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3 Batches of CPMC Alumni Reunite in Singapore @ Canon

27 July 2018 marked the first ever Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship (CPMC) Alumni Gathering. Hosted by Canon at their regional headquarters in Singapore, it was attended by close to 30 alumni and guests from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 batches, most of whom had made the trip down from the rest of Asia: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. It was a cosy, intimate event filled with laughter and the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Canon PhotoMarathon Alumni Gathering 2018 top image

 

A meet-up in Singapore that grew bigger and bigger

It all started out, apparently, with a deceptively simple question: Where to have dinner together?

A number of the CPMC alumni members had made plans to fly down to Singapore to participate in the Canon PhotoMarathon Singapore XVI together—to some, it was a tradition. But as more and more of their batch mates decided that the idea sounded fun, the group grew bigger, and the CPMC Alumni Gathering became official.

The date: Friday, 27 July 2018. The place: The Canon Singapore headquarters.

Looking at old cameras on display at Canon Singapore

Participants were fascinated by the old Canon cameras on display at the Canon Imaging Academy premises, where the gathering was held.

 

What’s a gathering without some reminiscing?

The event kicked off with some behind-the-scenes videos from each year of CPMC, starting from 2018. Each batch was different with their own in-jokes and shared memories, be of bonding in the hot springs or attempting to photograph “Peace” on Mount Aso in less-than-peaceful weather. Even so, some things stayed the same: A love for ice cream, and the ties forged through shared experiences and love for photography.

Watching behind-the-scenes video

Amused faces watching the video

Attendees roaring with laughter as they watch behind-the-scenes footage of themselves at CPMC, painstakingly woven together by Canon representative Evan Cheung and his team.

It was clear that the videos brought back fond memories for everyone in the room: When asked if they wanted to do CPMC all over again, the response was an overwhelming “YES!”

 

A surprise guest from Japan

One of the highlights of the evening was when professional photographer and instructor GOTO AKI joined in the gathering through a video call. As photography mentor and guide for the past three instalments of CPMC, he had not only offered valuable advice to the participants but also formed close friendships with them.

Indeed, the participants’ affection for “Goto-san” was evident from their delighted shouts and happy waving the moment he appeared on the projector screen, the iconic red Canon PhotoMarathon jacket hanging behind him. After some catching up, cheerful banter and much laughter, the participants in Singapore moved in front of the screen for a group photo to preserve memories of the precious reunion.

However, it was not the end—for the rest of the evening, Goto-san stayed online, watching and listening to the rest of the proceedings together with everyone present.

Group shot with GOTO AKI

Photographer-mentor GOTO AKI joined in the gathering with the help of technology.

 

The CPMC alumni exclusive: “How to win the Canon PhotoMarathon”

The next segment saw some attendees moving to the front of the room in anticipation. In view of most of the attendees’ plans to take part in the Canon PhotoMarathon Singapore XVI the next day, Canon had invited photojournalist and sports photographer Lim Yong Teck, whose work has been published in several major international publications such as The New York Times and The Guardian, to give some tips and advice for winning the Canon PhotoMarathon Singapore XVI.

Everyone in the room listened intently as Yong Teck shared his photojournalist’s insight into how to create intriguing pictures with a unique perspective, as well as suggestions on interesting but lesser-known shooting spots in Singapore.

Yong Teck giving talk

Exchanging numbers with Yong Teck

A number of those present had their curiosity piqued and were seen deep in conversation with Yong Teck during the reception break, and even after the gathering had officially ended.

 

The takeaways for the day

Following a reception where the attendees mingled over food and drinks, it was now almost time for the event to come to a close. But of course, the alumni did not leave empty-handed. Each of those who attended was presented with an A3 print of one of their best shots from CPMC, as well as a custom-made bag tag that said “Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship Alumni”—a token of appreciation that also cemented their membership in a growing community.

Each CPMC alumnus present at the gathering was presented with an A3 print of one of their works.

 

Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship Alumni tags

Yet another souvenir for attendees: Custom-made alumni tags

 

Once a CPMC alumni, always a CPMC alumni

All too soon, the event came to an end. However, the interactions did not. Groups of friends continued to take commemorative group photos, exchange contact details and catch up with each other even as they walked out of the venue.

For many of them, such as Latrell Lee Man Hin from the 2017 batch who had flown down from Hong Kong, and Kops Jirawat who was visiting from Thailand, meeting up with the international friends they made at CPMC had been the main motivation for coming to Singapore.

But the alumni gathering had provided an opportunity to meet participants from the other batches, too. Beyond a shared love for photography, the shared CPMC experience provided common ground. Participants easily bonded even if they were from different batches.

Some groups headed off, keen on shooting the blood moon together. Others went back to their homes and hotels to catch a good rest before the next day’s Canon PhotoMarathon Singapore XVI, where they would no doubt meet their CPMC friends again. Either way, both the ties of friendship will continue—just like the photography journey. 

 

On the behalf of the participants, thank you, Canon for the support and opportunities!

Group shot with models

Some alumni members taking a commemorative shot together.

 

Find out more about the Canon PhotoMarathon Championship Asia at
https://photomarathon.canon-asia.com/

Reports on previous Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championships:
Photo Clinic 2016: Photographers From 12 Countries United by Photography Canon
Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship Report: Battle for Top Spot in Final Showdown in Japan!
Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship 2018: Bringing Winners of CPM 2017 and PFO Season 4 to the Next Level

 


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