Thomas Starlit is a Danish Expatriate, currently employed in one of leading IT companies in Malaysia. He has a big interest when it comes to photography, a hobby that he’s been undertaking for years. Below is a product of one fine interview session I had with such brilliant person like him!
1. Tell us a little bit about you.
I am from Denmark and I am here in KL as an expatriate living a happy life with my wife and two children. I’ve been working in IT Industry almost 20 years mainly doing consulting and management.
2. How do you find Kuala Lumpur so far, in a perspective of Danish Expatriate?
Well, I just moved to KL a year ago, it started with a few small bumps on the road but my family and I have come to love it now. It’s quite easy to live here. I’ve been an expat before in Europe and settling in here is actually been easier for me, partly due to the fact that dealing with government procedures is much easier here, thanks to the government organisation MDEC! (laugh)
3. Any clash of culture – or sort of?
There’s definitely some differences in terms of what would considered to be polite and what is not polite. One classic example that I can tell you is when there’s a job interview, in Europe, the company would offer the candidate a drink – and the person would accept it whether he/she is thirsty or not, as a token of politeness. Here, it’s just a total opposite. You don’t offer people anything and the person doesn’t ask. If you do go ahead and offer something, the candidate will reject it.
4. Favourite Malaysian Food in particular?
Undoubtedly, Nasi Lemak!
5. In terms of professional level, how do you find your working environment?
Overall, I am impressed with people here, their eagerness to learn and grow as well as their professional attitude. One of the main differences in comparison with Europe, in my own personal opinion, would be people’s lower of confidence when raising their own voice, in terms of being creative and innovative. Many Asians tends to be initially less critical in their thinking and avoid open disagreements. My company strongly believes that discussions are necessary with a positive arguments on the table, and it’s going in a right direction so far for us by engaging our people – to let them know that their voice does matter.
6. How is work so far?
I am delightfully happy. It’s dynamic, where challenges are meant to be solved and once we get it through – it gives the kind of satisfaction of achievement.
7. How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been taking pictures on and off for many years, but I think with the direction where I am going is around 10 years now.
8. Did you go to school or any formal study in photography?
My process of learning is by talking to other pros, discussion ideas and techniques – then put it into practice; but I recently have learned a lot from online training and seminars from various photographers. I am convinced that seeing many references help me to find my own style in photography.
9. How would you describe your style in photography?
I am more on people photography, I aim to capture people’s emotion and character through the lens. I believe that there’s always a story behind the expression of faces in which I would love to discover it through the portraits that I have taken.
10. What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I have an ‘intimate relationship’ with this thing called a beauty dish; a type of light-modifier you can use with a flash. I absolutely love it and enjoy working with it. But you have to be really careful when using it, as the slightest change can ruin the whole thing is ruined. It’s not forgiving at all, but it definitely enables me to create a piece of art.
11. Photography is something that can be said to be your side interest, a work-in-progress that you’d love to do during free times. Tell me, where do you see yourself can go in 5 years with this hobby?
In general, I am an ambitious person and I have a confidence that I will find my own niche from this field – something that I do best at. I don’t want to be number 2 or number 3, and the direction that I am currently going on is a learning curve where I believe equipping me to discover the niche that branded me as I am.
12. One last word?
I will leave one last advice, instead (laugh). We are all conformed to live a life making good money and good living, which is considered acceptable. That’s how life generally goes. But when that is said and done, it’s important to have passion on things that you want to do in life – and I’ve learned that we all can have more than just one passion. I wake up everyday in the morning getting ready for my work and I love it – but that doesn’t mean I don’t love other things as well. It’s essential to have enjoyment of every single thing that we are doing in life.
Official Website: thomasstarlit.com