At what age did you start taking photos? Do you remember the very first shots you took? Can you describe them? What was it about photography that appealed to you?
I started taking photos at around 15. I didn't have a nice camera then but I always brought it along with me anyway for practice. I remember I always took picture of stuff I'd see lying around the places where I went to—random things like flowers and furniture. I was also fond of taking pictures of my high school classmates and my siblings. Now that I think about it, my oldest pictures were generally just snapshots with little artistic quality to them.
I've always been fascinated with fashion. When I was younger, I would always look at pictures for inspiration. Everything pretty much started from there. I began to lean towards the photography aspect of the pictures I saw in magazines, more than its fashion aspect.
When, how, and why did you start shooting professionally?
I officially started shooting for publications last June 2007, but prior to the first time my photos got published, I did a bit of modeling in magazines (I was in the Candy Jan-Feb 2007 issue) and shooting for my friends who needed pictures for their debuts and whatnot. I started becoming more active early 2007 on the internet and more people were able to discover my work through my deviantART account (http://slumberdoll.deviantart.com) and through Animax's Kawaii Girls (I was the 2nd Kawaii Girl). Everything just fell into place after that. I'm still overwhelmed until now.
What do you love most about photography?
I love how great it is that I can show other people what my eyes can see through the viewfinder of my camera. It is very fulfilling to be able to share my work and at the same time bring smiles to other people's faces.
How often do you shoot? What are your favorite subjects?
I try to shoot once or twice a month. College is a priority, of course—especially now that I'm a junior. But if school didn't exist, I probably would be shooting everyday.
My favorite subjects would be my friends. I'm lucky to have absolutely gorgeous model friends and blockmates who I can drag away for spontaneous photoshoots. Most of my friends are also into the kind of fashion that I like so shooting becomes much easier since we all understand each other.
Who are your photography influences?
Oh, lots! I'm mostly influenced by Japanese fashion magazines such as Popteen, Cawaii, Fruits, and Cutie. The photographs in most of these magazines use very minimal artificial lighting but they always turn out great.
Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your shots?
I find inspiration in geeky stuff like anime, video games (I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series), cosplay (one of my favorite models is a popular cosplayer), music and art/design (since I am a design student). Since I also style and do make-up in some of my photoshoots, I find inspiration in the same magazines I stated above.
Does it get hard to juggle school and photography?
Well, college is tough but if you love what you're doing, you will really create time for it. In my case, even though I get stressed with the amount of work that I get in school, every shoot of mine I treat as a sort of stress reliever. I don't look at it was work but as something much much better. :D