How I Work: Tuan Zaharan Rahim

How I Work is a new series where we ask a diverse variety of individuals about the tech choices shaping how they get their work done.

Meet Tuan Zaharan Rahim. He is a designer, photographer, and creative strategist who works with us as the Head of Production for Roar Studios.

Tuan started out as a Production Assistant at Sirasa TV, where he worked on the production of some of Sri Lanka’s earliest reality TV shows, such as Sirasa Superstar (Season 2) and Sirasa Kumariya (Season 1).

He briefly worked as a medical transcriber at a BPO firm named Auxicogent, and then had a stint at the HSBC Global Resource Centre. It is at HSBC that Tuan discovered his flair for creative concepts, and ended up working with the Corporate Communications team to execute internal branding campaigns, videos, etc.

Post-HSBC, Tuan worked in event management after which he decided to become a full-time freelancer. For the next five years, Tuan’s freelance career saw him engage in food photography, and video production. Freelancing also gave Tuan the opportunity to work with various production houses, such as PictureHouse Productions and History.

One day, Tuan walked into Roar to pitch for freelance work, but we were so impressed with his skills that we hired him, full-time.

Name: Tuan Zaharan Rahim
Location: Colombo, LK
One word that describes how you work: Collaborative
Current Mobile Device: iPhone 7S+ 128GB
Current primary computer: MacBook Pro 15’ (2015)

What’s a regular workday like?

I wake up at 8–8:30 a.m., and as soon as I get to work, the first thing I do is write down my to-do list for the day. As Head of Production, I oversee all the video editors at Roar Studios, so I spend a lot of time assigning work and monitoring the quality of the work that is put out. Depending on our schedule, I have to dedicate some time to planning shoots, directing and also brainstorming ideas for clients.

Once I clock out for the day, I do a little bit of consulting work for new, upcoming cafes in and around Colombo. I think of myself as a foodie, so this is something I really enjoy. I help budding cafe owners to plan their menu and operations.

Once home, I like to unwind by watching documentaries. Subjects such as aliens and pyramids tend to captivate me. Not sure if I can call myself a night owl, but I usually end up going to bed at around 2 or 3 a.m..

What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without? And why?

That would be my camera (Sony A7-3), Macbook, Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Lightroom. I can’t do my job without them.

That said, in my line of work, accessories play a crucial part. I use a 24-70mm lens on my Sony A7-3, and do make use of a tripod and reflector. I’ve also got a DJI Spark, which helps me take aerial shots. And if I’m shooting video, my GoPro Hero 7 Black and the Boya Clip-On mic are absolute lifesavers.

Tuan’s Toolkit

If you could only pick one piece of technology that would help you do your job, what would be it? And why?

iPhone, hands down. I can do so much on it, from taking photos to carrying out quick video edits.

As a creator, what are your biggest tech hacks/shortcuts?

As a photographer, I find it quite liberating to use apps such as Snapseed and VSCO to edit photos. They spare me the hassle of firing up my MacBook.

I also use Duet, an app which allows me to extend my MacBook’s display onto my iPad. This allows me to basically have a dual monitor setup anywhere I go, which means I can even edit videos while sitting in a coffee shop.

What’s your workspace setup like?

At work, I’ve got my Macbook plugged into an Acer 24-inch monitor. I’ve also plugged in an external mouse, keyboard, and hard disk. All my other equipment lies within arm’s reach.

Favourite places to shop for gadgets/stuff?

I buy my gadgets from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. CameraLK is where I go if I want to buy anything locally.

Any side projects going on at the moment?

Well… I’m trying to curate my Instagram account, which is focused on travel. Like I said earlier, I’m also taking on new consulting assignments for upcoming restaurants and cafes.

What’s in your bag at all times?

My phone charger and power bank. They’re absolutely indispensable.

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