Support an independent female artist through the Covid-19 pandemic!
I’m Maki, a professional fashion and portrait photographer and filmmaker based in London. I am originally from an island city-state in Southeast Asia called Singapore and I have been shooting campaigns, editorials, portraits as well as directing films for nearly 9 years now.
I have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic and have lost 100% of my income. The self-employed have been the first to lose work and the last to get help from the government. Here is where I need your support!
My journey into photography
I started my photographic journey when I won a worldwide competition and spent some time in Cairo, documenting local life through images. In 2013, I made a life changing decision to pursue my passion in photography. At that time, I had to leave a tight-knit family, my friends and everything that is my comfort zone. I sold everything I had in Singapore, took that leap of faith and bought a one way ticket to Italy. In that short span of time, I embraced a different culture, lived on my own for the first time in a little village called Besana in Brianza, learnt to make pesto from scratch, made local dishes for 30 hungry Italians, learnt to speak Italian and Spanish and fell in love. Over the years, I worked in Spain and the UK - I assisted different artists, helped local businesses in Catalonia, worked in organic farms, and taught art and english to Catalan kids, all whilst building my photography portfolio from scratch. My first breakthrough was when I was hired as a fashion photographer at a reputable fashion company in Spain at the age of 24.
(My first time in Giza, Egypt when I was 17!)
In 2019, I left my cushy full time studio job and ventured into the world of freelancing in London. I had photographed over 500 people from all over the world for their anniversary, wedding proposals, annual family portrait, birthday and their first trip to Europe. I also shot my first fashion campaign in the summer for Miss Selfridge, and then another for Kurt Geiger. I had worked with so many talented creatives, established brands, and magazines that I have a deep admiration for.
(A recent editorial shot in Tokyo on love in the modern world. Published on Glamour Spain, 14/04/2020.)
( A wedding anniversary shoot for Fachry and Ima in London, 2018.)
What’s happening right now?
Covid-19 pandemic has threatened the livelihood of thousands of independent artists just like me in a matter of days. The self-employed have been the first to lose work and the last to get help. Since 2 weeks ago, I have lost 100% of my income with no work for at least 12 weeks.
Like so many independent artists working on razor-thin margins and with NO support from the government at this moment, I am having a significant amount of anxiety while facing an unpredictable, and potentially a grim future. I am also at a particularly vulnerable time on my journey, having just started freelancing 7 months ago in a foreign country where I have to start from ground zero.
While I hope that this lockdown will not last for a long period of time, I am preparing for the reality that I may not be able to work for up to 12 weeks, or longer hence I am taking these steps to get ahead of the curve. My monthly outgoings of rent, insurance, equipment and finance repayments are a considerable cost and I want to be able to continue doing this and that is where I am asking for your support!
How can you help?
I’ve come up with a list of different creative ways to support my work in these times of great uncertainty from online group and 1-1 classes, photography and film tips, coaching, portfolio review, social media photo shoot, couple photoshoot, a family portrait shoot to a full-blown fashion shoot that would make you feel like you're on the cover of Vogue magazine ;) and also plenty more to give you good value for money.
If you would just like to support with monetary donation then please consider doing so. No matter how big or small is your contribution, I appreciate all your help and thank you wholeheartedly for your support.
Stay safe and be kind to each other - we’re all in this together.
Here're a few testimonials from some of my past guests:
Maki may be the best photographer in London. If you are considering hiring a photographer that is astoundingly brilliant, creative, fun and professional... she is your photographer! We met at Westminster (myself, my husband, my sister, her boyfriend and my mother). My mom walks with a cane, so we were not going to be very mobile for the full hour booked. Maki was exceedingly understanding and we did all of our family shots first. We had an absolute blast! We were laughing like loons and just had the best photos from the experience. About halfway through, my mom had to stop. Maki recommended a little pub that served breakfast just around the corner. With my mom settled in, we finished our shoot and had just the best time doing it. So many memories were made and captured by Maki's clever lens. When the shoot was completed, we parted as old friends. We picked up my mom (who now has a favorite pub in Westminster and wants to return to it) and headed for our flat. Maki had our photos asap in a link so I was able to quickly download the pics (and share them with the rest of the group). If you have the chance to book this experience, don't hesitate. She captured a very special moment in my life (it was our first real family vacation; we never had one growing up) and I will treasure these photos for the rest of my life.
(Melanie, Florida, March 2020)
Maki was truly amazing!!!!! Her photos were of stellar quality (they were so wonderfully framed and there was so much ~mood~ in each photo!!). She edited all in a day and sent us much more photos! It rained on the day we were supposed to shoot and she very, very kindly rearranged for the shoot to be changed to another day (even tho she could’ve simply shot in the rain) because I was uncomfortable with shooting in the rain. The money was really well spent. It was mine and my fiancé’s first time at a photoshoot and she made it so comfortable. Thank you Maki :-)
(Audrey, Singapore, March 2020)
Maki's photo shoot is highly recommended. Maki is a very nice, funny and pleasant professional photographer. She is a very cool and interesting girl who makes the experience in London very special. I tend to be very shy to pose in photos but Maki makes it easy with her close and professional attitude. Maki was great and fun with my 7 year old daughter and the result of the photos was beautiful. We ended the session with the feeling of having made a new friend ❤️
(Miriam, Spain, Dec 2019)
We could not have had a better time with Maki! She has amazing qualifications and it shows. She was on time and genuinely one of the warmest and friendliest people we’ve ever met. She made us feel right at ease in front of the camera and captured all of our special memories from our trip. She gave great recommendations and took us around and helped us see some sights we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. She was open to getting shots that we wanted and had great ideas! She is amazing and we could not have asked for a better time with her!
(Annie, Baltimore, Nov 2019)
Walking the streets of London together with Maki feels like a reunion with a TALENTED and successful sibling who has been living abroad for many years - she makes your photoshoot SO easy and SO personal, it’s as though she had known you for years, so she already knew how to bring out the best in you. And when the photos did arrive, boy did I feel like an international supahmodel! Haha Not to mention that she was SO respectful to my mother who’s 78 years old while managing to make my mom feel great about herself with this shoot. Thanks, Maki! You were FANTASTIC! I hope to bump into you again someday, somewhere, somehow.
(Ronald, Philippines, Nov 2019)