AtÂ any kick ass party there is always an event photographer or two present in the background, snapping everyone and every moment. But the really good ones-those that can capture you in your drunken stupor and somehow still manage to make you look good-are rare. One person that has stood out over the past year with such godsend skills is Julian Loh, or most affectionately known as Jules Streething.
Jules’ interest in photography sparked when he started reviewing gadgets for (now defunct) local travel mag Zero Degrees. The first camera he bought with his own money was a Nikon Coolpix 2500 when he walked past a clearance sale one day. Jules says the camera had a “twisty gimmick that allowed you to take self-portraits and was shaped like a bulky Magnum ice cream”. With all the cameras he was able to review for Zero Degrees, Jules “inevitably caught the buying bug and bought myself a new camera with the excuse that I needed a better one for (so-called) work purposes.”
Jules then realised that by learning photography he could take decent pictures and would have some advantage as a travel writer, but it was only when he left Zero Degrees and started with Streething did he really take photography seriously. “Because I had no photographers to fall back on, I knew I had to get good fast,” he explains.
But how did he start working with Streething? “My beloved boss, the illustrious Hwang Choo Ee, upon noticing that I had been jobless for quite some time, asked me, “Ei, you very free right? You want to help me keep an eye on the forum?” Back then Streething was just a forum for discussions and didn’t do news updates like it does now. So I agreed. But it was only in February 2008 that I left my proper job (to the shock of many friends) to join Streething full-time. A lot of people thought I was crazy to jump into it before it was a proven news site. I would say they were right, but living life as a sane person isn’t very fun, is it?”
And the rest, as they say, is history. Jules’ snapshots perfectly capture a moment and are certainly one of a kind. That’s all good for now, but what does he reckon he’ll be doing in 10 years? “Hopefully in 10 years time, JUICE will be asking me to do a feature like this again and my portfolio will be much better.”
What’s it like shooting events?
Julian: If it’s a paid gig, it’s a little nerve-racking. It isn’t any fun when a client needs you to get “the shot”. I prefer event jobs where I can work at my own pace and take what I want to take-but obviously such jobs are few and far between.
Will you be venturing into different types of photography in the future?
Sports is something that I have yet to try. In the far future, I would like to have that opportunity.
Who is your favourite photographer?
A toss up between Dianna Tai and Miranda Yeoh – pint-sized photography extraordinaires!
What equipment do you use at events?
Either a Nikon D700 or a Nikon D80, with a flash or two.
You’ve moved to Singapore. Has the Lion City inspired you even more?
Currently, I’m in love with the morning glow that comes through my window. It definitely gives me a lot of ideas and I hope to put them to work.
Explain a little about the pictures you picked and why they’re your favourites.
To tell you the truth, these are not actually my favourites. I think they just look good. Personally my favourite pictures do not look good. Instead, they bring me back to when I took that picture and that exact moment when all the nonsense was going on.
Jules’ photos can be found at www.streething.com.