Monday 20 February 2012

Introducing Cornelyus Tan: Singapore fashion photographer

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months it’s been around, then you probably have noticed its revamped new look (yes those photos!)

While I’ve been meaning to put more effort in designing the blog (I’m a graphic designer after all!) the lack of time and good photos stood in the way. And although I’m more about content than look, still a fashion blog has to reflect the blogger’s taste and style. My blog was never meant to be taken too seriously (coz I don’t take myself seriously for that) thus the little me-icon; but it is supposed to be fun, informative and reflective of my love for fashion and everything colourful!

In the past 2 week, I’ve been approached by a couple of media outlets for Q&As (one of them is just out here on Jakarta-based and where I had to supply some photos of myself to go along.  And since the last good professional photoshoot I had was over 2 years ago, it seemed like perfect time to have another one.

Luckily I found someone who gave me just what I wanted and captured my passion for fashion and my character very well… and made me look good on top of that; Cornelyus Tan.

Cornelyus is the guy who finally made me look good in photos :-)

Cornelyus is a young Singaporean fashion photographer who also doubles as an accessories designer for his label ScarletCarlson which I’ve mentioned in a previous post.

Here’s a small Q&A with Cornelyus so you get to know more about the man who finally made me re-think my potential late modeling career after my last failed attempt ;-) and if you are as vain as I am, book yourself a session and plaster all those flattering photos on your facebook!

Q1: How did you get into fashion photography? why fashion and not anything else?

Cornelyus: I got into Fashion Photography when I had to give art directions to the first editorial campaign for my label’s 1st jewelry collection: SHIPWRECKED. During the shoot, though it was my first time, I fell in love with the feeling of being able to control how the final image looks like: from the concept to location planning, makeup to curating the clothes and gathering the crew ( Makeup Artist/Hairstylist/Model/Stylist). Being a fashion photographer gives me the joy when it comes to the planning process. It felt like painting an artwork on the canvas and at the end of the day seeing how people loved your final image. So, in any way, i never imagined myself as a fashion photographer to start with.

From Cornelyus' first shoot for his label's collection Shipwrecked.

Q2: How is the fashion photography scene in Singapore?

Well, if you are talking from business point of view, it is rather difficult to break into the scene, because there are so many photographers (amateurs, intermediate and pros) fighting for the same "rice-bowl". And it is rather hard sometimes too, because a lot of them are doing free jobs, hence posing a problem for people who are making a living out of photography out there.
As for local difficulties, I would say Singapore is rather short of exotic locations for this kind of photography as well.

Q3: Tell us more about your style in photography?

Well I would say I’m still seeking a style in general, but sometimes I guess I just want to be versatile too. I tend to stray away from being mainstream, I love my work to be quirky, ethereal and surrealistic. All in all, I love doing something that people would not expect.

Q4:  what’s the most important thing to get a good fashion photograph?

There are few elements that help to get a good photograph (be it fashion or not) and that is to stop being busy snapping and forgetting the small elements that make a good picture. One must know where the light is coming from and know how to frame the picture in such a way that eliminates the unwanted or uncomplimentary elements from the picture.

Q5:  About my shoot, what was your inspiration and how did you come up with the styling and why?

Before I do any shoot, I must do some background research on the subject ( what kind of stuff they like or whatever feeling/mood  the client wishes to be captured). So I found out that you love shoes and colours and thought why not make you like a very happy crazy shopper surrounded with lots of colorful stuff (shoes, bags and clothes..) :-)

Cornelyus Tan is based in Singapore and available for fashion shoots/editorials, events, advertising and personal photoshoots.  
He can be contacted on or you can also check out more of his work on his facebook fanpage and website.

Cornelyus vision has succeeded: I do look a little crazy/happy in this
one, which is what I am when surrounded with my shoes :-)
And yes, sadly all these colourful props and clothes are mine...

Just had to borrow this beautiful necklace from Cornelyus' label
Scarlet Carlson as I had nothing so sober to match my dress :-)