Meet Rummy Makmur, a Beauty and Fashion photographer, and good friend based in Santa Clara, CA., a little hamlet in the middle of Silicon Valley.
I met Rummy (pronounced roomy), nearly 3 yrs ago at a Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk.
Rummy is a prolific and passionate photographer, balancing both a career in the electronics industry, and his passion for photography.
Rummy says he’s still working to define and refine his style, but whether he’s shooting edgy, new age, Gothic, or romantic scenes he leaves his mark with his innate sense of style, beauty, and creativity.
CircadianReflections- Give us a little bit about your background, where you were born or, grew up, and when you came to this country?
[Rummy]- I was born and raised in North Sumatra in Indonesia. I came here to the States to attend university and studied chemical engineering.
CircadianReflections- How would you describe yourself as a photographer and describe for us your signature look?
[Rummy] My main interest is shooting beauty and fashion, perhaps more on beauty. I feel beauty is simple to shoot but yet at the same time is challenging. When it’s done right, it is very satisfying. I don’t think I have a signature look even though some people who look at my work may feel I have one. I am still experimenting and trying to define and refine my style.
CircadianReflections- Describe to us how all this began for you?
[Rummy] To be honest, before I bought my first DSLR, I had no interest in photography. I owned a very cheap point and shoot and I rarely used it if any at all. One day, I was in a Cosplay conference and helped my wife take some photos of the Cosplayers. Suffice to say that most of the photos turned out not so good and blurry due to the lighting condition in the conference area. Challenged by that, I started to have more interest in finding out why the images were so bad. I thought having a better camera would give better result so I went and purchased my first DSLR. To my surprise at that time, it did not improve at all. From there, it’s been a journey in learning and finding out about lighting, about color and about what makes a great image. And I am still learning.
CicadianReflections- Describe to us your first “real shoot” where were you, what you were doing, and who you were with?
[Rummy] I tried a lot of genres when I first started: landscape, architecture, street photography, people, etc. I found that shooting portrait was most satisfying and for some reason, I had better eyes for portrait. My first “real shoot” was when I participated in local San Francisco meet up group for Strobist to learn about off camera lighting. That was the first time I shot a model. Having a first shoot was quite exciting and I definitely learned a lot in how to work with a model.
CircadianReflections- What has been your most rewarding achievement as a portrait/beauty artist?
[Rummy] I think that is still to come! Although, I find all my projects rewarding… my goal is to continue to make my shoots more dynamic, and compelling.
CircadianReflections- When you first started what was your biggest dream? And have you accomplished that?
[Rummy] I actually didn’t expect a lot when I first started. I just wanted to take better pictures and learned all things related to photography. My goal right now is to get more publications for beauty and fashion. It’s hard, but I am working on that.
CircadianReflections- Who’s your favorite beauty portrait photographer, and who do you draw inspiration from?
[Rummy] There are a lot of beauty photographers that I admire. I try to browse and look around for inspirations, not just from one photographer. So I don’t have a favorite photographer, per se. However, if I need to name somebody, I really like the work of Gavin O’Neill for beauty and skin work.
CircadianReflections- What is it that you like the most about shooting Portrait/Beauty aside from other types of photography?
[Rummy] As we all know, lighting is important in photography. I feel that I have more control of the lighting when I shoot portrait/ beauty. The lighting will be however I want it to be, even for outdoor. In addition, being able to interact with the subject makes it a bit easier and maybe more interesting.
CircadianReflections- In your opinion what are the tools a photographer must always have in his/her photography kit?
[Rummy] I’d say, from portrait standpoint (I assume these are items that you always carry around):
1. Decent camera (entry level is fine and any brand)
2. good lens
3. Color checker (to adjust white balance and color correction in post)
4. External lighting (minimal should have external flash/ strobes) and its modifiers
Hmm, those are the items that I always carry around.
CircadianReflections- Currently you’re working on your photography business “part-time”, and holding down a regular 8-to-5 job in the Electronics Industry. Do you have aspirations of turning your Photography work into a “full-time” business?
[Rummy] No, not at all. My current goal is not necessarily making this into a business. My dream is to shoot for beauty ad campaigns some day.
CircadianReflections- What’s on the horizon for Rummy Makmur?
[Rummy] I’m hoping for more publications this year.
CircadianReflections- What advice would you give a new photographer who would like to start a business as a Portrait/Beauty Photographer?
[Rummy] I won’t give any advice from business standpoint as I am still learning. But, for any new photographers who are just starting shooting portrait, my advice is to keep shooting and shoot often. That’s the only way to learn.
All photographs Copyright © Rummy Makmur and used with permission for this blog
Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved