Andrew Seow

Actor, Singapore

Taking portrait shots of celebrities might be a daunting task, with creative directions and lighting setups and lots of hair and makeup artists as well as private locations to be considered. Andrew wants none of that..

“I want you to create a portrait of me with your style of taking photos.”

I got to know Andrew after chatting with him through Instagram, and was going through a time when I was trying to break free from the “emo street hipster filtered to death” style of photography, so his request came as a surprise to me. Everyone I knew have heard or seen Andrew in the days of Growing Up, and to be fair my attention was more on other stuff, haha. I assumed that I would be facing a tough and secretive subject for the shoot, so I was wary when I went to meet him at a cafe. It definitely turned out to be an entirely different experience. Andrew has no airs about him, and he couldn’t even give a shit to whoever talks about him or whenever someone passes by and pointed at him. What I like is that he is genuinely interested in various topics like photography, animals and lifestyle of people living in Singapore.

Smoking from his pipe, he would listen attentively to my background and portrait styles while occasionally asking a few questions about the kind of photos he wanted.

And so one of the conversation went like this:

“I want you to create a portrait of me with your style of taking photos.”
“No lighting setup?”
“No.”
“No clothes preference?”
“No, just take photos of me the same style that you’ve applied in your photos. I’m serious”
“How about the setting?”
“I’m sure we can think of something along the way.”

He suggested M.A.D, which was along Tanglin Road at the time, and I went to take a look at the location to find out which area would have nice lighting. His friend, Jasmine, owns the place and eatery, so I have access to the whole museum. She’s amazing, taking her time to enlighten me about the artists and their artworks in each exhibition area.

Long story short, on the day of the shoot, the feeling in the air was not as tense as was to be expected, but a lot of fun. You’ll find more of the photos within this page as well as the portfolio on the homepage.

I spend most of my free time taking care of my pets as well as helping animal rescuers with their cause

As I always try to engage in conversations with my subjects during the shoot, I found myself asking Andrew typical questions. Not about cars, houses or money, but about people, lifestyle, animals and such. “I spend most of my free time taking care of my pets as well as helping animal rescuers with their causes” I paused for a second. “No shit..” He laughed as I raised my eyebrows while speaking my mind. “Everyone seems to think of me as a rough gangster ever since the Growing Up days, and they can’t figure me out as an avid animal lover. I don’t even kill cockroaches, and I can’t take it if I see posts on Facebook about people killing sharks for their fins and baby chicks and stuff like that.” I went for the next question. “Are you a.. ” “Yes I’m a vegan.” He finished for me, deadpanned.

“Ok…that’s pretty unexpected haha” was my feeble reply, while I snapped away. I recall taking shots while he was turning to look at the camera. The worrying part was the low-lit areas like the cigar lounge and the areas where the walls were painted black. As it turned out, the summilux lens worked quite well, and so far the photos look good on the iPad.
“What does 2017 hold for you?” I asked the inevitable question.
“I’m going for more projects which have bigger challenges, and not just local projects. I want to expand my influence to help more animals of course! What’s yours?”
I was stumped. All I really want is to capture people in their comfort zone, to help preserve memories.
“I want to be a better photographer.”

Subject
Andrew Seow
Year

2017

Location
  • Cigar Lounge
  • Exhibition Area
  • Artpiece Collection
  • M.A.D Museum of Arts & Design (new location soon)
Assistants
  • Hair – Kan from NeXt Salon
  • MUA – Christina Wong

All photos are taken with the Leica Q, unless otherwise stated

I am Shaun Ang, and I take portraits. My Grandfather was an avid photographer and teacher, so it’s natural that when I grew older, I started to appreciate capturing moments which would have an impact on the viewers. He used to have a collection of Hasselblads and Rolleiflex cameras and lenses, and now I have my own camera which I feel best suits my style and direction. As the Leica Q has a fixed 28mm Summilux lens, it forces me to make use of natural lighting as well as interacting with my subjects, and I’ve learnt a lot, especially shooting in low-lit areas.

Follow me on Instagram as I go around capturing life in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, for my upcoming photo book.