Interview with Larry Koh (@lkzx)

Jeremy Cherng on 29 November, 2018

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Hi! Could you first give a brief introduction of yourself?

Hello! I am Larry! My Instagram handle is @lkzx. I think you can already guess from the sound of my handle that it is actually the initials of my full name - Larry Koh Zhen Xing. I had a tough time coming up with an Instagram handle and ended up using my initials instead.

Interesting! Tell us more about yourself!

I know I may not look like one but I actually hold a full-time 9-6 job. I think many people have the misconception that Instagram is my full-time job, it isn’t! I actually work in a bank and it's my main source of revenue. Besides working at a bank, I am also doing part-time photography at a firm that was founded by my friends.

Tell us more about how you got into photography!

That was way back in 2015! I was really intrigued and interested in how people were able to capture such beautiful photos for their Instagram. So I went to about searching for answers and I realised they all take their photos with a professional camera. Guess what? I decided to get myself one too just to see if it was any different from using a phone camera. I was amazed when I saw the kind of quality photographs I can produce on a professional camera. Don’t get me wrong, phone cameras these days are wonderful too but professional DSLRs really opened my eyes and showed me how much more I can achieve in photography. The pursuit of capturing the most beautiful moments in a photograph was what got me really passionate about photography. I began going for classes and reading a lot online in order to improve myself in photography. I guess the saying ‘if you love something enough, you will learn it yourself’ is true. Thankfully enough, I had the kind guidance of some of my friends like @bobbykiranyeo who really helped me in my photography journey.

Wow! Your passion for photography is really inspiring! How did your photography career begin then?

Coincidentally, my friends actually started their own photography firm and I began to work freelance for them. I do family and events shoots. All of these really play a part in sharpening my photography skills.

Besides photography, tell us some interesting facts about yourself!

Don’t be too shocked by this but I actually have an identical twin brother. He’s only 10 minutes older than me! His name is Barry. Barry and Larry. Amazingly, we are both in the banking industry AND we both work in a Swiss bank. Oh! One more interesting fact about me is I have an obsession for cleanliness. If there is a stain on my white shirt, believe me, I will be annoyed by it the entire day.

That’s indeed very interesting! How about telling us more about how you got into Instagram or social media?

I think social media has come a long way! Back in the days, there was Friendster then came Facebook and now we have Instagram. Personally, I think what sets Instagram apart for me was that I saw the potential in it to do more than just post photos. I felt that we could use it to spread awareness and impact the people around us! That was what really made me serious about Instagram. Of course, my love for photography plays a huge role in this too.

Indeed, Instagram can definitely impact the people around us! I see that your feed is really lifestyle-centric, encompassing everything from food to fashion, etc. Tell us more about your feed!

My feed has evolved and diversified over time. I love food and because I am a foodie, I used to focus on food and only shoot photographs of food. It was really fun and enriching but I soon realised that focusing on food really restricted my experience and opportunities to shoot in other areas. That was when I decided to diversify and shoot more human beings, etc.

You have a lot of collaborations with brands. What are your experiences and thoughts while working with brands?

Personally, I am someone who values honesty. Honesty is really important especially when you are a social media personality and people follow you. I cannot emphasise how important credibility is in this industry. That’s why whenever I work with brands, I will always tell them that if you want a review from me, I will be very honest.

Do you think your honesty is what attracts followers?

To be really honest (get it?), I don’t actually know why my followers follow me. But I think honesty shows and people just naturally gravitate to credible people. Besides that, I think quality content plays a big part in attracting followers too!

When did you realise your following was growing rapidly?

I’m not really focused on the number of followings I have but it first started growing rapidly in the first quarter of 2016.

What keeps you going on Instagram?

The real reason I am really doing this Instagram thing is that I have a passion for creating content. A lot of people think creating content is easy but they have no idea how much effort and time we put into consistently producing high-quality content. Another thing is I enjoy meeting new people through Instagram!

Do you have any tips for people who want to grow a following on Instagram?

I don’t consider myself an expert in this area or on Instagram but in my humble opinion, consistency is key, not just in terms of creating content on a regular basis but also in terms of maintaining high standards for your content. There really isn’t any easy way around it, it’s pure hard work.

Do you have any tips on how to produce Instaworthy photos? Especially since you’re so into photography, I am sure you have some great tips to share!

I think first and foremost, lighting is very important. Lighting can make or break a photo. That being said, it really isn’t that difficult to spot good lighting. We all have access to good lighting and that’s the sunlight. Sunlight is perfect. This problem only really presents itself when you are doing a night shoot. My second tip is to learn to edit your photos! It can make a huge difference. I use to use VSCO but I realised it really decreases the quality of the photo. These days, I do my editing on Lightroom and Photoshop. Here’s another cool tip! You can link your mobile Lightroom to your computer. It makes things so much easier!

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of social media?

I think one of the biggest challenges I face is finding genuine people. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find genuine people with the rise of people buying followers, etc. Who then are credible online? Who can we believe in?

How do you respond to haters then?

I used to be very bothered by their comments and hate towards me. But now that I look back, I realised all of these will pass and at the end of the day, we should not let all these negativities consume us.

How did you find out about Partipost?

It was through a friend of mine! We met up to catch up and he just introduced the app to me.

What made you want to try Partiposting or got you started on Partipost?

To be really frank, I had my doubts when I first downloaded Partipost. I wondered if the app was legitimate and if people really got paid for participating in the campaigns. At that point in time, it was an unfamiliar concept for me and I thought it was dodgy. That was what really made me want to try the app. I took part in a campaign just to see if Partipost really delivers on their promise of paying users for their participation in campaigns. I was pleasantly surprised when I was paid as per stated in the campaign brief and have been Partiposting ever since!

Which Partipost campaign left the biggest impression on you?

Definitely the Uppercut Boxing one! You can’t really tell but I haven’t been exercising regularly and making a conscious effort to keep fit. I was thoroughly exhausted after the boxing class at Uppercut Boxing. Surprisingly, instead of hating it, I actually enjoyed it even though I really felt like dying from the workout, I even went back on my own after the campaign and might continue to work out there. That experience really reminded me of how much I have neglected exercising. I now make a much more conscious effort to maintain a certain level of fitness! Kudos to Partipost for having fitness related campaigns!

Who do you really look up to as a social media personality?

@taramilktea! Her feed is amazing! You can really tell the amount of effort and time she puts into creating and curating her content. Truly an inspiration for me!

What are some brands you would like to see Partipost collaborate with in the near future!

I would love to see more travel related campaign! Fun fact! The tourism of Hokkaido actually sponsored a trip for me to travel around Hokkaido in January. It was AMAZING! I went to an Ice Village at Tomamu and I was blown away by the beauty of it all. It’s my dream to hold my wedding at the Ice Church there!

What is your impression or thoughts of the term ‘influencers’?

My view of the term influencer is similar to what @Snnngorious said in her interview with you. I think anyone can be an ‘infleuncer’ and has the power to influence the people around them. You don’t even have to be on social media. For example, I can influence you by word of mouth now to go try out this chicken rice place nearby. That in itself makes me an influencer too. All in all, I think the term ‘influencer’ is a very broad term that does not just strictly apply to users of social media.

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