THE ACCIDENTAL ARTIST. A TIME TO REFLECT.


| The Brunei Times Personality Of The Week: Jan Shim, An Accidental Artist |

There comes a time in one’s life when have a moment, time-out in the daily grind, to look back the past year(s) and make a conscious effort to recall the people who or the things that have made an impact in your life, fleeting moments that go unnoticed and often unappreciated. We all love celebrations and more to the point, we love to find reasons to celebrate. Today, on Dec 31 2007 as we get ready to hang up a new calendar, I write this post to celebrate life and to thank the people who’ve made today possible for me!

SHIMWORLD Blog – One Year Later.
On Nov 3 2007, SHIMWORLD blog celebrated its first year anniversary having inaugurated this blog with this article. Since then I have made 160 posts including this one and with your support and appreciation, I’m all charged up for the new year. Expect the Unexpected springs to mind as to what 2008 holds. Who really knows, life is short, make the full use of what’s right in front of you! SHIMWORLD is my way of capturing the moments, however fleeting they may be, so that years from now, I can look back at my accomplishments and reminisce the precious moments (good and bad) I’ve had with people who shared my journey.

One of those things that changed my life was a Canon EOS 300D digital SLR camera that I picked up on October 14, 2003 along with my first professional L lens, the EF 17-40 f/4. That was intended to replace the Kodak 1.6-MP DC-265 which I had used mainly for motoring interests (and pictures of the kids growing up). For its intended purpose the 300D was OK but soon I needed a better camera as I hit the threshold of the 300D’s usability. Then the EOS 20D, EOS 1D Mark II and EOS 5D followed. This post isn’t about the equipment I own but rather the journey and the opportunities they brought me!

canon300d.jpg

Canon EOS 300D & EF17-40 L lens © Jan Shim Photography

From time to time, I receive enquiries from visitors concerning my career switch from IT to photography. One such recent visitor named priscias comments @ LOUIS VUITTON. A WORK OF ART.

I love that photo you posted as the first thing that came into my mind was, “Such a nice shot of a LV trunk!” but to realize it was the exterior of the LV boutique when I read further on.

What’s the challenge you faced when you switched your career from IT to photography?

I am studying business computing now and I am taking photography module as an elective. I honestly feel that I won’t be able to make it in the IT industry, at the same time, I am interested in photography.

As it turns out, there are many IT professionals who are also weekend wedding photographers. I say Weddings because that’s the biggest and most sought after photography services that’s always in demand at any price point. Photography for the most part did not start as a part time income for me nor did it start as a hobby. I had no passion for photographs and as a kid I hated being asked or posed to be photographed (much like my daughter’s reluctance today). Looking back, it was my dad’s passion for photography on his film body Canon AE-1 that gave us memories that would not have otherwise been captured.

Looking forward, I got into the photography business purely by accident. I had left my 13-year IT career to further pursue internet business opportunities that I had established a couple of years earlier. With the 300D, I discovered a whole new world outside the realm of IT. One thing led to another and I found myself exploring opportunities to meet people and see just how far the camera would take me to. Suddenly it dawned on me that the 300D is no longer a tool to produce great photographs but a fantastic networking tool.

On July 4th 2004, I shot my first wedding for a young Chinese couple whose bride Ee Shu (right) worked for one of my IT solutions partners. Like any enthusiastic newbie, I agreed to shooting her Actual Day wedding tea ceremony and banquet together with a colleague of hers. Interestingly, 3.5 years later on December 8–9 2007, I shot a wedding of one of her closest friends, Adeline (pictured left) in A December Wedding to Remember.

Later that month (July 2004) at His Majesty’s the Sultan of Brunei’s Birthday celebration in my town Seria, I had taken a casual photograph of the Mr Lau Ah Kok, Chairman of Hua Ho Department Store , the largest chain of department stores in Brunei who also carries the title Pehin Dato Kapitan China Kornia Di Raja bestowed by the Sultan. Then in August 2004 at the Belait district celebration of the Crown Prince’s wedding (photos from Bandar Seri Begawan street parade), I handed an 8R print of the photograph I had taken in July to his Personal Assistant who promptly handed to Pehin Lau. What happened next changed the course of my career permanently.

Pehin Lau (center) with USA TODAY journalists © Jan Shim Photography

Pehin invited me to join him at the Royal luncheon at the Belait District Officer’s residence and with everyone dressed in formal attire, I was the only one who was casual. My reluctance to accept his impromptu invitation was overcome by his insistence to step into his Lexus 430. From that moment on, I became his Personal Photographer till only very recently I moved on pursue other photography interests. Here’s a copy of that fateful photograph.

pehinlau2004.jpg

So, what challenges did I face switching from IT to photography?
Someone who’s just breaking into the photography market would face insurmountable number of challenges obvious to an unfamiliar environment. Having over a decade of real-world business experience helped overcome the otherwise steep learning curve. Running Jan Shim Photography like a small business has been the biggest differentiation factor to making it in a short time frame. Know the market, know the competition and set realistic goals and work towards them—the subject of photography covers a very wide spectrum—my strength coming from corporate background is, well, corporate events, commercial photography and so forth. There isn’t a single success formula to do well in this business—what may work for me may be a disaster for another. It’s also my observation that the market here has suffered quite an erosion as discussed on Maurina’s blog.

A very busy 4 years or so track record that seemed to have gone by so quickly. Not exactly a blink of an eye but rather several hundred shutter actuations later, I had in that time photographed weddings, corporate events, food and bank commercials, destination holidays and the countless people I’ve met not forgetting the relationships forged have been the most rewarding time of my life.

The month of Dec 2007 brings to mind a number of notable events such as:

In my December Starbucks Rendezvous 2, I met with Award Winning Wedding Photog Stephen Loh of Lyrical Moments, Gerald Tay, Chon Chat, Vernon Leow besides managing my kids on their vacation in Singapore. December is a month of balancing personal year-end activities and client’s events before the mad rush comes to a mellow end.

More often than not, productivity comes with little sacrifices that require a traditional touch for comfort much like how we wind down and look forward to a new year! Some drink and watch fireworks while others like me prefer some blistering cuppas—the man said “you have a lot of wind I’ll put some cups on your shoulder” Guess he got carried away somewhat!

cupping-2008.jpgCupping Therapy © Jan Shim Photography

Looking back (or at my back), I look forward to what opportunities the new year brings. That said, there isn’t a better time than today to thank everyone who made a difference in my life—YOU know who you are! :)

52 thoughts on “THE ACCIDENTAL ARTIST. A TIME TO REFLECT.

  1. Keep up your good work,Jan! New year new hope is approaching. May ur heart be filled with happiness esp. doing what u enjoy most. Happy new year..cheers!

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  2. Great story. You are an inspiration to the rest of us unknown photographers out here. Thanks for everything you’ve taught us, directly or indirectly.

    Happy new Year !

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been interested in reading about how you got started in photography, and I think that sums it up pretty good. I got my 300D just 2 months after you did :o Keep up the superb work, and Happy New Year!

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  4. Happy New Year my Friend. I like your look back and bio. I too am in IT, and would love to get out…..but have to pay the bills right now….but you give me insparation. Thanks~

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  5. It takes courage to change your course – what I really enjoy is the expression of your gratitude for the past, your enthusiasm for your future and the firm joy you find in your present journey.

    I think We are blessed to know You!

    ‘And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people permission
    to do the same’

    - Marianne Williamson

    Congrats and keep it up :)

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  6. Truly inspiring Jan. Your change in careers reminds me of my own. The many decisions I have made over the years, and the crossroad I am about to face yet again in this new year :)

    Your comment on IT pros being part time wedding photogs is amusing heheh. Never thought of it that way but there is indeed some truth in it and I do know some IT pros who take a mean picture.

    Could it be because IT pros have a natural propensity towards the sheer technical dexterity required in today’s world of digital photography? Old schoolers will balk at that though!

    In the end, I think the difference between a good photographer and an Artist is what makes the cream rise to the top ;)

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  7. 2008 will be a better year for all of us ! lets all not forget the past, and make sure we will never make the same mistakes twice.

    and yes….. Happy New Year with many more good years ahead and….

    last but not least

    HUAT AHHHHH !!!!!!!!

    HUAT AHHHHHH !!!

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  8. It’s a really heartwarming story you’ve got here. I guess most of us stumble upon photography by accident.

    And I cant agree more that photography is a great networking tool. The amount of friends I’ve made as a photographer has really expanded my social circle.

    All the best in 2008!

    Carpe Diem,
    geraldtay

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  9. A very inspiring write-up although I’m still not sure whether I’ll have the same courage as you did to change course from my current job to full time photography…. not even a part-time one but merely a hobbyist enjoying the clicking sound of my camera and the satisfaction of seeing the results. HNY 2008 and wish you all the best and better year (and years to come!)

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  10. Well….2007 had been jus “well” for me. I took my photography to another level, started my blog and took a few lessons from Mr JS (Jan Shim).

    One of the few defining moments for me was on a trip to Brunei, as the place was really quiet and peaceful, it made for quite alot of reflection time for me. It’s one of those moments that I decided to go the other mile for my photography and career.

    All the best to everyone reading this for 2008…:D

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  11. Phew! A mildly nauseating first week of the new year not from a hang over but rather from the anniversary disarray of new school term and incomplete books, one of those teething troubles that has a habit of repeating itself year after year. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining (at least not in the context of a working parent taking time off work to settle their schooling kids in). As a parent and a freelance professional photog, I get to be home more often and that means being closer to the kids and being accessible to them as soon as they come marching through the door after school.

    I’m elated to read your comments on the echoes of inspiration that this post transcends. Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and ditto the well wishes for 2008. There are gaps in my story, some momentous events that occurred in several and separate timelines between 2004 and 2007. As I write my own comments, reading your comments jogged my forgetful mind and brought back some things that I have forgotten. To this I credit the merits of blogging and justify the time invested to have a permanent record of my moments lived. Please forgive me if in my attempt to reply to your comments, I end up repeating myself.

    Wow, that’s such an intriguing story. You’ve made a name out of yourself in such a short time. Kudos and happy new year 2008 Jan!

    Thank you very much. I am a new face in the photography business but an established name in IT but today the distinction between these two professions are blurred due to the proliferation of IT professionals shooting weddings in the weekend. It helps to focus when there isn’t a distraction but ever so often, a detour comes and you can choose to take it or leave it. Looking back, if I had let fear consume me and not step inside Pehin Lau’s car, my profile today may be very different. A little luck on your side helps.

    Great story. You are an inspiration to the rest of us unknown photographers out here. Thanks for everything you’ve taught us, directly or indirectly.

    Thanks. I got to where I am today thanks in part to folks who inspire me both local and overseas, life changing events around the world that jolted my senses, one of which was the realization that the world is as big or as small as we make it. I lost my brother to a disease called Cerebral Palsy so growing up without the bond from a sibling, that void was filled by the many friendships I had forged with classmates who grew up with me in school here and in Australia. Long after leaving school, the learning never stops and there’s a new learning curve in everything new we do and it’s this learning curve that keeps us on our toes all the time.

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been interested in reading about how you got started in photography, and I think that sums it up pretty good. I got my 300D just 2 months after you did Keep up the superb work, and Happy New Year!

    The EOS 300D aka Digital Rebel was Canon’s flagship camera that broke the DSLR price barrier and gave many people a stab at SLR photography. I got the 300D simply because of Canon’s effective and timely marketing but it wasn’t all fun and games. I struggled with the 300D and came to a point I nearly gave up trying. Like many today that I come across in forums, I had difficulty understanding the relationship between exposure, shutter speeds and ISO and their impact on the final picture. Most times, I was getting many underexposed pictures even in full auto mode so I figured I sucked at this when even AUTO failed on me. Time and again, I picked up the camera and tried and tried until the results improved. With renewed confidence, I was again taking photographs and going out more with it. The turning point came on Sept 20, 2004 when I bought the 20D and it completely changed the way I looked at photography. The 20D’s design and form factor quickly became an extension of me and till today, it remains one of my favourite bodies second only to the EOS 5D. I owned the professional EOS 1D Mark II briefly for what is worth, I disliked it as much as I was frustrated with the 300D. Through this, I won’t disagree the next time someone credits my work to the camera I have. If you’re uncomfortable with the camera and are constantly struggling with it, it’s unlikely you’re going to produce results you expect of it.

    It takes courage to change your course – what I really enjoy is the expression of your gratitude for the past, your enthusiasm for your future and the firm joy you find in your present journey. I think We are blessed to know You!

    Just as I am equally blessed to know you through this craft. The internet has been with us for a long time yet it continues to amaze me how technology has changed the way we work and communicate. In similar capacity, it amazes me how one effective marketing campaign to flood the world with affordable DSLR has changed my life and the lives of people around me. We are who we are because of the influence of others. It’s here that I learnt the formula to be successful and that’s through collaboration.

    Truly inspiring Jan. Your change in careers reminds me of my own. The many decisions I have made over the years, and the crossroad I am about to face yet again in this new year

    Your comment on IT pros being part time wedding photogs is amusing heheh. Never thought of it that way but there is indeed some truth in it and I do know some IT pros who take a mean picture.

    Could it be because IT pros have a natural propensity towards the sheer technical dexterity required in today’s world of digital photography? Old schoolers will balk at that though!

    In the end, I think the difference between a good photographer and an Artist is what makes the cream rise to the top

    I don’t know about IT people being more technically dextrous to take good pictures. Certainly in my context, finding the right camera can make or break the opportunity to be really good at it. If anything, the very thing that’s helping nations progress through information technology was crippling my personal progression.

    Thirteen years in the industry, I felt I gave up a lot to make others happy and the turning point came when I was preparing for my Citizenship exam. Looking through the notes and past exam questions I realised one shocking truth. I’ve lived in Brunei all my life (minus the four years I studied abroad) and I knew very little about my own country. I was completely oblivious to things that were happening around me, matters of the government were distant, His Majesty’s titahs escaped me and while there weren’t as many events going on back then, my job had made me anti social. Ignorance is not bliss and the ugly truth had surfaced. I needed to get the hell out.

    Looking back, it was the biggest life changing decision I had ever made. I began my re-education process with Pehin Lau whose journey took me through the four districts of Brunei Darussalam, and meeting the very people who directly contribute to our national history – His Majesty the Sultan, the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, District Officers, High Commissioners and Ambassadors from the Diplomatic Missions to Brunei. The opportunity to photograph Pehin Lau’s diplomatic visits, his family and the success of Hua Ho and other highly regarded economic leaders of stature was like seeing the history books come alive except I was a part of present history being written for future generations to read about and aspire to – our Country. Our Brunei Darussalam.

    Although this may be a little premature to announce, a large collection of my photogaphs of Pehin Lau are included in his second publication, said to also include a photographer’s profile and also planned to be a trilingual publication. To be a part of Pehin Lau’s history is an honour I lack the appropriate words to describe my appreciation.

    A very inspiring write-up although I’m still not sure whether I’ll have the same courage as you did to change course from my current job to full time photography…. not even a part-time one but merely a hobbyist enjoying the clicking sound of my camera and the satisfaction of seeing the results. HNY 2008 and wish you all the best and better year (and years to come!)

    I’ve done many things in my earlier years as a student that I had no clue why I had done them. It was spontaneous and mostly reactionary but things that needed to be done or risk failure. In Secondary 4 at St John’s School where I studied, my former Form teacher made a fateful decision to retain me inspite of appeals made by my parents and my aunt who was also a teacher at the school. I must have been just 13 at the time and not waiting to further disappoint my folks, I headed over to Chung Hwa School where the principal agreed to meet me (and another two classmates who also didn’t make it). One of the two was Albert Stephen, son of Ignatius Stephen who owns a successful cafe in Bandar Seri Begawan and also the online portal BruDirect whose background in journalism still sees him writing for the Borneo Bulletin. Being the self appointed ring leader of the three, I negotiated with the principal and we agreed that if our results were bad, he had the right to move us to Secondary 4. That was the end of it … a year to prove my worth, the three of us graduated with great results (not exactly academic excellence but great nonetheless). In perspective, the teacher’s fateful decision turned my life around for the better!

    Can you imagine what it was like, having been educated in an English school all my life then like a flick of a switch, it was complete culture shock to find myself in a Chinese school, not knowing a word of the written language. It was too late now and it was time to keep our promise and more importantly to keep mine. I had a lot to lose. I ended up staying 2 years at the school and the Chinese speaking classmates accepted this local “gwei lo” into their community. Besides good grades, I also picked up a Gold trophy for the school’s track and field event at the Kejohanan Olahraga Antara Sekolah-Sekolah and Maktab-Maktab Negara Brunei Darussalam Kali Ke XX Tahun 1987 in the Lontar Lembing Lelaki C class. Life changing moments? You bet. This is the one and only trophy I’ve got to celebrate the good and memorable times I had with CHMS KB.

    I don’t think I have any more courage to pull something off as much as I have the instinct to do so. As far as the move to photography, I have my wife to thank for her brave encouragement. It’s equally scary saying yes to something that you have no prior experience of.

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  12. Well….2007 had been jus “well” for me. I took my photography to another level, started my blog and took a few lessons from Mr JS (Jan Shim). One of the few defining moments for me was on a trip to Brunei, as the place was really quiet and peaceful, it made for quite alot of reflection time for me. It’s one of those moments that I decided to go the other mile for my photography and career. All the best to everyone reading this for 2008…:D

    Those who don’t know Colin, he’s an IT professional and have on numerous occasions been posted to Brunei to do some work at one of the Ministries. One of the perks in this field is the opportunity to travel at nearly all levels from Engineer to Sales to Management. While working for my former company, I travelled to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand to attend courses and meetings. Back then, I could easily lose myself to the demands of work when I should have made an effort to network and see more of the country instead of airport and hotel hopping.

    In hindsight, if I were able to do everything all over again, the years in IT would have certainly been a lot more productive but the one lesson I learnt from all this is the need to travel. There is simply no argument here as to the merits of travel except for costs involved but that can be managed. Today I highly regard travel as an opportunity to invest in social and cultural enrichment and I have personally experienced this first hand when I launched the Starbucks Rendezvous programme in November 2007 to meet and greet with fellow aspiring and professional photographers in Singapore including also vendors of photographic equipment. One of such persons I met on this trip though not at Starbucks was Colin whom had failed to meet in Brunei despite various attempts to accommodate him in Seria. We did however meet at the MakanSutra at Glutton’s Bay, Esplanade.

    The Starbucks Rendezvous programme is my attempt to network with people outside of our usual circles of friends and clients, to find inspiration from a culturally and socially diversed Singapore. Recently, a professional photographer based in USA picked up this idea (Starbucks Rendezvous) and he’s interested in a spin-off using any of the many Starbucks outlets in the States.

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  13. Not that I need to tell you how great your blog is. Whether its the inspiring photos or small words of wisdom within…or even the photos of amazing looking foods you have taken me on this journey with you over the years. ]
    As we’ve never met face to face but a long time internet based friendship you’ve done some great things and inspired me in your own way. I’m not a professional photographer whatsoever but your words and pictures have made me want to take more pride and elevated my respect for photos and the meaning or piece in time they represent.

    Best of luck to you in 2008, i’m sure theres more you’ll “oooo” and “aaaa” us with and can’t wait to be a part of it ;) , in one regard atleast.

    Matt

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  14. Hey Matt, we go way back to our motoring days and we obsessed over all things turbocharged yet separated by 1 litre engine capacity – me and my 2.0L Subaru Impreza WRX and you and your 3.0L Supra – oh how our lives have changed but the internet kept us in touch over the years!

    Last night in the midst of an thunderstorm, fearing the possibility of a blackout (thankfully we don’t get hurricanes like you do in the States), I posted an article in one of Malaysia’s photography forums, PhotoMalaysia, with a link to this article. To my delight, it was well received.

    http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/showthread.php?p=533665#post533665

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  16. Hi Leaa, thanks for visiting!

    Yes I DO (pardon the pun) although not exclusively. Essentially, it all boils down to opportunity and availability of not just my time but also that of my partner I shoot with. Eversince I posted the Bersanding Wedding Gallery of my niece, it has attracted enquiries for Malay weddings which I don’t offer. That was done as a personal gift to the couple and my apologies for the inconvenience.

    If you’re looking for a photography services for a Chinese Actual Day wedding services, please email me offline with details of your big day. Thank you.

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  17. i still don’t get why you said ‘life is except me’… you definitely live a life less ordinary, and that makes you different too. :) i’m sure life has lots more stored for you in 2008.

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  18. I am so glad to know that you are happy with your choice. Myself, just started photography, hoping to do more with it. Just like you I also have a stable and fullfiling career. I know so how deep inside me I need a change. Will I be brave enough when the time come for me to make the switch., yet to be seen. My dear friend in photography, be proud of what you have achieved, savoir it. Til we meet again in this blog.

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  19. @ Ferren
    Many thanks for dropping by and also for your tireless help in sorting out the copyright issues over the Wu Chun images last year and for your tireless support and effort in translating my blog into Chinese for the mainland Chinese fans! Not forgetting also for introducing SHIMWORLD to the Chinese community on BAIDU.com—passionate members who didn’t let Chinese censors stop them from posting their comments.

    @ Sulz
    No stranger on the WordPress Forums (second only to Mark, the Key Master :), it’s such an honour to have you here. Sulz is always quick to lend a hand to the clueless (me)!

    Life is Except Me‘ was my attempt (that hour of the night—fighting to keep eyes and mind awake) at saying that while my stories and life achievements make my life (seem) interesting and fulfilled, I on the other hand am quite the not-so-interesting person that this blog doesn’t reveal. ‘A life less ordinary‘ puts things in perspective for me—I get bored very easily so this ‘less travelled’ path keeps things interesting for me!

    @ Faisal
    Indeed I am happy with this choice I made but let’s see how long and how far I walk on this path before something more interesting, more enlightening, comes my way. A ‘stable and fulfilling’ career is a good thing and if you have people who respect your contribution and are worthy of your slavery, that’s OK too. Reality can be such a bitter pill to swallow in many many parts of the employee quadrant vs the self-employed/freelancing (again I stress it’s not all fun and games on this side of the fence either). Thank you for your vote of confidence!

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  20. Hi

    Undoubtedly, the grass is always greener on the other side, may not be true. I agree with you. Nevertheless, we just need to work at it and focus at our objectives. Things will go our ways sooner or later. Enough of this, say have u been to Bali, I am planning a trip there, my first, for my personal project “Photo journey thru bali”. any advise on what to bring and where to go and stay………

    Faisal

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  21. No, I haven’t but would love to visit it some day. I normally travel with my the EOS 20D and EFS 10-22mm, 50mm f/1.8-II and 24-70mm f2.8. Any more lenses and the trip becomes uncomfortable. I also bring an IXUS 700 as backup just in case!

    I hear there’s Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel there. It’ll be interesting to combine photos of traditional Bali with the more Americanised side. I have not even begun to Google Bali.

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  22. Thanks,

    my trip confirmed leaving on 14 Feb evening. Got a personalise travel guide whom my firend had used when he was in bali for his photo taking trip. It will be a short one this time.

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  23. @ Faisal

    You’re visiting Bali on Valentine’s Day, that has got to be quite an opportunity to capture silhouettes of couples basking in the glow of sunset.

    @ Jenny

    Aren’t you taking this inspiration a little in the wrong direction? Looks like you’ve developed a need for speed in a small package, in which case, the V8 engine kicks butt. I don’t suppose you’re bit concerned about how thirsty the V8 engine is and the rising cost of fuel?

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  24. Jan,

    Its a great feeling to read and see how one’s passion can help change peoples lives. Just like anakbrunei, I am inspired by how courageous you are in stepping out of your comfort zone. I have been through several crossroads in life and about to face yet another big one. Hope that one day, I can share my learning experiences here.

    Robin

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  26. Its a great feeling to read and see how one’s passion can help change peoples lives. Just like anakbrunei, I am inspired by how courageous you are in stepping out of your comfort zone. I have been through several crossroads in life and about to face yet another big one. Hope that one day, I can share my learning experiences here.

    Hello Robin, it’s good to hear from you! Though our paths cross only occasionally, you can be sure to find me here! I don’t know if courageous is the right word for it although it may seem that way. Forced to leave would be remotely close but not what you might think.

    I forced myself to quit. I was losing my mind, going to work everyday without a purpose or goal in mind. I thought the goal was to be a team player, create a healthy bottom line for the company, develop foresight and future proof the business!

    Robin, by leaving and being “courageous” I stepped out of corporate hell and into my comfort zone of freelancing. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing from you again.

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  28. Free day, and I just spent it online ;p
    I enjoy this blog, although I am not into blog reading/interacting at all. But well it is just so good to discover a blog that has an educative & insightful & personal yet open & various content, in English about an Asian culture and what’s more from a businessman -a refreshing change from fans base ^^

    Usually I would not be curious about the background of a photographer because I think the photographs should just speak enough to the viewer. To explain, a quote of an anonym who said “A painting should just be hanged on a wall and be seen for what it is , art”, no need to see the artist. But the pictures have puzzled me regarding your perception as a photographer from another cultural background to comprehend the environment and people. That’s why I found the explanation above helpful.

    Besides, I am surprised of the stress on the switch of career from IT to photography. The two are not antinomic, are they? Some persons can be talented in diverse fields and/or need to smell different fragrances in the grove of life. There is not a particular legitimacy; just talent, opportunity given and personal growth that enrich you as a photograph will count in the end ! Just go for it !

    Best regards

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  30. this is a very inspiring story, I myself is thinking of switching career to photography as well, but what scares me are the big names of photography but i thought, heck, I just would like to do, what I really love, and this is really a passion for me. I’m glad I ran into your website. Thanks to Wu Chun.
    Xie Xie.

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  31. We’re all lured by the idea that the grass is greener on the other side. The grass is and always will be greener on the other side—the hope that it is green keeps us filled with anticipation that it is going to be green—until you’re actually on the other side and then realize it isn’t any different!

    I don’t mean to bring your hopes up nor do I wish to ruin your chances of a better future. I am a realist. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the ideals that many of us do but it’s critical to know that taking risks doesn’t always equal greener pastures but they do open up a whole new world of opportunities.

    I’ll quote a comment I made recently on PhotoMalaysia forum that best sums up my thoughts about switching career.

    I’m happy my story and pictures inspire but it’s one thing to be motivated and quite another to be realistic. Everyone I know who’s ever worked in the corporate world has been bitter, demotivated and demoralised by the daily grind. I was one of them and as a freelance professional photographer, the pasture isn’t that much greener this side! I won’t go into the nitty gritty details but I’ll say this … you pay a price for freedom and independence.

    I’ll also say this. Perhaps Malaysia’s population size provides enough critical mass for someone to venture into photography a viable option to consider. Here in Brunei with a mere 380k people, we probably have too many photographers to make sense of the business. In such cases, it becomes critical that we carve out a niche. Understand this, that my situation may be unique … I’m in a dual-income family and have the future of two young kids to consider. Leaving my IT career was possible because of my wife’s support and her foresight and confidence in what I’m capable of outside of the corporate world.

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  32. Free day, and I just spent it online ;p I enjoy this blog, although I am not into blog reading/interacting at all. But well it is just so good to discover a blog that has an educative & insightful & personal yet open & various content, in English about an Asian culture and what’s more from a businessman -a refreshing change from fans base ^^

    Thanks Ginny, this response is long overdue, I’ve been busy with errands and have been responding to the shorter comments but eventually worked it way to yours not in any particular order. Before I made a decision to join the community of bloggers, I looked back at my life and realised the blogging platform is the right tool to freeze time and to document the achievements, challenges and setbacks that I’ve had the opportunity to experience. But along the way discovered that blogs are MUCH MORE than just an outlet for people to vent or rant, at least when you use the tool responsibly.

    Usually I would not be curious about the background of a photographer because I think the photographs should just speak enough to the viewer. To explain, a quote of an anonym who said “A painting should just be hanged on a wall and be seen for what it is , art”, no need to see the artist. But the pictures have puzzled me regarding your perception as a photographer from another cultural background to comprehend the environment and people. That’s why I found the explanation above helpful.

    I think when you’re talking about old-school photography where everything is just about THE PHOTOGRAPH and not about the person behind the camera, your notion is perfectly correct. Today, however, with digital cameras and blogs come this whole new concept called Photo Blogging that has changed everything. You cannot help but wonder a little bit about the photographer and his/her thoughts (its a blog after all). Photography has become very personal today and anyone who is interested in other people would naturally be inclined to want to know more. It’s this richness in cultural diversity that each of us bring to the table that continues to inspire me to shoot and post even that wasn’t the reason SHIMWORLD began life!

    Besides, I am surprised of the stress on the switch of career from IT to photography. The two are not antinomic, are they? Some persons can be talented in diverse fields and/or need to smell different fragrances in the grove of life. There is not a particular legitimacy; just talent, opportunity given and personal growth that enrich you as a photograph will count in the end ! Just go for it !

    As far as stress goes, I think it’s fair to say everything in life has varying degree of stress. I like to think of the switch from IT to photography (if you recall, I discovered the art by accident and it didn’t happen overnight) positive stress—stress that pushes one forward in the right direction. The rest of what I had in mind I have already said in Comment 46 right above.

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  33. Pingback: CANON LENS WORK RETROSPECTIVE « SHIMWORLD

  34. Very inspiring story, especially for young lots who get stuck up in decision making. The most appropriate use of his talent reflects beauty in his shots. Though im a doctor, m seriously thinking of taking photography more seriously :-)

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  37. My partner and i enjoy your blog site THE ACCIDENTAL ARTIST. A TIME TO REFLECT. SHIMWORLD. Thank you for this remarkable article! I most certainly will bookmark your current blog and also check again here often.

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