Joanne Meng: The Allure in Exploration of Choice



Posted on November 13, 2016 by Joanne Meng




For this photo series, I am obsessed with experimenting with different ways of shooting – to explore various scenarios working with the set (staged or spontaneous), model posing (professional or serendipitous), and lights (ultra-controlled or natural). I started out with street fashion but felt a strong desire and curiosity to experience other stage sets and posing’s. What ensued was that I find myself doing a total of three shootings in two weeks – spanning 9 hours in total. The shoots focuses on casual dress wear with a desire to capture individuality and personal charm.

I began with street fashion, which has always been an inspiration to me since I was little child. Growing up in Taipei, a dense populated Asian metropolis, until fifteen, street fashion continues to cast an irresistible spell on me in that it exposes the diverse identities expressed through personal style. In addition, street fashion is a manifestation of personal agency in contrast to autocratic editorial styling. Sometimes street fashion can have little to do with the mainstream styles, yet exude infinite charms. I am continuously fascinated with how personality and personal taste filter through street fashion perhaps due to my curiosity for people and their stories. The street fashion photos were taken in a New York subway where I wandered from station to station and scouted subjects that spiked my interest, who I couldn’t take my eyes off. The most difficult aspect of a street fashion shoot in my experience is the posing of models.

After the more spontaneous street fashion shoot, I moved into a semi-controlled setting of shooting in a house with my friends from design school. Some of the photos I had hoped to capture more serious sides of the subjects and others I sought to capture the congenial spirits. Ultimately, I moved into the most controlled setting which is a studio shoot where every pose, lighting, and style was manipulated.

I feel rather fulfilled having gone through all three shootings over two-weeks span while studio midterm reviews were unfolding. In treading through unfamiliar territories, I find myself learning and becoming more familiarized with the appeals and limits in each shooting style and the work required for consistency in post-production.


About The Author: Joanne Meng is enrolled as a  Master of Fine Arts candidate in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania.

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