I used to be very insecure about taking photographs. Whenever we had a family reunion, my father – who was crazy about cameras – would tell us, his kids, to snap photos. I always passed the camera to someone else for fear of making a mistake. Back then, we had no idea how a photo would turn out. You loaded the camera with film – being careful to make sure the square holes in the roll caught onto the teeth of the camera – to ensure you would get shots. I remember how, at the end of a roll, my dad would pop open the back of the camera to realise – oops! the film was still the way he put it in. All those memories we clicked at never got their chance.
Eventually, I fought the fear and bought my own camera. A point-and-shoot Canon film camera. I practised taking shots, built my confidence, and eventually fell in love with photography. It helped me in my line of work as an editor of a teen magazine – so that I could snap the people/celebrities I interviewed. I took my first camera to the 2002 MTV Asia Awards and used it to take photos with the celebrities I got to meet as part of the press.
Today’s sketch is of an old Coronet Twelve-20. My sister Rina spotted it in a flea market and bought it for me. I love it, even if it doesn’t work anymore. It reminds me of a time when I used to be afraid of making mistakes with a camera, and how far I’ve come. From a fear of taking photos, I now have a passion for images that I express in many ways: through words, photographs, fabric art and illustrations.