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Terence. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
My work focuses on capturing a moment in time, whether it's portraiture, lifestyle imagery, or just the perfect light.
I love to wait for the right moment and capture the most beautiful side of things. I'm equally comfortable with both videos and photos and producing stories that are different, darker, sensual and intimate.
I was a 2014 Grand Prize winner of the Inaugural Yahoo Fast Flicks (short film) competition, Promax Asia 2014 Silver Award Winner for Best Reality Campaign at and 2017 Promax World Gold Award Winner for Internal Marketing or Sizzle.
I'm based in Singapore and I'm always looking for opportunities to create compelling viewer-centric and stylised content for digital platforms — and I'll take any opportunity to travel!
Terence Lee specializes in photography, videography, branding and digital content!
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Terence. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I think the most unique thing about me is that I really love being different and challenging the norms. I always try create visuals or films that invoke a reaction, be it good or bad because I want people to be talking to me, asking me questions. I really love black and white because I believe that lights and shadows bring out a different side of people and shows the inner self.
Terence, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion is creating visuals and telling stories. I aspire to be a filmmaker and photographer that is known around the world for having inspirational work, provocative work that challenges the norms and that is truly unique. I started as a photographer while I was a teacher where I was asked to photograph some school events and I ended up taking photos that were unlike common event photos and that’s where I realized that I might be good at this and should use it to my advantage.
Who is your inspiration in life Terence? How do you keep inspired?
My wife. When I turned 32, I decided to leave my stable job and opened my own company to do digital content, she supported me fully and never complained about me not having a job etc. She knew this was what I wanted to do and she constantly gave me her support and told me to chase my dreams. I keep myself inspired by reminding myself of her support and dedication and constantly improve myself by joining fashion programs, classes, reading books, watching films and going to galleries. I want to see the world so I can be more inspired and get better and better.
We all make mistakes Terence, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I think that mistake was made with a previous boss/mentor and not a colleague. I was working for one of Singapore's top fashion photographer and only four months in; I was offered a job at another studio as a fashion videographer. I had really wanted to do both and was hoping my boss would incorporate that, be he wants interested and so I decided to move there which broke our relationship a little and the worse thing was, the studio hired another person before even telling me because they thought I was too expensive. I really felt it was karma and I regret it till this day, I should have stayed for at least a year to learn from the best because I feel that I have learned a lot of I had stayed.
Terence , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I always aim to deliver photographs that help my clients to achieve their ultimate goals. I look at their brief and carefully plan out my creatives by tailoring it to what they wish to achieve. I make sure that if their idea of something wouldn’t work, I will tell them so but letting understand it’s not about me having an artist temper but genuinely caring about my clients’ needs.
Please tell us, Terence, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I realized at one point in time that I had no portfolio and nobody was going to be paying me, a nobody, money to do photographs or videos. Thus, I started doing work for free, music videos, photos, digital content, just to build up my portfolio. I’m so glad I did that because it also helped widen my network and helped me gained some valuable friendships.
Terence, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I was shooting for a hair renewal spa in Singapore and they had decided to continue with their previous way of photography and basically wanted me to just continue what was done before but I told them about having to move with the times and with them wanting to target a younger audience, that they had to change their mindset and the style of the photos. I made it look slightly more editorial and even used black and white photos which breathe new life into the brand and helped create a new identity.
Terence, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
As a photographer, I haven’t had the proudest moment yet, but as a filmmaker, I do have. I won the inaugural Yahoo film competition in Singapore in 2014, and that boosted my confidence and made me feel that my work is good enough because it was judged by film veterans in Singapore which included my idol, Eric Khoo. I wanted people to be able to see the stories I wanted to tell, and I’m glad that in my first competition, I won and that made me super happy and excited and importantly, that what I’m doing is right and I should continue to do so.
Terence, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was asked to do a music video for a local singer in Singapore, and I told him that I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to shoot it like a short film and didn’t involve him singing at all in the music video. I even asked him to portray himself as a serial killer, had him strip and also dip himself into a bathtub full of blood. I even offered to pay for the production of the music video because I believed in the idea. It turned out fantastic for him because it showcased his acting abilities and opened new doors for him. He was very thankful for it and still credits his acting gigs to me till this day.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
To believe in oneself and to find your voice and identity. It’s ok to copy others at the start, but eventually, you need to use the different inspirations and infuse that, making it into your signature so that you become unique. People don’t notice you because you copy well but because you’re uniquely you.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I am looking for collaborations. I come from a small country, and it’s not easy finding people who want to collaborate. I’m looking for people to come together to create good portfolios and hopefully, can help critique on my work and make me better by challenging my ideas, my stories. I want to meet people from all around the world so that I can learn from them and better myself, getting inspiration from all around the world.
Photographer: Terence Lee