New Gen #9: Feel the beautiful chaos of the mosh pit in Island Boys Collective's Kidmeddling's music photography
When did you fall in love with photography?
It happened when I was 18. I believe everything happens for a reason. The entire time I was in school, I kept wondering if I should have had gone a different route. The thing is, if I hadn't gone to that specific school, and taken Art as one of my subjects (I used to draw and illustrate since young), I probably wouldn't have borrowed the camera to take reference photos and instead go out to explore, and fall in love with the world of photography.
Who/what/where do you draw your influences from?
I grew up watching cartoons without realizing that it played such a big role in inspiring me to become the kind of person I am today. I miss those days. I also look at a lot of different work online, even graphic design, video editing and illustration. Anything can be found online. The music I listen to plays a big part too. I'm always listening to music while editing.
Do you have any close collaborators you work with?
Without my team, I wouldn't be doing a lot of the things I do today. The Island Boys Collective (@islandboyscollective) and its extended crew is my family.
All of us do different things, but we compliment each other. People need to understand that you need to surround yourself with genuine, caring and inspiring people to be able to grow on the inside — I'm talking mentally and spiritually. You can find all the team's work over at weareislandboys.com!
.Wav(y)'s also a big part of my life as a creative. The whole team helps to make the .Wav(y) nights enjoyable for everyone.
What do you hope to show/achieve through your photography?
Moments that may have been missed. You could be in the crowd watching someone perform live, then look at my photos post-show and realize, "Yo, I totally didn't see this earlier". That's what I want to do — to freeze those moments and make them timeless.
Another very important and honest thing is just wanting to inspire people to chase their dreams. You don't have to sit and do a job you hate all year long. Save some money and leave, it'll either get you somewhere, or teach you a valuable lesson — either is worth it.
Do you have any tips for other aspiring photographers?
Don't conform to the way any other photographer takes photos. You shouldn't ever do something to be like someone else. There isn't anything special that can be found in that. Be yourself. Give people a unique reason to want to hire you or give you an opportunity.
I have a online portfolio, and I can say that I probably only got given a job once because of that. Instagram can be the perfect portfolio. Don't waste your money.
What would be your most memorable photograph?
Definitely a photo I took of my team sitting together in the living room of our Airbnb when we were visiting Melbourne last September. It was taken with a disposable Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film camera.
Some of my most memorable photographs were actually taken on film cameras or my small compact camera — it's bright pink and I love it to bits).
Name the young and local artists/designers/creatives that you admire.
Her work motivates me to go out and get things done. She's gone far with what she does. Although her style isn't similar with mine, it's so cool to see someone love what she does so much. She seems like she's always working.
Imran's a close friend, and part of the team. He's a motion graphic designer, and I know for a fact that a lot of people admire his work. He creates things that you'll probably watch over and over again. I've watched him at work too and he makes it seem effortless. Definitely worth checking out.
One subject/location/object that you wish to photograph.
I'd love to document a Rolling Loud festival one day. I wanted to narrow it down to one artist, but honestly I can't. Capturing photos at music festivals and performances is my favourite thing to do.
One change you wish to see in Singapore.
Support your friends. I don't get how people can even assume that they can get someone to take photos for them for free. This applies to all kinds of creative work. Creatives in Singapore need to value themselves and their work. That's what my dad always tells me (hahaha). If you have a friend who has the skills you require for your brand to grow, pay them to do it. Don't try to use them.
How do you see your photographic work developing in the future?
I've moved away from just taking photographs and sharing them as they are. I've already tried to take the next step and turn my photos into collages and a translation of what goes on in my mind, plus even incorporating them into the videos I create.
It's hard to get paid for music photography in Singapore. One of my goals is to be able to follow an artist on tour and document their lives instead of their performances.
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