Zhang Jingna - Aesthetic Manifestation

Friday, August 31, 2012

I did one of my longest interviews ever recently with Jeff at But it was thoroughly enjoyable and I answered some questions that I haven't been frequently asked.

Below is a snippet, you can also read the full 4-page article here.

Let's take a closer look at what Zhang Jingna is all about. Although most know her for her e-sports work, she is an award-winning photographer that has traveled the world for the better half of a decade, capturing breathtaking moments through the lens of her camera.

Jingna in Toronto, Canada

Jingna, it's wonderful to have you here with us today. If you'd be so kind as to inform us about your childhood and how it was growing up in Beijing with its unique culture, then later moving to Singapore.
Hi Jeff! Thank you for having me.

I was born in the suburbs of Beijing and grew up at the Beijing Shooting Range under my mother’s care. Around 4 or so I moved into the city with my father so I could learn piano. Then I went to an arts elective school instead of a regular pre-school where I learnt drawing and dance.

I think there’s a lot of stereotyping about Chinese kids being forced to pick up all these things but I had always been interested in art and music I guess, so it was a lot of fun for me and definitely made an impact upon my interests in later years.

When it comes to working with brand names and more known celebrities, you're a veteran. Your portfolio shows beautiful work with Mercedes-Benz, Canon and even Rain, one of Korea's more loved figures in music. Is it somewhat surreal to be approached by such companies, or are you the type that looks at everyone equally?
I tend to think everyone I get to work with is special, be it an unknown model or a celebrity. Because if I don’t feel excited about working with the subject, then the work itself will probably fall flat as well. But of course I won’t deny the bigger names definitely generate more interest in terms of commercial value for me, but for myself, at the end of the day, I try to do my best with every single shoot and make them all count.

Was there ever the thought of risking a stable income or career for the chance to become a successful photographer that came across your mind? It's been said as a stereotype that photography is one of the industries where you either go big or go home, and many individuals despite being drawn to the art choose to study a more reliable field and keep photography as a hobby, opposed to a career. What's your take on that, being a top tier professional that's surely seen the industry go both ways for people?
I’ve never really thought about it that way or worried about it. Sure I guess when I decided to quit school to do photography full time I did think about what I’d do if I failed and can’t support myself. But so long as you do something worth doing I think it’s better than living a safe path and regretting having never tried.

Full article here:


Darth Lolita said...

Hah, somehow you describing your work as being "beautiful, yet, sad" was perfect, perfect, perfect. I always feel that way about your photogrpahs--although there are of course some photographs where I feel a certain degree of strength (your very early Redemption photograph has always been one of my favorites because of that, but it's just my interpretation).

Great interview!

Kahying said...

"But so long as you do something worth doing I think it’s better than living a safe path and regretting having never tried."

" have to put media and achievements behind you, so as to not have it affect your upcoming performances"

inspiring. thanks for sharing!
"beautiful, yet sad" is definitely not easy to achieve especially while shooting commercially for brands and fashion, but you kinda did it for most shoots! im trying so hard to do that when it comes to fashion, and try not to be influenced by all the typical fashion works by most photographers. so good that you developed your very own style! keep up the good works!! :)

Liz said...

I really liked reading this interview. I've always admired your attitude of doing something regardless of whether it is a safe path or not. I envy your bravery. I am currently applying for medical school and I've been terrified/worried-sick. I know most people think about being a "doctor" as a safe path, but getting into a medical school is never guaranteed. Sometimes I wonder if I had chosen the right "path" and it is awful to think about what else I could do if I fail. However, your words give me some courage and it is a great comfort to me. So thanks.

milson smith said...

great post and and i love the post so much
푸켓 페리 피피섬