Greetings NPN! My name is Carolyn Cheng and I’m a landscape photographer who specializes in aerial photography.
I currently work full-time as the Chief Operating Officer of a national real estate company but I always make the time to prioritize landscape photography since it’s my primary passion and source of artistic expression, playing a vital role in my personal growth, development and engagement with the world.
Since I first started doing photography, even from my point and shoot days as a teenager, I’ve always enjoyed smaller scenes. I naturally see patterns and shapes, which is why I believe I was drawn to aerial photography and smaller scene / intimate landscapes. Since I first started doing aerial landscape photography, my work has evolved from natural landscapes to also include altered landscapes.
During the pandemic, grounded from aerial photography, I had the opportunity to explore other types of photography. After trying a number of different genres, I first settled on botanical photography in gardens and conservatories and, then later, gravitated to the studio, pursuing botanical still life photography in that environment. While it took time to develop the skills to express myself properly, it was genuinely rewarding to capture images in these novel settings while retaining my core artistic sensibilities. Most importantly, I realized I could adapt far better than expected and I shouldn’t see myself as constrained by my current area of specialization. Today, as I have returned to aerial photography, I wish I had more spare time as I’d like to explore these areas further!
Living in a large city like Toronto, where most of our art galleries are fine art galleries (rather than natural landscape galleries), it is important for work to have a storytelling narrative steeped in the language of art history or artistic concepts. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have a mentor here in Toronto who has her Masters of Fine Art and is represented by a gallery, so she can share her learnings with me. With her advice, I have been able to participate in group exhibitions and I also produced my first self-curated show this year.
I would be happy to answer any questions about balancing career and photography, aerial and small scenes photography, trying new forms of photography and exhibiting your work in gallery settings.
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