Name of Recipient:
Mr. Bernard Teo
In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people. Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. Photography remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything. That said, photography is a captivating work of art. It’s a form of art which makes life seems more fascinating. Avenue 8 is a local company which deals with photography in the facets of both portraits and events. Avenue 8 is also adept in wedding photography; which captures the beautiful affection between couples.
Mr Bernard Teo was working as an operations manager in 2008 when his leader, Mr Goh saw the potential in Mr Teo and decided to bequeath Avenue 8 to him. “I have been working for my boss Mr Goh since 1999 and in 2005, when Avenue 8 was started, i was there too. There is an emotional connection with Avenue 8 therefore i m determined to carry on the legacy which Mr Goh had left.” Mr Teo contemplated upon the bygone days of his entrepreneurship. Mr Teo then interpreted on the how the name Avenue 8 was formed: “It was due to marketing reasons. As directories, company listings and indexes usually list companies in alphabetical order. This puts Avenue 8 at the very top tier.” Mr Teo adjourned, “In Chinese tradition, the number 8 signifies auspiciousness. However, our primary aim for choosing this name is not to reflect the name on a single person. We like to factor Avenue 8 as a whole. Most photography firms would name their company after a person, such as ‘Jason Photography.’ We do not want that.”
Over the years, Avenue 8 has honed multitudes of aspiring photographers to top notch, maestros in photography. All drilled under Mr Teo’s wings. As Mr Teo reflected: “The photography industry was an unique career in the early 2000s when we were still shooting in film. I decided to take on this path as i had a passion for photography. And what a better way to build a career around my passion.” Mr Teo then mused on: “Then in the early 2000s, i was still young and a had a boyish face. A lot of the elder adults attending the weddings i was shooting claimed that i knew nothing. Until a confusion occurred within family members then i stepped in to clear their doubts about some customers, traditions and rituals for the occasion then they saw that even though i was young, i had experience.”
In spite of Mr Teo’s proficiency, his experience is not polished overnight. “I didn’t have the opportunity to attend an art school to be formally trained by an institution. Every step was guided by my mentor Mr Goh. With many years of experimentation. I managed to understand how some things worked. It was a long process as in the yesteryears, we had to manually record the settings from the camera in order to know where our mistakes were, waited for a few days for the negatives to be processed and review our work.” Mr Teo pondered over the arduous journey he had walked in order to attain what he have today. However, with the advancement in technology, the learning process had been significantly shortened. As Mr Teo put into words: “This process now, because of digital technology, has been shorted by 1000%. The instant image that appears on the display of your camera gives you the advantage of correcting your mistakes almost instantly.”
To get over this hurdle, Mr Teo would work overtime every day in the dark room; diligently and perpetually experimenting with new techniques and procedures to help him realize the effect of each action he did. Mr Teo added on: “As i mentioned, in the yesteryears, photography training is a long process. Hard work and persistence were keys to overcoming those challenges.”
As Mr Teo aspires to proffer the ultimatum in photography, aiding customers to capture life’s best moments, Avenue 8 would relentlessly appoint photography enthusiasts to join their team. “Our business model is slightly different from most wedding photography businesses in Singapore. Most wedding photography set ups are 1 man operation. Avenue 8 is a company set up by photographers for photographers. We groom potential photography enthusiasts to create a career out of their passion for photography. We are one of a few companies who have 5 or more full-time wedding photographers under 1 roof. Our vision is to expand to a family of 20 full-time wedding photographers.” Mr Teo paused. “We also have a team of back end production staff to support our work load. Helping the photographers to relive themselves from the grind of the production end and let them concentrate on what they do best; helping you capture your life’s best moments!” Mr Teo exclaimed with delectation.
Avenue 8’s idiosyncratic operations shows that it is not a run-of-the-mill photography firm. It is the paramount to the industry. This certainly distinguished itself from its competitors. “Avenue 8’s aim is not only to produce quality products for our customers, but also quality photographers. Only when the photographers themselves are of a certain standard, the outcome of the products will naturally follow suit. There are a few photographers who are already running their own businesses who are once an Avenue 8 photographer. I am happy that they have made it out there themselves.” a beaming Mr Teo explicated. “This helps to encourage us that we are making a difference in people’s lives that come through Avenue 8.”
“Entrepreneurship is a big word. I prefer the term ‘Life Coach.’ Entrepreneurship is not all about business or making money, it’s about making a difference in a person’s life. Improving the quality of that person’s life and in return you will get results in the work that person produces.” Mr Teo, a discerning man made intelligible. “Helping them in times of need, guiding them on this journey called life. It’s easier said than done but its worth it.” Today, Mr Teo is enjoying the fruits of his labour; success. Mr Teo was only able to proliferate due to the people around him, as he expounded: “My parents are my source of motivation. They had ingrained values that can’t be learnt. My God also inspired me; who has placed me in the right place at the right time, if not i would not have met my Mentor. My Mentor who was strict and persistent to coach me despite i was a slow learner. Not forgetting My Pastor who made Words practical enough to help me lead the company.”
Mr Teo, a devoted Christian then construed: “In my entrepreneurship, i always put others before self in every decision i made. I also do believe in Servanthood leadership.” Servanthood depicts the state, condition or quality of one who lives as a servant. To put it another way, servanthood is the condition or state of being a servant to others, of ministry to others rather than the service of self without any obligations. Mr Teo then shared his beliefs on being a successful entrepreneur: “Listen and Doing. Listen to suggestions and Executing actions. Business owners usually have a plan that they want to do and often refusing to be open to other suggestions. After listening it will only work if some action is done.”
“If you want to start your own business, plan far, proceed with caution and prepare with expansion. You would see success one day.” Mr Teo concluded.
Currently, Avenue 8 takes in 2 trainees a year. As the numbers rack up, Avenue 8 shall comprise a strong team of 15 photographers, along with a 5 member production team. It shall also possess a team of sales personnels to ensure that patrons would have a wonderful experience at Avenue 8. Avenue 8 is currently working towards to own a property to house the whole Avenue 8 family.
These implementations shall define a more prolific outlook for Avenue 8 as it soars to newer heights.
61 Kampong Bahru Road
T| 6363 0088