It’s hard to live in Singapore and not know of Amanda Wong (@beautifuladieu), the photographer and influencer known for spectacular use of natural light in her work and her feminine style. Think contemporary Jackie O living in the tropics and you’ve got your girl. Whilst I haven’t ever properly met Amanda, her friendliness and openness on Instagram tells me that she’s a little different to most high profile ‘Instagrammers’. So when I say I haven’t ‘properly’ met her, I actually did bump into her when I was working at Time Out. She was shooting on Ann Siang Hill and I very uncouthly walked into the frame and told her I loved her feed and her response was nothing short of graceful. And that’s exactly why I knew I had to pick her brain on what makes her the individual that she is…
1. You have quite a few talents, what would you want to be best known for?
I think everyone who knows me knows I do photography and honestly I’d rather be known as a photographer than an influencer. I [also] do a bit of calligraphy on the side and I really love penmanship. I would say my hidden talent is writing backwards, quite fluently in fact! I’m now practicing writing cursive backwards. 😀
2. When did you first start photography and why?
I guess I’ve always liked taking pictures, starting with a disposable camera when I was really young, to the first VGA phone cameras, compact cameras and finally my first DSLR when I was 18. I only turned my hobby into a career two years later when someone offered me an opportunity and the rest is history!
3. What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on?
Ah, there’s so many to choose! I guess it would be my collaboration with Cointreau, where I hosted my first photography exhibition (and where I was proposed to!). The collaboration was an effort to support creative women who dared to dream, inspire and create. I exhibited three years worth of photos that I took in Paris, and it was lovely to have my close friends, family and supporters there with me that night.
4. If you could attend one Fashion Week show, who would it be and where?
Saint Laurent, PFW! It’s my absolute favourite brand, from Heidi Slimane to Anthony Vaccarello, I have always resonated with Saint Laurent’s [style] DNA.
5. What’s the best adviceyou’ve heard in your career so far?
Stay focused on your own journey and growth – there’s no point getting upset or jealous about other’s achievements. Everybody starts from somewhere!
6. What would you say to your 16 year old self?
Just keep doing what you’re doing, enjoy it while you’re at it, don’t give up, stay humble, and you’ll eventually get there!
7. We know that you love Paris, can you recommend three must-visit places?
1. Jardin du Palais-Royal is one of my favourite gardens in Paris – the neatly lined trees, the fountain, Cafe Kitsune… just everything!
2. The top of Arc de Triomphe, many people don’t know you can buy a ticket to get to the top, and it offers a great view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower! (Obviously you won’t be able to see the Eiffel Tower if you were to view Paris from the Eiffel Tower, haha!)
3. Le Marais district (3e/4e arrondissements) – There are many things to do in this distract, from cafes to boutique shops to architectural landmarks. It’s also the center of LGBT culture in Paris, and also has the best Falafels!