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Chai Kok Leong – A journey of an opinion leader in photography

Brands with that focal length and big aperture is good for street and portraits...

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If you are in the photography scenes long enough in recent years, chances are, the name “Chai Kok Leong” is a name you won’t miss.

Over the years, business methods have shifted, things changed and people grow too. This is an update of the local professional news series and of course, this is not the first time we had an interview with Kok Leong. He is the founder of Demomentz Studio, and also an award-winning photographer with a number of titles and awards in his bag.

So what Kok Leong has been up to lately? He is currently a commercial, wedding and portrait photographer, and in 2016, he has founded PPAM, a new organization that runs on a new concept to improve the photography industry in Malaysia. PPAM is an educational base organization not only for the professionals but also for serious enthusiasts and beginners who wish to involve in the photography industry. 

In the same year, he has been involved in the design and administrator of Histogood, an online platform which originated in Singapore, and he is also one of the certified judges for Histogood

“Over the past five years, I was involved and has been appointed as spoke person of various equipment brands, and I am now actively giving photography seminars and workshops in the country and overseas” added Kok Leong. One of his achievements was his travel workshop series “Framing The World”, where he organised trips to countries like Indonesia and Vietnam for workshops with aspiring photographers who wish to learn from him on a personal level. 

Speaking for the EOS M50 launch

So, how did he started to like photography back from the starting point? “I happened to attend a wedding reception, inspired by the montage that played during the dinner on the big screen, and, I would say… the wedding photographers that day inspired me and not knowing who he was” added Kok Leong.

He still recalls his very first investment for a camera is Canon EOS 400D kit and in less than a year after buying his first camera, he has decided to take the leap of faith to turn professional.

Chai Kok Leong’s first camera, the Canon EOS 400D

When asked about what other camera systems Kok Leong says, “My collection includes a good set of Lumix Micro Four Thirds system where I used to work them as a speaker for their workshops and of course, I have the Canon EOS system as my workhorse for commercial works”

His favourite lens is actually the 50mm F1.2. “Brands with that focal length and big aperture is good for street and portraits and these prime lenses can assure quality output and the only thing that holds you back is your skill set,” said Kok Leong. “When I travel for leisure and not for work, I will carry the smallest possible camera, such as the mirrorless system camera like the EOS M series, some primes lenses and a tripod”

As an experienced commercial photographer, Kok Leong says time is money. “Try to get the setting right so you can spend more time shooting and less time on editing. On average, I will only spend about three minutes on an image, from RAW conversion to minor touch up.”

As a piece of advice to an aspiring photographer, Kok Leong’s words of advice is “Learn from the basic, create a strong foundation in lighting, and get yourself certified before going into business.”

To follow him on social media, click here.

Chai Kok Leong – A journey of an opinion leader in photography

Framing The World Series – Bromo
Editor | Arthur Chen
Editor, Photographer, Video Director & Producer and avid Traveller. The media industry has been my playground for a long time and is getting more exciting by the days.