Singapore's Ubergrapher launches photo book
Mr Maverick Tsao is better known as the Ubergrapher. The Uber driver, who is in his 30s, photographs interesting passengers that he picks up.
He posts these pictures, along with witty anecdotes on the passengers, on his popular Instagram account, which amassed more than 5,700 followers in under six months.
Mr Tsao has launched a compilation of these photos along with those he snapped of places he saw as he drove around Singapore.
"Launching a photo book was something I never imagined I would do," he told The New Paper before the launch of his book, Beautiful People Of Singapore, at Uber's fourth anniversary party on Thursday.
He took up photography as a hobby when studying in National Junior College.
He revisited his old hobby when he became an Uber driver about a year ago and bought a Canon EOS-1D camera.
At first, he took pictures of the scenery. He soon realised that his passengers were more interesting subjects.
Mr Tsao, who holds a degree in computer engineering from the National University of Singapore, drives for Uber every day from around 5pm until the wee hours of the morning.
In the day, he works on a property listing app that has yet to be launched.
Mr Tsao asks only passengers whom he finds interesting if he can photograph them.
He told TNP: "I discuss photography with them, show them my Instagram account, then ask to take a picture of them, around 90 per cent of them agree."
For some fans, Mr Tsao's deadpan captions are what draws them to the account.
Miss Lydia Tan, 19, has been following the Ubergrapher on Instagram since January. She is also one of the riders featured in the photo book.
She was elated to win a free ride through a contest Mr Tsao frequently holds on Instagram, where followers guess the location a photograph was taken.
Mr Tsao said: "Winning a ride is like winning Toto to some of my followers."
Ironically, he is camera-shy and prefers not to be photographed, saying: "I want the focus to be on my passengers."
He had self-published the photo book, but he told TNP that along with buying 500 copies, Uber Singapore deployed its graphic designers and copywriters to help him.
Mr Tsao is looking for distributors for the photo book and autographed copies can be bought by e-mailing him - firstname.lastname@example.org - at $40 each.