Salliza Salleh or Sally as we call her is an Entrepreneur. Armed with a degree from United States, she entered employment after her return. A few years later she felt that she would like to venture out on her own. Today, Sally owns a few businesses. In between her business ventures, she indulged in her favourite passions, travelling and photography. She has joined us for many of our photosafari adventures around the world.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started off my working career as a computer auditor for several local banks in KL. After years of being sucked into the hectic working life style, I decided to be impulsive and quit my job while pursuing more enriching and flexible jobs. Since then, I kept on adding up various job titles to my resume and currently I am contributing my energy to this newly developed business group as a jewelry designer.
How long have you been a photographer?
Photography is actually not quite new to me. Coincidently back during my college time, I was one of the photographers for my College Year Book team. I had a Canon (forgot what model) and boxes of film with different exposures (100/200/400) to play with. With zero technical knowledge and a great sense of humor, I had fun collecting moments during student activities and college events/ outing for my college.
But once I entered the working adult life whereby I have to juggle between work and motherhood, hobbies become secondary to me. My husband bought me my first DSLR as an anniversary present back in 2008. It was a Nikon D90 with kit lens and an 18-50mm Sigma lens. It sure did trigger my old interest in photography again and I started with shooting portraits of my friends and family.
I discovered Photomalaysia/ Photosafari group while browsing a camera magazine back in 2011 and went for the PMPE course. My first trip with Photosafari Malaysia was the trip to Bromo, Indonesia in September 2012 and since then I am totally hooked with travel photography with photographers whereby I can travel, eat, sleep, take photo and learn with my camera 24×7. Thank you Uncle Yusuf and Uncle Maxby for all those generous on-the-field photography knowledge. I met great friends along the way too and improved my photography technique tremendously over the years.
How do you describe your style?
Photography is a hobby and a gateway for me to express myself. What I love the most about photography is its ability to capture moment according to the photographer’s intention. The fact that I can capture expression of emotions in my photos like sadness, happiness, comical, artistic moment or just the beautiful moment of light really thrills me. And, to be able to share the moment with friends and family is a very rewarding thing for me.
Honestly, I am not too sure on what is my preferred photographic style. I did try macro, portrait, studio portrait, landscape, event, wildlife and others too, just to have a feel on every type of photography but still I have no clue. But if I am given options on what type of photography that I would sincerely feel happy to shoot maybe I would choose portrait, travel or streets photography with lots of emotions in it as my style.
What type of cameras and equipment do you shoot with?
Thanks to my husband, my real photographic experience started out with a Nikon D90. And, after all those poisonous session over the years, Nikon still fits comfortably in my small hand reason being I am too lazy to change or to explore the other competitor’s gear.
I upgraded my Nikon version though to Nikon full framed D800 and Nikon D800E. And, I am so in love with all those beautiful Nikon lenses and gradually adding up my Nikon lens collection from must have lenses to fixed lenses. And, I plan to breath a new life to my old faithful Nikon D90 by converting it to an infrared camera soon.
I love the idea of a light-weights DSLR like camera and I am still hunting around the market to see which one that can fit my hands and my budget comfortably; and at the same time can perfectly deliver a good quality DSLR image.
What is your advice for aspiring photographers?
I feel awkward answering to this question as I am not a pro yet in this field and most of my shoots are based on my personal gut feelings.
What I learned a long the way are firstly, you need to master your camera and gears before you will be able to express whatever photographic vision in your mind into a good photo. Take time to learn on how to use your camera properly with your eyes closed because you need to be quick when a moment passed in front of you.
Secondly, learn by following and listening to the expert because for me, I just don’t have the time and patience to do my own trial and errors. I did my reading too but nothing beats the on-the-field learning experience.
Thirdly, practice makes perfect. Browse through those experts photos and try it yourself until you understand how they managed to shoot those photos. Go out and shoot and shoot. Tag along with the right group who I called the “hardcore” or passionate photographers and start clicking your camera.
Finally, have fun while taking photos especially when you are doing street or travel photography. Be easy with people, open your mind and be generous with your smile. Worrying TOO much about technical jargons and what is right or wrong will kill creativity. A word of wisdom by Marilyn Monroe to share with all of you – “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”