David Cheok began his affair with photography at the age of 14 when he was introduced to the hobby by his brother in the early 80s. By the time he was 15, he owned his first ever camera, a Chinon CM-5. The hobby continued through the years with him, through trial and error, shooting color and black and white films and during a time when learning the art of photography was a mystery to many and as hard to learn. Unlike today where most digital photographers have easy access to a wealth of information through the internet, those days were slightly more difficult. They included visits to libraries and borrowing books on the subject, keeping a notepad and pen to keep notes on techniques as well as jot down settings used for every frame exposed. They included the long wait to finish the expensive roll and developing them and the frustration of seeing black and white frames on film. His perseverance in the pursuit carried on through his teens where he was the official photographer for a school newsletter and as a freelance photographer during his years abroad studying for his business degree at University. In 2002, he bought his first digital camera, The Minolta 7Hi, and began uploading his images online. This was a time when the internet was seen as the badlands where often the older generations frowned upon its usage. David had a love for macro and landscape photography and he often uploaded his images to a website called DeviantArt. One of his first few digital images can still be seen there today.
It was through the internet that he was approached by his first wedding client and by 2006, David, was covering an average of 2-3 weddings a month. He started a small studio in Kompleks Jalan Sultan in 2004 for use in his wedding photography. By 2006, he closed the office and moved to a SOHO a few months before the birth of his first son in order to stay closer to family. David was accepted into the WPJA in January 5th 2006 being the first from Brunei to gain entrance. The WPJA was the premier association whereby entrance was granted only to the top 5% of wedding journalists globally. In 2009, he re-open a studio in Jln Telanai on the ground floor of a building owned by one of his wedding clients. Pictureworkz Studio is a large purpose built studio with currently the largest cyclorama specially designed by him. The studio boasts high ceilings and special fittings of lighting capable of producing over 5.7 kilowatts of continous light plus an assortment of studio strobes and accessories. The size and location of the studio allows for the capture of products like motorcycles and large groups of people normally unavailable to most studios in Brunei. Over the years, David, has done work for banks like Standard Chartered, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Baiduri, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam and for large national and multinational corporations like DST, Brunei National Petroleum Company and Brunei Economic Development Board. David is also currently an established cinematographer/producer and works with a video production team that produces quality corporate, commercial, wedding and mini-documentaries.
David Cheok |