During a recent holiday I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to collaborate with Professional Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Photographer, Peter Chan. As a Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist I’m mostly more comfortable behind the scenes, although I fancy myself as being a bit of a selfie enthusiast. However, since this is my first post for 2017, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and explore another facet of this diverse industry, by playing dress up and trying to strike a pose for the camera. I’m tremendously grateful for Peter’s easy going personality as I was quite nervous about this shoot, however he directed me effortlessly and made me feel at home in front of the camera. Of course I also leaped at the opportunity to interview Peter to learn more about Photography.

Peter, what first ignited your passion for photography?

My passion for photography started when I bought my first DSLR Camera. Marvelling about the endless possibilities of capturing the beauty in everything we see. In this digital age with such rapid technological advancements, one can achieve amazing results from shoot, right through to post-processing.

How would you describe your photography style?

Defining a specific style is virtually impossible as my style evolves over time. Keeping up with trends also motivates you to try different techniques, so style is a continuous process. I shoot in natural light most times only assisted with a reflector if needed.  When it comes to weddings, I bridge my fashion photography style into the way I photograph, especially during bride and groom sessions.

In this highly competitive industry, what do you feel sets your work apart from other photographers?

I evolve and reinvent myself continually, thereby ensuring that I don’t become overly comfortable with my work as I feel that this could lead to stagnation. I feel you have to keep pushing the envelope, always move forward. Everything is advancing, be it a camera, be it your style, improvement, when coupled with tenacity, is a certainty.

Photography has an extremely diverse range, which particular categories of your profession do you find you’re mainly drawn to and why?

I feel that my work is a clear indication of my preferred categories, visit my website http://www.peterchanphotography.co.za to see for yourself!

Where do you acquire the majority of your inspiration from?

I attain it from different sources; from fashion magazines and social media platforms, particularly Instagram. Consequently, you’re able to see what other photographers are doing out there. It is a fantastic medium to see what is trending worldwide, and not just what is happening locally.

Could you explain your aesthetic references and what ideal beauty motivates your photography?

Being a photographer isn’t just knowing how to work your camera or mastering your flash settings. Photography is all about beauty and few people understand or “see” beauty. Having a “photographic eye” as people say challenges you to see beauty in everything. That in addition to using the right composition, introducing leading lines and applying the rules, not only capture beauty but create a powerful image at the same time.

What, in your opinion, are the basic fundamentals relating to being photogenic?

Numerous people say a stunning smile, nicely shaped eyes and an appealing face is photogenic. For me it is the entire package, the way someone carries themselves. Capturing the essence and mood of the subject makes for an amazing photo.  Also, capturing a special moment shared between two individuals, it’s about the emotion that is captured, enabling the photo to tell a story. Having a attractive face is a plus however, to me being comfortable and letting your inner beauty shine through is what dictates the appeal of an image.

Do you have a muse?

I don’t have a muse as I feel that each new shoot requires its own unique contemplations.

What do find most challenging when working with clients?

When clients or models arrive unprepared for their photo sessions, it is frustrating. In order to obtain the best results, it requires participation on behalf of everyone involved. Basics like arriving on time, and knowing what you’d prefer to obtain from your session is important.

What would your advice be to clients/models in order to ensure that they are prepared for a photo shoot?

The preparation list can continue forever, from wardrobe to being on time for your photo shoot. There are various aspects to being adequately prepared.

Given the opportunity to photograph anyone, who would you choose and why?

I haven’t actually put much thought into this. No one specific, however it would be remarkable to have someone famous standing in front of my lens one day.

What are your top tips for the most common mistakes made when being photographed?

Overconfidence. It applies to photographers, clients and models alike. It is alright to be confident, however being overconfident might lead to an undesired outcome.

What would your top advice be to aspiring photographers?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Experiment with techniques, with lighting, even with post processing. Through trial and error, you learn and over time you improve your photographic skills which will empower yourself. Do not let people tell you what you’re doing is wrong because there are no rights or wrongs in the world of photography.

Which photographers inspire you?

Wow, this is a tough question, as there are plenty of extremely talented photographers out there. However, I’d have to say my top 3 are Lara JadeMario Testino & Emily Soto.

Visit Peter’s website here, you can also follow him via the following social media networks;  Facebook & Instagram.

To see more photo’s from our collaboration visit my gallery.

Would you like to stand a chance to win an amazing professional beauty hamper to the value of R1000.00 by nominating your most gorgeous gal pal who’ll win a makeover including a professional photoshoot. *Terms & Conditions apply*

How to enter:

1.) Like the following pages on Facebook: peterchanphotography & beatnikpeach

2.) Follow @peterchanphotography@beatnikpeach on Instagram.

3.) Share and Tag your most gorgeous girlfriend in the comments section of the Facebook post here OR share their photo on instagram using the following – #peterchanctphotoshoot

*Nominations open to Cape Town residents only. Nominees must be between the ages of 18 – 30. Submissions of nominees open from the 22nd until 27th of February 2017. Only one nomination per person please. In order for nominees to be tagged on Instagram there has to be an active profile associated with this person. Only one nomination per person please to be tagged on Facebook OR Instagram. Winner of photo shoot must be available from the 5th until the 7th of March 2017. Winners will be announced on the 1st of March via Facebook, Instagram &  beatnikpeaches.com

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