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Captured by the journey

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From the iPhone to DSLR, photographer Lee Yik Keat says the best part of photography is the process rather than the final image.

With over 162,000 followers on Instagram, you would think that he has some background in photography. But for Lee Yik Keat, 21, he taught himself photography using an iPhone. 

Joining Instagram a few months after it was launched, Yik Keat started out like many others – by posting selfies and other random photos. But after seeing scenic photos on the app, photos that helped coin the term "instagrammable",  he began to get interested in landscape photography. 

"The part that impressed me the most was that people were taking photos with their phones and it was very nice," he adds. 

Yik Keat soon developed a fondness in shooting architecture in Singapore and hit a sweet spot when he started to specialise in cityscapes. 

He said: "I wanted to show the beauty of Singapore – that Singapore is photogenic." 

His work then got noticed by Instagram's suggestion feature, where his profile was featured for a few months. During this period, he saw a dramatic increase in followers.

"To be honest, I don't know why I was featured. I guess they found my work interesting," said Yik Keat with a chuckle. 

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When editing an image, it can take Yik Keat anything from a few minutes to a week just to get a final product he is satisfied with.
PHOTO CREDIT: LEE YIK KEAT

A CHANGE IN PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE

Shortly after the feature, Yik Keat bought his first DSLR and expanded his genre to include portrait photography and mood shots. 


Learn how Yik Keat gets his "perfect" shot.

His inspiration for pictures come from the environment and the music he listens to. This helps him determine what shots he take and sets the mood for his photos. 

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When Yik Keat takes photos, he does so listening to music with his earphones.
PHOTO CREDIT: LEE YIK KEAT

He also looks up to other Instagrammers such as @alexstrohl, whom he hopes to emulate in photography style. 

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For potential photography job offers, Yik Keat advises maintaining a "live portfolio" so that companies can constantly see your most updated works. 
PHOTO CREDIT: LEE YIK KEAT

GROWING YOUR FOLLOWERS

Yik Keat believes that there are mainly two factors that will help you grow your following on Instagram – high quality content and constant updates. 

"You need to find a balance between posting regularly while ensuring that the content quality is not compromised. That's what differentiates a good Instagrammer from your average user," said Yik Keat. 

"Don't be afraid to try new stuff as a photographer. Combine different styles of photography and see what comes out of your shot. And make sure that you have fun while you're shooting."

This is part eight of Behind the #gram, a series on Instagram influencers. In this series:

1. Ng Li Tying of The Spatula and The Pen

2. Stanley Tan of Windflower Florist

3. Yafiq and Yais Yusman

4. Leonard Giam

5. Grace Ciao

6. Xavier Lur

7. Naomi Anneliese

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/DAVID YIP