Today is 31st December 2022, we are now into the last day of this year 2022, soon we will say Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023! Taking this time reflecting year 2022 (photography and travel) – Year 2022 in review. A regular feature on my portal/blog, you can find my other Years in Review here on my TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog.

Photography by Isaac Ong

A Recap – Yearly Theme 2022: Onward

My Yearly Theme for 2022 was “Onward”, moving into 2022 from 2021, I felt that this was most suitable at the point in time as the world was edging closer towards reopening of the economy and lifting of risk management measures for the global pandemic COVID-19 that impacted us so much from 2020 to around mid 2022.

Photography / Visual Storytelling

Business/Commercial Photography

This sector has small improvements, however there is a lot of room for growth and improvement especially in a rebuilding phase as we emerge from a post global pandemic period. Through my networking this year, some project ideas came up, some discussions are ongoing, keeping my fingers crossed that they can take off in 2023.

Training and Consultancy 

I mentioned about these two areas previously. They came about from my diversification of my photography and content creation suite of services. These two segments are more private and confidential versus some of the other points that I wrote down here.

The potential for growth and expansion is there for these two areas, going to build on them in Year 2023.

6 years in the business (2017-2022) | Renewed another 3 years 

Before the end of the Year 2022, I was sent a reminder email that I need to renew my sole proprietorship business registration for 2023 onwards. In the blink of an eye, I went through 6 years in the photography business from 2017 to 2022, and during this tenure, around 2.5 years of my time was caught totally off guard and thrown off my tracks when the global pandemic hit in 2020 to mid 2022. 

Running a small business is never easy, it’s already that tough and difficult. This global pandemic situation was a real setback, the life and business lessons were huge for the past 2.5 years. The next few years are not going to be easy with a new set of dark clouds and challenges facing the world economy.

Dark Clouds/Challenges looming ahead in 2023

In this year 2022, just when the world is relieved and happy to be recovering, reopening and moving away from this global pandemic that turned the world upside down for the past 2.5 to 3 years, the world economy is facing a new of economic challenges (high inflation with a recession looming over us) and political instabilities in some parts of the world.

Personal Photography

Visual Storytelling/Creative side of things

I have been a visual storyteller since I started this TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog back in 2006. My visual storytelling has evolved over time, improvements, as well as changes in my writing styles and approaches with my photography. 

From publishing photo books and photography zines, journaling and simple designing through handy apps such as Canva, I have explored more on the creative side of things over the decade. In a world so much driven by social media, some of us are inclining to return back to basics, the craft, art and eye for photography and creative stuff, through hands on art and craft work or analogue/film photography.

Analogue / Film Photography

I recently inherited some old film cameras from a former commercial photographer in the film era,  his nephew is my fellow photographer friend Chester Tan, also a fellow technology writer and talented musician.

When I started off film photography more than 3.5 decades back, medium format (MF) film photography was out of my reach. Now I have an opportunity to enter into MF film photography, as well as a return to analogue/film photography.

On this story, I would share more updates in another article. 

Videography / Filmmaking 

I have been slowly building up this segment, as a complement to my photography, visual storytelling and content creation segments. I am looking to produce my own short works with help from other filmmakers/videographers in both personal and commercial projects. 

Some themes that I am looking at are cinematic travel vlogs, exploration and heritage projects. I didn’t manage to produce more as I would like to in Year 2022, I would be planning some projects  for Year 2023.

Of Photo books, visual storybooks and zines

Launch of 2nd photography zine – TGH Photography Therapy Zine and Playbook 

This took me a bit longer than I expected, I officially announced the launch of my 2nd photography zine in November 2022. On a personal basis, this was a publication that meant something deep and personal to me. It’s not perfect, it’s more of a personal achievement to overcome and get myself out of a dark period. 

If you would like to purchase it, my 2nd photography zine is available for purchase a physical and/or digital copy on MagCloud. 

TGH Photography Therapy Zine and Playbook

TGH Photography Zine Collection: TGH Photography Therapy Zine and Playbook

Find out more on MagCloud

What’s next in 2023?

After publishing my 2nd photography zine, I am planning to publish more in the year 2023, I would share more in details when I finalise my projects and approaches. Just a short teaser, I am exploring a new photo book (Theme: Old playgrounds or sunsets) or a travel visual storybook (Hokkaido travel adventures) or a new zine collection (B&W street photography)? Or a combination of all of them?  


International Travel

Although my huge massive travel wanderlust is urging me to get away from Singapore, to a nearby regional destination at the very least. I decided not to join the travel deprived crowds when many countries border restrictions were lifted along with lowering of risk management measures. 

Costs of traveling is one of the factors for consideration, getting my photography business, content creation and writing back on track were my key priorities in 2022, thus I pushed back traveling overseas in 2022, as much as I would love to.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I would be able to travel in Q2 2023.


Local Travel

Nobody really gives a look at local travel in Singapore (Do we even have a domestic tourism market? Some might ask). During the pandemic lockdown period, Singaporeans did manage to explore more of Singapore (in both good and bad ways), I am re-exploring Singapore again, nature, outdoors and old places. 


Something Personal

Recovery from an uneventful down time in 2021

A few uneventful events got me spiralling down into a rabbit hole in 2021, it took me a while to get myself out of that situation, allowing me to enter 2022 with a clean slate of mind, personal well-being and mental health. 

JOMO versus FOMO

JOMO = Joy of missing out, FOMO = Fear of missing out. The world of social media in recent times had been getting more messy and complicated, oversharing, excess showing off, all wanting fame, likes and first to post/share. 

There was a time when I was FOMO, however I got so delusional on some aspects of social media, even though I am still actively using social media platforms, just more selective. I am moving into JOMO mode.

Maybe JOMO would free me up from those shackles, allowing me to concentrate on honing my craft, creativity and writing even further and better, as a writer, a visual storyteller.  

There were still struggles

I am not going to paint a beautiful scenario or picture, like people posting on their FB or social media platforms, smiling, enjoying life and living a fun and exciting lifestyle.

There were still struggles over the whole year 2022, hidden away from social media. Not many people or nobody can really know what I am going through.

Year 2022 Theme: Onward vs Year 2022 in Reality 

Year 2022 in reality was definitely Onward for me, even though the economy wasn’t giving us a smooth and easy recovery, I have to ride out the usual ups and downs like the rest, even as the world economy is working towards reopening and returning back to a more normal living of pre-pandemic days.  

Last But Not Least

Reflecting Year 2022 in my photography and travel segments is just one half of my equation of my Year 2022 in Review. The other half of my equation of my Year 2022 in Review can be found here in this article: Reflecting Year 2022 (Technology | Business | Personal) on my TGH Technology and Business Portal/Blog.

I would like to say a big Thank You to the various camera, travel, tourism, food and hospitality brands/organisations and PR agency folks that I worked closely with in Year 2022, to my readers for their utmost support for this year.

Wishing you a Happy New Year 2023! Good luck and all the best in the new year ahead!

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