Uncommon grad shoot locations

These three student photographers share some uncommon grad shoot locations they’ve previously explored.

Joel Koh


Rates*: From $100/h for minimum of 2h
Odd spot: Tuas Lalang Field

Last year, Joel Koh, 24, found himself on an unexpected hike in an isolated part of Singapore. The final-year student from the school of Humanities and Social Sciences spent 20 minutes trekking 1.5km along an empty road in Tuas to get to the convocation shoot location for his HSS seniors.

Amid the waist-high grass, Joel, who has been shooting freelance for two years, achieved the out-of-Singapore look he sought to capture.

But he recalled the experience to be unpleasantly prickly.

“Wear long pants and covered shoes if you shoot there,” he said. “

And bring a mat for sit-down shots.”

Photography tip: Get a reflector from Carousell for good lighting if you do not have a camera flash.

Gary Chia

Rates*: From $80/h
Odd spot: Chung Cheng High School (Main)

He does an average of five convocation shoots around the island a year, but Gary Chia, 23, got a 00’s throwback when he ended up in Chung Cheng High School (Main) last year. On a shoot for a group of Chung Cheng High-turned-NTU students, he snapped nostalgic shots around the school, from the main buildings to the school’s renowned Zhongzheng Lake.

His biggest surprise of the day? Realising how photogenic the school is.

“There are opportunities for a lot of different settings — you can have indoor, outdoor, nature, and buildings shots.”

Photography Tip: Set the camera to the lowest aperture setting. It separates the subject from the background so the former looks better, no matter how bizarre the location.

Paris Chia

Rates*: From $150/h for the first 2h and $50/h thereafter
Odd spot: People’s Park Complex, Chinatown

Having done convocation shoots for two years, Paris Chia, 25, hasn’t come across any strange requests just yet.But the final-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences is keen on one day shooting blue-robed graduates at the rooftop of the People’s Park Complex in Chinatown, a place he describes as a “good mix of heartland and CBD”.

For an even more exclusive outcome, Paris recommends checking out Taman Jurong’s Diamond Building and Dakota Crescent — the former for its symmetrical, old-school look, and the latter for its 1950s architecture, soon to be paved away for redevelopment.

Photography Tip: Don’t be afraid to go all out and bring props like balloons, school bears, windmills and umbrellas.