A page for the Make up Artists

Being a makeup artist is hard work. I am going to dedicate this page, to all the makeup artists that are right now trying to sort out their lively hood and career.

If you think all they do is just do simple make-ups and charge exorbitant fees, well, hopefully this page will give you some insight into their lives.

A makeup artist is like any paid professional. The good ones do literally take up lessons and classes costing up to few thousands and 6 months to 1.5 years of time to pick up the necessary skills.

You have to carry a few kgs bag containing your makeup tools and materials. I tried carrying one of these bags, trust me, its like doing a gym workout for most guys who are not into body building.

Those make-up materials that are in the bag are mostly branded names. Needless to say, they are no cheap, in fact, in order to secure the client’s confidence, often there are gems of premium brands in the bag. Whether its Shiseido, Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, Laura Mercier, or some other brands, its not free.

That is just the beginning. An array of eye lashes and tools for shaping the hair, are part and parcel of today’s MUA (make-up artist) arsenal. Clients do not want to listen to answers like “I only do the make-up for the face, i don’t do hair”. In today’s competitive world where almost everyone have a “package”, MUA’s need to be providing hair make over too.

Malaysia MUA

Joey Lim. One of the make-up artist that i have collaborated with and impressed with her dedication. http://www.facebook.com/JoeyLimMakeUpArtist

Often clients are always pushing down the service value of these MUA’s while they have no problem paying models double the amount. Some requests for eg, ROM in Putrajaya suggests that the MUA needs to wake up around 6 am and easily the session will consume 3-4 hours . Rates that are around RM 300 for a really good and professional make-over are often negotiated down. Some clueless clients even could offer RM 150 or less for the session.

Its pretty discouraging sometimes, when you trained so hard for your skills and work and clients compare you with some new MUA that is doing it for hobby and watched some youtube’s tutorial. Now Youtube’s is a great place for learning things, but often the pro’s have gone way further than practicing on their clients and is worth the fees.

Like any other full time job, the MUA the same cost of living to faced with at the end of the day. Petrol, phone bills, rent, food and those extras that would be useful for upgrading her skills. The best MUA’s are those who loved their jobs, love to make the next person the most beautiful person ever for their events or photography.

Now, if you meet a MUA and get to hear her story, try asking this question and be surprised. “Have you ever been injured while doing make-up?”. Chances are, some scars still exist as a result of steaming hot iron accident on a typical hair make over session.

If you are a photographer / event organiser, you know, having an MUA makes all the difference in the shoot. Not every model could makeup, and even if some could, they would not be able to do a theme specific makeup.

To the next wedding couple and love birds, if you going to have an album that you believe would be enjoyed and lasts “forever”, cutting cost on MUA is probably one of the worst decision to make next to choosing cheapo photographers. Photographers tends to shoot close ups as well and shoulder portraiture during your wedding or “cheong san leong”, a natural makeup should make the bride recognizable but yet highly elegant, not some painted skin edition.

Entaro Adun Executor.

4 Types of facebook friends

While facebook kinda promotes friendship in many ways, sometimes you have to filter out the kind of friends you want. When i first ventured into photography, i met a lot of new people that are different from business types of friends.

However as time goes by, it became obvious to me that some people do not deserves sincere friendship. While i am not looking for perfection in any relationships forged via facebook, i am often baffled by the kind of people that i met that could take things for granted so easily.

No matter what the medium is, real friends could be proven by time, where those who are looking only to promote themselves and nothing else would surface clearly. I do ask myself sometimes, is this a business or is this friendship. If its friendship, we should accept that person regardless of his/her flaws and limitations. In business, if there is no profit in the relationship, it ends. In friendship, we should love our friends and that includes being vocal about their situation if they are clearly on the wrong, morally.

Here i would just humorously categorize FB friends into 4 types:

A) The innocent


They have a lovable outward expression and physicality. Often quiet and seems calm despite all situations. Their timeline rarely contains any rage nor self rants. Its easy to make friends but the old advice “never judge a book by the cover” stays true here. While they could be the ones providing a good ear for listening, they rarely go a mile extra for their friends. Perhaps all those self reflection and quiet times are just spent mostly on themselves and no one else. On the other hand, some are just non vocal until u know them better 🙂

B) The Two faced


Its hard to know if these people are sincere in their friendships at all. Sometimes when things are needed, they will stick close, when things are no longer needed, they are as distance as ice. Often these people have their own plans and agenda that goes this way “Don’t waste my time unless you have something for me”.
On one hand they would appear to be joyous when you are successful on the other hand they are rarely true to this feeling. Enjoying instead on darker emotions like jealousy and believing the world runs on survival of the fittest.
These people often gets banned by their friends without them knowing why and they would themselves often ban others without giving a reason.

C) The Normals


These are socially healthy people that balance their lives between success, work and friendships. They are usually happy and consistent with their aims and goals. If you needed help, some would go the extra mile just for the sake of friendship. Even if they won’t, its mostly for good reasons and not because too much trouble.

D) The Saints


These friends often have an overview of the world. Loves looking at the deeper picture and talks a lot about plans. Some would participate in activities that involves helping animals, environment or some kind of personal crusade.
These people often are passionate in what they do and would be the kind of friends to look for. However, everyone is just humans so don’t expect a real saint.

Did i mention just 4 groups, the others are basically combination of these 4 types one way or the other.

Well, actually i am just taking the opportunity to share my cat photos here so i had to cook up an interesting article, so don’t take these types listed here too seriously! XD

Street photography : Ipoh

I visited Ipoh for a day yesterday, took the opportunity to use the Xvario for street shoots.

Ipoh is a beautiful city located in Perak, Malaysia. Urban legend has it that its a place where most of Malaysia’s beautiful ladies comes from, quoting various examples, eg Michelle Yeoh, Malaysia’s first bond girl.

The food in Ipoh is plentiful and comes in all kind of creative forms. What i mean by this is that the local in Ipoh tends to be very entrepreneurship when it comes to food.

Enjoy my set of street photography.

L1030898-EditL1030660 L1030664 L1030666-Edit L1030668 L1030673 L1030687 L1030693 L1030695 L1030696 L1030697 L1030717-Edit L1030806-Edit-Edit-Edit L1030827 L1030835 L1030843

Form Matters

A camera like Ricoh GR and XVario has a form that promotes street photography. I have been trying out various other cameras but i have never been motivated to capture images and be surprised by the results as i did with these cameras.

Why? I believe it boils down to something so simple and raw, its practically the trigger for motivation. It begins with “Form”

1. Size matters

You can shout and chant the whole day and read magnum contact books and dead photographer’s portfolios. But if you gonna hold a 70-200 zoom lens on your dlsr and walk up the street and shoot, you not going to succeed. Size matters. Holding on something big, is not going to give you the speed and flexibility to move right into a scene and shoot it. Street photography is about people and expression where you are almost at the same place, witnessing and participating. I love zoom shooting in mall photography, something i did as a kind of street photography when i am just too tired or motivated to walk outside. I get nice photos but nothing that i am really happy with.

If you gonna carry a 50-500 lens, you are better off joining the Olympics than doing street photography. The anticipation in street is not just one direction, it could be behind you or on your side, and to shoot discreetly and yet breath in the scene, size affects mobility and mobility affects results.

A camera that is of the correct size grants the bearer such joy, that its hard to describe. When news of friends and people moving away from DSLR to 4/3, Fuji’s and whatever else out there, i initially thought that its just a rush decision. Make no mistake about it, liberty and freedom is a feeling that many associate as criterias for happiness and when your camera gives you event a taste of that, its hard not to understand why they did it.

2. Camera Quality matters

Motivation begins when you feel inspired by something or a thought that you hold in your mind. Holding a lego camera, will not get you motivated unless your motivation is pre-planning to fail and yet not feel bad since you got a bad deal to begin with. Lets face it, carrying a plastic camera that feels like toys, does not contribute a single motivating trigger to you anymore than a B rated movie gonna get you high expectation. Expectation however matters. A camera that is build nicely, triggers all kinds of good thoughts and inspirational feeling when you carry it.

When i first had my M9, despite the reality that its a camera that is kinda “stupid” with all kinds of limitations, i did produce some photos that i am very happy with. Logically any camera today with a fast lens could easily out gun any Leica M shooters if the photographers are on the same level. Auto focus is just too stupid to be ignored. After i sold my M9, i got all kinds of cameras. They all could in theory, capture much better photos in various lighting conditions. I did have many keepers no doubt, but the joy of holding the camera just isn’t the same. M9 felt stupid due to the technological limitations and rangefinder, but the build and touch of the camera, inspires one to go out and shoot. I know one day, Leica will produce one that you won’t feel stupid and at the same time highly inspired by the build quality.

Partially this condition is met in the Xvario. The camera immediately brings back the feeling i had with the M9 and minimizes on the stupidity part. The only “stupid” part i felt was the slow lens but given that i wanted to train on deep dof, this counters the thought. The Xvario, to me, is the real Digital Leica. Its far from perfect, a perfect one would be 24-70 mm 1.4 on a FF Leica but at the current situation, that is crazy thinking 😉

3. Inspiration matters

It begins when you hold the camera, up to the point when you shoot it. My nikon D4 performs flawlessly and was iron clad dependable. Inspired, hardly, but it does removes me from distraction of limitations since if D4 cant’ perform, its entirely the photographers fault . Ricoh GR is so light, u feel immediately like moving around and shoot. Xario feels so solid, you feel that every moment is special. D4, tells you, go do your job. Its not a bad thing if you are a full time photographer on duty, but for your own passion based projects , inspiration goes a long way.

No article should be complete without a photo to prove my point right? I have been fetching my daughter for more than 4 years to the school. I have used all kind of cameras trying to capture something i like, her silliness and laziness when waking up from the car, or just some expression. I got that with the Xvario.

The Three images


Today i have 3 images to share.


1) This image shows our police officers. For some reason, the main subjects appears to be slanted while the horizon clearly arent.

Casual stare

2. Leica shop in Starhill, KL, Malaysia.

This friendly assistant sold me a UV filter for my Xvario. 43mm is a rare diameter for a filter and this is the only place i could find one with an acceptable quality.

The shop

3. A very casual shot at MCD. Was waiting for a friend when bumped into this friend of mine. Took the opportunity to snap her photo. BG edited with a small amount of radial blur for drama.