An Exclusive Interview with Shirren Lim

Born in Penang Island, Malaysia, in 1970, Shirren would find herself moving cities over the course of her life. She is now based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Shirren took up photography in 2009, as she thought it would be an interesting habit, later she discovered it as her true passion. Shirren loves portraitures best. To her, the expressions people wear are so beautiful, so telling, so uncovered in their sincerity. With her photo-taking, she tries and does justice to capture humanity in its many forms. Shirren’s work has been described as intense and earthy with her simple composition cutting to the heart of the subject matter. As a child, she had flipped through many of her father’s National Geographic magazines, but it was Steve McCurry’s 1984 “Afghan Girl” that she recall two decades later. That is what she wants to do with her life. She believes, someday, she can able to capture that one moment that could change the world. Her work has appeared in several web and printed magazines.

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Shirren Lim, as her photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 31st Month, 1st Place. Let’s discover more about Shirren, and her forays into photography in the following interview.

An Exclusive Interview with Shirren Lim

Light & Composition: Hello, Shirren. How does it feel being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month 31st, 1st Place?

Shirren Lim: It was a totally unexpected moment…I feel honored, humbled and inspired at the same time for a community like L&C to recognize my work.


L&C: Your photographs, “Mist over the Valley,” was selected as Photo of the Month, it is a beautiful Black & White photograph with artistic perspective, and very well presented. Overall, a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Shirren: I was visiting Mt Bromo with some friends during Christmas of 2010. I remember there were a lot of people straining to get the perfect sunrise shot of the mountain as the sun slowly reveal herself.

I started to look around and spotted this bank of misty clouds floating covering this town. It looked so mystical. I had to capture it.

Mist over the Valley, by Shirren Lim

Mist over the Valley, by Shirren Lim

L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for other photographs of yours in the Photo of the Day contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?

Shirren: Yes firstly, a huge thank you to all who liked and voted. I see myself as a travel photographer. For me, photography is an integral part of my travels… it’s my way of seeing the impressions of the world around me as I explore them.

L&C: Do you like a particular genre of photography and if so, why?
Shirren: I like portraiture best. I love the faces of the people I meet. I can’t get enough of them.
For me, the best way to know a culture, to learn a culture is to get to know the people . The expressions people wear are so beautiful, so telling, so unrehearsed in their sincerity.
L&C: Shirren, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Shirren: No not yet. Hopefully soon.
L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with Photo of the Day?
Shirren: Keep shooting and making beautiful photographs.
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