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This 22-year-old S’porean opened a self-photo studio


In Korea, self-photo studios are trending and this expertise can now be finished proper right here in Singapore because of Kevin Chu.

The Hwa Chong Establishment graduate beforehand interned at GovTech, the place he labored on Type.gov.sg. He then enlisted within the Air Pressure in 2018, the place labored at SWiFT workplace, fixing issues with coding.

After ending his nationwide service, he labored on his personal software program initiatives and freelanced as a software program developer for shoppers all around the world.

He will likely be pursuing a level at Singapore Administration College this fall but additionally took the leap to develop into an entrepreneur two months in the past.

Name your personal photographs

Fotomat lately opened for enterprise on 2 April 2020 within the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I get pleasure from coding and creating new techniques. My sister has a pastime in movie pictures so I had an concept to faucet on her information in pictures and mix it with my curiosity.

I needed to create a brand new pictures expertise in Singapore by letting folks take their very own portraits with using a digicam set off.

– Kevin Chu, founding father of Fotomat

This was his method of constructing portrait pictures extra enjoyable. By eradicating the photographer from the equation, he hopes that it might encourage extra daring, expressive and progressive poses, which come out extra when individuals are given a personal house.

Self-photo shoot house / Picture Credit score: Fotomat

Providing solely black and white pictures, Fotomat is focused in any respect ages.

“For the older technology, black and white pictures would remind them of the times the place formal portraits with relations, particularly on important events, have been typically taken in studios. For the marginally youthful technology, Fotomat may be paying homage to the ‘neoprint’ machines which have been all the trend again then,” stated Kevin.

“For the youngest of all of them, these completely monochromatic photos may appear uncommon. No matter it’s, the expertise at Fotomat might be loved by everybody.”

Greater than only a “picture sales space”

fotomat self-photo studio
Inside of Fotomat / Picture Credit score: Fotomat

Fotomat is positioned at Stamford Arts Centre within the Bugis district, which is an incubator for arts initiatives.

“We’re grateful to Nationwide Arts Council for accommodating us … This has allowed us to concentrate on growing this new visible arts idea and frequently innovate,” stated Kevin, including that Fotomat has finished loads of trial and error to enhance the consumer expertise.

He went on to emphasize that Fotomat is greater than only a picture sales space.

Once I first got here up with the thought for Fotomat, I needed to make it accessible and reasonably priced to everybody, particularly college students and younger adults.

Taking skilled studio photographs was reserved for particular events like weddings and graduations, however that’s not the case with Fotomat as a result of we’re the primary in Singapore to offer an inventive, distinctive and enjoyable photoshoot expertise at a nominal value.

– Kevin Chu, founding father of Fotomat

Costs begin at S$5 for a single print, and goes as much as S$30 for a 15-minute shoot (limitless photographs for 2 individuals). As well as, college students and lively army personnel get pleasure from a reduced charge.

When Fotomat first launched, Kevin stated that his clients have been “stuffed with reward” of Fotomat, sharing that they loved the distinctive expertise.

“They favored the house, the personal expertise of directing their very own photographs, seeing the product of the shoot, and the non-public interactions with me.”

Being a boss at solely 22

fotomat self-photo studio
Kevin Chu (left), founding father of Fotomat / Picture Credit score: Fotomat

Regardless of beginning the enterprise on the younger age of twenty-two and kickstarting a really novel enterprise concept, his household and associates by no means as soon as doubted or criticised him.

“My father was an entrepreneur in his early profession and encourages me to be curious and adventurous. I’ve all the time been developing with entrepreneurial concepts since younger and have developed just a few private initiatives since his college days,” he defined.

He added that everybody round him has all the time been supportive of his concepts, and he typically bounce concepts off his household and associates.

Kevin additionally holds a novel perspective — working Fotomat as a enterprise is his secondary precedence. As a substitute, his major purpose is to make use of Fotomat as a platform for others to freely categorical themselves and have enjoyable.

“We now have enlisted the assistance of scholars from Nationwide Technological College (NTU), polytechnics and La Salle who’re doing arts and media-related research to run the studio,” stated Kevin.

“Apart from providing job alternatives to the youth, Fotomat has develop into a platform to show college students concerned about studio pictures about working skilled studio gear. We’re additionally giving them a platform to share their creative concepts with us and work with us on collaborations.”

As a crew of younger adults, he believes that Fotomat is well-positioned to create new developments and higher adapt to the altering markets.

Excessive progress since inception

Covid-19 has been detrimental to many companies, and Fotomat isn’t any exception. Proper after the heightened measures have been introduced, they acquired some reserving cancellations.

“To make sure the security of our clients, we have now restricted the group sizes to 2 per session and sanitise our gear earlier than and after every session. We needed to flip away bookings with greater than two folks (however) we’re comforted that everybody has been supportive of Fotomat.”

In response to Kevin, their slots crammed up rapidly, particularly over the weekends. Though Fotomat has been experiencing excessive progress since its inception, it isn’t resting on its laurels.

“We are going to make investments our earnings to develop Fotomat so that everybody can expertise this enjoyable pictures idea. We are going to proceed to innovate and check new ideas,” he stated, including that they’re exploring collaborations with strategic companions to speed up its progress.

“My philosophy is nice customer support. I get pleasure from having private interactions with clients. I’m assured to say that each single buyer has left with a smile on their face.”

Featured Picture Credit score: Fotomat





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