Born in 1976, Singapore based photographer Roger Chua has had a fascination with photography since young. As testament to his highly versatile style, Roger’s experience includes editorial interviews and principal photography for various organisations like Sharp, the Institute of Technical Education, SPH, Singapore Turf Club, Far East Organisation, SANA, Parco and the Emerald Hill Group.
Roger has also been a keen contributor to Getty Images since 2013.
1. Hi Roger, you've built up an impressive portfolio, how did you get started on photography and subsequently videography?
I started taking snapshots when I was 9 or 10 years old with this Kodak Ektra 12, which had been lying around at home for as long as I could remember. I can vividly recall the sense of excitement and anticipation I felt while waiting for the prints to be developed. My interest in photography continued beyond my growing up years but I eventually got too caught up in the rat race. It was only in 2007 at the age 31 that I finally picked up my first digital camera.
Eventually, my interest was piqued again when a kind colleague from my days at TimeOut magazine taught me the basics of professional photography. It was then that I truly rediscovered my first love and decided to make a career out of it. When the HDSLR first came into the market, I remember being very interested but the camera I was using at the time did not have a video function. And when I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark 3, I was actually too busy with photography to put in serious effort into learning videography.
At the end of 2013, I was approached by Pauline Lim from Pauline.ning to put together a video for her brand for the Seoul Fashion Week which also served as the promo video for the new Nokia 1020 phone. Within a short time frame, I had to not only learnt to shoot a promo video but also to use a handphone to shoot something professional that would be shown to possibly thousands of people at Digital Fashion Week. I managed to pull off the feat with surprisingly few hiccups. Not half bad for a newbie.
As I dabbled more with video work, I was struck by the compelling need to capture good audio; an area which most beginners like me tend to neglect. As such, I decided to channel as much effort as I could into enhancing my knowledge of both audio and visuals.
2. Do you have any advice for videographers who are just starting out?
I think my advice to newbie videographers is the same as that for photographers who are just starting out, which is, to just go out and shoot. Snap anything that catches your eye people, nature, buildings, food, etc. Then look at your work and ask people for comments and feedback and keep on doing it. One needs to be consistently doing it to improve. Don’t just seek likes on Facebook or Instagram. Seek feedback from peers in the industry. I get tons of flake from my friends who have years of experience in video production on my video work but I take it all in a positive light as there is always something valuable to learn from their brutally honest opinions.
3. Why did you decide to get the System 10 Camera Mount Wireless System and how has your experience with the product been?
The System 10 presents a very attractive package for any budding videographer because of what you get for the price. It comes with 2 lav mics, 1 receiver and 1 transmitter. The mics are from Audio-Technica so you are assured of a quality product. Unfortunately, there were no reviews at the time when I bought it but you can never go wrong with a brand like that.
The amount of gain from the preamps on the transmitter allows for a very clean audio track into the DSLR without using the poor preamps on the camera.
4. What are your upcoming plans?
I am working with a producer friend to do a YouTube channel featuring local celebs and the System 10 would come in handy during the location shoots. I am also looking at doing more documentary and narrative work, both of which are my interests when it comes to shooting videos. I am also planning to do a documentary on child kickboxers in Thailand in 2015, but I would need to find the time and financing to do so.
Photo credits to: @roger_chua
Audio captured using System 10 Camera-Mount Wireless: