Meet Mae Kolis, Sabah’s Photographer Jetsetter in UK


Meet Mae Kolis, a proud Sabahan based in United Kingdom. Mae discovered her passion for photography when she had her first baby 16 years ago but she only recently pursued it back in 2014. Prior to being a photographer, Mae was in the marketing and events industry. Now, besides photography, she co-owns a modelling and talent management agency called MV Management & MV Models based in Kota Kinabalu.

What kind of gear do you use?

Camera body –  Canon 6D Mark 2

Lens – 70-200, 24-70mm, 35mm, 50mm

Filters – Lightroom and Photoshop


SMB: Which is your favorite lens/model? Why?

MK: Canon 24-70mm f2.8L. It’s a good and versatile zoom lens. It performs extremely well throughout the range.

SMB: When you go on one of your travels, what are the gears you would take with you? Why?

MK: I would bring my 6D and my 24-70. I travel everywhere with it because you can’t go wrong with these, especially when shooting amazing sceneries.

SMB: How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

MK: Practice, practice, practice. That’s the only way I learn and improve my technique.

SMB: Among all categories (wedding/portrait/maternity), which one is your favorite? Why?

MK: I love doing weddings and boudoir. It’s a privilege, if not an honour to be a part of someone’s special day, not to mention being trusted to capture those special and intimate moments. As for Boudoir photography, most of my clients approach me to do boudoir shoots to celebrate something special and a significant point in their lives. For example: losing weight, turning 40s or 50s, and other reasons.

SMB: Whose work has influenced you most?

MK: Jana Williams And Christine Chang are amazing photographers from Los Angeles. I have attended their workshops last year in London.

SMB: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

MK: One thing I learned is that I don’t need a fancy and expensive cameras or gadgets.

SMB: Can you give us 5 tips to take the perfect shot?


  1. Lighting
  2. Angle
  3. Make sure your ISO is spot-on
  4. Make sure your subject is comfortable
  5. Have fun!


SMB: What Sabahan food do you miss the most while you’re away?

MK: The difficult part of the interview has begun!

  1. Ngiu Chap (Kah Hiong, Lintas)
  2. White Tom Yam (Tian Yuan, Taman Khidmat)

I just discovered a new Tom Yam place in Kepayan that serves Tom Yam with crab! This time, I’m going to miss this the most.

SMB: Where can you take the best photos and scenery in Sabah?

MK: Sunset shots are perfect anywhere in Sabah. And then there’s Mount Kinabalu. The best spot (in my opinion) to get the perfect shot of the mountain is from Mesilau.

SMB: Who do you hope to shoot next?

MK: Meghan Markle

SMB: Where is the best place to hangout in Sabah?

MK: Plaza 333 in Penampang. Lots of good cafes and restaurants; and of course entertainment outlets!

SMB: As a local, can you give us your ideal “4D3N Stay in Sabah?”

MK: Speaking as a local for both locals and tourists alike, Kundasang would be one of an ideal getaway. You can stay up in Mesilau with a view of the peak of Mount Kinabalu right at your doorstep! There are lots of other attractions to visit such as the Desa Cattle Farm, Sabah Tea, and experience other activities such as hiking and riding. The nice and cool weather is definitely a bonus.

For more information:

Facebook: mae kolis Photography

Instagram: mae kolis photography