Tabi basa & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to share about few key lessons related to photography that I have learned during my first meeting with Sean at Miri, which I hope will inspire you to learn more about the art of photography.
Andersen Lani or better known as Sean, 34 years old, is a teacher & a part-time photographer. He discovered his passion for photography in 2016 and now it’s almost 6 years in his photography journey.
He started attending few wedding & portrait photography workshops in 2018 & 2019, getting serious about it and started entering International competitions since 2019. He has won various awards that he is really proud of, but for him, it’s just the beginning.
For him, the only way to do great work is to love what you do, because learning is a journey, not a destination.
Previously he was based in Kuching, Sarawak. But now, he is based at SK Long Teran, Marudi. Because of this, it is easier for his fellow Miri friends to do outing with him, something that I personally look forward to.
Below is his Instagram page as well as his award-winning photos.
Lessons from Sean
From my chat with him as well as Denz Harper, I have learned a number of important things from him, particularly those that I would need to improve myself in photography.
Lesson 1: Be Humble
One thing that I notice when I first met him is that he is a very humble person. Even though he is an multi-award-winning photographer, I never heard about him brag about his achievements. This makes someone who just knew him felt at ease with him and not feeling spaced-out.
By being humble also, it is easier for others to like you and have a meaningful conversation with you. This allows for a good transfer of idea, resulting in a pleasant interaction.
If you are humble too, it is easy for others to teach you as well. Being someone new in proper photography, I always try to put this at the back of my mind and stay humble all the time.
Lesson 2: Master The Fundamentals
Looking at Sean’s artwork, it is easy to think that he uses a very high-end gear. But, it is not entirely the case. What I learned from him, if you master your photography fundamentals, you can use any gears to create an equally-flattering image.
Fundamentals here in simple word, your ability to discern a good photo from the bad. Basically, your ability to “see”. But to achieve that, there is a lot of things that you need to learn, including the basics; shutter speed, ISO, focal length effect, composition etc.
Gears come and gone, but fundamentals stay. Master the fundamentals, you can use any gears to create a beautiful image. Using PhaseONE or Hasselblad camera doesn’t automatically make you a Sails Chong. Using Broncolor doesn’t make you a Karl Taylor either.
There is a lot of things that you can do in the post-processing as well, which bring to the next topic.
Lesson 3: Invest In Your Photography Skills
You can always Google-up the lessons, watch YouTube videos, read blogs, reviews etc. But if you really want to learn about photography, invest some of your hard-earned cash to attend a proper workshop, just like the one organised by Sean or others, including Pore Ooi or even Anthony Barlan. These are the proven, award-winning photographers, tested & acknowledged by other Masters.
If money no object, you can even attend the course organised by Sails Chong & CM Leung; or even Karl Taylor. But you will be the one who decides which one is suits your needs.
For me, those who is not well-versed in Photoshop, I better spend my time learning about Photoshop. Why? Refer to the next point.
Lesson 4: Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Every one of us walks a different journey, starting from a different starting point, undergoing our journey at a different pace. Some goes offshore, some goes to the rural areas, some work with paints while some deals with COVID-19 on daily basis.
But if you are really passionate about improvement, you only focus on your own progress.
Yes, there are some peoples who is making a great progress in a short period of time, but do they live a same life with you? I don’t think so.
We also value things differently.
What’s more important here is don’t compare yourself to others. Learn at your own pace. Nothing to rush. Photography is fun.
Lesson 5: Make Friends With Likeminded Peoples
Lastly, wherever you go, make friends with likeminded peoples, especially those who is master at that particular field that you want to study. A smart person will surrounds himself with someone who is much smarter than he is so that he can learn. But a dumb one will do the opposite, and he will go down a downward spiral, regressing.
So,, in order to progress, pick the right peoples as your friends.
If you want to do outing, make friends with the peoples who want to do outing & passionate about improving your photography. That way, you will accelerate your photography.
I hope these lessons inspires you to keep on improving your skills in photography, no matter where you are & whatever you do. Just remember, keep on grinding.
Your Tukang Rantek,