Tiara Residences, Selayang

One of the most challenging projects to date, to photograph a luxury hope that is so new that the area is still unoccupied. That’s not the challenging aspect though, the challenging part is that the space is totally unfurnished so I had to make it look great as it is.

As if that wasn’t difficult enough, only a portion of the unit comes with lights and that means I had to bring some of my own!

This is why I always make a preliminary trip, a recce trip. Recce means reconnaissance and the trip is indeed a reconnaissance.

Why do I practice reconnaissance?

First is to know the location, it would look silly if I told a client I will be there at 10AM and I got lost somehow. I also always made sure I start my journey early, just being on-time is never good. 

Secondly is a recce visit as such allows me to familiarize with what’s around, kind of like perusing your exam paper before starting but the only difference is that I’m coming back some other day and had more time to prepare!

Tiara Residences is located in Selayang, the units are as what you see in the photo below where – a multi-storey terrace unit that resides on the hillside overlooking the city. 

All the units come with a private swimming pool, which unfortunately isn’t all that private if the unit is at an intermediate lot. 

As you can see, armed with a 70-200 lens I was able to zoom in and have a clear view of the pool. Fancy skinny dipping or have exotic choice of swimwear? Your neighbor could be enjoying the video. 

Anyway let’s move on as I have quite a lot of photos to share on how spacious is the unit and definitely a lot of space that I could use if I were to stay there. 


We’ll be skipping the kitchen area entirely, it’s on the right side (brown wall) of the photo on the left. 

The photo on the right is the first balcony in this spacious abode. 

The photo below won a Merit Prize and an Award of Excellence in The Master Photographers Association UK’s Master Photography Awards 2013 under Architectural category. 

Things get a little difficult from here as this is a 4.5 storey unit where the floor we entered is technically 3rd floor. 

1st floor is where the pool is, 2nd floor is where the rest of the halls and room are and then 4th floor is the master bedroom with a loft at the top which is that 0.5. 

See that photo on the left? It looks VERY similar to the earlier photo but this time it’s a lot more spacious.

I can’t stress enough how I love to play with lines and with my experience in photography I know how to make your space look narrow or wide. I love making spaces wide but some clients prefer their space look closer and more “busy” – regardless, you request and I will do what I can do deliver. 

By default my brain is set to make space look big.


Having no furniture and fittings meant I had to count on weather’s mercy, I was blessed with good sunshine and no haze that day and that helps a lot as the natural light brings out the beauty of the place. 

Without furniture as distraction I was able to use all the lines to compose, to not only give it space but also provide a sense of separation of areas.

Take the photo on the right for example, you see that on the right portion is the balcony and on the left is an open space that’s suitable for a living room. 

On the photo at the bottom right I show the balcony and also another view through the smaller glass. 

As a photographer it is our role to make things attractive, in this case I did what I can to make the emptiness look spacious and desirable. 

With the 2nd floor done, let’s head over to the 1st floor which is my favorite part of the house. I’ll tell you more on how I photograph the photo below

The stairs lead to the pool area of which a turn to the left and you’ll see a wide open space that’s great for outdoor fun, except the fun ends when your kid’s beach ball goes beyond the area and you’ll have to take a long trip down just to rescue. 

I did manage to get a dip into this nice pool, though I have no idea how clean it is!

Yes, that’s the risk I took and I not just wet myself but I had to wet my tripod and also put my camera system at risk. 

This is NOT the only project that I went into the middle of the water to photograph. This is my commitment and the risk I take just to get the shots. 

Another reason why I enjoy these set of photos is the balance of colors where there’s the warm and welcoming colors of the brown floor, then there’s the cooling blue of the sky and the pool and then there’s the white from the building for the neutral yet pleasing appearance. 

With this section done let’s head over to the 4th floor

This is the stairway going from 3rd floor to 4th floor and I really love the lines I see here which is an absolute bliss to photograph!

The lines from the steps and the rails, and then the openings from the walls and the ceiling, all of them add so much to the composition. 

And when there’s an open roof and good sunlight I will make do what I can to actually WAIT and hopefully the ray of light falls at the right place and I get the photo I wanted. 

You can check out my other projects like D’Island Residence and a few others, it’s kind of like my signature composition. 

If the day was gloomy I wouldn’t have this much of contrast between the areas. 

The Master bedroom at the 4th floor is of a duplex design with huge windows to absorb the glorious sunshine, this means it can get really warm as well. 

The spiral staircase (far right) leads one to the upper loft, again no furniture around so it’s up to your imagination what you can convert the space into – just don’t drop anything!

It’s not a huge space but it’s one with a view, certainly to have a work space up there. 

Once again I’m happy for the many lines that allows the composition, showing both the space and the spectacular view from the upper most floor. 

I’m sure you want more view from this place right? You’ll see it at the end of this page.


The space for the open-air bathroom is larger than my office

You might have noticed by now that I often kept the reflective surfaces even though I can possibly remove or reduce them with a circular polarizer filter, the reason in keeping those surface is so that I show the place as it is. The key is to keep the visualization as close as I can to what the designers have in mind, after all there’s a reason why they choose the materials that are there.


As with many of my photoshoots, I will visit the site more than once. 

The photos I’ve shown here are taken during the day time and they look the best, I have some photos that I took when it gets darker but repeating the stack of images would but time consuming to both me and you and it will also make this page load a lot longer. 

Nevertheless I shall end this lengthy piece here with the view I took from the top most point of this beautiful house, and on the right is my favorite photo where I yet again took to the waters and held the camera beyond the pool (one drop and it’s bye bye!) just to capture this image. Fortunately there’s a flip screen so I was able to handheld and nailed the shot!

That’s all for this one, thanks for viewing. If you know anyone looking for a photographer, let them know about me.