Name: Felix So Age: 42 Occupation: Photographer Young Post: When did you develop an interest in photography? So: When I was in Form One, I had to do a group project about Hong Kong's transport system. All the other students used postcards and pictures from books, but I suggested we take pictures. We went around Hong Kong taking pictures of ships, trams, buses and other modes of transport. We got a B+ for our project. I fell in love with photography and began seeking out experienced photographers to teach me all the skills and facts. YP: Have any photographers made a particular impact on your life? S: In Form One, I met a friend of my elder brother called Nelson Ho. He was the president of the school's Photographic Society. I would buy him snacks and in return he would take me with him to different places after school and take pictures. He taught me many basic skills. After graduation, I worked as a messenger in a computer company where my boss's boyfriend was a photography enthusiast. We went to all kinds of places during holidays and took pictures. He taught me a lot. After I left the company, I worked as a studio assistant, first under Dinshaw Balsara and a year later for Raymond Li. Both of them are well-known photographers whose skill in picturing interiors, still objects and people are highly regarded in the industry. I owe much to these two photographers; Raymond Li is a dear friend of mine still. YP: What do you do as a photographer? S: I do portraits of people, as well as product and interior shots. I set up my own studio in 1990. I get business from clients and advertising agents who want pictures to help sell their products. For example, if a shampoo company wants some pictures for their adverts, they would approach me with what they have in mind. I then have to work with the model and her makeup artist. I will tell them how to strike poses and apply makeup. If you want good portraits, communication with the models and makeup artists is very important. I'm also the president of the Hong Kong Institute of Professional Photographers (HKIPP). We've planned many things this year to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary. I've attended many meetings and I've been promoting the upcoming activities of the HKIPP to the media. YP: What things do you need to pay attention to when taking pictures? S: Shooting different things requires different skills. Communication is what matters most when doing portraits of people. You also need to grab the moment. As people's facial expressions change all the time, you have to catch the moment when everything is right. When shooting still products, you have to be observant and meticulous. For example, if you take pictures of a watch, you have to make sure there are no fingerprints on the dial and strap. You also need to check thoroughly that the board on which the watch is placed is spotless. You can touch up photos after shooting using digital technology, but I think that, as a professional photographer, you should get everything right at the moment the camera clicks. Resume 1983: Graduated from secondary school and found a job as a messenger in a computer company 1986: Worked as a photographer's assistant 1987-88: Taken under the wing of respected photographers Dinshaw Balsara and Raymond Li 1989: Worked as an in-house photographer for a publishing company 1990: Set up his own studio, AVOS Communications 2006: Became the president of the Hong Kong Institute of Professional Photographers (HKIPP) How to get there Programme: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media School: The City University of Hong Kong Duration: Three years Characteristics: Students need to take general courses in Year One and choose a speciality in Year Two Enquiries: www.cityu.edu.hk/cityu/prgm/index.htm Programme: Professional Diploma in Commercial Photography School: The Open University of Hong Kong Duration: One year (full-time) Characteristics: Students need to take an introduction course called Concepts of Design before they can take such courses as Fashion and Wedding Photography, Portrait Photography and Black and White Photography. Enquiries: www.ouhk.edu.hk/WCM/ The Path Graduates with training in photography are qualified for a wide range of positions in the media industry, including advertising, publishing, film, television, and video production, internet and multimedia design.