2012 Wrap-up

Yay I've finally got another year-end wrap-up!

Wow, I can't believe the last was 2009. Truthfully speaking, I wrote one for 2010, it was filled with awesomeness (including my lifetime's only fangirl moment when taken by surprise meeting Hagio Moto)—...actually, I just discovered that that post has been sitting in my drafts, with pictures and all, figured I might as well post it: 2010.

And here be the highlights of my 2012: 


- Shot for Clé de Peau Beauté's 30th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition
- Interviewed by National Archives of Singapore (I pray if anyone uses it for anything in the future I'd be forgiven for my atrocious Chinese)
- Zink editorial "It Blooms In The Night" published
- Wedding & Travel #22 out on stands! We shot the cover story in Fregate Island, Seychelles, I had my own villa with infinity pool and all that stuff! (This would've been in my 2011 post, but it doesn't exist so allow me to wax-lyrical a little)
- Featured on Expert Photography -- Top 20 Young Photographers 2012, though I definitely don't feel so young anymore

My photograph for Clé de Peau Beauté
Zink: It Blooms in the Night


- Yoshitaka Amano-inspired self portraits
- Held my first workshop (sold out in 24 hours! :D)
- Fashion and beauty editorials in Elle Singapore! (Hit the Road, Touch-me Tresses)
- Elle Awards feature in Elle Singapore! (For winning Photographer of the Year in Nov 2011)

My Amano-esque self portrait series! I was so beatific when I saw those photos on my computer screen~
Demo during my first workshop!
A photo of the trophy plaque's prettier than an article right? Pretty ♥


- Editorial marathon in Vietnam with Phuong My -- we produced AND shot 6 stories in 7 days, including: 
- My first Harper's Bazaar cover shoot featuring Vietnamese actress Ngo Thanh Van and—
- A shoot in Cambodia! Visited Angkor Wat, it was awesome.
- Came across one of my photos of Rain for Anchor Beer in Cambodia on a billboard! Kickass feeling.
- Photos of Michelle Phan!

Michelle! Our shoot was done end Dec but then I never had my 2011 post so ._.
Angkor Wat! It was so grand.


- Represented in US by Kramer+Kramer in New York
- Saw L'arc~en~Ciel in Singapore, I even met my own fans (And now that I've seen Luna Sea, X Japan, Laruku, and Dir en grey, I think I'm just missing Gackt and my Live experience would be complete haha)
- Showed in Clé de Peau Beauté's "L'Art de La Radiance" Exhibition in Hong Kong

On the left is cover of the limited edition book commemorating Clé de Peau's exhibition. A very stunning volume I'm proud to be a part of.


- 10 years on deviantART! Check out my post on the journey.
- Featured in Her World Singapore -- "25 Scene Shakers Under 25"

Holy shit 10 years on dA. Where has my youth gone to?!


- Shot chef Janice Wong for DBS Bank in Singapore
- Visited deviantART HQ with my team Infinity Seven! Fun times.

The ads ran on all sorts of medias including TV! Was also cool to receive my bank letters with my work featured on its flyers.


- Filming for Asia's Next Top Model
- My first Harper's Bazaar cover published! For Harper's Bazaar Vietnam's 1st anniversary issue
- Featured in FHM Singapore -- "Girls on Games"
- Showed in Harper's Bazaar exhibition "Fashion in Focus" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Interviewed by Singaporean art blog The Art Train

My Harper's Bazaar Vietnam cover story!
Story cover
Issue cover
Harper's Bazaar exhibition "Fashion in Focus" in Kuala Lumpur

FHM Singapore

Interviewed by The Art Train


- SingaporeBrides editorial "Song to the Siren"
- Visited Stockholm, WCS Sweden
- One of my longest interviews, for Cadred.org -- "Zhang Jingna: Aesthetic Manifestation"

SingaporeBrides editorial, love how I always get to experiment and direct these shoots


- Busy putting my paperworks together for O-1 visa application~


- Started psychotherapy
- 7 Honorable Mentions in International Photography Awards for Fine Arts: Portraits, Fine Arts: Nudes, and Advertising: Fashion
- The beginning of a series of vacations starting with Lijiang and Shangri-la :D

Bluemoon Valley in Lijiang
Ahaha sheep in Shangri-la across from Banyan Tree. I chased them all away taking photos XDDD


- Got out of depression!
- Hokkaido (Hell Valley!) and Osaka for the first time
- Met up with Sugizo in Osaka!
- Judge on The Big Shot Season 3
- Still working on my visa

Hell Valley in Hokkaido, so badass!
Got to drop by Luna Sea's gig at Zepp in Osaka and hang out with Sugizo a little, new shoot hopefully in 2013!


- Fujiwara Kaoru-inspired shoot
- One of my favourite stories, for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Nu Renaissance Aristocracy, published
- Visited Versailles, Louvre, Venice and Rome for the first time! More things off my bucket list yay
- O-1 visa for the US approved! Woot.
- Asia's Next Top Model episode aired! Winning shot will be used as ad for TRESemmé
- Moved to New York

Nu Renaissance Aristocracy for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, super love this story! Linh does hair magic.
Europe! I took so many photos yet in the end it was still easiest to just use those from my iPhone OTL
Aired Dec 30th, the beauty episode of Asia's Next Top Model where I was the photographer :D Photo of the week winner was Sofia Wakabayashi, my fav from the shoot ♥

And and! Last but not least, quick overview of my hair this year in chronological order:

Some of you might remember, my hair was this long before, it was quite a change for me.

I cut it off on new year's eve of 2012, a new start and all that, right? Then I got to play around with the colours all year. Awesome. And so many many thanks to Delos and Yvonne at Sabun Cabane for taking such good care of my hair! I'm gonna miss you ladies. ♥ 

I want to make another post with some inspirational reads from this year at a later time, I'll end this post here. Also feel free to check out my Inspirational Reads 2012 post here for what inspires me: http://www.zhangjingna.com/blog/2013/01/inspirational-reads-2012.html

In closing I'd like to once again thank everyone for cheering and supporting me this year and, I'm so grateful to still be here.

I'm super excited to start 2013, shoots and personal projects and all.

I wish everyone's new year will be something amazing, let's work hard for our dreams together.

Bintan Lagoon Resort

Sorry I haven't been around for a while, I'll explain what's been going on in another blog post at a later time. Meanwhile, my postcard book giveaway winners have been announced! Congratulations to the winners and thank you everyone for taking part. ♥

As for this post, last weekend I was invited to an overnight media trip in celebration of the launch of Bintan Lagoon Resort's very own ferry terminal. I'm glad for the time off and the opportunity for a weekend getaway. Thank you Yiling for the invite!

From Singapore it takes just 75 minutes to reach Bintan Lagoon Resort's shores. With dedicated immigration counters at its ferry terminal, the arrival is extremely convenient and I barely felt any of the usual hassles of traveling to another country.
Time saved is time earned, the ease of not having to go through more travels after immigration is a big plus in my books. ♥

Besides the obvious swimming, dining, massage and spa, there's a plethora of beach and land activities including more than 30 water sports like snorkeling and jet skiing, and land activities like archery, laser quest and all-terrain vehicles to choose from.

I was very tempted to try archery but my super weak arms will probably not survive at all.

We got a guided tour around the vicinity after arrival, here are some pretty pictures courtesy of Mozaic Hotels & Resorts and Touch Communications. (Only the sky lantern photos are mine)

Deluxe Sea-facing Room

We stayed at the Deluxe Sea-facing room, there is a balcony attached to every room which I thought was a lovely nice touch.

The rooms also come with big, spacious bathtubs which I love, but unfortunately forgot to get a picture of and they didn't provide any. To be honest one of my favorite things about hotel stays are the baths because I never find anytime for them at home somehow.

Floral Suite Bedroom

The Floral Suite is especially pretty with its four-poster bed and a jacuzzi spa bath overlooking a private sun deck. I wish we got to stay in there instead. ._.

Angsoka Villa

For larger groups there are villas available, the interior decors seemed to be freshly furnished.

Verandah Poolside Dinner

The usual events dinner setup is at the Verandah poolside -- our welcoming dinner was on the golf course though, the food was really good, grilled prawns and lamb were especially yummy. 

The resort has two stunning championship golf courses designed by famed golfers Jack Nicklaus and Ian Baker-Finch! Really gorgeous view too.

Golf Course designed by Ian Baker-Finch
Golf Course designed by Jack Nicklaus

Nighttime we got to release sky lanterns at the beach!!! My first time! I was so excited, I've never gotten a chance to do it before ever. T_T

The sky was really pretty when they were more lanterns, but I didn't get any photos of that because I started getting distracted trying to release my own. :D

The next day we had breakfast buffet at Kopi-O. Then was presented with a bunch of things we could do after in the morning.

I kind of wanted to go snorkeling but my dear friend Joyce has a phobia towards fish so we skipped it. T_T In the end we decided to just chill and got a beachside massage instead which was awesome too.

Beach Massage

Can't complain about massages ever. :D

Lunch was at Rice, a bar/restaurant right next to the beach with a view of the sea, it might actually be one of my favorite place at the resort. We had more time after lunch before our late checkout, but we just lazed around because, well, food coma.

Bintan Lagoon Resort - Hotel Facade

Last but not least, I'd like to mention that the resort staff were extremely friendly and it made the stay superbly pleasant. Wrapping up I just want to say once again, thank you so much to Touch Communications for extending the invite and Bintan Lagoon Resort for the stay.

Bintan Lagoon Resort
Jalan Indera Segara Site A12, Lagoi, Riau, Indonesia 29155

Rooms start at S$140++ and ferry services from S$62
Room booking: www.mozaichotels.com/bintanlagoon
Ferry booking: www.journeyful.com/#/Find/Ferry

Postcard Book Giveaway~!

A while ago I made my photobook Something Beautiful available for sale again. Amongst the feedback were some requests for my postcard collection as well.

Unfortunately I don't have the manpower to handle so much shipping and handling while working on my own, but I do have a few copies of it with me which I'd love to share with you.

Feel free to enter the giveaway if you don't have a copy yet, thank you so very much for the support everyone. ♥

PS: Please don't cheat, I'll find out and all your entries will be disqualified. ^^

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Harper's Bazaar Vietnam Cover, Jul 2012


Harper's Bazaar Vietnam, July 2012

Photography: Zhang Jingna

Styling: Phuong My
Hair: Cường Hoàn Lệ
Makeup: Valerie Vonprisk
Model: Ngo Thanh Van 

My first Harper's Bazaar cover! For Harper's Bazaar Vietnam anniversary issue. Featuring Vietnamese actress Ngo Thanh Van.

She's sooo pretty. Will get the story+behind the scenes photos up later. Thank you for slaving days and nights with me on this Phuong My. ♥

Cadred.org: Zhang Jingna - Aesthetic Manifestation

I did one of my longest interviews ever recently with Jeff at Cadred.org. 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: http://www.cadred.org/News/Article/182886/

The Problem With Doing Editorials

I'm not sure if anyone else gets this too, but these days I find myself really reluctant in posting editorial works I've done.

Unless it's within a month's time of when something was shot and still fresh, by the time 3 or more months of waiting has passed before it gets published, I'd have lost all interest and just no longer feel like posting the images anymore because they feel "old". (And this wait is usually inevitable because it is the norm to shoot at least 2-3 months ahead of publication dates.)

And because lately I've been making fashion tests my personal work, they end up being editorial submissions more often than not and get put on hold for releasing as well.

So in the end I don't really find myself having anything to post at all, because I've came into such a habit of not really enjoying posting something that no longer feels new and exciting to me. And it's really an issue because it just makes it seem like I'm not shooting at all? Not true!

I guess it applies to other commissioned work too, does anyone else have the problem? How do you overcome it?

(Also I don't want to sound ungrateful but my Instagram photos having twice the number of Likes compared to my photography work, and it kind of puts a dent in my self-esteem for my pictures sometimes cuz it's like, I'll think, oh no, maybe I'm just doing really bad/mediocre work and my fans don't like them at all. T_T Ahhhh.)