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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jan 29, 2012

Ways Done in the Past - Indoor Photography

Mr Lee Hin Ming's photo studio in Singapore in the 1900 - 1930s.

From the photo studio owner Mr Lee Hin Ming's collection of over 80 years and donated his customers' photo to the National Archives of Singapore, credit with thanks and acknowledge. Only a few of these "memory aids" are posted on this blog to share the ways indoor photos were taken in Mr Lee's studio and how different they are today.

These photos of the individuals, ladies and gentlemen, young and old, prominent community leaders, businessmen, family and friends.

Could you spot the difference from these photos and the changes in lifestyle, fashion (hairstyle, dressing, shoes, spectacles and other accessories) of his hundreds and thousands of customers over the decades...these but only a few of the photos posted on the blog.

Everyone who visits the photo studio wants our best look to appear in a photo-shoot.

These ways for customers preferences then and now...for everyone to look their best.

James Seah at age 23, photo taken at Mei Loo Photo Studio in 1971.

At the photo studio, two photos were taken for each type. I then return a week later to choose from the "proof" copies and order the best final print. The minimum six copies of the same photo for each order.

How aged the scanned photograph (shown above) the guy ;)

First, to visit the hairdresser , next to the photo studio. Different times, different people, different ways providing different services.

Baby Photos

Wedding Photos

Family Portrait Photos

A family photo c 1950

A lady with her children c 1950.

Spot the Difference - Then and Now

Who's Who in Singapore

For great grandparents, grandparents, parents and relative and friends who have experienced indoor photos taken in the old-fashioned photo studios in the 1900s or later, please kindle the fond nostalgic memories for a family-bonding fun activities at irememberSG on Facebook.

Photo of Ivan Teo Teik Loon as a baby.
Thanks to Teik Loon for his generous contribution to post with the following description to share with us:

This is Baby Curly.
This photo was taken in a studio called:
- Peck Tai (in Hokkien)
- 百代 (in Mandarin)
- Century (in English)

- Keck Ling kway [Indian St.] (in Hokkien)
- Cross Street (in English)

Not sure if this studio is still there. I doubt so. The clothes I was wearing were sewn by my mother. She thought it was cool, so, she brought me to take this photo.
Teik Loon, my former colleague and a close friend of over 30 years.

Teik Loon at the Singapore Airshow 2012 as an official Chaperon for the VIP guests.



Blogger Lam Chun See said...

I still have several photos like these of my parents and relatives - many of whom I don't even know.

And then there are the wedding photo. Whenever a relative got married, they would send a photo of the wedding to us.

January 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

If the photo studio owners as private custodians to their customers' photos and stored in their image data library, what happens after the photo studio no longer exists?

Fortunately, Mr Lee Hin Ming's former customers' photos or those of their descendents are found through his contribution and donation at NAS, memories of these photos could still be traced.

January 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger lim said...

That photo of the girl in swimsuit is pretty bold at that time.

My parents commented that I was crying furiously when they tried to have my baby photo taken at a photo studio in Upper Serangoon.

Now, with digital technology, proud fathers will be filming or snapping furiously away. I wonder how those babies feel.

January 30, 2012 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for sharing your sentiments and collective memories on this blog on indoor studio photos, Mr Lim.

I had selected that photo of a young local girl in one-piece swimsuit about 80 years ago. It was generally thought as bold and daring in those days.

With ladies at the beach wearing as flimsy bikini or as little as decently acceptable, times has changed in the fashion scene. The one-piece swimsuits are no longer found in the shops. The ways to wear were so differently in the olden days.

Taking photos of children in the indoor studio was also a nightmare for the photographers. It took hours to coax a toddler not to cry, lie flat on his stomach, raise his head and look at the camera lens directly and smile. A tough job indeed. Maybe kids were afraid of the cameras in those days...

January 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Ipohgal said...

Hi James,

You are doing a fantastic job, providing us an insight into old Singapore. These photos are truly rare treasures, one could hardly get to see them today. Thanks.

February 4, 2012 at 11:09 PM  

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