Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Print your own Photo Book

Most people these days are happy with storing their photos as digital images on their on their smart phones or tablets. Even photographers are leaning more towards digital portfolios. However, these do not leave the same impression as a printed book or portfolio. Holding and paging through a printed book is a far more enjoyable experience, and for photographers they can be a valuable marketing tool.


AdoramaPIX is currently offering a 25% discount on photo books until September 30, 2015. Just head over to the AdoramaPIX website, design your photo book and use the discount code "PKBKAFF20" when you place your order.


I only recommend services that I use myself. I tried the AdoramaPIX design interface to make my own photo book for my portfolio and it is incredibly simple and easy to use but allows a great deal of customization.


The easiest way to do it is to simply upload your photos, choose your theme, and use the auto-arrange feature to have their system place your photos into an attractive layout instantly.

Or you can add the photos yourself and customize the layout. Customization options include moving and resizing photos, changing the numbers of photos on a page, adding different background, stickers, and borders, and adding text.

The books are well priced, starting at $26 for a 10 page hardcover book. Different covers can be chosen including faux leather, leather, and fabric. And extra pages can be added as needed.

Extra options which AdoramaPIX give you are adding blank pages at the beginning and end of the book and color correcting images for you.


Here are some suggestions for when you make your photo book:


  • Decide on the purpose of your photo book and select a theme, book size, and photo paper that best matches that.


  • Upload your highest resolution images to allow for possible cropping and maintaining the best quality.


  • There are many layouts and options for additional stickers and borders. These might be fine for family or memento photo books, but I suggest avoiding them for portfolio books.


So, if you are itching to hold your own photo book in your hands, head over to AdoramaPIX and use the photo book discount code “PKBKAFF20” to get 25% off your Photo Books until September 30, 2015.




Thursday, August 6, 2015

Images for Book Covers on Arcangel

I recently started getting more interested in fine art and conceptual photography, but I had no outlet to sell this kind of work. So I was happy when Arcangel Images agreed to represent my work.

Arcangel is an agency that focuses on fine art and conceptual photography for the publishing industry, mainly book covers. A lot of  the images on the covers of bestselling novels came from Arcangel.

My portfolio there is currently quite small as it is a specialized agency with a specific target market, so it takes longer to build up a portfolio there.

All the images in my Arcangel portfolio are Rights Managed for sole usage worldwide so I cannot submit the same work to other stock agencies. See my collection of Rights Managed images here: Images by Kenny on Arcangel


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Typhoon Matmo in Taiwan, July 23, 2014

With Super Typhoon Soudelor set to hit Taiwan this Friday, I thought it is a good time to show the power of Typhoon Matmo from July 2014.

Stock Footage of Typhoon Matmo in Taiwan

Typhoon Matmo made landfall in Taiwan at midnight local time, July 23, 2014. It brought severe winds and torrential rain to Taiwan. At least 10 people were injured. It washed out one bridge, and disrupted electricity in Hualien on the east of Taiwan, but it did not cause much other damage.

Typhoon Matmo in Taiwan


Matmo made landfall with winds of over 160 km/h. The heaviest rain the typhoon brought was across the higher terrain of the east and interior Taiwan, dumping 650 millimeters of rain in the mountainous areas in the eastern coastal counties of Taitung and Hualien. Taipei had rainfall of 50–100 mm with wind gusts close to 100 km/h.

HD Stock Footage of Typhoon Matmo in Taiwan

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Does your creative team NEED a better brief?

Child writing at desk gets an idea
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

I find briefs that are too comprehensive often restrict ideas from a creative team. Sometimes stifling excellent ideas. This is a great article about what they don't teach you about briefs at advertising school.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Frames and borders for education and classroom use

Alphabet magnets forming frame on whiteboard
Alphabet magnets forming frame
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Do you often find yourself looking for the perfect frame or border for your school's advertisements, flyers, brochures, etc?

Alphabet magnets forming frame on whiteboard
Alphabet magnets forming border
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

I recently did a shoot of these useful frames/borders with letters of the alphabet forming the border specifically for this purpose. These high-resolution alphabet frame images are perfect for classrooms or designers who need education themed pictures for websites, magazines, and wall hangings. The copy space can be combined with your choice of images, messages, or inspirational text.

Alphabet magnets forming frame on whiteboard
Alphabet magnets forming border for copy space
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

The set also includes some with text inside the alphabet border, like this one that says "I Love English" which is suitable for ESL/EFL or young learner environments.
Alphabet magnets on whiteboard
I Love English with alphabet border
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

I'll be adding more styles of frames soon and update this post as I do.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Taiwanese Aboriginal Fashion Show with Amis Artist Yosifu

Taiwan fashion photography
I recently shot a fashion show of an amazing Amis designer named Yosifu at the Yosifu Art Gallery in Taipei. The gallery itself has many of his incredible works displayed featuring distinctive aboriginal themes with lots of bright open spaces making it a relaxed atmosphere for viewers.

When I got there, they were busy doing a rehearsal for the show. After the rehearsal I had about 45 minutes to shoot models adorning each of the dozen or so pieces before the show itself started. I made five or six shots of each before the venue started to fill up and I needed to take down the lighting setup. Quite a few Taiwanese celebrities attended the event, from singers to actors from Seediq Bale. 
Taiwan fashion photography

Yosifu's event went beyond a conventional fashion show. The fashion show included original music performances and dance performances in addition to the runway models, which all integrated into a unified theme. Yosifu is first and foremost an artist and his art integrated into the fashion offered fashion goers an artistic display on the runway.

Taiwan fashion photography
It was a pleasure to shoot his artworks both on and off the runway. Yosifu explores social issues surrounding indigenous cultures and through his work, which I find quite fascinating. I would have liked to learn about the stories and traditional indigenous customs behind the art on the fashion pieces, but I didn't get much chance to talk to Yosifu. I will try at a later stage to discuss them with him.  
Taiwan fashion photography

Yosifu has an interesting and inspiring history. He was born in Matailing, Hualien County, Taiwan and is part of the Amis tribe of aboriginal people found on the east of the island. The Amis are one of the sixteen officially recognized indigenous groups of Taiwanese aborigines.

Taiwan fashion photography

He originally planned to be a singer, so at age 18 he formed a band with friends. They got a chance to release an album, but later were prevented from working due to a dispute between their agent and record company. Yosifu got depressed about not being able to pursue his singing career. He took a break from his troubles and visited a friend in Edinburgh, U.K in 1998. He was captivated by the city’s beauty and vibrant arts scene, and he has lived in Edinburgh ever since.

Aboriginal Fashion Show

To make ends meet, he started painting houses. Yosifu started exploring his new interest in art, at first copying famous paintings. His landlord introduced Yosifu to an art agent, who invited Yosifu to participate in an exhibition featuring oil paintings by 10 emerging artists. Yosifu was the first one to sell a piece on the opening day of the event.

Aboriginal Fashion Show

This encouraged Yosifu to devote more time to his art, and he gained the confidence to approach galleries, luxury hotels, and upscale restaurants to promote his work. Their response wasn't positive, so he began to lose hope after many rejections. One day at a local café Yosifu found out that there was an opening to display work for five days. He sold 12 of the 15 works he exhibited there.

Aboriginal Fashion Show

To make his work more marketable, Yosifu started experimenting with painting animals, flowers and other popular subjects. In 2008 he started developing his own style by expressing his experiences and feelings through his art. A British friend inspired him to reflect on his own cultural identity as a Taiwanese aboriginal in his artistic ideals.

Dancers at Aboriginal Fashion Show
Dancers at Aboriginal Fashion Show in Taiwan

Yosifu returned to Taiwan to stay in his hometown and other tribal villages in 2010, to gain a deeper understanding of indigenous cultures and traditions. The journey reconnected him with tribal communities and became a source of inspiration for his artistic creations. He now returns to Taiwan for three months a year to visit aboriginal villages around the island, teach children to draw, and exhibit new paintings. His work has been displayed at over 20 exhibitions locally and in the UK and he has been invited to open exhibitions all over Europe and Asia.
Aboriginal Fashion Show

Yosifu is proud of his country's culture and is happy to be able to introduce the beauty and dignity of aboriginal cultures to the world, attracting more and more people to discover Taiwan's indigenous cultures and traditions. Since so many indigenous traditions are fading away and many young aboriginals are not familiar with their own culture, Yosifu has taken on the responsibility to record and present the stories and cultures for aboriginals in Taiwan through his creativity.
Aboriginal Fashion Show

His work displays the dignity, spirit and traditions of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes and also addresses serious issues indigenous people face, like the expropriation of ancestral lands and suppression of aboriginal languages. Yosifu hopes his creations can show his concerns about Taiwan's environmental issues such as deforestation, pollution, urban renewal projects, and nuclear waste disposal and inspire people to protect the environment and preserve the indigenous cultures and traditions.

Aboriginal Fashion Show

He brings his work to life with his use of vivid, warm, rich colors with light and shade which adds dramatic intensity. These elements in his art are evocative of fashion images. Which is why his art has extensive applications in the fashion and creative industries—French cosmetics and beauty company L’Oréal even used his "Driftwood" work as a projected backdrop for a hair and fashion show in Dubai in 2014.

Aboriginal Fashion Show

His work is popular in Europe and Asia, and his works have been bought by private collectors from Scotland, England, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Sweden.

Aboriginal Fashion Show
To see more photos from the fashion show, check out the Yosifu Fashion Show Facebook album

To see his art in person, go to Yosifu Art:

Address: 7F., No.9, Sec. 1, Jinshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City.

Hours: Closed Mondays, open Tuesday to Sunday.  
Aboriginal Fashion Show

Monday, June 1, 2015

Animals Taiwan Calendar Shoot

Last November I was contacted to see if I was interested in shooting a calendar for Animals Taiwan. I have done some video shoots for them before and was keen to help promote their excellent shelter again by raising funds through the calendar and hopefully raising awareness at the same time. Animals Taiwan is an organization that promotes responsible pet ownership and helps rehome rescue dogs in Taiwan.
We had a lot of things to plan as we had dogs, contortionists, drag queens, yoga practitioners and various other colorful people for the shoot. The common theme through the calendar was cars, so we also had a range of awesome cars, including a Porsche, Ferrari, MG, and Morgan. We only had access to the cars for one day, which meant the entire shoot had to be done on that day. We were planning an 18-month calendar, so this was not an easy task to shoot 18 scenes in a single day while trying to schedule everyone to be there when the light was right for the outdoor scenes.

To get everything to run smoothly, I draw up lighting diagrams for each scene. But on shooting day the flash sync ports in two of my strobes stopped working, which meant that I needed to rearrange all the lighting to shoot in slave mode. This changes things a lot as in slave mode, the receptor cell has to be in line of sight of the light that is triggering it to function, which severely limits the positioning of the lights. It also limits how they can be positioned outdoors as the sunlight wreaks havoc on the receptors ability to sense the triggering light.

I used a Canon 6D with a Canon 24-105 mm f4 lens. For lighting I used three Godox SDI 250 strobes in two brolly boxes and one 180 cm parabolic umbrella. The only exception being a shot at the riverside where there was no power, so I went with speedlites. Besides the riverside shot, the other scenes were inside and around Autocheckers, a garage next to Animals Taiwan.

The idea I was going for with the images was an animated painterly style with cinematic framing. The final calendar was launched last month as an 18-month calendar running from July 2015 to December 2016.
Taipei Times covered the launch of the calendar here: Help for the Helpless
If you'd like to support the homeless dogs of Taiwan by buying a calendar, make a payment into the Paypal account at donations@animalstaiwan.org and e-mail Liza Milne at liza@animalstaiwan.org with your delivery details. Prices are below:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beauty Shoot with Taiwanese Model

Asian beauty applying cream to face
Taiwanese woman applying cream to face, beauty shot
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
I was organizing a beauty shoot a few weeks ago. The ideas about beauty in Asia are different to those in the West. In brief (I will do a more in-depth post about this soon), Chinese woman prefer whiter looking skin, bigger eyes, and less accentuated facial features (So less contouring and highlighting to get a flatter appearance).
Asian beauty portrait
Chinese woman beauty shoot
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
The tendency towards whiter paler skin comes from stereotypes about social status; darker skinned people are seen as sun-baked laborers who work in the fields. This is quite different from the Western perception of paler people being unhealthy or ill. To exaggerate this look, beauty photos in Taiwan are often slightly overexposed to wash out more detail. In addition the model would wear foundation that is perhaps a shade or two lighter than her actual skin tone to get a brighter complexion.
Asian beauty portrait
Taiwanese woman beauty
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Overall, the standard of beauty in Western countries generally veers toward a mature, seductive, sexy, and sultry look while in Asia, especially Taiwan, China, and Japan, the standard of beauty reflects youth, innocence, purity, and cuteness. With this in mind, I cast a model who embodied all of these traits perfectly.
Portrait of Chinese woman clear skin
Chinese woman modeling for beauty shoot
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
All the photos were shot on a Canon 6D with a Canon 70-200 F2.8 L lens. The lighting was a standard beauty lighting clamshell setup for most of the shots. The key light was a monolight in an 80 cm brolly box on top with a reflector at the bottom. Two V-flats were used in front and two monolights used on the white background. The key light was placed relatively low for less contrasty, flatter look. The two white V-flats in front were also added to reduce shadows. Two black V-flats were put on the sides to add definition to the outline of the face.
Asian female applying mascara
Chinese woman applying mascara for beauty shoot
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

For more photos from this series and others, see this set:
shutterstock asian beauty skincare chinese taiwanese

Friday, April 24, 2015

How To Use Photos Effectively On Your Blog

Chinese businesswoman at desk looking at monitor
Asian businesswoman stumped about which photos to use for her companies' blog post

© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Why Use Photos On Your Blog?

Do you often wonder how to boost engagement on your blog or social media site? Visually appealing, easily digested photos are key as our brains react to images better and faster than text. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian proved that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Ninety percent of the data that our brains process is visual and our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. Images affect our emotions quickly, and our emotions affect our decision-making. So if decisions are based on quick intuitional judgment and emotions, then imagine how many decisions are influenced by visually engaging photos.

Chinese woman sitting thinking outside
Asian woman thinking about optimizing blog post
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Tips On How To Use Photos On Your Blog

Choose photos that are relevant to your blog or social media site, whether literal or conceptual. Keep your audience in mind, and use images they will connect with.

Asian woman holding clock
Do you spend too much time wondering what images to use in your blog posts?
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Your lead photo should be carefully selected. This is the main image on top of your blog, and will probably be the image that appears when your blog is shared on social media. It should show the reader what the blog is about and motivate them to click and share it. If your blog is under 500 words, then only a lead photo should suffice, but if you have a longer blog, use more images between blocks of text to make it easier to read and to add more visual appeal.
Row of color pencil crayons
Colorful photos can add visual appeal to your blog, website, or social media campaign
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Make sure you own the license with the right permissions before using a photo. It's easy to find images on Google, etc but most are not legal to use, so you could wind up in trouble.

Asian woman with coffee cup
Woman relaxing with a cup of coffee after finding the right photos for her blog post
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lehua Night Market in Yonghe, New Taipei City (Chinese: 樂華夜市; pinyin: Lèhuá Yèshì)

Compilation of clips of Lehua Night Market in New Taipei City, Taiwan from Images By Kenny on Vimeo.

I've been living in the Yonghe District, New Taipei City for about eight of my nine years in Taiwan. One of the best places to go around Yonghe is the Lehua Night Market.

The 30-year-old night market has a great mix of everything from food to clothes. The awesome and interesting street food at vendors here includes fried chicken steaks, oyster omelets, tempura, mochi, almond tofu, almond milk, shaved ice, and rice cakes. A relatively new addition here is the beef cubes cooked with a blowtorch, which is apparently a Taiwanese traditional food (well, as traditional as anything involving a blowtorch can be). As with most night markets, the vendors prepare the food right in front of you.

Hakka mochi in Taiwan
Taiwanese Hakka mochi dessert

© Photographer: Imagesbykenny | Agency: Dreamstime.com

If you not into street food, there are also many restaurants, including good pasta and steak restaurants. On a side note, a night market is not a place you'd usually go to eat steak (Although the one in the night market is one of the best in Yonghe), but if you do want to, I suggest going to the actual steak restaurant instead of eating steak at the NT$100-steak night market stands; unless you really like inedible sinew.

Besides the snacks and street food, there are also many clothes shops, small arcades, and grocery stores, as well as seemingly out of place convenience stores and retail chain stores.

The market is pretty packed over weekends, but not quite as much as Shida, Raohe, or Shilin. Most of the stores and stalls are open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. There is a Party World KTV right next to it if you want to stay out after your visit.

The night market is easy to get to.

By MRT: Go to Dingxi MRT Station, go out exit 1, turn left and walk down Yonghe Road, and you will see the Lehua night market entrance. It's about a five minute walk.

By bus: Buses 5, 57, 214, 227, 250, and 304 all stop at the Party World KTV next to the night market. Buses 706, 297, 249, 262, 624, and 670 all stop at bus stops close by.

Address: YǒngPíng Rd, Yonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 234
Have you ever been to Lehua Night Market? Tell me about your experience there in the comments below.

Shutterstock Lightbox for stock photos of Taiwanese night markets

To learn more about interesting places and sights to visit in Taiwan, check out my list of Places to see in Taiwan