Photographer and technology entrepreneur David Soong has chosen photography as his life’s passion because the art allows him to touch lives. He believes that our short times on Earth are marked by moments, and photography preserves life’s highlights in tangible memories.
David Soong, founder of well-known photography studio Axioo and honouree of Indonesia Tatler’s 2017 Generation T, said that his leap into the photography business stemmed from his desire to inject creativity in wedding photography. Traditionally, wedding photographs followed stiff conventions.
“Weddings are traditional and cultural ceremonies, and creative ideas are counter-intuitive because they break old habits by introducing new ideas,” he noted. Axioo broke the mould by popularising destination pre-wedding and wedding photoshoots in which the bride and groom travel to exotic places to take romantically fresh shots.
“Axioo forged a lasting trend in wedding photography because it delivered results. Customers are convinced when they see good results and that’s how the practice behind the results become the new tradition,” he added.
However, for David, photography is more than just capturing the perfect shot for customers. By capturing a momentous occasion in the lives of couples and their families, a photographer preserves joyful times that people could revisit to for years to come. “Photos have that kind of magic,” he said.
David’s decision to dedicate himself to the world of art reflects his view of Indonesia and Indonesians. According to him, art is intertwined into the daily life of Indonesians, from photographers to craftsmen in Bali.
“This country’s major talent is art. Art is a daily practice for many Indonesians, which is why our art is so rich. It rests in our history and DNA,” he said. However, many local artists still lack the confidence and know-how about presenting their works on the international art stage. Yet as Indonesians progressively acquire new skillsets as the country melds with the global community through technology and travel, these insecurities will be a thing of the past. “Then, the world will be looking at our art,” he said.
International exposure is critical for another promising sector in Indonesia, which is entrepreneurship. David, who recently launched SweetEscape, a startup that connects people with photographers in numerous cities across the globe, attributed the rise in entrepreneurial young persons to international exposure.
“We, local entrepreneurs, pair what we learn through other countries with our particular understanding of the Indonesian market. Indonesian entrepreneurs are the only ones who can understand the unique needs of the market, convincing them to create products and services that tackle local problems,” he said.
The photography, travel, and food aficionado added that he would continue to put his efforts in businesses that bring him joy, saying that doing work he finds rewarding ensures that he grows old in happiness. “You can only be yourself in one lifetime,” he said.
“Photography, travel, and food happen to be my strong cards. You should put your heart into one or two of your good cards because in everyone are seeds of greatness that needs to be explored,” he added.