Ming Nomchong is a Byron Bay-based fashion and lifestyle photographer who loves the energy of a beautiful place and knows how to capture it. Raised on the east coast of Australia with a camera in one hand and a surfboard in the other, Ming has built an international reputation with her authentic sun ’n’ salt fashion and lifestyle images.
With her rare combination of edge, adventure, and style, Ming is bringing something fresh to fashion photography. And clients as diverse as Billabong, Cotton On, and Bulleit count on Ming’s easygoing energy and knack for capturing those “in-between” moments to bring their brands to life.
It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I guess asking why hasn’t ever registered in my brain, it’s almost been a subconscious drive to pursue photography from when I was a kid.
What role does the photographer have in society?
The photographer is a part of shaping the way people see the world through the perspective of their images. It can sometimes be a really powerful influence.
What themes do you pursue?
I love colour. When I look at my portfolio it’s really evident that colour plays a massive part in the themes I choose to photograph, again sometimes without me even thinking about it prior to the shoot. I love to shoot people, especially women. I also love to shoot images in and around the water.
Who inspires your work?
I don’t feel that any one photographer has been inspirational to my work but I definitely have admired the following photographers work in the past and present; Helmut Newton, Lachlan Bailey, Emma Tempest, Jason Lee Parry, Will Davidson, Stefania Paparelli just to name a few!
What makes a memorable photograph?
It must have emotion. Without that, it’s just an image. If an image doesn’t make you feel something, good or bad, it hasn’t done its job.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
My work focuses a lot around the female form so I hope when people look at my work they see the beauty in that.
What motivates you to keep taking pictures?
I love creating beautiful images. Taking a concept or an idea and creating a visually stimulating image using not only a team of creative people but light, colour and composition is very rewarding for me.
What are some of your favourite books on photography?
I’ve just bought Slim Aarons “Women” book which I love because it’s so nostalgic and I’m obsessed with history and how things were when the world was slower.
When you shoot, how much in instinctual and how much is planned?
I like to be as planned as I can with my locations and my shots so that when I’m shooting I can have the freedom to play around when the unexpected comes up if you know what I mean. It’s so much easier to know what you’re going to shoot and where, if you’ve worked it out beforehand, which gives you more time to play around and get creative with your composition, angles and posing because you’ve done a lot of the work beforehand (working out locations, light etc).
Has social media played a role in your work?
Definitely. Without social media, I wouldn’t be able to work as much as I do and live where I do. It’s been an amazing free marketing tool and I got into it when social media was really taking off and rode the wave of Instagram while it was fresh. Which was an incredible experience work-wise.
What advice would you give yourself if you started in photography all over again?
Use the powers of social media to show your work to as many people as you can. Also find your style and cultivate it by shooting as much as possible.