Ng Jun Sen
The New Paper
16 August 2015
Most men think he has a dream job - being a photographer surrounded by the hot bods of lingerie models.
But freelance lensman Mr Larry Lim insists their envy is misplaced.
Mr Lim, 33, says: "When I'm in the heat of a shoot, I'm not thinking about how attractive the girls are. Instead, it's all about how to make the best pictures for myself, for the model and the client.
"There is a lot of hard work involved."
He freelances for Macro Studios, which specialises in paid shoots for corporate clients, wedding, and event photography.
He has been doing this for nearly eight years.
The fees for each job vary, from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the fees for the freelance models that he engages for his shoots.
One thing that gets him the most attention are his pictures of scantily clad women.
These pictures eventually make it to advertisements and publications, but some end up in less desirable places.
"I have had my pictures end up on seedy Internet forums," he says, referring to the threads where netizens discuss lewd details of his models.
Some use his pictures for the wrong reasons.
Last month, a man pretended to be a professional photographer by using one of Mr Lim's photos in his personal portfolio.
The man ended up asking for sexual favours from the models, says Mr Lim, who was alerted by his models.
"I had to spread the word that I'm not that same guy because credibility counts for everything in this business. Word gets around like wildfire."
If a client demands it, he is able to do a nude photo shoot.
When he gets such jobs, he pulls out his phone book that contains a long list of female models willing to strip for the camera.
But doing these nude photo shoots also means that he relies on his own crew of lighting assistants and make-up artists.
This is because there have been countless occasions where friends and strangers ask to be present at these shoots to "help out".
Mr Lim, who also holds a second job selling life sciences equipment, says: "I know it's because they want to 'beo cha bor' (Hokkien for 'peep at women').
"I have to be very cautious because my reputation is on the line. I will only allow those with experience, and if the model is okay with it."
It is a precaution he has to take because his models have had several bad experiences dealing with perverts while on the job.
Jobs which involved nudity or bikini models also used to affect his relationship with his wife.
"My wife knew all along that I was in this business and yes, at first, she had self-confidence issues because she must have thought I might run away with one of the girls," he says.
His solution? He takes his wife along for some of the nude shoots as his assistant.
"She gradually came to terms with it. She knows she can trust me," he says with a smile.
SECRETS OF THE TRADE
1 To succeed, you need to have a strong portfolio and a proven track record. One way is to gain experience from the pros by starting as an assistant.
2 Speak often and do not hide behind the camera. Models will feel more at ease and the resulting pictures will also reflect that.
3 Delete compromising images in front of the model and do not share them with anyone. Models appreciate that.