Meet Daniel, one of the 3 local photographer who showcase his Batik Series at ROJAK exhibition over the Merdeka weekend! To the unfamiliar, Daniel’s work is skewed towards conceptualized portraits with a fashion orientated approach to the imagery- something that we don’t often come across among local talents. Read on to learn more about the man himself!
1. Hi Daniel, please tell us more about yourself!
Hi! My name is Daniel Adams, a conceptual portrait photographer, born and raised in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I studied BA (Hons) Photography at Falmouth University in England, having just moved back to KL late last year after graduating. I’m currently working as a freelance photographer as well as working at APW, Bangsar. My work consists of more conceptualized portraits with a fashion orientated approach to the imagery, often exploring social and political issues; topics that range from gender to sexuality to culture and religion.
2. What started you to dabble into fashion photography?
Honestly, America’s Next Top Model was a major thing for me back in the day. I used to watch that show religiously every Friday at 6am before school started! I think that sparked my interest in fashion photography. I started off shooting very conceptual images with huge amounts of postproduction involved. However, after going to university and having the access to state of the art equipment, the ability for myself to shoot more conceptualized fashion orientated portraits was something that really interested myself.
3. Last year, your photography project “Why Is Your English So Good” had garnered a lot of attention. What’s the inspiration behind this idea?
It was such an amazing experience, both shooting the project and watching the outcome blow up. Studying abroad as an international student, I faced my own fair share of racism. And I decided to use those experiences as my inspiration for this project. However, instead of using my own experiences, I wanted to use other Malaysians experiences as it would allow for us to realize how widespread the problem really is.
4. In less than 20 words, what makes you different from other fashion photographers?
The implication of social and political issues that relate close to my Malaysian heritage into my work that creates discussions.
5. What were the challenges that you’ve experienced throughout your career, and how did you overcome them?
There have been huge amounts of challenges to overcome throughout the 6 years I’ve been photographing. I think one of the first challenges was definitely trying to accept and use criticism to its best potential. I developed a thicker skin and realized that critiques need to be used to better your work and they aren’t personal attacks. There have been countless times where I would compare myself to younger and more successful individuals (which is something that is so terrible to do because everyone has their own journeys) which would make myself lack the motivation to carry on. However, from that I learnt that instead of it bringing me down, I should take it as inspiration to continue to strive and move forward, creating new work. I’ve learnt that everything around me is inspiration and use it positively.
6. Where did you seek inspiration for the photos you take?
So many places! I usually travel once a month and that gives me a new perspective on things to create each time I come back from my trip. Apart from that, music videos are a big part of where I source my inspiration. I read a lot of articles on social issues and read a lot of comments and opinions from different people, which allows me to see the picture from different angles.
TRUST ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Big kudos to these two for swimming in nasty ass muddy waters and doing exactly what I told them to do because I’m super stubborn and didn’t want to make life easy for them HAHA ❤️ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• M: @jeezyyjay @naomistothard Photographer: @danieladamsphotography firstname.lastname@example.org
7. How did you deal with your emotions especially when you received criticism from people about your art work?
As I said earlier, I realized that I needed to use the criticism in a beneficial way and not let it eat at me. But that took a very long time to understand. However, the older I’ve become, the easier it has been to separate the two and use the criticism solely for the purpose of improving my artwork. For example, I did face a lot of criticism for my ‘Why Is Your English So Good?’ series, but whether it was good or bad feedback, it was creating a discussion, which I felt was the most important aspect.
8. Any word of advice to those who’d like to dabble in fashion photography?
100% research fashion photographers and study the features of their work, make sure you understand your lightin g and your composition and buy magazines because they are one of the best places to look for all the above.
9. If you are not a fashion photographer, what will you choose to do as your career, and why?
In all honesty, probably a travel blogger haha. I’m absolutely in love with traveling and it would be perfect.
BATIK 2018 -boys edition- •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• GOOD VIBES is 3 days away which means I’ll be up and shooting in three days! Heading there to check the place out on Friday – make sure to keep a lookout on my stories to know where I’ll be ???? ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• M: @adamlxw @danialmahathir @jondevadas @hazlamihashim
10. Are there upcoming projects that we all can anticipate in months to come?
I’m shooting the project ‘A Love Once Lost’ that’s dedicated to my late mother. I’ve currently shot 4 images for it and have another 11 to shoot – hopefully it’ll be finished by February next year. And lastly I’m still shooting but am about to close my ABSENT project whch revolves around the structure of brown men and women in Malaysian society.
BATIK (2018) So I was teaching myself a new editing technique and because it’s my first time learning it, this Photo took 3 hours to edit and my eyes hurt so much but tbh I’m happy with the result! •••••••••••••••••••••••••••• M: @noelineannabell Photographer: @danieladamsphotography email@example.com ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• DM me for rates and dates ? #danieladamsbatik
11. What is your life motto?
Take every chance you get.
Follow Daniel on his Instagram to learn more about this unconventional approach towards photography!
Header Image Source: Daniel’s Facebook