#POTD is a daily competition that is run through the Resource Magazine Facebook page, where photographers duke it out over their social media prowess. Each photographer sets up a #POTD page and the one with the most likes at the end of the day is declared the winner. Allow us to introduce you to #POTD winner Lindsey Thoeng as our photographer of the week. Combing fashion, dance, portrait and travel photography with her impressively clean design work, Lindsey is an artist with a diverse vision. As a prize for her win, Lowepro is hooking her up with their awesome DrySac 20 and Vulture Equipment Works is giving her an A2 Strap to go with it. Not to mention, our partner Viewbug is setting her up with premium membership! We caught up with Lindsey to talk about her work. Check out our interview below.
Hi Lindsey, congratulations on your #POTD win! Can you tell me about your history with photography? When did you first pick up a camera and why were you attracted to it?
Thank you! I have always been interested in photography but handling a DSLR had always seemed so daunting, especially in the analog age. Luckily I got over that and decided to buy one about 7 years ago during traveling in Canada. As with most things in life, turns out you just have to start doing it, and learn as you go.
You have shot concerts, dancers, and business professionals alike. Why is it important for you to explore a diverse array of people through photography?
When something is visually compelling, the subject doesn’t really matter to me. It’s a really satisfying feeling to find interesting aesthetics no matter the environment. There’s always potential for great photo no matter what or who the subject.
In terms of your photos that are focused on athleticism, whether it is dance, yoga or otherwise, what is it about photography that has such a unique relationship to human movement?
Dance and yoga in particular are two forms of athleticism that require immense aesthetic integrity. And elite athletes in general move so beautifully because their bodies are trained to function with a focus on technique. Beautiful movement is as visually appealing as anything else in nature and our eyes can’t help but be attracted to it. If I can then manage to add an additional layer of awesome with good lighting and perfect timing, the image becomes something even better. When I look at a photo that’s well done, I can be in awe with the beauty of the movement of the subject itself as well as the technical side of the photo (perfect rimlight, tones, soft but contrasting light).
What is the relationship between fashion photography and the other kinds of work that you do?
I’ve always been drawn to the components of fashion photography such as the isolation of the subject, unusual or highly stylized environments, and contrasting ighting. When put together you can create a really dramatic and stylized image, something that obviously works well for high fashion. But these aesthetics are easily transferable to everyday subjects and so no matter what I’m shooting, I’m always looking to convey that heightened intensity. It adds a nice dramatic flair to any subject.
In addition, you’ve also taken photographs of the American west and the Dutch countryside. Were you always interested in landscapes and geographical places?
I’m interested in anything eye catching, and I’m lucky enough to travel to photogenic places quite a bit. But there can be fantastic light and interesting textures anywhere, whether that’s the Grand Canyon or a dirty back alley. As long as I can isolate the subject and get that great light in, it’s going to be a strong image.
You have also done quite a bit of design work. Does that influence your photography or vice versa?
Totally, for some clients, I do both photo and design work so it’s hard to take off the designer hat sometimes. I always have the designer in mind because a photo by itself is in many cases not the final communication product. Whenever I shoot environmental portraits, the subjects are usually off-center not only because I think it usually makes the photo better, but it’s also helpful in a commercial or editorial context, giving the designer plenty of room for creativity with copy in the negative space. I also usually deliver my photos with as little crop as possible, to give the designer some flexibility with bleeds and incorporate their own vision. From a creative point of view, design and photography are very similar as they are both visual art forms. They both offer the chance to fine-tune my aesthetic, my visual style by playing with lines and subjects and placement. Any time you get to flex your creative muscles it can only help inform and develop your artistic vision.
When you’re working with a client as huge as the UN, how do manage to accomplish their goals as well as yours creatively?
This certainly isn’t always easy. The customer is always right is not black and white when it comes to something as subjective and personal as design. Even as a work-for-hire, you still take pride in the work you submit. I find one of the most effective ways to accomplish both sets of goals is to present the boldest incarnation of the design first and then we can scale it back. It’s easier to push than it is to pull. Another thing I like to make sure of is that clients and I are on the same page conceptually from the get go, and involve them in the early stages of the creative process. They can then point out things they do or do not like and feel a part of the process but also have given me valuable information as I move towards the final design.
As a #POTD winner, you’re predisposed to have some social media talents as well. What is your approach to marketing yourself through those platforms?
I try to find a balance between posting client stuff and personal work, and only post things that I think are interesting. Most people are already inundated with online content these days so to me less is definitely more.
Any tips for photographers looking to get a better grasp of social media?
Only show your best work, either in a portfolio or on social media. If needed, elaborate on a blog, and show a little bit of the process behind your work because the people who follow you are interested in those things and it’s how I personally learned many things. My new years resolution is to actually follow this advice myself!