We are proud to announce our PhotoMalaysia featured photographer of the month
- April 2012 -
Portraitor - aka - Azizan Aziz
Here is the interview with him:
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Azizan or by the full name Azizan Abul Aziz. I am a full-time photographer since 2005. I have a few websites / blogs which I separate according to the types of work i specialize in. I know some people prefer to put everything under one website but for me it's more to marketing style. For general & personal works and workshop list I put all of them under www.azizanaziz.com, for food photography and menu design it's under www.pixfood.com while for wedding photography and bridal collection it's all under www.romantis-studio.com. Recently I just created new website specially for ebooks in photography and guest what it's called www.ebookfotografi.com
I guess all the list of the websites above tell what i do for living.
Q: What is your photography history?
Nothing interesting about my photography path. After being an Eletrical Engineer for 7 years, i took a big step to resign and concentrate full time as wedding photographer, while my wife handled the bridal gallery. I opened a bridal studio and gallery in 2005 and my photography career started from there. I never had serious hobby in photography before opening the studio, it just happened that the opportunity came to own the studio and the right thing to do was to become a photographer! Back in 2005, there were only small number of digital photographers (compare to now). So the only way to learn photography back then is by reading books and watch few videos on the youtube, and my very first book was the d70s manual. It took me a whole month to read and apply everything in the manual. Nowadays i think people never realise the existence of the manual book, do they?
As a wedding photographer I believe you got to be creative. But whatever you create / invent today will be copied tomorrow with the help of the blog and facebook. So the process of inventing and reinventing in wedding photography made me a bit tired and starting from there I was looking for something that is a bit different. Studio lighting and lighting in general looked like something that i can move into. I just found at that time (around 2006-2007) people were very crazy with Dave Hill style and that included me. For few years I tried to work-out the technique until one day i found that i wasn't all about the editing. What makes DH technique special was the lighting set-up and how the characteristic created by the lighting give the 'look' for the editing. Together with the style of Jill Greenberg (the manipulator) I tried to study the technique and hence what I got now.
Q: Can you describe your photography style?
I believe whatever style that you have right now is what inspired you, combine with your own personality. Maybe i can say that i am really into artifial lighting and post processing. I always stick to one thing: get the best from your camera (and the lighting) and do the best in post processing. It's nothing wrong with that. We all are know that there is no single prefect camera in this world, nothing can beat what you see with your own eyes. So it's reasonable to say every of your work deserve to be retouched / edited / enhanced in post processing.
For my portraitor series, I use at least 4 lights with few modifiers like octabox and softbox. I use cheapo studio lights that are available, and now more towards using 100 % portable flash system. It's not the number of lights that is important but what you want to achieve with the light that matters. If what you want to achieve can be done with 1 light then go ahead. If you need 10 strobes to get what you want then 10 strobes it is! On the post processing side, i spend almost 2 hours or more on one picture depending on the level of work need to be done. How long I spend on one picture is back to how good the lighting is. Sometimes I work hours on the picture on post processing and end-up in recycle bin due to 'lighting not right'. So the ability to visualize the end result of the image right from back of your camera is crucial. I shoot everything in RAW, including my wedding work and food photography. Never ask me why and never start an argument for that. It's really to what you want to achive and the scope of your work. Explore the possibility of raw files and you will never turn back.
Q: Any advise for aspiring PhotoMalaysia members?
My only advise: be unique. It's nothing wrong being a copycat but be yourself. Try to create something new with what you already have. There are a lot of macro, landscape, fashion photographers and such, but what makes one particular photographer stand out from the rest? And that what i meant by unique.