RESEARCH HAS SHOWN that the more you recall a memory, the less accurate it becomes. This is why
Esna Ong prefers capturing memories and moments with her camera.
The eighteen-year-old explains: “It is about learning how to combine a lot of elements like the light, symmetry, the whole vibrancy in the photo together with the people or the object I am taking. It is very intellectually stimulating.”
Photography can be very powerful, you can use it to spread a message with one photo. It can tell a story, like the saying 'a picture paints a thousand words'.
Esna likes the idea of spreading a message with a single photo. In a school exhibition in 2012, she decided that she would send a message about cleaners after noticing that we often do not appreciate these cleaners who go about cleaning after our mess.
I came up with a simple idea, hoping to make people think. I interviewed some of the cleaners and they were really friendly. So through this project, I wanted to encourage appreciation and acknowledgement, like saying hi because they are really nice.
Esna continually explores different types of photography- street photography, dance photography, and even trying her hand at wedding photography.
It is very rewarding when you get that perfect shot. You can always anticipate when a dancer is going to reach the maximum point and that’s when you have to shoot before it is gone. That’s the fun part, it is like capturing a skill of the dancer.
The student says that being able to capture the priceless and meaningful moments of people rewards her with a sense of satisfaction and just like at a wedding, you see and experience a variety of emotions, from the teary-eyed, proud parents to the ecstatic newlyweds.
As the late popular French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson once said: "Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again". Esna would not let a moment pass without capturing it.
I love spotting moments of beauty. I am always on the look out because it is really wonderful that life is full of such moments.