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Photo Face-off MasterClass in Jakarta with Justin Mott


Over 30 people participated in the Photo Face-off MasterClass event held by History Channel and sponsored by Canon in Jakarta, Indonesia on 7th August 2017. It was hosted by photography veteran and TV personality, Justin Mott.

photo face-off; justin mott

In Focus: The Art of Photography

The workshop was kick-started with a welcome speech by Sintra Wong, the Division Manager of PT Datascrip, Canon's partner in Indonesia. Wong acknowledged the growing popularity of smartphone cameras. Though convenient, he believed that image quality is the key factor within the photography community, and encouraged all fellow DSLR users to share the beauty of better pictures with friends and relatives. 

photo face off masterclass jakarta

Mr. Sintra Wong (right) started the session with a few words for the participants

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Aspiring pros and hobbyists gather for the workshop

Enter the Pro

Professional Photographer, Justin Mott, is recognised for his photo works published in various international publications, such as Forbes, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Conde Nast Traveler, to name a few. At just age 30, his body of work has been widely published in the promotional media of luxurious hotel networks such as Intercontinental, Hyatt, Pullman, and Apricot Hotel.

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Justin Mott (above) sharing useful photography tips to the MasterClass audience

Tricks of the Trade

In this portrait-themed workshop, Justin shared some useful tips to creating more attractive photo visually:

1. Always Tell a Story

Find interesting subject with characters.

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

A sharing session of photography fundamentals and techniques  by Justin Mott

2. Start with The Background

Begin with your favorite background. Pay attention to your subject's outfits and look for a background that supports his/her looks. Make use of all the elements you encounter in the surrounding, such as the textured background, woods, metal elements or fences.

3. Light it Up

We can turn a dull scene into a spectacular frame with beautiful lights. Ensure that the lights fall on our subject's face. Check the lighting direction and make sure that our subject is comfortable with it. If the light is not very pleasant to our subject, we then need to execute the shot fast.

Find out more about lighting: How to Play with Lighting

4. Master Your Composition

Look for the right balance between the subject and the environment. Then attempt to frame the face partially or just aim at the eyes or the lips. Frame your shot to draw the viewers' attention to the point you wish to expose.

5. Layer the Subjects

After you manage to get the background as the canvas of a painting, next step is to set the foreground by going through various objects to fit the shot. There are plenty of stuff or objects available around us, we just need to find them.

6. Expressions and Poses

Always begin with the body pose whether we desire our subject to stand straight or sit down comfortably. Take into account the combination of the desired shot and the background as well as the composition, and ensure that the subject's pose goes along well with the shot.

Putting Theory into Practice

After Justin completed presenting the material in the indoor room, next was the time for the participants to team up in groups to apply the lesson they recently learned. Each participant was given a duration of one minute to create a portrait shot of a photo model provided by the organiser.

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Participants are all ready to kick off the MasterClass

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Justin Mott (in blue) offered more tips on-the-go during the contest

All Worth a Shot

The workshop venue in a garden surrounded restaurant provided the participants with a vast options of photo spots. The first group participants took the shot of the model on a trishaw exhibited in one corner of the premise. They then utilised the mural drawing of some sailing ships as the background of the shot. Some other participants were using the hanging green leaves from the trees. The setting sun that shone through the leaves was also particularly hunted by the participants.

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Behind the scenes: Participant framing the portrait

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Model posing for the class of budding photographers

And the winners are...

The photo hunt eventually came to the end and Justin provided them with some feedbacks afterwards. Justin further mentioned that a photographer must be able to communicate well with the subject. This is merely because they collaborate and work together. The photographer is never working alone.

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Justin Mott going through the shots to select the winner

After assessing the shots of all participants, Justin proceeded to select three winners based on the tips provided earlier:

1. Rifki Antariksa

2. Billsatya

3. Arif Nurohman

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

Justing Mott with the 3 winners

"A challenging 60 seconds"

After the award session, the first winner, Rifki Antariksa, cited that this workshop had provided lots of useful tips, while the shooting competition was quite challenging due to the 60 seconds limited time within which the participant was required to quickly make the shot with great composition, perfect lighting, and astounding expression. 

photo face-off masterclass jakarta

It's a wrap! The day of great learning and experiences ended with a memorable group shot

About Photo Face-Off

This Photo Face-Off MasterClass event is the beginning part of the SouthEast Asia photography competition series, Photo Face Off. This series has come to its fourth installment and air exclusively on History Channel.

Four local amateur photographers representing their countries will compete in the final segment at the end of the season. The participants from Indonesia are Sony Tri Laksono, Nadya Andhita, Galuh Azhar Wicaksana, and Kyra Modesty.

Here's a list of the participants from other countries:

Thailand: Siripong Panasonthi

Taiwan: Yi-Kai Lin

Hong Kong: Wai Yun Leung (William)

Malaysia: Nurfarzaana Hanan Fareeha, Safuan Bin Salahudin, Sheryl Ng, Andy Tan Liang Sam

Singapore: Jasbir Singh S/O John Masih, Joyce Judisun Chansingh, Siva Shanker, Koh Kim Tat Dean

Phillipines: Janos Leo G Andanar, Mary Princess Ayana Ibajo, Michelle Kimberly Chua, Blaine Jarligo

Vietnam: Nguyen Phuong Nhi, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Van Viet An Nguyen Andy, Tang My Thi

Click here for more information on Photo Face-Off on History Channel

Find out more about Canon PhotoMarathon here

Learn some tips and tricks on portrait photography from the below articles:

Dealing with Real People

Step by Step: How to Capture Dramatic Portraits Using Backlight from the Window

Photographing People: When to Use Program Mode, Shutter Priority, and Aperture Priority

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