From concept to reality: from slasher to chef

Pictures by: 
Gary Goh
Benita Aw Yeong
Report by: 
Gary Goh

It is not everyday we get assignments like this one - where I get to shoot a chef who used to be a criminal, one who was sent to prison for drug offenses and a slashing.

To bring out the irony of how Mr Kenneth Tan has very different uses for his knife these days, the TNP on Sunday team came up with some concept drawings on how they wanted the photo to be.

Assistant editor for TNPS Jonathan Roberts did a few sketches on the art direction, and from there, I had to make the idea a reality - even though the shoot (and interview) took place at the restaurant, not at our studio.  

One of the requirements was a black background. Being a glossy eatery, I didn’t have much options - until I chanced upon the sliding glass doors to their private dining area. With both of them stacked together, the glass doors looked black enough for the shoot.

Next would be convincing Mr Tan to go topless for the shoot. Fortunately, Mr Tan was an easy-going person, and he readily agreed for us to picture him with his tattoos, complete with a fierce look to boot.

The concept came well together, and this donned the cover of The New Paper on Sunday on July 21 2013.