Lightedpixels is an award-winning studio that has been selected the “Best of Singapore in Wedding Photography by Tatler Weddings for five consecutive years from 2007 onwards. They have also been placed in Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s (AGWPJR) list of top 10 photographers, internationally. In addition, they have been consistently awarded Accolades of Excellence in Wedding Photography Association (WPPI) through the past two years.
We have the privilege of asking Kelvin Koh, founder and lead photographer, on his aspirations, motivations and love for wedding photography in particular.
M: Lightedpixels has come a long way and with the numerous awards and accolades you have garnered. How do you see yourself innovating and moving forward in the future?
LP: We see ourselves continuing to provide a great photography experience for our clients. We also aim to continue to be one of the leading photography studios in the region. We hope to establish a family of studios under the Lightedpixels branding.
M: Being a pioneer in wedding photography, how do you think this hobby turned occupation has changed you?
LP: It’s a dream vocation! Wedding photography has allowed me to pursue the things I am very passionate about. It’s not just photography, but also growing a brand and connecting with not just the people that we shoot for but also the vendors that we deal with.
It has allowed me numerous opportunities to travel, have interesting collaborations, meet and make new friends and also influence a generation of wedding photographers. It has made me a better person. The ups and downs of being in this industry had taught me how to keep my spirits high when times are challenging and how to keep my head down when I am soaring! haha. Because photography is really about reflecting who you are, it has made me aware of how being a better person has an influence on my photography.
M: You seem to be jetting around all the time, how do you balance your work and family commitments?
LP: I think the travelling allows me time off from my wife and four kids at home!! Hahaha. Donít get me wrong. I love them dearly and I miss them when I am away but having some time to myself is a great privilege. When I am back in town, I try and spend as much time with them. My flexible work hours allow me that.
M: We know that there are many cities that Lightedpixels likes to photograph in. Is there a particular destination that you love to photograph in?
LP: There is not a favourite city. However, Paris will always be dear to me as I have shot there the most! More than 80 couples and counting. Many of our iconic images were taken here and it has since influenced many other photographers who shoot there too so it’s something that I am thankful for. I also like Santorini for its quiet vibe outside of the tourist areas. Itís such a pretty and charming little island! I also love Japan! For their culture, food and sights!! For travels, I love London! Everything about it! Ha
M: You capture love so seamlessly and beautifully, is there a particular formula you follow?
LP: Actually there is! It is about being genuine and real with the people you are shooting for. You need to build trust. It is also about relating to them as two human beings who are loved by others. I draw my inspiration from this – that there is a lot about them to love. Itís also about having a lot of empathy and experiencing love. Luckily, that is something almost all of us are familiar with. Itís all about focusing on that and creating an environment that the people you are shooting for are comfortable in and are able to express their love for one another freely.
M: On the flip side, what are some of the interesting (nasty) things you have seen?
LP: Most of these instances (and it rarely happens for us) are due to mismanaged expectations. As such, it is important to be clear what we can provide and can’t.
M: We know how competitive the wedding photographer industry is with all the ìold birdsî, the newcomers and even the amateurs. Any interesting stories to share about all these rivalries?
LP: I liken this to the pop industry. There will always be new artists who are incredible and highly talented. However, there is also always going to be your artists who are still as relevant after all these years. While some fade away, others stay on and become legendary like U2! Personally, I think it is very demanding and besides passion, you need other motivations to keep you going. You also need to learn to adapt to current trends.
M: If you have any advice for budding photographers who decide to be your competitors, what would it be?
LP: We are never truly rivals. If we stay true to who we are and enjoy the process of shooting, we can always grow together and help one another. It is not easy to rise to the top and even if you do, it is only fleeting. It is far better to enjoy the journey that you are taking and the bonds you have made and the contributions you have provided. Lastly, everyone has a different definition of success.
Metropolitant’s Michelle and Jason also had the opportunity to be photographed by Kelvin and here are some of his beautiful works.
Editorial by Jason “Hip Xiong” Chew