Category Archives: Portrait

Obsess with Faces

Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter? ~ Pablo Picasso

I am always puzzled when people ask me on what sort of photographer am I? And, before I could even finish answering that question … they’ll start pushing me into another question … do you shoot weddings? I guess everybody with a camera shoot wedding these days.

Not that I don’t shoot weddings. I do. I shoot weddings too if the price worth my effort. It seemed that everybody wanted a piece of a photographer. They expect diamond but paying peanuts.  Charging as low as RM500 to cover for a wedding is crazy. With the amount of effort, time and gears used to shoot the lovely groom and bride for a few hours … I think it is just cruelty and an insult to even consider offering that to a photographer.

Me … I tried my best not to negotiate with my potential customer, pay me on how much my work worth to you but bear in mind that I know how much I am worth.

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Pose 1: A sadhu that we met at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Okay! back to my story for today. As at now … I am still obsessed with photographing human face. This is a series of photos that I took of a Sadhu in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He has a very long hair that he can even wear it as a turban. He has an amazing personality, charming and smiled politely during an hour of our photo session. Fyi, as you walk through the back lane of the temple you will stumble into a few sadhus that gather freely around the area. We spotted him and wanted to take his picture. And yes … it was not free.

Sharing some of his poses here.

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Pose 2: Capturing him in frames within frames

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Pose 3: Trying different angles that show his crown aka hairs

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Pose 4: He is a bit relax here with a hint of smile hidden under his mustache. Maybe he is amused by my antics

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Pose 5: Rapunzel … Rapunzel … let down your hair

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Pose 6: Namaste! My favorite pose of all

I love the earthy tone if his skin, his hair and his emotion shown on each poses. These pictures are a keeper moment for me. Gorgeous face …

Bye for now.

 

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wandering Soul

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Sulaiman: Danau Tarusan Kamang, Agam, Sumatera, Indonesia

New places always excite me.

I could spend hours just wandering and observing my surrounding for something to learn from or just something to look at. Sharing 5 of my favorite portraits that whenever I look at it … I felt like packing my bag and start wandering on the street again.

Pic above: Sulaiman, our local talent posing for me with his fish cages. Danau Tarusan Kamang is a natural pond that seemed to have a mind of its own mind. It dried up and swelled up with water according to God knows whatever rules … I think it has something to do with its underground geographical structure.

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Mr Freedom: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

Pic above: Mr Freedom showing off his ‘freedom’ … tattooed hard on his chest. What a coincident since freedom is my all time favorite words lol.

Meeting strangers from all part of life while wandering around is an eye opening. I learned to listen well too. Stories about their day-to-day life which is most of the time would be an opposite story from mine.

Engaging a simple and sincere chat with strangers on the street came naturally to me too… I like it. And, I think that it would be rude for you to just showed up from nowhere and suddenly just click on your camera on somebody’s face.

Have some respect … kot.

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A woman from Karo Tribe: Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Pic above: My lady from Karo tribe of Omo Valley, Ethiopia posed with my colorful shawl. We were curious about each other lol.

I smiled whenever I saw this photo. She probably has never seen a shawl as colorful as mine in her life (Malaysian women wear colorful clothing at every chance that we have and we have a whole bundle of choices to choose from hu hu hu).  And, I envied her beads collection.

So, she wanted my colorful shawl for an exchange with her photos and I ended up having a series of her photos looking satisfied with our deal ;-P .

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Omak/ Mother: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

And, I personally think that it would be more satisfying to have some sort of connection with your subject. Especially when I am taking portraiture or faces on the street, I want to have meaning to a face that I would probably keep for a very long time in my external HDD.

Pic above: A loving mother that I met while wandering at one of the morning markets at Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia. We had a loving chat together … talking about her children and how lucky she was to be surrounded by her loved ones.

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Chacha: Northern Pakistan

And lastly, the chacha (uncle) that we met at one of our stops on our way to Skardu, Northern Pakistan. Strangers in this part of the world are rare. I never expected that we would be treated warmly.  it is true then … “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”. (pls ignore the salt bottle on the table … lol)

I am feeling grateful … for the soul that decided to leave me, the soul that wander together hand-in-hand with me and the newly discovered soul that decided to stay … the best word to express my gratitude is alhamdullilah.

Bye for now.

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 


Portraiture around Me

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PokNik, a farmer that rears hundreds of cattle, sheep and goats

August  is always an exciting month of the year as we celebrate Malaysia’s 59th Birthday (Independent Day). Malaysian flags could be seen on the streets and business premises everyday in August. The best time to go out and capture the ‘flag’ moment around the street corners.

Again this year, I have the opportunity to contribute some photograph for the Merdeka day photo exhibition. This time around Yaman Ibrahim’s exhibition photo theme is on Faces of Malaysia.  As I dug out my HD storage for any Malaysian portrait that can qualify me to join the exhibition. I realized that I have none … hu hu hu

I have been traveling and taking photos of faces around the world and … I have nothing in my HD storage that could portray the faces of Malaysian. Shame on me …

So I decided to open up my eyes and my mind towards my surrounding and attempted to capture faces of Malaysia around me in a short period of time. Talking about working under pressure … and wallah! … I managed to capture some beautiful portraits of Malaysian and as always I have my own private story for each photo that I took … lesson learned story that drove me to capture their moment <— dreamers statement 😛

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Pak Musa, a carpenter for 34 years that I met at the farm

I was at a Chinese Opera show in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur hunting for a backstage moment with the actors and the actresses. Then, I spent a few days at a private farm (cattle, sheep and goats) in Kuantan, Pahang to capture some moments with the animals and the shepherd.

And, a few days after that I tagged along with my JanjiFly buddy for his Paramotor MBOR training at Tekah Airfield, Taiping, Perak. Yes … I believe I can fly hu hu hu and I captured  some moments with the Commando Vat 69 team on parachute training that day. Talking about luck … this is what I called durian runtuh hu hu hu

Well … it was tiring but worthy. My moment of learning to find beauty … at every imperfect moment presented to me by the All Mighty.

The good news is … my two(2) images below are currently exhibited at Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia (people of Malaysia) photo exhibition together with another 59 photographs. 33 photographers and 61 photographs …

Do come and visit the 61 selected photographs of ‘People of Malaysia’ on display now. Details are as follows:

  • Theme: Yaman Ibrahim #OrangMalaysia Photo Exhibition
  • Venue: MaTic Gallery, Malaysian Tourist Center, Kuala Lumpur
  • Date: 15th August to 17th September, 2016

I am moving on to the next project … 🙂 … next please ….

Bye,

Cheers

MM

ps – “Between what is said and not meant. And what is meant and not said. Most love is lost”~ Khalil Gibran

 

 


Perfectionist vs Rightist

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Tools vs Photographer

“People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not. I’m a rightist. I do something until it’s right, and then I move on to the next thing” ~ James Cameron

I kinda like this quote … and yes, I am a rightist for sure 🙂 .  An attempt to explain my super slow reaction on each job that require my thinking hat. Yeah … and I am blunt if I didn’t have my thinking hat on.

Alamak! (oh my!) … and I have not posted any new entry since November 2015, which was last year. Last year sounds like a long months ago. Happy New Year 2016 to all my readers and to my followers (small group of followers coz I am too shy to market myself lol), thank you for putting that extra effort to follow my writing aka babbling. I feel honored … thank you.

I fulfilled at least 1/3 of my last year 2015 New Year resolution (… I shall think so 🙂 ). And … I don’t have any new additional resolution for 2016. Thinking of not having any new year resolution this year … maybe I will let my options stay open and just follow my heart.

What was I doing in the past few months that kept me locked up in my own cave? I wonder too or must be that laziness syndrome again … I need to write often as the more I write … the more I read.

I settled down (not so peacefully) in my new home in mid November, traveled to Nepal in early December, flew around Cyberjaya and Kundang air space with my paramotor buddies during my free weekends, traveled to Krabi, Thailand via train/ van in early this month and now I am packing up my gears again for my next weekend gateway to Pedu Lake, Kedah, Malaysia.

My Nepal trip was very different and interesting at the same time. Giving me the urges to keep on coming back to Nepal. I will share more about my Nepal trip once I am properly settled with my new office and my new studio. Yes … I am having my own creative space now … uhh and am super nervous and excited about this too.

Sharing with y’all my moment with my new friend Nima that I met on my way back from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Nepal. Saw him at one of the street side coffee shop on our tea break and I decided to approach him for a quick street shoot. His beautiful “sad look” caught my eyes … and he had a cultural shocked too (I bet!), seeing a daring blunt woman wanting to photograph him lol.

The thing that I love about street photography is … meeting up with beautiful strangers on the street. Beauty is very subjective though. Beauty in my eyes will not necessarily a joy to your eyes.

I am so hooked up with faces now a days. Maybe this is just a phase …

Bye now

Cheers

MM

p/s:  …. blank

 

 


The color of Kindness

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India 2015: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

It has been awhile since my last post here. So many things happened during that period of time … smacked down moments that make the happy go lucky me went silent without words …  my ‘maturity’ lesson, I called it.

Or maybe a trade-off for my current lifestyle that I am having now. In order for me to enjoy my “jiwa MERDEKA” or “free spirited” life … I have to experience these emotional confusion about responsibility, accountability, loyalty, trust, love, friendship, religion (as what PEOPLE imposed me on believing) and death.  More you get of X, less you get of Y.

Accepting and understanding death is the hardest for me. Loosing someone who is close to you through death does not feel the same as loosing him/ her through a devastating broken relationship. But well … life continuously goes on and on … and time heals you accordingly. For arwah Abah and Paksu … al-fatihah.

What really helped during those confusing moments? … the act of kindness by people closed to me and by those unexpected strangers in my life … helps to ease up my confusion and at the same time giving me hope and space … so that I would rise up better than before. Alhamdullilah and thank you …

If I rant further more … then this post will ended up as philosophical as Sigmund Feud thesis paper on understanding human psychology.

"We rise by lifting others." -

India  2015: “We rise by lifting others.”

The truth is … I am craving for my solitude and silence more than ever now.

With this thunder inside me now … if I continue forcing myself out, words spoken or written surely would sound more defensive and hostile. The hidden drama queen in me would probably go berserk  😉 … but ‘I am no hero and I’m not made of stone.

Looking at photos has a temporary tranquility effect on me … my all-natural tranquilizer. Sharing some human interest portraits from my recent India trip with my readers here. Images are mostly in monochrome, if you want to view in color then you can check-out my flickr account.

I need a lullaby to keep me going while preparing my today’s post. I am singing my heart out with my karaoke version of  “Until it Sleeps” by Metallica. Let’s sing along together with me … 1… 2 … 3 😉

Note: click the video below so that you can continue reading while listening to the song as your background music

"A warm smile is the universe

India 2015: “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

Where do I take this pain of mine?
I run, but it stays right by my side

So tear me open, pour me out
There’s things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

"Respect is a two-way street, if you want it you have to give it." - R.G. Risch

India 2015: What is the color of kindness?

Just like the curse, just like the stray
You feed it once and now it stays
Now it stays

They said PINK is the color of kindness

India 2015: They said PINK is the color of kindness

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me until I’m clean

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, so hold me
Until it sleeps

Kindness

India 2015: And, he has the color of kindness neatly tucked on his shoulder

So tell me why you’ve chosen me
Don’t want your grip
Don’t want your greed
Don’t want it

kindness

India 2015: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No more can you hurt anyone
And the fear still shakes me
So hold me until it sleeps

kindness

India 2015: “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid”

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, holds you, holds you
Until it sleeps

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India 2015: “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns”

I don’t want it … no … no … no

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India 2015: “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others”

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me… till clean

India 2015: “In the end … only kindness matter”

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No longer will you hurt anyone
And the hate still shapes me

So hold me until it sleeps

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“What is a rebel? A man who says NO” … so hold me until I SLEEP 🙂

I am signing off right now … and continue taking my recovery sleep. When I finally decide to wake up … I will strike harder and better than before … In Sha Allah. Till then … 🙂

Cheers

MM

 

 

p/s Ramadhan Mubarak to all my muslim readers … and we are moving nearer to the last 10 days of Ramadhan. The most blessed days in the blessed month of Ramadhan are the last 10 days of Ramadhan. May Allah grant all of us strength and will to make the remaining days of Ramadhan work to our advantage … ameen.