Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm so proud! They're made in Malaysia!

Check out this cool stuff! Light modifiers for your speedlights. Yes! They're homegrown! 100% made in Malaysia! Click here for the Speedlight Pro Kit. Totally awesome, dude!

Last year I photographed a birthday session at Studio Solutions in Sunway Damansara, Malaysia. In the studio, I've seen some prototype snoots and awesome grids for speedlights made out of mounting boards and black straws. Little that I know that Dennis Kok, the gentleman who managed the studio while we were shooting and his partner Joe Chan, had really got something big cooking up in their oven.

Today, on Thanksgiving Day, I was surprised and very proud to find out from David Hobby's that these light modifiers are up for sale.

Hot dang! I'm gonna get me these kits!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How much do you charge?

Commercial Assignments Checklist.

I get a number of inquiries over the phone, with their question after "Hello, is this Azhar Ariff?", asking "how much do you charge for so-and-so assignment?"

For your information, it's impossible for me to answer an ambiguous question without having any knowledge of what we're getting ourselves into. Hence I always ask them to email me their brief and we communicate from there, because you can say a lot more in written communications rather than a 2-minute conversation.

Generally, my commercial assignment charges follow the general International Commercial Photographers guideline, widely practiced in the UK, United States & Australia.

The basis of the total costs of the assignment consists of the sum of Professional Fees and Expenses:

1. Photographer's fee
2. Creative/art direction fee
3. Weather Days (fees to be paid if I'm already on location, but can't shoot because of bad weather)
4. Space fee (location)
5. Re-shoot fee (if applicable)
6. Cancellation fee (if applicable)
7. Re-use fee (*Important: if the images are to be published in printed or digital media, each category where the images are being re-used, a re-use fee is applied. For example, my re-use fee is RM500 per use. An image for a furniture promotion appears in National Newspaper The Star, Berita Harian, The New Straits Times, Malay Mail and Laman Magazine. Therefore a re-use fee of RM500 x 5=RM2,500 is applicable)


1. Assistants
2. Casting
3. Crew/Special Technicians
4. Equipment Rentals
5. Film/Digital and Processing
6. Insurance
7. Location costs
8. Messengers
9. Talent/models
10. Props/wardrobe (not necessarily when shooting fashion, food and product shoot needs props too, for example)
11. Styling
12. Travel/Trasportation
13. Telephone
14. Touch-up for pre-press
15. Media storage (hard disks and/or optical disks)

The next step is to determine what the project is all about: Prepare your brief.
Now, for those of you who's interested in assigning me for an assignment, having a brief would really help us out.

To come up with a brief, simply describe what would you like to be photographed: who, when, where, what, why & how?

Example 1:
I need to photograph the board of directors, at the office lobby, from 9am to 11am, for our annual report.

Who: Directors
When: 9am to 11am
Where: at the office lobby at our HQ
What: Board of Directors shoot
Why: for 2009 annual report

Example 2:
I need to photograph our product line of biscuits, at our factory in Shah Alam, during a full-day shoot, for our new brochure.

Who: biscuits
When: full-day and extend until complete line of biscuits are ready
Where: our factory in Shah Alam
what: photograph a line of biscuits
why: for new brochure

Example 3:
I need to photograph our complete set of food, at our new restaurant, until completion at flexi-hour, for our menu and signage.

who: a line of menu (between 10-20 dishes plus 10 beverages)
when: full-day or extend if necessary
where: at our new restaurant, in Kota Damansara
what: photograph a line of menu (between 10-20 dishes plus 10 beverages)
why: for our new menu and signage

Example 4 (extensive brief, which is good):
I need you to shoot for our print ad commercial, to be printed nationwide in Newspapers, magazines. We're doing a Hari Raya campaign, to feature our furnitures, in a Hari Raya scene with a set of Malay family with Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Granfather & Grandmother having a Hari Raya meal, in Baju Raya & Baju Kurung, with happy smiles, with our furnitures featured. We need a few different settings/scenes ,possibly one at the dining area, and one where the kids ask for forgiveness from their parents with the grandparents around.

who: A set of Malay family: Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Granfather & Grandmother
when: Weekday
where: In a traditional Malay House setting, indoors
what: Photograph Hari Raya scene
why: for furniture print ad, distributon nationwide in print media.

I hope this information helps you as my prospective clients to be able to assist both of us in getting and giving the root answer to the original one-liner question of "How much do you charge?"

Should you be interested in assigning me for a commercial shoot, kindly email me with your brief and I'll see how I can assist you in achieving your objective(s), in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

Best wishes. Cheers!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What have I been doing lately?


I love it when I get assigned to photograph subjects that I rarely get a chance to every day. My Black & White Photography teacher, Mustaffa Aziz once told me that once in a while, we should photograph something that we haven't done before, and in the course of doing so, we might end up enjoying it. The best part is, when we go back to our comfort zone (the type of photography we love most), we'll see it in a better perspective.

And for that reason, I'm so grateful to Abdul Majid Othman, the owner of the currently established HSH Innovations, which main business is the sale of exclusive white wares, to assign me to photograph their whitewares for the new catalogue and promotional materials.

The company carry premium dinnerwares, customised to the very personal level. Previously their items were marketed under a different brand, and now they've embarked deeper into the niche market of premium whitewares. You should be very proud to own these whitewares, because they only make a few for Malaysian market. Shown above is a shot for their upcoming catalogue. I'll be processing a set of the images I shot over the weekend for the proofs, soon. Once that's done, I'll be sure to post some up here. Cheers!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Noridayu & Fadil's Wedding

Hi all! Thanks for visiting my blog. On this note, this would be my very first post after migrating from my old photo blog at

Last week was the beautiful wedding solemnization & reception ceremony of the sister of my previous wedding client (Norhafizah & Wan), Noridayu(Ayu) & Fadil. Talk about repeat customer :) I must be doing something right, yes? He he.

Anyways, the couple held a small and simple akad nikah ceremony at Ayu's place in Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur on the 7th November 2008, which proceeds to the the main reception on the 9th.

Ayu & Fadil was thrilled when I suggested an outdoor shoot after their reception (In Malaysia, the reception can proceed from 11am till as late as 7pm, sometimes longer. Therefore, any opportunity to photograph an outdoor session is a good thing!)

Without further adieu, check out the beatiful shots of Ayu & Fadil. Shots taken at a nearby open field, about 5 mins. drive from Ayu's place. It was an overcast sky, after the rain and I wanted to recreate the sunset feel for the shots. Looks like it worked! Cheers!

Noridayu & Fadil's outdoor photos

Noridayu & Fadil's outdoor photos

Noridayu & Fadil's outdoor photos

Noridayu & Fadil's outdoor photos

Noridayu & Fadil's outdoor photos

Hire Me

Allysha's (Ally) 5th Birthday Party!

I know a lot of parents hold up their children's 1st birthday party. But that's not as much fun as the 5th! At 1 years old, the party's actually for the parents, because the child would not be able to make any sense of it all.

However, at 5 years old, here's where all the fun begins! You've got friends, and a lot of things are going on, and most of all, the child will remember this day as one of his or her happiest day of their life.

Ally's 5th birthday was held at McDonald's Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, the 1st of November, 2008. Weekends at McDonald's are a bash. A lot of people came down to eat and have a great time, not to mention the birthday crowd.

Present during the party was, Ally's parents, Azhan & Farah, her grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins and her friends from her neighbourhood and school.

Kids love parties and they really enjoy the havoc. As for me, it wasn't easy when Ally constantly pull out her teleportation illusion all the moment she's here, the next blink she's at the slides...


Ally gets a hat.

Now, lovin the hat after saying "Thank You!"

"Staring at the cake makes me hungry. It's so yummy this Powerpuff Girls Cake.."

Blowing five candles is no easy task. Ally did it in a swift.

"Oh yeah! This is the best bit. I get to cut the cake!"

Her friends are havin' a good time too

Time to play! Let's get on the slides

Ally goes on the slides while her brother, Jeff follows behind

The slides are so much fun! Jeff kept going round and round and round...

Jeff enjoying the fun

The two birthday girls, Ally couldn't let go of her mother's top

Jeff wondering "what's going on?"

Jeff's crocs

Grandpa saying goodbye.