In The Spotlight: Jack Zhang

Today Echo interviews Jack Zhang, from Singapore. He and his friends at ZX Workshop provide quality professional photography and videography services. While he specializes in wedding photography, one can also see a lot of other intimate portraits as well as event coverage in the portfolio.

Echo: Tell us something about yourself. How did you get into photography?

Jack Zhang (JZ): I live in Singapore and graduated from Nanyang Technological Univercity, of course, not from Photography-related Degree, but a computer engineer. This gives me a strong foundation in post-processing, photoshop. I still remember the last time when I was young, my father was using film camera and I was amazed that my face will appear at the photo paper. I am always wondering why and this Curiosity leads me into photography and I love it.

And the most important thing, as a photographer, when your client look at the photos you took for them and tell you how amazed they are, you fell full-filed.



Echo: We can see a lot of wedding photography in your portfolio. Apart from that what other kind of photogtaphy do you prefer?

JZ: My focus is on wedding photography. However, I’m also doing Kids photography like parties. I was attracted by those pure/clean eyes, natural smiles. You would understand that good photographs always came from the things you love and touched to your heart. You can’t lie to yourself.

Echo: What kind of equipment and lenses are a must for a wedding shoot according to you?

JZ: I would say 24-70 mm F2.8 will always be mounted on my camera. Yes, Prime lens will have sharper images, in some situations, but wedding photography is all about capturing the moments. You may use a prime for studio, for food, but not wedding. If you miss the exchange of the ring, if you miss the kissing during the ceremony, it will never happen again. 24-70mm gives you the most usable range for wedding photography. Wide enough for group photos with families and friends, long enough for some candid shoots.

Of course, besides 24-70mm, there are a few lens that you must have to be a wedding photographer. You will need a macro lens, for the Wedding Ring. You will need a 70-200mm for church wedding if you can’t stand too close to the stage. You will need a 14-24 for the wedding hall, the venue.

Echo: What kind of preparations do you take before a wedding photo shoot?

Planning. The most important. If you don’t plan ahead, you will loose your focus.

Communication: You must communicate with the couple. They are your subject of the day and you have to let them know what you need and understood what they want. Miscommunication will lead to a disaster. Remember, at last, your couple is the one who decide if you have done a good job or not.

Equipment: Of course. All batteries charged. All lens cleaned. All CF cards formatted. Yes, please format your card before you go to the wedding shoot. Because there is always a chance you may format the wrong card.

Echo: Please offer some advice for aspiring photographers who want to take up wedding photography.

JZ: Just a very simple advice and you might already heard from Steve Jobs. The only way to do great work, its you must love what you do. If you are now satisfied for what you are doing now, don’t give up. One day, when you look back, you will see how much you have progressed.

You can learn from other great photographers or photographs, the angle and the camera settings. However, please do not just simply copy everything. You must be able to develop your own style from it.

Echo: How important do you think is to have a portfolio website for professional artists like you?

JZ: As I will mention later on, portfolio is the face of a photographer. It tells other who you are. Its your portfolio will give your potential client a impression that they want you!

A good portfolio doesn’t need too many photos. Just a few photos which could show your photography style and who you are. The client of get back to you and talk to you if they were impressed and they wanted to see more photos. This is where business starts.

Echo: Finally, tell us about your experience in building your website using Pixpa.

JZ: You will never find a better way to build your portfolio other than Pixpa. Because it has everything you will need. You can have your own domain; you can have many different portfolios; you can do your own design and logo; and you can upload your photos easily. these are some common things which every hosting sites should provide.

However, I will just point out one single point that the Pixpa attracted me the most. Yes, is the simple layout template. Imagine yourself as a photographer, you will need to spend your time to shoot, of course, spend your time to do editing, to meet your clients, to advertise, to record your income, and etc. If Pixpa could help you in maintaining your portfolio easily, will it save a lot of your time and focus on creating great works?

The templates that Pixpa provided was so useful and you do not have to do any fine tunes, if you do not have time. Its ready to “apply and use”. however if you could spend just a little bit of time, your portfolio will be perfect and attractive. Portfolio is the face of a photographer. You must present it nicely to your potential client as it tells who you are.

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