We had the opportunity to interview Eric Yip also known as EYXL and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you! Join us in this deep chat with him and get inspired by his progress, his hard work, and his vision.
Production Paradise: Did you reach a point when you realize that your pictures were good and you could become a professional photographer or it was part of a growing process?
EYXL: It is definitely part of the process, which I feel is continuous and is sill unrelenting – the cycle of improvement is a bittersweet experience as it takes me through ups and downs. What you do learn through this journey is to be able to better understand yourself and the work you produce; this in most cases allows me to identify what best suits the client/brand/brief, and therefore create a ‘good picture’ in a predictable way.
Turning professional was very organic for me – it evolved from photographing whenever I could during my corporate life, to making images for a living.
Images are so plentiful in the market these days, and the talent is so strong – “good images” become a matter of taste, perspective, which is required from visual communication. Luckily in this day and age, we have so much choice from both an image-making and image-application perspective. The growth just keeps going as every piece of the industry shifts!
Production Paradise: Do you remember how was your first paid work? Can you describe how you felt after it finished?
EYXL: It was a LONG day! The sore feet, tired shoulders, dry eyes, and aching muscles; all with a whole lot of adrenaline-pumping; 11 locations and a 14-hour day.
Being paid is often the most definitive way of putting a value on your work – and my first paid gig was a darn great feeling! It makes you feel that the hard work you have invested in your skillset and the effort in evolving your sensibilities paid off.
Above all, however, is the appreciation that the people in your team and your clients put such a high level of trust in you to execute the concept/brief. This sense of gratitude also comes with non-paid / collaborative personal projects and sometimes in greater quantities!
The project was an in-bound tourism campaign for Singapore which led to more work in the same space.
Production Paradise: How would you describe your work and which would you say is your special touch?
EYXL: I love color and dynamic images.The images naturally gravitate towards natural movement and expressions. We work hard to get the talents very comfortable to let themselves go so that we get something different and personal.
Color is very emotive, and we use it as best we can to strengthen the image for our clients.
Production Paradise: You travel and shoot between Australia and Singapore, do you adapt your style and way of working depending on where you are?
EYXL: There is always some small adjustments based on the brief, but the style is inherent and hard to avoid. I’d like to think that the clients hire me because they like how I see.
The “approach to working” is definitely something to adapt as each culture and team are very different. What is said needs to be clear and direct, but the “how” often changes with the different people we shoot with. One thing I do know is that humor, light-heartedness, and being a “non-dick” helps in any culture or set.
Production Paradise: What was the most memorable campaign you did?
EYXL: I helped Adidas launch one of their key lines of athletic apparel which included the digital campaign images, celebrity endorsement stills, influencer portraits, coverage of key events, etc. It was great to be able to spend an extended time with the team to develop relationships and strengthen synergies. The agency for the client was changed regionally and the work slowed soon after – it’s a reminder on the nature of this industry.
Production Paradise: I saw on your website that you have different projects such as “Moon Dance” or “Nihon”. Are you currently working on a new one?
EYXL: Dancers and performers are a personal favorite of mine to photograph – they have another dimension of expression which they can layer on to the image. I am working with contemporary and ballet dancers for a new set of images which should conclude in about a month.
Travel is always a project for me, and right now with COVID, it will be warming the seat for a very long time…
Production Paradise: Obviously work has been put on hold during the last few months due to the lockdown, what would you say you learned during that time being more at home, and have you worked on any personal project that you share with us?
EYXL: Yes, work has been very slow. I try to look at it as more time to allocate to the family (teaching Kai to ride a bike and read!) and personal work which can help redirect and adjust the portfolio to align with longer-term goals. So this has kept me busy!
Less time behind the camera has also allowed me to reach out to more people in the industry to make introductions; I find that more people are in front of their screens more and therefore a little more responsive. We definitely have to keep up the activity even when we are not shooting.
Regarding your question about personal projects: I shoot images and share stories of those in the fitness space and how they are handling/managing COVID. Also, I have some other such as:
- Fitness model turned Uber Eats-delivery driver to survive
- Home fitness setup
- Personal trainers adjusting to new ways’ of running their business
Production Paradise: And finally, what would you say is the biggest advantage to be a member of Production Paradise?
EYXL: Production Paradise has always been a source for inspiration for me – it consolidates the different parts of the industry into one comprehensive source, which makes it very easy to use as a reference. Sometimes, I can spend hours on the site just exploring images and feeding my eye.
It is also a good source to find talent and production when it is needed for our projects.
Lastly, I have very warm people from Production Paradise that are very open to sharing the knowledge of the industry to support artists/talents. A great basis for a working relationship!