Architect-turned figure skating sports photographer and EOS Youth Ambassador Candidate at Canon Malaysia, Annice Lyn has given us a strong impression with her persistence and determination since day one. A former figure skater herself, life seems to come full circle when Annice was among the small handful of female photographers who were accredited as an Olympic photographer at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.
1. Hi Annice! Tell us more about yourself!
Hey there! I’m Annice Lyn, born & bred in the hearts of Kuala Lumpur; an architecture graduate and am currently an independent visual artist, photographer & designer – Anntopia
2. Congratulations for being the first Malaysian female photographer to obtain a Winter Olympic Credential for PyeongChang 2018! Can you let us know how did you go from being an official chief photographer for Ice-Skating Association of Malaysia to where you are today?
Thank you, much appreciated.
It started off back in 2015 while I was pursuing architecture at my alma mater, where I picked up photography. My former coach (I was once a competitive figure skater) asked me to test shoot some of his students. It took me approximately 2 years to build a solid portfolio solely focus on photographing figure skating through trails & errors.
Fast forward 2017, Ice-Skating Association of Malaysia recognized my work & appointed me as their official photographer in April 2017 for the 12th Malaysia National Figure Skating Championship & official photographer under ISAM in August 2017 for the 29th Southeast Asia Games formerly known as SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017.
In January 2018, I was invited to be a spectator to experience an international competition – the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at Taipei, Taiwan. However I wanted to explore and venture more in terms of how far photography can take me to, hence I tried my luck to obtain a photog credential from ISU (Ice Skating Union) & manage to be accredited.
In the midst of all I was encouraged by Irene Cheow, taking her son – Julian Yee qualification as a testament that with goal in sight, any thing is possible & if I do manage to obtain an Olympic photog credential, we’ll meet half way. I was persistence regardless, implying passion through my work and was honored when I was accredited as an Olympic photographer at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games which is also known as PyeongChang 2018.
3. What inspired you to get into photography?
A talented friend of mine, who’s a photographer yet tragically past away in 2014. I was inspired then. Aside from that, the freedom to articulate & transpose moments via visual documentary that able to touched & liberate those who shown great appreciation towards photography through my eyes.
4. What makes figure skating photography different from other types of photography?
Figure skating itself is a coalesce of technicality and artistry, same goes to photography. While the captured photos typically emphasize on grace & beauty, the focus and exposure has to be on point as well. Use of specific required cameras with high FPS (frame per second) & super telephoto lenses are required, hence monopod is essential. With high shutter speed such as 1/4000th, you’ll be able freeze the figure skater movement or exploring longer shutter speed like 1/30th or 1/8th for panning or creating artistic shots, & multiple exposure which all is subject to the photographers on what can he/she produce & be quick on your feet through out the figure skaters program, analyze them during their warm up session, or get familiarize with their performance, know their style. As you might miss the shot you long for if they decided to throw in a split jump or execute a double/triple element within a second.
5. What do you enjoy most about figure skating photography?
The music, performances, and the emotions exuded from the skaters by the time they ended their free skate. Knowing that the skater took months and years of assiduous hard work for just 3 minutes to prove him and her self to the judges and spectators.
6. From what we’ve gathered, the International Olympic Council that credentials Event Photographer is a male dominant industry. Based on your recent experience at PyeongChang 2018, did you experience your fair share of discrimination at work due to your gender?
Nope, everyone was incredibly courteous as all of us are honored to be there, thus there’s a mutual respect. It was more of the work load and the fact that photographers have to carry 8kg – 12 kg worth of gear from one location to another under a grueling 15 hrs– 18 hrs every single day throughout the game in repetition.
7. What is the most unforgettable experience, which you had in Winter Olympics 2018?
There’s so many! I would say one of the most unforgettable ones is embracing Team Malaysia at the practice rink, congratulating each other that we as Malaysians made it.
8. With your growing influence in the industry, what are the changes which you wish to see in Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?
With Malaysia’s equatorial climate, our nation is expose to most summer sports rather than winter sports. Hence coming from a tropical country, I hope to continue to witness our nation development in such unique sports and pursue the impossible; relish by recognizing it. When the time is right and we are ready, I wish to see a qualified female figure skater along with Men & Women Short Track Speed Skating individual plus relay team, Men & Women Hockey Team, Curling team and nevertheless a come back for Julian Yee to qualify for his free skate in Beijing 2022. Anything is possible 4 years time from now!
9. Figure skating competition is fairly seasonal compared to other sports. What do you usually do when it’s off-season?
I focus on humanitarian and charitable projects by providing photography and architectural input as well as hustling through life as a visual artist, photographer & designer on my creative pursuits.- Anntopia where I display all my work.
10. Any life motto which you live by?
If you think you can, you can.
If you think you can’t, you can’t.
11. What are your advises to those are planning to major in sports photography?
Instead of visual documenting the athletes success, focus on photographing their development as well such as during practice or behind the scenes, key moments. You & your subject are living in parallel lives. Stay with them while they are at their lowest or with their love ones. As they they get better in preparation your photography improves as well, by then you have a collective shots that able to provide visual story telling to project it out there.