25 Photos - Sep 27, 2011
Photo: I saw her sitting on the stairs outside of a mall, talking with her friend. It seemed like a lively discussion. She was the first girl I’ve approached for this project. When I asked “Is it ok if I take your picture?” she comfortably said “Sure.” I was pleasantly surprised, but was still very nervous. As I took this photograph, I was actually struggling.. thinking: “Steadyyy… man, I hope she doesn’t notice my camera shaking.”Photo: He's a street busker in Orchard Road. From the time I started shooting in this street 3 years ago until now, I almost always see him doing his stuff. He was my first good street photograph [link] - the first one that didn't look like an ordinary snapshot - the one where I thought to myself "Hey, I can do this thing."  Doing this portraits project, I couldn't pass the opportunity to take his picture once again. Amongst all the portraits of strangers I've taken, he was the only one I allowed to give up those pearly whites. Could you have resisted this smile?  Now, whenever I pass by him, I always give $2 as a sign of gratitude for being my first good street shot. And whenever he sees me coming a mile away, he would always wave at me, smiling. One time, he even noticed that I lost weight.Photo: I saw her walking alone in Orchard. I approached her, and when I was about to ask her if I could take her picture, I literally lost my breathe, as if I literally swallowed my words. I stood there for a moment like a fool. As I tried to regain my composure, she was just standing there with a faint smile. Finally, I was able to ask her for a photo and she said ‘yes’.Photo: I spotted her from afar, sitting on the stairs talking with a friend. Her eyes stood out to me. When I approached her, she was hesitant but her friend convinced her to say ‘yes’. As I was taking her picture, she kept smiling even though I told her not to. After a few moments, she was able to hold her smile and give me this beautifully natural look.Photo: I think he’s one of those biker guys I often see walking around in Orchard road, with leather jackets, motorcycle boots, dark shirts, and a bandana.Photo: Photo: Don’t be fooled by his intimidating look. As soon as I took this photo, he was clowning about, smiling as his wife was watching from the side, laughing.Photo: Photo: After an hour of walking around a Saturday afternoon, I saw a slight sunlight partially shining through the overcast sky. I knew this was just perfect soft light for portraits, so I camped out on a spot in Orchard Road that was free of trees and shade. After a few minutes of waiting, I saw her walking briskly, listening to music in her ipod, completely standing out of the crowd with her unique beauty. I stopped her and asked if I could take her photo. I could sense her hesitation so I explained what I was doing and handed her my call card. She finally said ‘yes.’ After a few clicks, I thanked her and she went on her way.Photo: He was sitting outside the mall, wearing dark sunglasses. When I approached him, he immediately shushed me… he was busy listening to something. I apologized and walked away. Later, I noticed that he was then relaxed, so approached him for the second time. He remembered me and apologized for shushing me, I said it was ok. When I asked if I could take his picture, he was pretty cool with it. I also asked him to take his sunglasses off… he looked good with the glasses, but I wanted to be consistent with this project and always show the eyes. You can still notice the sunglass marks on the bridge of his nose.'Photo: He plays the didgeridoo on the side of the street, along with some background trance music he plays from his Ipod classic U2 edition – I noticed the big red click wheel immediately. I waited until he rested from his performance.Photo: When I saw through the viewfinder that he gave me that look, I thought "uh-oh..." After the shot, he smiled... I said "thank you!" and smiled back in relief.Photo: I saw her from afar, walking briskly, standing out of the crowd with her short blonde hair and tall stature. I knew I had to take her portrait. My heart was pounding… I took a deep breath then approached her with a smile… “Is it ok if I take your picture?” She smiled back and said “Of course.”Photo: Photo: I was walking along Orchard when I saw her walking towards my direction. She was wearing a simple one-piece dress, and was quite tall almost towering over most of the people around her. I wasn’t decided yet if I wanted to shoot her, but as I got closer, I knew I had to – she had this subtle angelic charm. My heart started to pound… it always does whenever I’m about to approach a stranger for their portrait. I stopped her and asked if I could take her picture. She smiled and said "Oh, street style." I chuckled a "yeah…", relieved that she understood what I was doing. She said yes. After I took a few shots, I thanked her and she went on her way. I noticed my hands were slightly shivering. It’s funny because she’s my 100th stranger and I still get the shivers. Maybe it was because it’s been almost 3 weeks since I last approached a stranger. Or maybe it was because I knew I had a keeper shot.Photo: It was one of those days where I was walking around for about 3 hours and couldn’t find a good face to photograph. It was starting to get frustrating. The sun had already gone, and I couldn’t accept that I don’t have even a single good shot for the day… so I decided to hang around ION Orchard just for a little while longer. And then I saw her just standing on the sidewalk, looking up at the big screen beside the mall. She seemed to be waiting for someone. She stood out primarily because she was so tall… when I took a closer look, I knew I had to take her picture. When I approached and asked “Is it ok if I take you picture?” she seemed startled just a little bit, but was very gracious and said “Ok.”  I got only one portrait that day… but it was worth it.Photo: He’s a street busker who plays mean percussions in the streets. I was walking behind him as I saw him give alms to a fellow busker. A busker giving alms to a fellow busker… that’s something you don’t see everyday. I caught up to him and asked if I could take his picture. He said yes.Photo: When I approached this girl, she suddenly turned to her male friend speaking in a foreign language which sounded Slavic, probably Russian. Her friend seemed to be translating what I just said and convinced her to pose for me. Despite the language barrier, it’s a wonder how she still managed to give me exactly the look that I was hoping for.Photo: I saw her from afar, buying ice cream from a street vendor with her friend. Those eyes just jumped out as if she was a painting or something. When I approached them, she was so shy about being photographed, but luckily her friend was able to convince her to say yes.Photo: He was sitting on the bench at the side of the road, waiting for someone. When I asked if I could take his picture, he seemed humbled and hesitant, but eventually nodded. As I pointed my camera to him, I told him not so smile. He sat up straight and gave me this cryptic look. He smiled right after the shot.Photo: She was walking with her boyfriend. When I approached them, they seemed startled, but as I explained what I was trying to do, they said ‘yes’. But I could still feel them being unsure about the whole thing. Looking at this portrait, I’m reminded of the quote: “A girl without freckles is like a night without stars.”Photo: When I approached him, he asked me 10 bucks for his portrait. He quickly said "I'm kidding... go ahead."Photo: I saw her from a distance... she was alone and taking pictures of herself with her mobile phone. She had this cute and humble half smile that was infectious. I approached her and asked if I could take her picture. Judging from her accent, I think she's Japanese. If I'm right, then I'm lucky that she could understand and speak English. I always have problems communicating with most Japanese I encounter, so nowadays I usually don't approach them. But this girl was pretty cool. When I explained about my project, she hesitantly asked me with her soft voice "is it safe?" I was surprised, struggled a bit and said "oh yes, yes of course..." Eventually she said yes. And she gave the same humble half smile that I saw from her earlier.Photo: She was walking with 2 of her friends, talking and laughing, having a good time. I noticed her face which seemed so radiant yet so subtle. I remember when I stepped in front of them, she seemed startled. It always worries me whenever I see that expression. I'm glad I eventually got this portrait.Photo: She was sitting alone with very fashionable outfit, listening to music through her headphones. When I approached her if I could take her picture, she asked “whyyy?” with a very high pitched but very cute voice. When I explained about the project, she said yes. I’m glad she did.