We had the pleasure of chatting with David Leong (@d.leong), as he shares his inspiring photography journey with us.
OOWA: How do you engage your followers emotionally with your photos?
David: For me, Instagram has been a platform for self-expression, as I’ve gone through many different emotional stages over the past few years. Instagram has been a place for me to let everything out, a medium in the form of pictures and words, the combination of which is incredibly powerful. Even if what is going on in my life is not apparent, I know what I'm going through, and that I express that emotion through the image as well as the words I use.
I think Instagram is a great platform to be yourself. I try not to do or post things that I know will get me "Likes" or do things just because they are trendy — I try to stay true to myself. I post content that I like in the style that I like. Of course, I could always change hopefully not because of peer pressure but because I am changing as a person, and therefore what I create changes with me.
OOWA: We notice that you enjoy shooting portraitures.
David: I really like taking portraits; that’s my favorite type of photo to take. I think there is so much emotion conveyed with having a person in a photo as opposed to the same photo but without the person. This is especially true with the people that I know and I am close to, because I feel a stronger connection to them while taking pictures of them.
OOWA: Since you're a musician too, is there a crossover between music and photography for you, or is there something that you do in music that you also do in photography?
David: A lot of times I’d be really feeling a particular song and I’ll find a way to incorporate those lyrics into my photos. It’s great when a particular lyric resonates with what I’m thinking, feeling, or what I’m going through, and I find a way to make that relate to my photos. When that all comes together it’s like the perfect marriage.
Sometimes I’ll have some lyrics in mind that I really like but don’t have a photo to go with it yet, so I’ll wait until something comes along. Or the opposite: I’ll have a photo ready to go but no lyrics in mind. In that situation, I would go through all my songs trying to find something that I can put. Sometimes it’s really last minute but other times it’s really well thought out. I’m always trying to discover new music, and thus have more ideas.
OOWA: Which part of this journey have you enjoyed the most?
David: It’s been fun because all of my photography skills are self-taught, and I can see how it grows, how it changes, and how it improves, just from getting out there and shooting. It’s been a lot of trials and error. Discovering what I like, and also the friendship aspect from shooting with others.
I’ve met a number of good friends through both Instagram and photography. Some of the people that I am closest with now I met through taking photos; now we get together often and it is something that we all enjoy. It’s fun to spend time with people that share your interests.