Anthony Levi Kho’s story can be best described as a bad boy turned good — not only did he fail his O-level exams five times, he was also once deep in credit card debts and held odd jobs such as selling illegal VCDs. All that is in the past now, as Anthony is now known as wedding photographer to the stars and the owner of bridal photography studio Let There Be Light.
Going by his nickname Dou Nai (soya bean milk in Mandarin), Let There Be Light was the official photographer for Taiwanese singer and actress Ella Chen’s wedding ceremonies. In addition to wedding photography, Anthony is also a notable commercial director.
We spoke to Anthony, who shared what it’s like to photograph celebrities on their big day, and what it means to be a tastemaker.
A tastemaker is….“An individual who’s determination of what’s stylish influences a significant quantity or quality of people resulting in a supportive trend.” — got that from urbandictionary.com, and it’s extremely flattering to be called one. I had to google that word (laughs) and I hope I live up to that description.
Anthony at work with Taiwanese artiste Jay Chou.
Celebrities are…In the sense of love and life, celebrities are the same as any one of us. They open their hearts out to those who are within their closer knit of friends, they get vulnerable, and they have a life off the screen. Granted they are much more guarded about their privacy — I cant emphasise that enough, that privacy is a precious commodity they have. Especially with nature of their work, they have made a lot of sacrifices along that line.
I got to know these celebrities (including Ella Chen, Christine Fan and Wang Lee Hom) on the sets of my corporate work, and this gave me a chance to show them my wedding portfolio. I am very blessed to have the chance to get to work so personally with them.
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I chose to pursue wedding photography because…Love. People. A wedding day is a milestone celebration of life, from being an individual, to making a choice to live life as a couple. This day is so significant, and emotions are so raw as the union of two people, also involves families and friends on both sides. I love those emotions. I am an emotional person!
I was in wedding videography first, then wedding photography, before going into still photo of movies and commercials. I enjoy visually bringing out the best sides in people, and working with different medias allow me to bring new ideas to each platform.
Anthony stands out from other wedding photographers with his unconventional style.
With experience in photography, I work differently when using my skills for movies and commercials. Then with my involvement in movies, I bring that back into photography, and right now, I’m moving on into directing. Visuals are an artform. With this diverse background, and getting to work with so many different groups of people, I am confident my experience will compliment me as a director.
People call me Dou Nai because…Anthony sounds like Ang Dao Ni, and Dao Ni is Hokkien for Dou Nai. A very Singlish translation, but it’s inevitable — I’m Singaporean!
The Anthony Levi-Kho style of photography is…I keep it real. And happy.
Find out Anthony Levi Kho’s take on being a tastemaker on cable television channel Life Inspired‘s Tastemakers Singapore programme, which airs on 9 August 2014 at 9.30pm.
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Photography credit: Let There Be Light Photography