The latest in our Meet the Muse series is Singaporean student and photographer Estelle Shing. Shooting on film, the budding photographer is never without her camera, and has even picked up a few tips for always being ready to take the best photo.
Captured in a streetwear-heavy shoot with some of today’s most relevant brands, Estelle is seen sporting OFF-WHITE, A-COLD-WALL*, Depression, Tommy Hilfiger, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Marcelo Burlon and Calvin Klein.
Take a look at the interview below and see a recent profile with Milan-based model Graziella Pini.
Who or what are you currently inspired by?
Photography-wise, I am inspired by the classic photographers like Mary Ellen Mark, Diane Arbus and more. Their style of photography may not necessarily be what I want to do, but the thought and technique put into each photograph is definitely inspiring. Those are photographs that really speak to me and stay in my head for a long time. I am also inspired by the architecture around me, and I’m always thinking of how I can use it for portraits. Magazine editorials are amazing too.
Fashion-wise, I honestly just purchase what I like. I like fashion trends, because it gives me new ideas and from that, I can pick items that are truly my style. To create your personal style out of something generic and overplayed. I believe personal style is always evolving and changing.
How has your style changed over the years?
I have gone through so many phases of finding my personal style in the short span of seven years, it scares me when I go on Facebook and look through old photo albums. When I was 12-13, I was going through the emo/punk phase and that was when I got most of my ear piercings. I would engulf my entire existence in black eyeliner and stare into people’s soul for no apparent reason. I then moved on to a phase of showing way too much skin for my age. It tamed down around 15-17 and I was wearing flowy dresses and skirts, still unhappy with my personal style. Now, I’m proud and happy to say that I have found my personal style, consisting of mostly oversized items, purchases often questioned by my parents.
Describe your current style.
Definitely oversized and comfortable, but with details that make the outfit. Patchwork and pleats are always fun to play with. I love my hoodies, oversized tees, loose jeans and sneakers. My daily outfits generally fulfil two requirements: 1. to be able to sleep comfortably in and 2. have a feast in. Caps also play an important role in my style. On days that I wake up and my hair just does not wish to cooperate, I throw a cap on and solve the problem. Caps also help to cover my face when I’m hungover. It is also safe to say that my camera is part of my outfit now, since I sling it across my body everywhere I go.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The past is just a story, and once you realize that, it has no power over you. This was a quote from Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk and I found it extremely helpful in getting over unpleasant memories. I think we should all forgive but never forget. Forgive because the one who holds on to the last bit of hatred will never be as happy. Never forget who or what caused you the pain, because forgetting gives it another chance to hurt you again.
Last lesson you learned?
1. Keep the lens cap off. 2.Never leave the house without your camera
Describe your perfect day.
Any day that I have time to do what I want, and actually be able to do it, is a perfect day for me. If I wake up craving for sushi and manage to get sushi, my day is complete. If I miss my friends and was able to fix a last minute hangout session, my day is also complete. That being said, I would ideally want to wake up to a room full of Portra 400 film.
How do you relax?
I think being alone in my room with a cup of tea, either reading, looking at photography work, or watching YouTube videos is mostly what I do to relax. Strangely, I think eating at a conveyer belt sushi restaurant also relaxes me.
What in life are you most grateful for?
This may sound cliche and cheesy, but my family and friends have been nothing but supportive with what I do. I am grateful for the friends that I can pour my heart and ideas out to and not be judged at all. The ones who have been through different phases of me and still chose to stay.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
I would love to be able to teleport. Time and present space has so much limitations on what one can do in a day. We spend so much time just trying to get from one place to another and we often have to give up something in one place to be able to achieve another in other places. 24 hours is never enough, and I often plan my schedule so tight that I am exhausted from just rushing from place to place.
What is the quality you value most in friendship?
I’d say trust, but that’s a given. I think truly amazing friendships include sarcastic and smug remarks, along with the best inside jokes and conversations that only the two of you can understand. To be absolutely comfortable with each other and know that no matter what they say, they’ll always have your back. To be able to give completely honest comments about situations and things, even when the truth burns.
What is something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time, but haven’t yet?
To be a contributor to some magazine.
What is your most treasured possession?
It has to be my precious film camera. It has changed the way I see the world, and I’ve learned to appreciate more things in daily life that I’ve never before. I’ve been noticing more details and finding new things about people that I’d never have found if I didn’t have my camera. I feel comfortable and safe behind the lens.
What is your fondest memory?
Dancing with my granny at her place, talking about sex and boys. Listening to her talk about her exes for the 100th time while looking through her old photographs.
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