I am Munn Iskandar and I am currently a freelance photographer/videographer. I graduated from Environment Design in Temasek Polytechnic and I’m starting school in Arts, Design and Media in NTU very soon.
I had my first camera a few years back. I bought it sneakily without my dad’s knowledge but I had to tell my mum because she was the one who held my bank account. After rushing off for a quick submission in school, two close friends and I went to Suntec to get it. I called people I knew for recommendations on the spot. I purchased my g12 on the spot too. When I met my parents afterwards, no negative comments were made so I think it went okay.
I believe strongly in an infamous quote from Henri Cartier Bresson that says “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”. If you ask me to show some photos from the past, I might cringe because I don’t even know what I was taking? I had that camera to document my models for my project works in Environment Design actually. But I brought it out on solo trips to Haw Par Villa and Chinese Garden for fun. Slowly, it went everywhere with me. I named it Explorer.
There are times where I may bring Explorer out but do not use it at all because I don’t see a need to. I won’t say I was obsessed with documenting everything. I hope I’m not obsessed ahaha.
My love for from-the-top views came about when I was on a pre-internship at an architectural company in Kampong Glam. My colleague and I stumbled across Textile Centre and I dragged him to go to the top at level 24/25. The first time we were there was amazing. The view was literally breathtaking. It still is; the little shophouses with the tall city buildings at the back. You can clearly see the comparison between the old and the new. That was when I started fiddling with Explorer and got some aerial shots. I can still remember the excitement when I chose the photos to upload on my IG account.
Then after that, I started learning and observing more I guess. I don’t use a drone or any special effects in any of my photos. Just from a high place and crazy stretching to get the straight lines. I cannot remember how many HDBs I’ve been on just to see the view. There have been several occasions where I get greeted by/stared at by the resident and there was this one occasion where I was shoo-ed when I took some photos and tried to sketch. Apart from that, I try my best not to linger around too long.
What encourages me to take these photos is actually to share with people other perspectives in normal living I guess. I enjoy taking photos of POP; the organized arrangement when the soldiers march and the throwing of the beret. I enjoy getting feedbacks from people. They will comment on how they have never seen something from this perspective before, and asking how I do it, whether I own a helicopter etc. It’s nice to invoke this kind of curiousity in people.
Just less than a year back, my cousin asked me to take care of his two cameras Nikon D90 and Canon Mark II 5D and I was quite shocked when that happened. I am actually still learning to use the manual mode but so far I’ve shot two weddings, two couple outdoor shoots, and a few others outdoor shoots. I learn from shooting and reviewing the images when I edit but honestly, there are still so many tricks and things to learn and improve on. Learning never ends!
I won’t say I have a style on my own, even though my friends always say “eh very you leh this photo” when they see something that reminds them of me. Apart from aerial photography, photos of HDBs, I shoot couples’ post weddings etc. I am not a fan of indoor and night photography because there are still so much to learn for that. I get inspirations from everywhere basically, from browsing through the web or from instagram. I will save the photos in an album and browse through them just to remind me that there are so many things to shoot and so many things that can be done.
I also enjoy exploring and when I’m in a bus and I see a place I’d like to drop by to see, I will note it down.
Photography is the best of me because it is my medium of expression when I cannot find words to describe how I feel. Photography is my breather as other than helping me release stress, it allows me to see new things and to challenge myself creatively.
I am a visual person. I love uncovering beauty in things, simple or complex, and what is more delightful is that I can actually share the images that my camera has captured with everyone!