How a Mobile Photography Pioneer Does It All (& More)

by Wei Ying  June 30, 2022
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Who would have thought a self-proclaimed functional introvert could be a full-time coffee purveyor, and mobile photography pioneer in Singapore, while also having founded a whopping four local communities?

It certainly does feel like nothing can stop Ivan Kuek from chasing after his passions. Not his innate personality and certainly not the lack of time. Here is his story on how he does it all, and we mean it — so much more.

How would you describe your profession?

I: I work in the coffee industry, where I mainly distribute equipment for coffee-making! My role is to help cafes, restaurants, hotels, and companies set up anything they would need to have in their pantry, cafe, or kiosk that facilitates coffee creation.

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Ivan is the co-founder and director of Stella M, an official distributor and trusted coffee equipment specialist

What inspired you to start these local communities that you had founded?

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A film review session conducted by Photo-logue

I see myself as a “connector”, where I group people with common interests together.

– Ivan Kuek

What does a regular week look like for you?

With so many community groups to juggle, how do you find time to split yourself evenly among them all? Or are there groups in which you invest more of your time?

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A shot taken by Ivan during one of The Social Running Club’s runs

For instance, an opportunity for a collaboration with a running group came up recently. Such collaborations and partnerships make it easier for me to create events for the various communities which I manage.

“I do not think I am doing a good job as some of the communities I manage might be a little neglected.”

With such a hectic schedule, how do you seek respite?

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A photo walk led by Ivan for the students of our Mobile Photography workshop

As an ACTA-certified trainer for Mobile Photography, what motivates you to impart your knowledge to others?

You do not fish for them but instead, you teach them how to fish.

I want my students to be able to “feed” themselves for a lifetime. Therefore, my teaching pedagogy does not involve me spoon-feeding them with a step-by-step approach.

Although I try to keep things simple, I tend to offer my students pointers. They help with the internalisation of newly learnt information while allowing them to apply new concepts and continue to improve their techniques after the end of the session.

Anyone with a camera phone is a photographer.

– Ivan Kuek

As a pioneer of mobile photography, why do you think it is becoming increasingly popular?

I do not believe that practice makes perfect but practice makes you better.

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A student trying to get the perfect shot

What advice would you give budding mobile photographers who would like to hone their skills?

What motivates you to keep doing what you are doing?

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