Our photographer of the month takes you to Bali, Indonesia. Spotlight on Jay Kapaladung for August 2016!
Jay Kapaladung, a wedding photographer based in Bali, Indonesia has been selected as our photographer of the month. Discover his interview and enjoy his beautiful artwork!
Jay, what is the one thing you wish everyone knew about you but (almost) no one does?
Jay: As a photographer, i wish people knew that I can’t bring the happiness or fun looks in photos magically, clients need to build the emotions inside them, I can only direct and stimulate them. It takes team work (photographer & Clients) to create amazing artwork.
How did you get into photography?
Jay: I was already interested in cameras when I was a kid but my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a professional one, they were just poor farmers at that time, so I used to play with a small cheap camera and start to take picture of anything like family holidays or cultural ceremony around me.
Life went on, I grew up byt just after finishing my colleges for accountant degree I suddenly found out somehow that I wan’t meant to be an accountant, dealing with numbers and such details everyday was getting me dizzy. It became clear that my interest was in art and design.
In 2002 my father asked me to be a vice director of his company (Garment Manufacturer), I accepted his offer and worked with him for about 4 years. Similar as before I didn’t enjoy my work even if it was providing me a lot of money and great facilities. I decided to take a short education for basic photography at Bali Photo and Design School on my free time. It was meant to be my start for taking picture as a hobby.
I was enjoying my time as an amateur photographer for about 2 years until my friends introduced someone to me from a production company, offering me an opportunity to join their show at local television as a fashion photographer.
Being photographer for them for about 1 year really boosted my mood and my confidence. I got involved with a lots of models and people that time, and joined a lot of local photography communities.
The opportunities for photo assignments and money start coming and in 2007 I decided to quit my jobs as vice director in my fathers company and started building my own business in photography. At first I almost accept all the opportunity for shooting (fashion & Models, Foods and beverages, landscapes, wedding etc) but I quickly found that my passion was in wedding photography which is what I have been doing since then.
Where were you born and how did you end up where you are?
Jay: I was born in small villages in Tabanan- Bali, life was hard back then.
Born in a poor family, I learned from my fathers hard work who started building his empire in business and who always challenged me to start something new as well for myself. I believe that this is what made it impossible for me to be employed by someone else. I am always reaching for something bigger but not as an employee. I want to build my business from the ground up and grow it under my vision; that is why I decided to build my own photography business, although it is still small it is very promising.
I am proud to be photographer, it gives me freedom and time for my family. Being an employee and chasing after money only is something I long abandoned.
What was the most difficult part in becoming a professional photographer?
Jay: The most difficult thing in being a professional photographer is to be creative in every shoots it takes a lot of inspirations and experience to get there. Imagine if you shoot 20 to 30 wedding a month and are required to always be creative!
I personally often put explain ahead of time the moment and moods that will be created rather than being very creative during the shoot because I sometimes found out that not all clients like what we think of creative.
How would you define your style?
Jay: My photography style is natural light, you may see some dramatic portraits in my portfolios with sets of artificial lights but it will be rare and optional (on client’s request or due to a lack of beautiful natural light on that moment). I am always guided by the beauty of light found in a setting when doing photoshoot, it helps me to be creative when photo-shooting clients in the same spots at different time because light will always be different every time (directions,colour and intensity).
Sometimes people think that natural light style is chosen as the style for photographers because they can’t afford to buy an expensive lighting equipments, for me this is totally wrong. I have severals expensive lighting equipments but would rather work with natural light because I can work with speed and creativity at the same time.
What was the best photoshoot you’ve had so far?
Jay: I still haven’t considered one photoshoot to be better than another one, they are all special to me but maybe I just haven’t had that crazy amazing one yet!
What is your dream photoshoot and where?
Jay: I dream of shooting a wedding in a barn with all natural settings around surrounded by mountains and lake, I have never done that before. It could be anywhere in the world!
Any advice for future clients who want to work with you in New York?
Jay: Sure! I think the most important thing that every clients should know. is that, here in Bali, almost every locations including public areas are “commercial” (you have to pay to get there) especially for photo shooting purpose. Some locations can be very expensive and few of them are still free to use (remote locations or not my favourite one).
What are your 4 favorite images ever? Could you tell the story of each one of them?
Jay: Here we go!
Jay: I loved their style! They were being themselves, they are the owners of a local clothing brand company, coloured smoke is a reflection of their life and activity – full of colour!
The photo was taken in the Forrest, lots of mosquitos joined the session but both managed to keep their focus on what we had planed before.
I use my Mirrorless Fujifim camera XT-10 for this shoot with XF35mm f 1.4 lens attached.
Jay: It was pouring the night before, we were shocked by the river when arrived in the location. The river was flooded and the water was dark. in normal situation you can reach this river’s bank easily but that day we needed a little bit more effort than before. we almost cancelled the session and picked another location but when I saw a beautiful ray of light I asked them to walk down on a slippery-rocky river bank for a simple pose. It took a full 30 minutes just to produce this picture!
I used my Nikon D750 with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached.
Jay: It was a beautiful morning on the lake, the fog was being hit by the sunshine creating that magical ambiance. I was on a boat struggling to maintain my balance for shooting this scene. That thin light behind the couple was the guide for me to pose them exactly where they needed to be. This light produced warm and romantic colour for the image.
Nikon D750 with 24-70mm lens attached
Jay: It was the 2nd location we were shooting on that day and the clients still didn’t have their breakfast. They woke up at 3am in order to reach the location on-time. I told them to walk under the small road and not to try anything – don’t try to look happy or fun – because I knew it wouldn’t happen on an empty stomach !!
I chose this picture because somtimes things are not perfect. We can’t always depend on a perfect place, time, situation to produce great result, even when it isn’t perfect your need to create great artwork for your client.
Fujifilm XT-10 with 35mm f 1.4 lens attached.
Thank you so much Jay! You just helped our readers travel to Bali 🙂
If you’re in Bali, make sure you book your photoshoot with Jay Kapaladung! You wouldn’t want to miss on that amazing artwork for yourself. Head over to his profile to discover more of his work as a wedding photographer in Bali.