His passion for photography was discovered from the most unexpected situation. Famous for his powerful concert shots and artistic wedding portraits, Aloysius Lim, the love for photography started in 2003 while incapacitated after a knee surgery for a football injury. His work is magnificent, so we invited him to try out the Petzval Lens with his Canon Camera. Read on to get blown away!
How did you come to be a photographer?
It was quite a gradual progress actually. To be honest, the lomo movement sparked a major interest in photography. The first camera I bought with my own money was actually the LC-A. After many rolls of film and a few concerts, I decided that I wanted to be taking nice photos of musicians on stage and enjoy the process. After the LC-A, I bought a DSLR. As time went by, I had many people telling me that my photos were good and that I had an “eye”, so I thought I’d give it a shot!
To be a wedding photographer in SG can be one of the most competitive professions. How do you feel about it?
It definitely is one of the most competitive but at the same time one of the most rewarding and challenging at the same time. I get to meet awesome people, travel, learn about life and have time to do things at my own time and pace. Competition is not a bad thing as it keeps you on your toes but the biggest competitor would be yourself.
What’s the most challenging part of working as a wedding photographer for a living?
I think one of the most challenging part as a wedding photographer is having to manage the expectations of the families of the bride and groom and even their friends.
We also know that you shoot fantastic gig shots, tell us about it!
Yup, besides wedding photography I also love gig/music photography. Here’s a story about how I started actually. Sometime in 2003, I went for knee surgery and had 3 months of medical leave so I spent quite a lot of time in front of the computer at home and came across lomography. Went out and bought the LC-A to try analog photography, was hooked and that sparked a huge interest in photography. Few months later, one of my favourite Singapore bands, Electrico, starting gigging again and I went to their shows with the family’s point and shoot camera but wanted better quality pictures so decided to take the plunge and bought a dslr. After about 2 years of shooting at pubs and local music venues and learning more about photography, I decided to put together a portfolio of my favourite concert photos and send it out to concert promoters and music labels. 2006, I shot my first big arena show and that was the beginning of my music photography journey.
Which is the most amazing band that you’ve work with?
There have been a few great bands that I’ve work with over the past couple of years but the most amazing experience that I won’t ever forget would probably be the recent show of Nile Rodgers & CHIC. Nile is a famous producer, composer, arranger and guitarist who has worked with the biggest names in music like Madonna, Diana Ross, Duran Duran and more recently Daft Punk and Avicii. For a start, he let the photographers shoot the entire show which is a rarity now. Most of the time we get the first 3 songs. His crew and band were really friendly and amazing as well. It was just a night of music and fun! He even invited about 30 fans on stage to sing and dance with him towards the end of the show. Backstage he was just like a friend whom you could have a long conversation with. Full of respect for him and no diva airs at all. Such an inspiration!
Which band you are dying to work with in the future?
I would really really love to work with Paramore! I’ve shot them twice but would love to really work with them on a more personal level. Katy Perry & Taylor Swift would be awesome as well! Okay I wouldn’t mind Coldplay as well! Closer to home would be Japanese band, One OK Rock whose show I shot recently as well.
We know you are a fan of Lomography, do you think film is more enjoyable than digital?
Definitely film is more enjoyable! Both has it’s pros and cons but the process of shooting each frame and not knowing what to expect makes the experience more fun and exciting with film! It’s a great feeling you can’t experience with digital.
Tell us your experience with the Petzval lens. What advice will you give to those who are just trying the lens for the first time?
My experience was a really fun one! I shot quite a number of subjects from portraits, still objects, scenery and even live music. You’d probably get a few stares when you take the lens out to the streets and definitely hear loads of “What is this thing?”, “This looks really cool!” and I also got a “OMG, Is this the new Petzval Lens?!”.
I think one advice if you’re just trying the lens out for the first time would be that the focusing is via the knob on the left on the lens and not like a regular slr focusing ringl and no auto focus! Okay, on a more serious note. At the beginning, take a few shots of the same subject but with a slight variation with the focus knob. It will take some getting used to before you’re confident to know that you’ve got your subject in focus.
And lastly, what’s the strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest, or most “unusual” photographic encounter that you have ever had?
One great encounter would be having Hayley Williams of Paramore recognize a photo of her I shot. When the band came for a second time in 2011, I made a print of her I shot for their first show in 2010. When I showed her the photo she immediately recognized it and said “Hey, didn’t I used this image for my twitter profile for awhile?” Nice of her to remember and got her to sign that print for me!
A funny encounter would be the time when I first got my hands on the LC-A. I remember it was about 8pm and I took a taxi down to the store and bought it. Immediately loaded it and expanded 1 roll in about 30mins. I shot really random stuff and rushed to a photo lab and paid for the 30mins express service. So I waited and was really excited but when I got the film back, it was all blank! 2nd roll was blank too. It wasn’t until the 3rd blank roll, that I realized that I had been loading the film incorrectly! So it’s important to read the manual of any product that you buy! I felt silly because I had wasted quite a fair bit of money already!
Check out more of Aloysius’s fantastic work here.
The Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens is now available for pre-order in the Lomography Online Shop! They will be delivered on a first come, first served basis; so don’t miss out on securing your piece of photographic history and your place in the pre-order queue!