Interview: Marjorie Teo
An interview with Singapore based travel and landscape photographer Marjorie Teo.
Photography: Marjorie Teo
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a writer from Singapore, with a background in filmmaking. Writing for the screen is something I’ve rediscovered in the past 9 months and photography has been my passion for the last 9 years. I’ve always found something very intimate about those private, closed-off moments, when I'm looking at something through the viewfinder and no one else can see it the way I'm seeing it. It’s that deep connection with the subject - in my case, nature – that really makes it quite extraordinary. And then to capture those moments forever; I was hooked.
What projects have you completed?
When it comes to photography, I mostly do it because of my dire need to keep moving, and also my love for nature. A handful of my photos have made it onto print – in the lifestyle section of a business magazine and most recently the in-flight magazine of Singapore Airlines. But honestly, I’m just happy for more people to see my work, even if it were just on a platform like Instagram.
What is your favourite travel destination?
I have a love affair with Scandinavia. The first time I stepped foot in Iceland, I was convinced that they were the happiest people on earth. Pristine air quality and a stone’s throw away from planet earth’s gems was the polar opposite to what I was used to. And it’s the same in Norway and Sweden. I hate to pick favourites but I’m still not over my time in the Lofoten Islands.
What is your ideal location to shoot?
I love anywhere cold and desolate. The colder the better! It’s almost like I need to see my own breath in the air to remember how alive I am. Naturally, there should be some mountains involved, because who doesn't love mountains?
What is your favourite style of photography?
I think because I’m a bit of an introvert, landscape photography suits me best, simply because I can be myself and take my time with it. I’m also trying to get into astrophotography because there’s something quite special about being out alone in the darkness under an entire galaxy. It’s almost like two parallel universes meeting in the middle, and you’re the only witness around.
How would you say social media contributes to your work?
I really don’t think my work would get seen anywhere if it were not for social media! Instagram has an amazing community of photographers and artists. And especially for someone who’s terrified of networking in real life, social media has been a godsend in helping me get my work out there. I mean hey, how else would you have found me?
What are your future travel plans?
I’m excited to be reacquainting myself with the Arctic in June! This will be my first summer experience in the Arctic because I usually travel in the colder months, but 24 hours of daylight in Greenland sounds like a dream to me. Absolutely can’t wait!
What places would you like to photograph in the future?
I’ve been pining for the Rockies, and perhaps to see a polar bear in the wild in Svalbard, but the end goal has always been Antarctica. Will someone please take me on an expedition?
What camera do you use?
I primarily use a Nikon D750 with prime lenses, 20mm, 50mm, 105mm and 180mm. I also always have my Olympus XA with me.
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
Everyone probably says this, but really I just try to keep shooting. Even when I’m stuck in one place for a bit, I’m always in Lightroom editing and re-editing, because that’s how I progress. So much about my shooting and editing style has changed over the last 2 years and it’s almost exciting to anticipate what it’ll be like in the next 2 years.