shoot people. Maybe it was simply because portraiture demanded more from the photographer and I wasn’t going to be pinned to the term. Or maybe because the glamour photography that I was doing was not what I considered to be portraiture. I never categorized my work to such detail. I was shooting human and I was interested in form, texture, and of how light fell onto the body and face.

For me, the face, if it was to be in the photograph, must be natural, and the expression had to come from the heart, not the head. It makes a lot of difference in the end and I can see through an image for what it is, and for what it’s not. I think now, after shooting as much as I have on the face and body, I have a better idea of what the word portraiture is about, and it has to do with a realm of photography that I find very challenging, yet exciting. It is not easy, but for some reason, I find it very natural.

Every person I photograph is different in how I approach a shoot. Some need time and a great deal of patience. And others, I just need a moment or two. Photographing the essence of a person requires trust and vulnerability. Trust because this person who holds the camera up to you might be then asking you to take do something, or photograph a side of you that you might not consider flattering, or maybe it’s because I am asking you to be yourself, and many people, haven’t a clue as to who they are. And vulnerability because there has to be something there fragile in that giving of one’s self the scrutiny of the camera, to the person on the other side, may it be me, or you. Vulnerability is a desired trait in the shooting session, as only then, that we can get inside the person.

But what if we have a photograph whereby the model looks directly into the lens, with intent, with conviction in his or her eyes? I believe we then move onto portraiture, whereby the individual character or persona becomes a part of the photography. This is where I feel my photography becomes very interesting, because the photography is both about the acceptance of the individual for who he/she is, for their inner being, and for what their body is. There is no detachment or separation of the body/persona connection. What I particular find engaging is if the person I am shooting will allow their ‘self’ to be what it is, and if their facial expression is at complete ease with the photographer. The eyes, again, are the tell-tale sign of that acceptance. A third element that fascinates me even more is when there is a feeling of vulnerability in your subject/model’s eyes. Vulnerability because the model has offered him or herself to you, and to their audience. They have bared of their self for you, to enter their private world. This is the kind of portraiture that excites me. It is not about control on my part, but on the models’.

Photography style

Many people ask if they can come to my photography sessions to learn, to see what I do. And how is that I can capture the human body the way I do. Frankly, I don’t do much, except set up the lighting and shoot. I pretty well leave most of the work to the model. I let the model decide what they want to project to me. Tell me what you want to say! And I’ll try to photograph it.

What most people then don’t have a clue about, is in editing and deciding what to do with the photographs after a shoot. I have told my students to take many photographs of whoever it is, and decide later when editing, what is a good photograph, or a bad one.

Forget about the photo-shop manipulation. Just pick out the ones that strike your eye as good. We have a thing called a computer and software that makes it all so easy for us. Then go back and re-edit!

When I find a photograph I really like, the image will speak to me. What it says is nothing about how I photographed the work, or what I did to make that image look right. It transcends description of how the light falls so ever gently onto a person’s face, or of how the posing was so good and that the model great. When a photograph is ‘right’, there are no words to describe the process or behavior of elements that make up for what it is. All too often we have to justify why an image is good. The only reason we need to say so it to prove or validate ourselves (or others). And we need to qualify our own needs for who we are as long as the photo satisfies a part of my intellectual, emotional and spiritual psyche. I hope you see some of that I share.

Of course, I am talking about photographs that are meant for personal usage, when you have control over what you think looks good, and you have to please no one else. Only then, will you have developed a ‘style’ to what you do. Not everyone will agree or like what you do, but be open to honest, good criticism.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well Aaron is a friend...I dont represent him as he has his own agency...this is the pic I shot of him.

The person behind the lense

The personality in facebook - just as human

Malaysian Models
The group in facebook.

The page in facebook

The other photos

email - hanafinoor@yahoo.com

Behind the scene

part 4

The person

Saturday, April 16, 2011


This is Hazlami, he is real, photographed and almost zero editing on him. That is his skin. Well, tell me what do you think if a model you see online or in print is actually a result of excessive editing using special software and photoshop. Dissapointed? Fake? And what if you want to hire and your judgement is based on digital image? fake...thats what you feel.... right?

Not this one and most of what you see in this blog, all real.

Behind the scene - photoshoot Mardiana Alwi

part 3

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Glamour portraiture and modelling - my point of view.

Glamour world is actually created by commercialization of the fashion and cosmetics industry. All about selling and marketing fashion, cosmetics even other goods. It’s cruel to the people in the inside but beautiful to the people viewing. Shedding bucket of tears is normal. Only the strong inside can survive. Even as a photographer like me can be cruel as we do select who will be captured through our lenses if the photography is defined as 'glamour'. Yeah I did let a lot of people down, worse when I didn’t upload their pictures anywhere. Sometimes I do sacrifice friendship when comes to glamour portraiture.

The truth is - when all the expensive equipments are ready, you need a good wardrobe, make up artist (esp. for ladies)...and you need some decently 'good-looking' subject who is knowledgeable in posing (posing implies your personality). All this is knowledge you can gain form time to time, but genuine good look is a gift from God although with modern technology you can alter to a certain degree through cosmetics and plastics surgery. Charisma is another chapter; Carmen Dell Orfice is 79 yet recognized as a true beauty. Lastly, you need a photographer who understands camera exposure and human posture. A good graphic artist is a bonus post photographing. Voila....u got a decent glamour digital portrait. Its pure hard work I tell you and couldn’t just be made by pure chance, it involves lots of money too.

Some people have narrow mindset that post editing of digital portraiture is all it takes to make a portrait beautiful. This is wrong ...same goes with the thinking of 'good photography is the sole cause of beautiful image'. An image can be beautiful if nicely coordinated harmoniously ...the model, makeup artist, lighting set up and photographic skill and equipment. A photographer is not a plastic surgeon....though a slight change to the originality of the person can be allowed ....major overhaul is often disastrous. If an edit is all you need, every makcik and Kak Bedah will be in Vogue Paris.

A not so good-looking 'model' will possibly get a good portrait but hardly glamour portraiture. This is all determine by the viewer not us or our sympathetic friends. Though a god sent talent is the best, confidence, intellectual, good knowledge does help in elevation your image to a certain extent.

So...does suffering to be glamour like excessive dieting, spending for skin care, and clothing worth it? Only you have the answer