Boon Ong’s Business Model
Brianna and Ewan Phelan keep pushing photographers past their limits,
as this month’s domorewearless.com winner shows us.
INTERVIEW BY JACQUELINE TOBIN
Rangefinder: How did you get
Boon Ong: I first started shooting
figurative art in 2013, mainly as personal work
and using various technical experimentation.
Born and raised in Malaysia from a conservative
Asian family, it was the sense of rebellion and
contradiction to my upbringing that kept me
exploring this genre more and more.
In 2014, I came across a presentation
from boudoir masters Ewan and Brianna
Phelan at a conference. Their work has
brought me a complete “a-ha” moment
and has been a major turning point in my
photography career. I started thinking of
how I could incorporate figurative art and
boudoir into my brand (which at the time
was mainly wedding and family portraits). It
took me a while to learn and come up with
a business model that worked for me while
maintaining a unique storytelling style.
In 2015, I started Figuratif by Boon
Ong, a separate line of business that
offers figurative art and intimate lifestyle
photography to clients of all age, gender,
body shape and sexuality.
Rf: Where are you based and how many
boudoir clients do you have?
BO: I’m based in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada,
but I do offer my services in other cities based
upon request. I photograph approximately 10
to 15 boudoir sessions a year.
ABOVE: The winning image of the Phelans’
boudoir challenge was actually shot in an
Airstream within a warehouse. “This was a
nighttime shoot,” Ong says, “but the yellow
light coming through the window from the
warehouse gave a warmer, brighter feel.”