In Korea, self-photo studios are trending and this expertise can now be carried out 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 Power 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 purchasers everywhere in the world.
He shall be pursuing a level at Singapore Administration College this fall but additionally took the leap to change into an entrepreneur two months in the past.
Name your individual pictures
Fotomat lately opened for enterprise on 2 April 2021 within the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I take pleasure in coding and creating new methods. My sister has a pastime in movie pictures so I had an thought 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 individuals take their very own portraits with using a digital camera set off.
– Kevin Chu, founding father of Fotomat
This was his means of creating portrait pictures extra enjoyable. By eradicating the photographer from the equation, he hopes that it will encourage extra daring, expressive and revolutionary poses, which come out extra when persons are given a non-public house.
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 members of the family, particularly on important events, have been typically taken in studios. For the marginally youthful technology, Fotomat may be harking back to the ‘neoprint’ machines which have been all the fashion again then,” mentioned Kevin.
“For the youngest of all of them, these solely monochromatic photos might sound uncommon. No matter it’s, the expertise at Fotomat might be loved by everybody.”
Greater than only a “picture sales space”
Fotomat is situated 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 give attention to creating this new visible arts idea and regularly innovate,” mentioned Kevin, including that Fotomat has carried out 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.
After I first got here up with the concept for Fotomat, I needed to make it accessible and reasonably priced to everybody, particularly college students and younger adults.
Taking skilled studio pictures was reserved for particular events like weddings and graduations, however that’s now not the case with Fotomat as a result of we’re the primary in Singapore to supply a creative, distinctive and enjoyable photoshoot expertise at a nominal price.
– Kevin Chu, founding father of Fotomat
Costs begin at S$30 for a 15-minute shoot (limitless pictures for 2 individuals) which include two prints. Further prints and digital copies can be found at extra price. As well as, college students and lively army personnel take pleasure in a reduced charge.
When Fotomat first launched, Kevin mentioned that his clients have been “filled with reward” of Fotomat, sharing that they loved the distinctive expertise.
“They appreciated the house, the non-public expertise of directing their very own pictures, seeing the product of the shoot, and the non-public interactions with me.”
Being a boss at solely 22
Regardless of beginning the enterprise on the younger age of twenty-two and kickstarting a really novel enterprise thought, 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 at all times 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 at all times been supportive of his concepts, and he typically bounce concepts off his household and associates.
Kevin additionally holds a singular perspective — operating Fotomat as a enterprise is his secondary precedence. As an alternative, his foremost objective is to make use of Fotomat as a platform for others to freely categorical themselves and have enjoyable.
“We have now 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,” mentioned Kevin.
“Moreover providing job alternatives to the youth, Fotomat has change into a platform to show college students occupied with 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 workforce of younger adults, he believes that Fotomat is well-positioned to create new tendencies and higher adapt to the altering markets.
Excessive development since inception
Covid-19 has been detrimental to many companies, and Fotomat is not any exception. Proper after the heightened measures have been introduced, they obtained some reserving cancellations.
“To make sure the protection of our clients, we now have 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 individuals (however) we’re comforted that everybody has been supportive of Fotomat.”
In line with Kevin, their slots crammed up shortly, particularly over the weekends. Though Fotomat has been experiencing excessive development since its inception, it’s not resting on its laurels.
“We are going to make investments our earnings to increase Fotomat so that everybody can expertise this enjoyable pictures idea. We are going to proceed to innovate and take a look at new ideas,” he mentioned, including that they’re exploring collaborations with strategic companions to speed up its development.
“My philosophy is nice customer support. I take pleasure in 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