The Star Malaysia - Star2
Meet the humanitarian relief worker whose photography skills won her a spot on a brand new reality TV competition.
aS a self-proclaimed introvert, 28-yearold Malaysian Christy Yeoh treats her camera as her voice – a medium to tell stories that can’t be put into words.
As an independent humanitarian relief worker, Yeoh has helped victims of natural disasters since 2006. During those missions, she’d take extremely moving photos of the disaster zones with her trusty DSLR.
Over time, she developed a documentary style of photography.
“With photography, I can hide behind a camera and still tell a story, which is pretty awesome,” said Yeoh. “It’s a way for me to tell stories and help people.”
Those photography skills she developed are sure paying off now, as Yeoh was one of the lucky few who were chosen to participate in History Channel’s new reality series, Photo Face-Off.
The series will see five amateur pho- tographers from Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Phillippines competing against award-winning professional photographer Justin Mott to get the best shot in a battle of wits and creativity.
The series’ second episode, set in Malaysia, will be airing tonight at 10:30pm (on Astro Ch 555 and 575).
“In this competition, you need to be wellrounded,” Mott explained. “You have to apply what you’re good at to the different challenges to get a good photo.”
There will be three challenges in each battle – A “speed challenge” to test their, well, speed, a “theme challenge” to test their creativity, and an “extreme challenge” to see how they handle photography in extreme situations.
And in the final episode, the five competitors will battle against each other to win an all expenses paid trip to New York, the United States to photograph some of the world’s biggest stars and a trip to the Canon Photo Clinic in Japan.
“It was a good experience,” the Perakborn Yeoh said. “It taught me to be more calm, to take a few seconds to stop, think and set things right.
“I also learned a lot from Mott. I learned to tell a story better. It was like a crash course in photography for me.”
And of course, no reality TV competition is complete without a few roadblocks.
In the Malaysian leg’s extreme challenge – where they were required to take a macro shot of something inside a bee compound – Mott was thrown off his game after being stung by bees.
“Four times!” said Justin, recalling the number of times he got stung.
Yeoh almost lost the challenge to Mott, because she didn’t meet the criteria of one of the judges who was more focused on the technical aspects of photography.
“I do know the basics,” said Yeoh, who described herself as “more of an artsy person”. “But I photograph more on my gut feeling.”
But now the competition has finished filming – though the first episode was just released last Tuesday – Yeoh said she plans to work more on photo stories.
“I don’t have to write an entire book to tell a story,” she said. “With photo stories, I can tell a story with the least amount of words.”