Mention the word "photoshoot" and most will relate it to modelling. Yes, photoshoots used to be the domain of models in the past. But not anymore. In today's society, it's becoming a popular and fun activity to engage in. That's especially so because you have a professional photographer, a fashion stylist and a makeup artist pampering you throughout the shoot – making you feel like royalty.

I'm a veteran of photoshoots as I cannot recall how many I have done over the last six years since I started my entrepreneurship journey. While some are personal shoots, others have been commissioned or are part of my projects for organisations. Just like the two day photoshoot for educational institution Ngee Ann Polytechnic's students. Judging from their levels of excitement and mutual chatter, I know it's the first time for all of them. Well, this is not surprising as most Asians are more subdued and less likely to flaunt themselves in front of the camera.

The students asked me what they should do so as to look like a pro in front of the camera. I offered them three tips. These are the same three tips to having great photoshoots which I am going to share with all of you now. I also showed first hand how to pose by doing a casual shot.

Tip #1: Smile For The Camera

The world's universal language is not English. Instead, it is the smile. Yes, a smile that cuts across all cultures, religions and motherlands. So come on people, smile. This is a happy occasion. You are not going to be executed or gunshot so smile smile. Show some teeth. Think happy thoughts of your loved ones and you will smile naturally.

Tip #2: Focus Your Eyes

We all know the eyes are the windows to our soul. You can't hide a lie when you look at a pair of eyes. If it's watery, chances are you are feeling emotional, sad or depressed. In the same manner, if you don't look at the camera, how can we capture the essence of your being? How can we tell the mood you want to portray? 80% of the time you will look at the camera as that's the chief direction that is typical of most photoshoots. The other 20% of the time you will focus your eyes elsewhere as the theme of the shoot is different and you will need to get into the mood of things.

Tip #3: Wear Your Best Clothes

Clothes do make the man. There's no denying this. As the resolution of a professional photoshoot is very high, you need to realise that nothing escapes the image that is captured. Even a simple acne or a strand of fly-away hair will be captured (whether you like it or not). So for everybody's sake, don't wear crumpled clothes for the shoot. Do not wear your pyjamas as well. Clothes that are too worn-in, though comfortable, will also reveal their age. The same goes for ill-fitting clothes that have lost their structure because of prolonged years of wearing should be outcast. Remember, you wear the clothes and not have the clothes wear you.

Instead, impress at first sight by wearing your best clothes. I for one will take pains to choose my clothes days before the actual photoshoot and coordinate my look so I look my immaculate best.

These are the same basic three tips that have seen me through all my photoshoots. Personally, I enjoy photoshoots because every photographer's technique is different…so one can expect different results when you see the photos. But one thing remains the same – smile, your eye focus and of course wearing your best clothes.

I'm so looking forward to my next photoshoot. I hope the students share the same sentiment as me too.

PS: And if there's one thing I know, that is I have created history for myself as I styled 198 boys and 65 girls single-handedly. Wow! Giving myself a huge pat on my back now…Super proud of myselfl!!

For more tips on photoshoot and photography, visit my other business site


These are exciting times. Indeed. Besides studying their core modules, students are also exposed to elective modules. Take for example the personal image and grooming workshop for Ngee Ann Polytechnic students.

Specially customized for the final year School of Engineering students, students attend the one day programme which focuses on theory and practical…culminating in a photoshoot. The aim of this "Groom Me" programme is simple – it is designed to give students the edge over others after they graduate mere months later and start entering the workforce.

As we all know, demand always outstrips supply. You, me and probably the other guy next door is also eyeing the same position in the same industry.

There is no real secret to the art of looking good. Impressing at first sight can never be far distanced from what I may term the holy trinity of grooming – colours, styles and shapes. Master all three aspects well and you will become a master at the art of dressing. It really is an art, rather than a science.

Following the mass lecture in the mornings, I liked the fact that we divided up the cohort into guys and girls in the afternoon session for them to focus on gender specific topics. For the girls, they were taught make-up skills while the guys focused on skincare and many picked up the technique of tying a tie (for the first time).

To spice things up a little, I had a tie tying competition among the volunteers. In life, it's not about the end results that matter most. It's about participating and playing full out. So I salute all those who stepped up to the challenge and didn't buck under pressure. Having to get the knot in a nice triangular shape and having the tip of the tie end up hovering around the belt buckle area are two key aspects to look out for.

And to facilitate their learning, I recorded a video of myself tying a tie with clear, lucid instructions and uploaded it onto Youtube. Here's the link for those of you who are keen to learn how to tie the four in hand style.

Just when all thought the fun was over, I asked for another batch of volunteers who were then handed a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Yes, they were going to wash their face in class and then slap on skincare products. Although more guys are beginning to pay attention to skincare, it remains a fact that there still remains a large number of guys who use soap to wash their face.

Yes, guys love things fuss-free. But using soap to wash your face is the last thing you should do. Consider this – our face has a pH level of 5.5. Compare this with the pH level of soap which is around 9 to 12. That is too alkaline. You only have one face so take care of it. A simple fuss-free skincare routine would comprise cleansing, toning and moisturizing. It's a simple three step routine twice a day. How more complex can it get?

With the tie done and the face properly taken care of, we moved on to the final topic of the day – hair management. Bad hair day, anyone?

Yes, you may have of that phrase. But with the right hair products, one can kiss goodbye to any bad hair days. Choose from a variety of hair products in the market ranging from gel, clay to mud and gum. My personal favourites are still gel and clay…simply because they are easy to rinse off. So for a wet look, I'll go for gel. And for a more natural look, I'll opt for clay.

With these handy tips mastered, I'm 100% positive the Ngee Ann guys are looking forward to a whole new experience next week – their photoshoot (probably a first for 99.9% of all students). I am equally excited for them :)


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