2018 - A Studio's Review

After a month into 2019 (yes it is February already), Zainal & Zainal looks back at 2018 and the assignments/projects that left a deep impression at our studio. May February be the month you kickstart your year because we expect too much from January.

A post like this gives us a chance to express our gratitude for another year of making images and telling stories that matter. As always, we would love to hear from you.

Corporate Portraits for Moody's Investors Service Singapore.

Corporate Portraits for Moody's Investors Service Singapore.

Our work in 2018 began as swiftly as 2017 ended when we completed corporate portraits for the staff at Moody's Investors Service Singapore. It was a fresh and clean look that ushered the new year in the best way possible. We are grateful to Natalie and Veronica as they trusted our team to deliver these portraits.

The Singapore Theatre Festival 2018 is a thrilling theatrical event that celebrates new voices and local writing. And we were delighted to work with the W!LD RICE team to make photographs that showcase some of the best plays of the year.

Working with W!LD RICE remains a big highlight for the studio, just as when we worked with them for the Singapore Theatre Festival in 2016 and now in 2018. Special thanks to Ivan and Bee Bee – not to forget Ching Kai (or CK), who conceptualises and designs for theatre publicity campaigns.

Ng Yui Xiong for TÜV SÜD Trust Magazine

Ng Yui Xiong for TÜV SÜD Trust Magazine

muehlhausmoers – based in Munich, Germany – commissioned our studio to photograph a facade testing facility of TÜV in Tuas, Singapore. Industrial related assignments are challenging and push us to create strong images for our clients – working closely to prepare meticulously for each shoot.

We are grateful to Jan for this opportunity. Thanks to Matthew too for the assist.

Our studio photographed the cover of Temasek Foundation International’s 2017/18 Annual Report. Temasek Foundation International is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports programmes that aim to build capabilities in communities in Asia and beyond. Titled ‘Future Forward’, youth from all over Asia graced the cover in a hopeful ode to the future of this region. Additionally, we made environmental portraits of programme partners that help with the continued success of this organisation.

It never gets old – to see everything come together and holding the publication in your hands. Big thanks to Shu Yun from Sunda Press, Paolo (Parabole) & Caroline and Junming. Team work makes the dream work.

Interior Design Project at Havelock Road.

Interior Design Project at Havelock Road.

Our studio started photographing interiors – a recent development – for design studios that work with spaces – either at home or at work. This project is from the talented folks at artistroom.

Gypsied: Handcrafted and made with love.

Gypsied: Handcrafted and made with love.

Zainal & Zainal Studio has collaborated with conscious label Gypsied for close to five years – and we continue to do so in 2018. As a brand that sits on the intersection of art and commerce, these photoshoots continue to push our boundaries in the categories of product and lifestyle photography. Their vision of transforming Asia’s best textiles into beautiful products for everyday life is something that is aligned to the values of this studio.

We worked with The Rock School, and their latest branch at Our Tampines Hub, to photograph their massive rock climbing facility. A big shoutout to Len and Elaine – grateful for your faith in our work. Thanks to Adib for the assist.

Journalism in Asia Today – Journalists from the TFI-IPS Asia Journalism Fellowship.

Journalism in Asia Today – Journalists from the TFI-IPS Asia Journalism Fellowship.

Every year, talented journalists from all over Asia apply for the prestigious Asia Journalism Fellowship in Singapore. Journalists from varied backgrounds and working in widely differing circumstances live, learn and work together in Singapore for three months each year.

Though these portraits were completed in 2017 – during a reunion of over 100 Asian journalists – we spent last year sharing their interviews and portraits in a series titled ‘Journalism in Asia Today’. This series provides valuable insight to the craft and culture of journalism in this region.

Portrait of Nick Bayley (bottom) for the Financial Times Weekend magazine.

Portrait of Nick Bayley (bottom) for the Financial Times Weekend magazine.

Besides commercial work, we also had the opportunity to photograph for leading global publications. The Financial Times Weekend commissioned us to photograph Nick Bayley, former Head of regulation at the London Stock Exchange. 10 years after the Financial Crisis on September 15 2008, seven individuals shared their stories at the front line of this crisis. Portraits in black and white add a reflective mood to this feature. Big thanks to Josh for this opportunity, and Joel for the assist.

Okinawa War Survivors for SCMP

Okinawa War Survivors for SCMP

This was a year in the making. In 2017, together with journalist Prabhu Silvam, we traveled to Okinawa to discover narratives of the war from its survivors and published this personal assignment on South China Morning Post’s This Week in Asia. More than 70 years on from the fighting, the horrors of war still haunt the survivors. For them, there may be one thing worse than dying in war: surviving it. Grateful to Zuraidah and the team at SCMP’s This Week of Asia for publishing this meaningful story.

Cover photograph of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cover photograph of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Making the cover of a newspaper is always special. The Chronicle of Higher Education, a leading publication in the US, reported how the University of Texas at Tyler infamously revoked full-ride scholarships it had promised to scores of applicants from Nepal. Joan Liu, a college adviser at United World College of South East Asia, in Singapore, orchestrated an ad-hoc college-counseling campaign to help these students. Drawing on 20 years of contacts, Liu wrote to many people she knew in the vast realm of college admissions. She sent pleas into cyberspace, found college counselors in the region to connect with some of the students one on one. This was one story we were proud to photograph. A big thank to Erica for having faith in our work.

Working with Nutgraf for Singtel’s Shoptiq

Working with Nutgraf for Singtel’s Shoptiq

Our studio photographed small business owners who use Shoptiq, an eCommerce solution designed for small businesses by Singtel. This was meaningful for us as we, a small company, understand how challenging it can be to plan, execute and sell our product and/or services on the Internet. Grateful to the fast-rising integrated content marketing The Nutgraf for giving us the opportunity to meet and photograph these amazing individuals.

To cap off the year, we produced key visuals for LinkedIn’s campaign ‘In It’. Featuring Damian Tan, Hotel Manager at Marina Mandarin Singapore and Teck Yong Lim, Head of Ops, People Team at Shopee, they belong to a small select group of most viewed professionals on LinkedIn in Singapore. What an opportunity and we are grateful to The Hummingbird Co team and Catherine from LinkedIn.

At Zainal & Zainal Studio, we look forward to greater opportunities in the next 11 months of this year. Share with us your thoughts. We would love to hear from you. And coffee. We are always up for coffee.

Thank you 2018 – next.