Influencer Spotlight: Finding locations with @joechengMarch 8, 2017
Joe Cheng’s Instagram is a lifestyle blog that focuses on simple details – the interplay of shapes at a cafe, pretty Parisian storefronts and interesting snaps on the street. We love the touch of vintage to his photo colouring, which is full of deep shadows, bright lighting and slightly rustic textures.
Can you give us some insight into your background – what you studied, where you worked? How did you get into photography and Instagramming?
I studied Computer Engineering at UNSW while working for Insurance Australia Group.
I am a Motorsport enthusiast so I read a lot of car related magazines and blogs. Some of my earliest memories of amazing photography came from Car editorial shoots. They were all so well executed and you really got the sense of motion and character. Since I’m not a great writer, the easiest way to document my life was through photos.
I met some friends who produced very artistic portraiture and was fortunate enough to assist on their shoot. It was then my journey into photography began. A couple of years later, my friend and I decided get into Wedding Photography, Origami Creatives. Back then Instagram was still very new and it was a great tool to showcase our work.
Who do you enjoy following on Instagram and who inspires you?
I enjoy following these people on Instagram: @alice_gao, @rvstapleton, @jeffreychung, @eggcanvas, @irwinsychan, @timmy727
My favourite would be Alice Gao. The sense of elegance and tranquility in her photos captivates me.
How would you describe your Instagram’s ‘brand’ and what was the process to getting to that identity?
My brand aims to be natural, simple and elegant images. This is a reflection of my own self discovery process while travelling the last few years. I was fortunate enough to be working in South Africa in 2015. The people I was working with were certainly not as privileged, yet they seemed to be far more content with their own lives.
This is how I came across Minimalism, which is reflected through the way I live and produce images.
What were the biggest challenges to building your Instagram platform? Can you give us some examples?
Identifying my own style and brand were the biggest challenges. There are so many great photographers on and it’s so easy to get caught up in their style. Photography is an expression of one’s perspective. Dare to be different and carve out your own path.
How long did it take for your Instagram to build its following and how did you handle the initial lack of likes, reposts and attention?
I have been experimenting for a few years and I see it as a way visual diary of my life. The initial lack of attention never bothered me. It was a motivation to get out of my comfort zone to create better imagery as well to meet new people. I have also been fortunate to have met a lot of people at instameets. We often meet up to share our thoughts, colloborate on ideas and create new content. Now that I’ve discovered my brand I have devoted more attention to grow my following.
What’s been the most memorable or meaningful experience you’ve had because of your involvement on Instagram?
Meeting a community of like minded people and developing some great friendship not just in Australia but abroad. Having the opportunity to colloborate with different individuals and businesses.
Your Instagram is distinctive for the variety of its subject matter while still keeping a very consistent colour palette. Do you have any rules for how you pick your subjects?
My rule is to keep things simple. I try to capture it in its most purest and simple form.
Do you think of your Instagram as reflective of your real ‘lifestyle’?
Instagram represents the best cherry picked moments of my lifestyle.