Tags archives: Workshop

Claudius Weson JourneyBalkizz’s Smartphone SymphonyProduct Photography Workshop with Smartphone

Greetings everyone. In this day and age, almost everyone from various walks of life owns a smartphone, owing largely to the benefits it has to offer, including but not limited to; cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp Messenger,; social media such as Facebook, Instagram; video streaming apps such as Youtube, mobile internet browser and many more. There is so much computing power in a single device compared to the first computer introduced by IBM back in 1981, with computing power of 16kb. Even so, with that technology, NASA launched the very first Space Shuttle mission and launched 2 men to space. Therefore, just imagine, with so much power at your hand in a form of smartphone, what are you going to do about it?










Some might stick to use for basic usages, i.e. texting, calling, social media etc. I always believe that in each and everyone of us, there is an unlimited potentials, like diamond in the rough. Only those who brave it out and put considerable effort onto it will be able to reap the fruit. One of a good example is Balkizz Sulaiman. She is an entrepreneur, a fellow photographer specialised in product photography using smartphone as her main tool of trade and also an advertising coach. (Note: I also have wrote about smartphone photography here. Some of my photos captured using only iPhone 6 is also demonstrated here, though I love to use my Leica camera for all photography purposes, e.g. events, weddings, portraiture and outdoors).

I was honoured to be able to join her final workshop for 2018 at Miri Malay Association building, Sarawak today and started my whole new learnings on product photography that I never ventured before. Since I started this journey last year, I was not doing any product photography at all as I am doing street, events and wedding photography. In general, people’s photography. As I enter building, I empty my cup and open up for new learnings that Balkizz passionately taught us.


She started off with the story about herself, where she mentioned that before this she was working with an oil gas company until she realisation hits her. Specifically, at her cubicles, she was surrounded by senior peoples who work day in, and day out; doing the same thing over and over again until retirement. That actually woke her up, and she refused to do the things she has no passion at all about. On 2015, the worst year for oil and gas industry, where oil price hits the lower than $40/bbl by the end of the year. During that time also, many personnel were released from their jobs due. She saw this opportunity to leave, crossed the Rubicon and never looked back ever since.

She started with selling Jamu Tun Teja, but it was not flying high like she expected. Then, she realised something is not right. That is when she understands the power of photography to boost her sales. But, due to physical limitation, she cannot use a big camera like those of DSLRs and others, although she was using it when she starts photography. Therefore, she opts to use smartphone to create an appealing images. Smartphone photography is the best tool for these small business owners as it is the most versatile. She is determined to empower small business owners, particularly women who runs online business, because she understands their challenges to manage work, family as well as online business. Using smartphone is also for practicality as well since not all of these women owns a DSLR. In terms of learning curve, using smartphone camera is much easier to use compared to any other professional camera. She even went on to learn with professional Instagrammers and social media sifus.








During this workshop, which is also participated by a participant from Brunei, she also gave an awareness to the participants the basic stuff, including cleanliness of the smartphone camera lens, basics in smartphone camera operations, software/apps to use (in this course, we use Snapseed) and image composition rules. Finally, it is time for practical session, where the rules mentioned before are made to be broken.















I find it interesting as many of the participants has their own creative sides, that was demonstrated during the practical session. The practical session lasted for an hour, to which we end with Q&A and finally group photo. As a wrap, this workshop it highly recommended to everyone who wish to learn more about product photography at an affordable price, especially if you are a woman doing online business. Even though I am doing freelance photography, there is a lot of learnings that I made from the workshop with Balkizz today, where the most important one is, follow your passion. Do the things that you are passionate about. For married couples, please do support your spouse, especially if he or she has a dream that she wants to achieve. In a way, that will make your bond stronger, and in return, you will have a better relationship. We rise not by putting others down, but by raising others up. That’s how we achieve excellence.

That’s all for now. Have a good weekend with your family and friends. Remember, immortalise your memories.


Claudius Weson JourneyAn Afternoon with Daphne IkingWorkshop Training by The Studio

Greetings friends, and I wish today is a good day to you. Speaking about Wednesday, what comes to your mind? Middle of the week? The day you can watch movie before its official release? Or the day where you can meet Daphne Iking? For me, it’s the third one.

Thanks to Wyomia and Tracy, I had an honour to attend a short emcee training session with Daphne Iking, one of Malaysia’s most sought-after professional emcee. Orang Sabah baini. For me, since I was born and raised watching national TV channels (cannot afford Astro back then), the one I remember most about Daphne is her work as Explorace host, which I used to watch a lot when I was in secondary school. She has a lively personality, and a truly friendly person, on-screen and off-screen.

If you were thinking that this is thinking of changing my direction of business, it is actually not really accurate as I am always running a mixed business. Apart from freelance photographer, I also a freelance emcee for hire, and sometimes sing for the event that I am hosting. Sometimes, I miss my old band, Taruh Dari (3D), where we always cover Muse songs such as Plug In Baby, Hysteria, Knight of Cydonia and Starlight. Recently, I am inclined to learn more about Freddie Mercury after watching his epic biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Anyway, the main objective for me to join this training session is to get myself exposed to the  people from the industry. In this case, Daphne is the right person to give advice from the industry, and she is truly down-to-earth person.

Today, we are also honoured to be part of The Studio’s history, where it is officially launched today. You can always contact them via Instagram, @oongid_butiza for your supply of essential oils.

Joining me in the training are like-minded persons like Fariza, Tracy, Priscilla, Irene (she drove all the way from Kuala Belait), Sue, Karen, Balkizz, Andy “Afgan”, Muz and Sabrina (our sole participant from Curtin University). As usual, Joe is charge of the media as he double-hats as photographer and videographer (and drone too).

Talking about the training, there is truly a lot you can learn from Daphne. She is very generous with her experiences, and she will do her best to answer all of our questions. She structured her session in such a way it is easy to be understood, regardless of your experience years in emcee job. I love how she explains the role of an emcee as the one-single person that make or break an event. One can almost tell that an event will be successful or not by observing the opening by an emcee. Such is the importance of an emcee. A good emcee should be able to command the crowd eloquently and keep the event true to its intention. She goes on to share her personal story througout her career as an emcee, and I think that is one of the thing that I would not hear elsewhere.

Despite all of the technical advises, it should be accompanied with due amount of practice, practice and more practice to perfect the art of emcee. Should you want to learn more about the art of Master of Ceremony, The Studio will be offering more courses in the future. So, stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy these photos captured during the event and like what Thorsten would say, “always wear a camera”.













End Note:

For me, everyone should have a dream, and pursue it. At least, if you cannot do something about it for now, talk to the person whom you would like to be in the future. They would give the advice to you, “Ask, and you shall receive” – Matt 7:7. Even if you cannot make a huge progress due to various reasons, e.g. you are working full time elsewhere or family-bound, take baby steps at one time. Most importantly, you are making a progress. If you wish to speak eloquently like Daphne, learn from her, and practice daily. If you want to create an amazing images, create images daily, and review, and create more images. The examples are endless, and all you need is some self-love, and pour it onto your dream. Don’t be your own dream killer, but be a dream chaser. God bless.