Kid Chan Takes Photo Until Become Famous

They say if you wanna succeed in your career, it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.

Widening the number of people you know is important. Possessing good networking skills is not an option, but a key to an individual’s success. I often see a lot of people good at what they’re doing end up bumming at home. Then there are those who are out there able to secure endless business offers, simply because they know how to know the right people.
When it comes to networking, one person from my circle of friends stands out brilliantly.

His name is Kid Chan, wedding photographer and owner of Portrait One and Kid Chan Studio. Now, I’ve been to several social functions with Kid Chan, and to watch him so diligently go around the room networking with people is nothing short of awesome.
This guy can walk into a room full of strangers, walk out of it an hour later with 90% of the room all knowing his name and what he does for a living. The remaining 10% who don’t know about him are most likely in the toilets when Kid was doing his rounds.

With such an impressive networking skills, it is very little coincidence that over the years, Kid Chan has risen above the rest of the competition to secure his place as the number one wedding photographer in Malaysia.
Oh, you don’t believe me? Kid’s reputation in wedding photography is undisputed. Flip through ANY bridal magazines in Malaysia, and you are bound to find works from Kid Chan Studio published among their glossy pages.

Don’t say he’s lucky, because Kid believes that luck comes with hard work. At only 29 years old, Kid seems to have achieved what many other wedding photographers can only DREAM to achieve.
His spectacular list of clients speaks for itself. Among some of Kid’s most notable weddings done to date are Paula Malai Ali and Tengku Kudin, last year’s Wedding of the Year between Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk K, and closer to home, YB Larry Sng and May Ting, daughter of Sarawak’s timber and construction giant Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing.

So spectacular is his repertoire that Kid Chan was named one of “100 people You Must Know In Asia” by Malaysia Tatler magazine, amongst many other accolades.
I asked Kid to be the photographer for my brother’s recent wedding dinner in KL. We caught up afterwards, and I decided to interview him for my next entry in’s Personalities.

No, I don’t eat babies for dinner. Photo credit:

Let’s cut to the chase and ask the question every photograther wants to know – how did you do it? How do you take photos that look so poignant and breathtakingly amazing. I would describe your works as postcard-quality, but I don’t wanna give too much credit to the postcards.
The PPC of photography (WOW did I just coined a term?). Patience, Practice and Chance. But I am a firm believer that the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Kid Chan with Hollywood actress Devon Aoki. Photo credit:

You have photographed some of the world’s most recognised people, including royalties, world leaders and entertainment celebrities. Who are some the more memorable personalities you’ve photographed?
Most of them are very memorable, with great stories to tell. When I shot Jackie Chan for Pride it was great. In fact shy a bit, when he came back early from a function. So technically, he needed to wait for us. Hahaha!

Your lovely wife Shirlyn is also the financial controller of Kid Chan Studio. Some would say it’s a bad idea to be in the same workplace as your partner. Have you encountered any difficulties working together thus far?
Seriously, that is the BEST decision I have made for the company. Technically, she is not my partner but my boss. The vision is now clearer, we are also much more effective and efficient. The real deal is I get to sleep with such a sexy boss, and no one’s complaining! Hahaha.
So what you mean is, you can come home from taking photos of the sexiest models in this country, and still keep your upper and lower heads intact?
I suppose trust is very important, and I hardly shoot models.

You are the first Malaysian to be a member of the prestigious Wedding Photojournalist Association. What’s the difference between a traditional wedding photographer, and a “photo journalist”?
Photojournalist tends to be more an observer rather than creator. But frankly in Malaysia, we need to compromise. The degree of acceptance is still somewhat lacking for a full photojournalism work. The only pure wedding photojournalism work so far I have done is for Datuk Siti Nurhaliza. It is because the show was live broadcast, and photographer were not given any chance to communicate with the subjects.

What would you say was your “big break” in your career?
I supposed Paula Malai Ali’s wedding was big milestone in my career. She was so kind to insist all the publications give me the due credit mention. It was at a time, when no one knew what was wedding photojournalism and SEPIA was! Even then, I really did not know what I was doing was wedding photojournalism. However I believe in whatever we do in life, you can’t be an one hit wonder. Your “big break” should really be what you going to do next. Just like now, doing this interview for Malaysia’s foremost celebrity blogger is a big break for me.

And the “Kid Chan” brand name just spread like wildfire, isn’t it? It’s good that you’re shooting Malay weddings because they usually have such a large extended family, so all their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews, nieces all know about you.
Talking about wildfire, I recently had a very surreal experience. I lost my 3 months old Gucci wallet and went to lodge a police report. When I was done, the PUAN asked me for a autograph!
What would you say is the single most important quality that a person must possess to find success in his or her field of work?

Photo credit:

Your specialty is in Malay weddings. As a Chinese boy, how do you know what to shoot especially when you first started out? Have you ever done anything during these weddings that made you go “Oops! I shouldn’t have done that”?
But being a Malaysian and growing up into such a multi-racial environment, I would not say that I am totally oblivious to other cultures. In fact my clients, who are now mostly my friends, really took the time to guide me. Of course, I was very careful (sensible is not a word to describe me) – not to go overboard or try to do anything funny. Contrary to popular belief, being a non-Malay is more an advantage rather than hindrance. I was able to look at the wedding from an out-of-the-box view.
Although I am regarded as the pioneer of Malay wedding photojournalism, today my portfolio is really very diverse. Beach and garden weddings have also become a very strong area for me.

Let’s rewind back a little before you found the enormous success that you enjoy right now. You didn’t start off as a photographer. You graduated from commerce at Curtin University, and then what happened?
I did corporate work for a while. My boss was a very respected corporate figure in the education sector. We bought, sell and manage very prestigious education institution. But fast forward, I felt that I was about to burnt out so went on an apprenticeship. The rest they say was history.

So what exactly happened that put your foot into wedding photography?
Believe it or not, accident! You see, those days a wedding photographer was not really regarded as a serious photographer. If you want work, you’d do commercial or corporate photography. But we were then servicing some very important corporate and government clients. And so, if they call and said “Kid, my son is getting married. I’d like you to come and take some pictures for me.” You can’t say, “Tan Sri – we don’t do that!”

Photo credit:

You didn’t want to be a wedding photographer at first because traditionally, wedding photographers were treated like bellboys. Now you’re staying in luxurious 5-star resort hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons everytime you travel for an assignment. What do you have to say about that? 😛
I won’t say everytime, but most of the time. Although we never imposed on the client, most of the time they treat us very well. Just like a very close family member and it is FANTASTIC!
I was given one of the nicest view when I was in Miri Marriot (I had a dual frontage of the beach and the pool) for YB Larry Sng’s wedding. Another client put me in a premium water chalet at Avillion that costs RM1080, when he can just put me in rumah tumpangan Port Dickson. Really it does not just stop with the rooms – one of my client insist that we fly business to London, another had us chauffered driven in a Bentley and we were given bodyguards as escorts!

I want your job.
And I want yours! But like they always say, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, and “be careful with what you wish for.”

Believe it or not, some guy who won a pair of “Kenny Sia Autographed Boxer Shorts” in a lucky draw at the recent bloggers gathering has put up the item for sale on auction.
As of writing, the maximum bid on the pair of boxer shorts with my autograph on it is… twenty cents.

102 Replies to “Kid Chan Takes Photo Until Become Famous”

  1. BTW kenny, it was my uncle’s wedding when Kid Chan stay for the nite at the Avillion. Kewl place really! 🙂

  2. lilian, no I won’t be doing the KL Marathon. I’ll be doing the Penang Marathon instead though.
    Joey, no offense? That’s pretty offensive. I like my teeth so I won’t be wearing braces. Removing my canine teeth would be like removing my trademark.

  3. Quite inspiring really, for any creative professional who’s starting out on their own practice (i am… ha..) Its one area (networking/socializing) that im desperately trying to improve as well… seen too many talents gone to waste, hope i dun add to the numbers…

  4. Visited Kid Chan’s Studio while choosing photographer for my wedding package. he is not bad, but the packages offered wasnt great. “if you arent someone famous, he is mostly unlikely to be available for you” such i was told. the carven ong wedding gown and Avilion packages is icing, but the price doesnt justify…
    anyway, he is more like a brand to me. you are definitely right about his socialbility…

  5. Hey Kenny, I am really disappointed with you. You have sold out to your loyal blog readers. What’s next ? Promoting Proton cars because you know some directors there? I should have seen this coming. Should have quit reading your post when some other readers were suggesting that your posts were getting lame. So long.

  6. when one’s get famous, it is inevitably to be approached for some promotions. even when Kenny doing it, it was given a fair review without extra icing, from what i read.
    havent you heard it? “with great power, comes greater responsiblity”. in a more humble sense, we’ve seen Kenny grown up over the years. unlike some bimbo blabbing about her love life / flashing photos with 2 tons of make-up / immature attitude and hatred etc. his blog is more interesting that it has a variety of topics everyday, and sure he has good sense of humour. tho somehow some kind of tireness i read from here and there…
    anyway, dont be jealous. chill.

  7. Yup…agree with u sugar, blogging isnt just making everybody pleased, i like what kenny’s doing here, sometime fun,sometime touching, sometime informative, sometime lame…Even though i dont like some of the post but i wont quit reading just because its not what i like, c’mmon, life is about embracing different thing n took another look in other’s eye…there’s nothing wrong if kenny want to review on proton or what, its his opinion n didnt mean u have to buy that, i thought ppl are matured enough to make their own judgement…anyway, i dont feel that kenny is promoting Kid, he even point out the success of Kid depend heavily on ‘networking’…Kenny, i think this is still a good post. carry on!

  8. i have to agree some posts are getting bad. no doubt there’s something in it for kenny when he decides to just “blog” about kid chan. free wedding photos for life?
    yeah, and i’ll probably keep readin kennysia cos like evry1 else here i dun have a life.

  9. Geez, why can’t you guys read this blog entry for what it is – which is basically an interview with a successful young individual who has made it in life. Kid Chan has been interviewed by many many other publications before I did. Are you also accusing the journalists of those publications for “selling out their readers”?
    I thought it might be empowering for people to read about Kid’s way of working, because I don’t want my blog to be too much about myself.
    I write about myself, you say I’m narcissistic. I write about other people, you say I’m selling out. How lah liddat?
    blooooot, free wedding photos for life? How many times you think I’m gonna get married huh? 😉

  10. It appears to me that Kid Chan is a very status-concious photographer who’s only willing to take pics of plp who are either rich or famous for his own publicity.To be honest,his work’s not that great.I’ve seen other low-profile photographers work that’s that much better .So what if he takes pics for Siti nurhaliza’s wedding and other local so-called celebraties.That does not mean that he’s the best and does not prove anything.He just happens to have the “right” connections.That’s why he’s at all those glamorous parties and functions sucking up to all these rich and so-called famous plp who will be stupid enough to be charged big bucks by him.I mean….he’s so ordinary ….nothing special to shout about.

  11. I BEG to differ!!! For the commenters who have said that he only does rich and famous people, “if you arent someone famous, he is mostly unlikely to be available for you” how WRONG you are! Im such a nobody, and yet I had him shoot my wedding pics. My parents are NOT datuks, datins, tan sris whateva socialites. My wedding ceremony was in my small hometown, we couldnt give Kid a 5 star hotel room, coz in my hometown, max is a lousy 3 star only! No Bentleys, no frills whatsoever given to him. And YET he treated us SO nicely! I dunno where ppl get this perception of him from. Initially I thought he would be too expensive for us, but I went to see him anyway, and you’d be delighted to know how accomodating Kid and Shirlyn are, even if we’re nobodies!! And heck, I dont go round calling myself a nobody everyday ok. Just to prove a point. Get your facts right people!

  12. Kenny you rock… Don’t care about what other people say… Like Kid, famous or successful people always get picked on because they are famous lar, or else why pick on you? Hehe!
    Love the Paula Malai Ali pic, it gives me the “capture the moment” feeling, beautiful…


  14. awesome man.. great review. Feel the interviewee (yes there’s such a word )and interviewer will make it big someday. Just remember to have PCC!

  15. Interesting review. I’m getting married soon and looking for a photographer but I’m staying in Singapore and not rich enough to engage Kid Chan services, afford 1st class air-ticket and hotel accomodation for him. *sob* *sob* have to find other photograpgher within my budget.

  16. Excellent. Simply an excellent entry Kenny. This would serve as an inspiring story for aspiring entreprenuers.
    Well done Kid Chan!

  17. well Sharon, lucky you. however, that was what i was told, not my opinion. when i asked how much i have to pay to get Kid Chan (rest of the packages i could only get his disciple, not himself), the PIC even told me numorous “reasons” why he most probably wont be available. even a quotation was hesitated.
    anyway, for that good sum of money Kid Chan is charging, I got a lot more stuff with photos that’s satisfying. since my hubby’s a photographer himself with a lot of photograher friends (not pro in wedding tho), we gathered that we could put those money in better use.
    just my 2 cents.

  18. Yes Kenny, Annonymous commenters are chicken, you’re right, and bloody thick skin to come here and comment so rudely. If u people cant appreciate a good blog/ or jelous of someone elses job, or whatever it is, you should only blame urself.
    Keep up the good work Kenny, and dont let these pricks tell you otherwise.

  19. HAhahaha…first time leave comment here…just realized the post button is labeled poke me. Kenny, u like to be poked? A lot of female readers of yours will b disappointed

  20. Hey Kenny, upon some reflections, I may have judged you too harshly. I apologize. I am just so pissed with shallow people who hang on the tailcoats of the rich and/or famous(wannabes). It is much more satisfying when you achieve something on your own merits. All you wannabes out there in Kenny land I salute you .,!,.

  21. kenny, its true that your recent posts didn’t meet up to standards of your previous posts which were godlike funny. However, i still believe in you, i still believe your still can produce world class holyshit posts! Don’t let me down! I’ll wait for your return ^_^

  22. KanataKuchingLung, if later kennysia is successful and post about that in his entry, you’ll say he damn hao lien to talk about his own success so much.. and “he must be pretty thick face to talk about his own success”..

  23. yeah, just dat ur post doesn’t seem neutral unlike other publications. and hey, these days people marry/divorce a few times. you never know…

  24. Hey ah beng, that is the beauty of freedoom. You can say whatever you want and the choice to listen to other opinions. This is kennysia blog so if become self centered (which I don’t think he will), it is my choice not to read his blog any more. I don’t envy success just detest the suckups!

  25. I personally feel it isn’t fair to judge a person without first knowing them personally. And even if you do know a person, how much do you understand? It takes time and commitment to fully know and give your heart to understanding a person. Otherwise, who are you to judge?
    In my relationships with people, I try not to judge because I wouldn’t want them judging me either. The definition of life can be so so broad. It’s irrate to simply believe what you think is true to be true.
    Who knows the struggles Kid has underwent and is still undergoing in order to make a living. His talent lies in photography. That’s his forte and it’s up to an individual how far they want to bring their talents. Please remember Kid has a family to care for, staff salaries to pay, and a studio to upkeep, not counting untoward everyday circumstances.
    Ofcourse, the more popular he becomes, the more clients he get. With not much time in his hands, it’s reasonable to select his clients. There’s only so much one man can do.

  26. Hi Kenny, I’ve actually heard Kid Chan fantastic interpersonal skills in communicating with others in a blog by the famous Singapore model, Adeline. Surprise or not, da compliments she gave 2 Kid chan was no lesser than urs, looks like Kid Chan is really dat good after all, wished 2 meet him someday and find out wats his secret to dat.
    Well Kenny, if u dun mind 2 have a new friend, u can add me at or I noe its a bit long, i actually regretted making such long addresses. Lol.

  27. Wow,Kid Chan is serioesly an inspiration to other, and its really true that its who you know that makes who you are and not what you do best……..socialising skills really are the essense in being successful……..
    Great post Kenny, btw as much as you want Kid Chan’s job, I want yours can ar?? hahaha keep up the good work your blog is very inspirational too, and not to mention informative at times =p…

  28. Let me put it this way.. Well, hypothetically speaking, Would u rather make your own wedding cake just because u’ve bought numerous books on “How to Make your own wedding cake” or put your money and trust on professionals with experience that would assure u with great results and put everyone in awe?(and no regrets! – just incase the homemade wedding cake didn’t stand!).
    Kid and Shirlyn are both very workaholic (trust me! because we’re family :P) and they sure do spend time with their prospective clients to provide them with a good deal. But surely it’s not a pasar where u can bargain every damn thing. Every good thing has its own price to pay, and it depends on whether u’re willing to or not. So don’t spread rumours about them only taking in high status clients just because u think they’re expensive.

  29. What the.. Honestly I thought Kid Chan was a fat lady with specks man, until i read that article above.
    WUAHAHAHHAA! yea yea ok, poke you.

  30. Dear Kenny…
    I enquiried Kid Chan thru his website for my wedding… he didnt even bother to reply… maybe my father is not Tan Sri… It is very disappointing… it is like as if my hubby and I cannot afford him… must we show our bank books to him? Gosh… So I engaged Jim Liaw to be my photographer… Its RM5.8k… beat that Kid Chan…! Jim Liaw is famous too… he won a few awards for his photographs… and he is not choosy over his clients like this one!!! He is frenly and nice! Thank God KidChan didnt reply my enquiries! I wouldnt have engage Jim if that happened… Blessing in disguise I would say!!!
    My 2 cents

  31. Babysiew, so what if yr photography cost 5.8k? Trying to prove how rich you are? U tried enquiring thru website, did u call up to ask why no one replied? And you know KidChan so well isit, to say he’s choosy? He asked to see yr bank book before turning u down isit? And you sendiri go and assume that he thinks you have no money. Why go and assume liddat? Gosh some ppl are so childish, my fwen A dowan to fwen me, so I got fwen B to replace A. Nehh nehh neehh! Thats exactly how you sound. And to prove a point, Im not even a customer of Kid Chan. Just because you engaged Jim (no criticism whatsoever at his work, never even heard of him) means you got good taste? Paris Hilton can wear Armani and still look like a crap. Taste is subjective dear. Just that I feel that some ppl needs to get a few pegs down. Give the guy a break!
    Melody, at least you have some class and tact.
    P.s. Just checked out Jim Liaw’s site. Quite nice too.

  32. it’s funny that the complaints seems so…… SHARP.. and i just realized that there’s only 1 kid chan and 500 weddings concurrently happening in a day..
    so…. dont we all just wish we can duplicate?

  33. Oh… Ling times two… I m so sorry I offended u with my comment… I tot this is a free country and I can say anything I wan… anyway I am so sorry I stepped ur tails… awww… come give me a hug… *lol* Well you can say wateva u wan and I can say wateva I wan… Wats the point having an enquiry page when he doesnt reply? Why shld I call to ask why he doesnt reply me? Customer is always right… if u r in a service industry, u gotta be customer focus… I am not trying to prove that I am rich… Gosh… wat happen to teenagers nowadays!!! Tsk Tsk… short tempered… Phew!!! Give me a break for making a comment… *lol* *roll my eyes*

  34. babysiew, are u sure or not? if kidchan neva answer ur mail, then
    how u know how much he charge? u sure you are not just like the other sugar
    girl that want to promote her hubby and friends ah? Kenny, why you no ask what Kid Chan charge…?

  35. Babysiew, nobody said you cannot say what you want. You can. But do it with class and tact. Short tempered? Reading between the lines, it is very easy to see that you have a problem with your temper. I’m sure you know yourself better. You sound a lot like my hard headed nephew whom I reprimand all the time, which is why I spoke the things that I did. By the way, I am 52 years old, if that makes me a teenager, then I’m the happiest person on earth. 😉 Have a nice day Babysiew. If reprimands dont teach you anything, maybe age will.

  36. babysiew sounds like a moody child who din get wat she want then cry loud loud hahahahaha….wahhh 5.8k so expensive must go tell everybody horrr….Aiya if Daddy pay then 58k oso can larrr…. 😛

  37. 52 yrs old? Wow… no wonder… anyway didnt know my comment will cause so many ppl to take up the banner and say “No to Babysiew’s Comment” ahaha… a bit hilarious… Sorry if I offended you guys but heck, I am just giving my 2 cents… thats my experience so I cant change it, can I? haha… wat the heck…
    Ling times two, I am sorry again to say that I am from a small kampung and I dont have class and tact… ;( Maybe you can teach me some??? Can I be ur niece so u can reprimand me, teach me manners and instill some good values in me pleaseeee?????? *make angelic face* *lol*
    Lowyarbrooks, sugar lady who wanna promote her hubby and frens? *lol* Aiyoh… sempitnyer minda dia… well I know his charges thru his website… if you go to his website, u can know how much he charges… and my fren who enquired told me that if you wan kidchan to take the pictures, you have to pay additional premium… so go and sue my fren… well sue me as well when u r at that…
    Anyway I am not here to make any damages to Kid Chan but I am just telling based on my experience… goodness… if u guys cannot accept that, then so be it! I am just telling the truth!!! I cant tell the truth is it? I dont have class and tact, I am just a straight forward person… so how???? Maybe before I send my comment, I let u guys screen thru first and tell me whether I have done it with tact and class or not??? *lol*
    Tony2u, u sound so funny… would like to hear u said that out loud in person hahaha… sound like a man without his equipment haha!
    Kenny, my suggestion, maybe u shld put a note to all ur readers that comments have to be tactful and with class before they can poke you… *LOL*
    Spartans, Get Ready! Its War Time!!! For GLORY!!!

  38. A man without equipment? Aiya, I left all the bulldozers and tractors at the worksite, so yeah, those equipment arent wth me. Well at least I can go get them. Doubt you can get any of that class and tact that Aunty LingLing was talking about though.

  39. Been reading your blog ever since I moved to KL 7 months ago and have enjoyed every entry to date. The only down side is some of the annoying/rude/intrusive and dumb comments, but then again they can be amusing at times too haha.
    Oh and the reason I chose to comment on this particular post is that I see a familiar name. I work at the Australian High Commission and the name of one of our Honorary Consuls came up in this post ;)!

  40. kid chan took my cousins wedding picture u see the pic where u have all the wedding pics… the 1 at the bottom right corner is my cousin…lolzz

  41. Kid chan is not that good as what the media described. This guy is thick skin type! In fact, many of ppl dislike him because he is so irriting. Nah! I dont think he worth that price at all….

  42. No, Kenny. Don’t listen to Joey!!!! Canine teeth so buay-tahan to look at meh? Once you pull it out, you’ll look as “normal” (boring) as the other guys.
    By the way, nice breath matters more to girls (at least for me) than nice teeth because in the dark, you can’t see the teeth but you can smell the bau mulut ala-ala bangkai tikus! Wahahaha.
    Good interview. No irrelevant questions.

  43. Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs Ive come across in some time! Its just incredible just how much you are able to take away from something just because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put together an excellent weblog space –great graphics, videos, layout. This is undoubtedly a must-see weblog!

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