An Exclusive Interview with Mai Phuong

Mai Phuong Duong and her husband Minh Nghia Le are two Singapore-based photographers. Photography has nothing to do with their daily job, but it has become their passion for years. They just hope everyone enjoy their photos as how they see the world.

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Mai Phuong Duong, as her photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 24th Month, 1st Place. Let’s discover more about Mai Phuong, and her forays into photography in the following interview with her.

An Exclusive Interview with Mai Phuong

An Exclusive Interview with Mai Phuong, winner of Photo of the Month – 24th Month, 1st Place.

Light & Composition: Hello, Mai Phuong Duong. How does it feel, being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 24th Month, 1st Place.?

Mai Phuong Duong: It came as a surprised and it is such an honour. I’m happy and really grateful to receive the appreciation and support for my work.

L&C: The photograph, “Fires”, which was selected as Photo of the Month, is a beautiful Close-Up photograph with an artistic perspective, correct lighting, and very well presented. Overall, this is a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Mai Phuong: To be honest, I don’t really remember particularly when this photograph was taken. It must have been in my many trips to gardens and parks in Singapore looking for beautiful tiny little things. I don’t usually think or plan much. I just press the shutter when it feels right.

Fires, by Mai Phuong Duong

Fires, by Mai Phuong Duong

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

Mai Phuong: Well, I’m happy that many people like my photographs. Each “like” is an encouragement to improve myself. I’d like to thank everyone for that. I think my journey to the world of photography has only just begun. It has brought me wonderful experiences and much joy. Still, there are a lot more to learn, to explore and to create. I’m looking forward to what is awaiting ahead.

L&C: As we know, you are originally from Singapore, which has its own rich diverse cultural and artistic heritage. Do you think depicting life in Singapore portrays a different essence? How much does that influence your work?

Mai Phuong: I’m originally from Vietnam but I have been staying in Singapore for almost 10 years now. Born in Vietnam and had lived in many places in the country, I’ve learnt to appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape of each place that I’ve been to. In Singapore, on the other hand, I’m inspired by the rich diverse cultural in confined urban landscapes such as China Town, Little India or Kampong Glam. Each place has its own uniqueness in the architecture, the people, and the activities, which create a different atmosphere.

L&C: We see so many different genres of photography in your portfolio. Do you like a particular genre of photography?

Mai Phuong: I’m excited by many things and I think I’m not settled to a particular genre yet. I think people changes as life goes a long, and so does their work. But essentially, it is led by your feelings and how you would like to express them.

L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.

Mai Phuong: It usually starts with something that inspires me and then how I can translate it into photographs. The most important thing is to go out and execute it. Let us take my Christmas project in 2010 as an example. My husband and I are always crazy about Christmas. And in this tropical country, there is nothing more Christmas-y than the beautiful decoration that is put up in Singapore streets and shopping centres every Christmas. So, we set out to take photographs in some of the busiest places in Singapore. The project went on for several weeks and the result was satisfying. One point about what to do afterward is that I try to be very difficult with the selection process to choose the best photos, even only a few.

L&C: Mai Phuong, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Mai Phuong: No, I haven’t received that honour but I’ll be thrilled to have one.

L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?

Mai Phuong: No. I mostly join some online groups, such as Light and Composition, which is a wonderful place to see other photographers’ great work and get inspired.

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?

Mai Phuong: Well it is my first time winning so I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give anyone advice. But if there is any, that would be to continue to shoot what you like and actively reach out to interact with other photographers.

L&C: Thank you, Mai Phuong, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.
Mai Phuong: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for the honour and the questions. They got me to reflect on my journey in photography..

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