With an Expanding List of International credits, Singapore-raised Brian Lau has Found Himself in Photography
Photography. Is. Therapy.
As I was looking through young photographer Brian Lau’s cool website, I found all sorts of treats and Easter eggs: authentic-looking images, and others that caught dynamic movement even in a still; and, portraits that seemed to capture reality and humor and not just perfection.
There was also poetry that was incredibly visual, words that painted pictures: “Voyager is the birth child of a little satellite that was lost in space…(he) travelled many miles to the beautiful state of California. It was in this place that he discovered many other satellites floating amongst the stars, trying to find their place in the universe, too…”
“Photography is a love affair with life.”
Finally, when I spoke with Lau, I discovered this Singapore-raised young man calls himself a portrait photographer primarily focused on fashion and editorial images.
He already has an impressive array of credits like working for Multifolds, a premier wedding photography company in Singapore — their clients are generally popular social media influencers and people that can afford to pay for lavish wedding events.
Additionally, his international clients include: shooting behind-the-scene stills for indie and short films like Happy Thanksgiving and Table for 4 which have been selected for film festivals like the “LA Shorts International Film Festival” while two more films, Mr. Strange and The Graduation Speech, use Lau’s images to create their posters; creating the content that Chinese fashion brand Xhibition uses for its social media mainly “Tik Tok”; he’s also working with exciting companies looking to expand into the U.S, including UB+, a new speaker brand, and Populife, an innovative wireless lockbox; and, has worked with Lithuanian actress Simonna, creating content for her social media, while working with her for the upcoming movie Mirroring Michael Jackson.
He humbly recalls that he initially discovered the muse of photography as a way for a shy child to express himself:
“I wasn’t born into an artistic family, but my parents, who worked at a local food stand, instilled the ideas of achieving success through hard work. There wasn’t really one photograph that started my passion, It was about me being an awkward, introverted kid trying to find a way to express myself in school. I joined my school’s photography club and picked up my first camera when I was 13. It was a medium for me to show the world what I saw and photography allowed me to explore the beauty of the world from an alternative perspective.”
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” — Alfred Eisenstaedt
Lau recently set up his company “Still.Brian Photography” while he was taking an intensive conservatory program at the New York Film Academy, a period that expanded his technical knowledge on photography equipment.
But going back to his youth, his initial goal to turn the “hobby that brought him joy and comfort” into a career got derailed by his own very human doubts that he just wasn’t good enough. He explains:
“Even as I constantly told everyone that being a photographer was my goal, deep down I was always afraid of pursuing it. Then three years ago, while I was working as a concierge at a local hotel, I was given the opportunity to shoot for an article in the hotel’s quarterly magazine. I picked up a camera again, this time for work and something just clicked. The beginnings were hard but what turned everything around was actually a few weeks ago when I realized that I’ve made rent two weeks into the month. It was a feeling of ‘Hey, I don’t have to worry about paying rent at the end of the month’ that really helped put things into perspective.”
“It’s not the camera but who’s behind the camera.”
To this end, he’s taken every job and opportunity that has presented itself which has led him to some incredible job offers such as shooting still images for commercial products and assisting on big budget fashion shoots. And, he describes what he feels is key to capturing a great image:
“To me, a great shot comes from a feeling of authenticity. The photographs that capture my fascination are generally portraits, be it fashion or lifestyle, or even documentary. I feel like in life, there is so much pressure into looking ‘successful’ that everyone is trying to cover up their flaws but it is those moments where we are not as composed, those are moments where true beauty shines. If I can capture that in an image, I genuinely believe that it is a successful image.”
Famous photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams, who was known for his black-and-white images of the American West, echoed a similar sentiment: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” He also quipped, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
Brian Lau is now planning to expand his new confident approach to his art and career:
“Ultimately, I just want to be able to work in this industry that has given me so much. It gave me meaning, it gave me discipline and most importantly, it taught me to be fearless. I can care less about the fame and I always live by the notion of ‘do what you love to do, the money will follow.’ Because I am truly the happiest when I get to create imagery.”