10 Years Since

 Forgotten Fairytales by Jingna Zhang

10 years and some since I first posted this image. It's unbelievable how fast time passes by.

I remember being in art school at that time, I just got my first laptop and was shooting and editing all my images as JPGs, cuz I couldn't afford extra storage space (don't do that!! 🤣).

I remember trying to find wifi spots at school to check on dA, to make sure I submitted on a regular schedule (yes, even back then!) I met so many people and learned so much.

I don't think I ever imagined at that point that I would become a photographer. I was good at air rifle and I believe wholeheartedly that was what I was born to do. I felt that if I quit, I would be squandering my talents, years of hard work, and letting down all the people who invested time and energy in teaching me.

I had no reason to pursue anything else. I hadn't quite given up on my Olympic dream yet.

Well, turns out that quitting rifle was a good thing. Though painful, without it I wouldn't have come this way.

Sometimes I took other long detours on this journey too—like having a StarCraft 2 team, teaching; people in fashion didn't approve of at all. 😂

They turned out to be precious experiences beyond imagination. I met so many amazing people who taught me so much; so many who became good friends.

So what am I really saying?

Don't worry about your equipment, don't worry if you don't know what you want to do, don't worry if things don't seem like they'll ever get better, don't worry if there's pushback.

Forget toxic people. Become the best version of yourself.

Believe in what you love in your heart of hearts. Believe that you will become stronger. Believe that one day the harshest things will feel less harsh. Believe in yourself and never give up. Never give up. ✨

Well, I guess that would've been my encouragement letter to my teenage self, you do you. 😂

Keep fighting.


Patreon September Topics Preview ✨

Harpers-Bazaar-Vietnam---Natural-Flair-by-Jingna-Zhang5 Patreon Rewards Preview.jpg

As some of you know, I've been doing content over on Patreon for a while now. Since this blog's migration from blogger to my homepage, I've been meaning to keep up with updating a little more again. So from here on I will try to post a bit whenever I can, even if it's just letting you know what I'm up to over on Pateron. :D 

With Patreon, I do a monthly rewards pack. It's a bit like Kickstarter, except happening at an ongoing basis. Through the month I share tips, thoughts, and behind-the-scenes of what I'm working on. At the end of each month, I do more lengthy posts and videos with a rewards pack for all backers. 

For September, the rewards are below: 

+1 Prints store promo code

+ All Item above
+ 1 photo article/video: How to convey shoot concepts to your team
+ 1 retouching demo: Post-processing tips and tricks in Lightroom

+ All items above
+ 1 pro article: How I quote and what I charge for jobs
+ 1 session special: Open Q&A

+ All items above
+ 1 fancy mini print, your pick
*$35 tier will receive one print for every 2 months pledged. 

To check out past rewards archives, see here. To become a patron, check out my Patreon

As always, big thank you to my patrons for supporting and making these content possible! ❤️❤️❤️

Working with Limitations

Did you know that most of the Motherland Chronicles was shot in my apartment, including this piece?

Because of the fast turnaround needed and lack of budget while doing this series, I began building sets in my living room.

It turned out great not only for keeping expenses reasonable for personal work, but I also learned some valuable skills that I got to apply to my commercial and fashion work for later.

Limitations are great because they teach you how to maximize when there are no other choices.

Don't be afraid to try what you haven't done before. ❤️

Print available

Motherland Chronicles Postcard Sets

Recently I designed and produced two postcard sets for the Motherland Chronicles project with my friend Tobias Kwan

It started off as promo for our trips in Japan on business meetings. But seeing the good responses we received, I thought, if people liked it this much, wouldn't it be great to offer them to everyone waiting on the Motherland Chronicles artbook? 

So we made some tweaks, selected a fresh set of images, and made a postcard set each available for purchase.

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Articles Index

Over time I found I've started to accumulate a bunch of stuff. If you don't want to navigate the tags, here is a list you can use as an index to access most of my photography-related articles. Links include: 

  • Free tips, guides, and photography-related articles I've written on this blog.
  • In-depth education content I created elsewhere that pay my rent and lets me write more.
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New Blog!

Happy to have finally moved from Blogger to Squarespace! 🎉

Unfortunately most comments from the last few years made via Facebook couldn't be ported over. Sorry guys :< 

In other news, guess I'll try to update more frequently again. If you see anything amiss or links broken, please let me know! Still working out the layouts and checking through stuff. It's a slow process ^^; Welcome to the new blog, I guess! 

Equipment/Gear List

I get asked fairly frequently about what equipment I use. So here's a definitive list that will help you and I both, for reference and to save time. :D

Included are equipment used in my home studio, as well as short explanations on how I use something or why I like them. 

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