1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
Hello! My name is Ru Fang Dong and I am engaged in visual design work which revolves around creating aesthetically pleasing and impactful designs using various artistic elements. It is closely related to photography. As someone who is engaged in visual design work, it gave me a strong foundation to truly excel in photography.
2Where did you study photography?
I would turn to the internet in search of photography-related knowledge and then continue to apply the skills that I have learnt into my photography.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
I remember pressing the shutter for the first time and that is when I knew I was about to develop a deep interest in photography. Of course, the results were horrible which prompted me to search for relevant knowledge on photography and technology to learn how to make my pictures look better.
4What equipment do you use?
CANON 700D and CANON 90D.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
Affirmations to me are the best form of compliments and definitely a favorite of mine! As a photographer, affirmations can be a wonderful tool to boost your confidence, creativity, and passion for your craft.
6What inspires your unique storytelling?
What inspires me is the scenery before me, I take pictures of what I see in front of me that are unique. It serves as a great source of inspiration and how my ability to recognize and photograph the uniqueness of my surroundings! It makes my work special.
7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
8Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
Thank you for the affirmation of the MUSE Photography Awards! It has truly been an honor to be a Category Winner under Nature Photography for my artwork, starry sky messenger. It's truly a remarkable achievement and a testament to my talent, creativity, and dedication as a photographer. "Starry Sky Messenger" must have captivated the judges with its beauty and unique perspective, setting it apart in a competitive field of photographers.
9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Participating in an international photography competition is an incredibly rewarding experience and now, I am able to understand my own level in the international photography competition. After all, it is about the learning experience and growth that comes with it! Even if you do not achieve the desired outcome, each competition can be a stepping stone in your artistic development and journey.
10How has winning an award developed your career?
I am in the exciting process of waiting to see how participating in an international photography competition will make a difference in my photography development. Sometimes, the full benefits of such an amazing experience will reveal themselves over time which will be worth all the wait. I am excited for that moment to come!
11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
Didi Hsu, Vincent Chen and Gina Wu.
12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
“Take pictures of what you see in front of you, take pictures of what you think in your heart and never forget your original intention” is a powerful and profound statement for photographers. By blending what you see with what you feel, you can create images that are not aesthetically pleasing but also emotionally impactful. This approach would enable you to develop a personal style that reflects your identity as an artist.
13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Shooting what you like encourages photographers to follow their hearts, embrace their passions and infuse their photography with authenticity and joy. By doing so, you not only enrich your own creative experience but also share something meaningful and inspiring with the world through your images. We need to remember that photography is a personal and artistic journey and shooting what you love is the key to unlocking your full potential as a photographer.
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I credit my success to taking pictures of what I see with my eyes and feel with my heart as it allowed me to engage with my subjects on a deeper level. It also encouraged a balance between observation and emotion, technical skills and creative vision.
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I find that diversifying my photography helps a lot in being receptive towards receiving new information and knowledge. Photography is a journal we take and there is absolutely no need to master everything at once. We would need to be patient and embrace the learning process which would then allow us to grow and evolve into a great photographer. By doing so, we would continually evolve, find new passions and most importantly, it would keep our creative spirit alive and thriving!