Questions and answers with Daphne Nguyen.

{February 2023}

Title: Aurora
Home: Sydney for now

Where was the final image from this photoshoot featured?

Oyster Magazine Issue #117

Give us a bit of background on the photoshoot concept.

The issue was titled "The Unreal Issue", exploring ideas surrounding the blurred lines between real and unreal as an increasing reality. This story was one of three produced by Oyster within this issue in collaboration with Maleficent. My piece with Aurora revolved around optimism, blooming nature but also subservient youth.

Why did you/your client choose the final image compared to the outtakes?

There was something hesitant about her forward lean/half-step and hiked skirt against the dark "woodland" behind her.

Any cheeky moments during this photoshoot that you'd be willing to share?

We lost track of time and didn't order lunch until some time in the afternoon. Sam, my assistant, was completely famished and when the Uber eats order arrived without cutlery, he tore off half of the box and used it as a spoon/giant scoop. I guess not so much of a cheeky moment, but more like a hot tip/survival-in-the-wild skill that perhaps you (the reader) can use to your own benefit in future. Following the coronavirus pandemic of course. Don't forget to wash your hands.

Have you ever experienced a fanboy/girl moment?

My mum is a fangirl sometimes. She's a tough critic, though.

What’s it like being on set with you?

I hope it's really great. Although my opinion is biased. I've never made anyone cry though, does that count for something? I'm just kidding. I get music complaints sometimes.

Do you prefer photographing with a big or small team on set?

I think as long as the overall energy is positive, it doesn't really matter how many people are on set. I'm yet to encounter any altercations, but who knows, Daphne from the future might disagree.

Describe your ideal photoshoot.

All my friends on set, working together, getting paid, making the dreams work.

What makes a photograph special, in your opinion?

I think if you look at an image and it makes you feel some type of way :-) Or if your pupils dilate.

Express what photography means to you.

It's not just a profession, it's a lifestyle. I'm joking (kind of). It makes me happy and is something I feel like I will never stop learning from. It's allowed me to see my surroundings in a different light and I'm really grateful for that.

Instagram and photography...need we say more? Give us your two cents.

It's a gift and a curse. I think it comes down to the individual and their relationship/approach to the platform. I've discovered many a wonderful content piece that I'm not mad about. The images have always been around us, whether in books or online (Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr etc.). Instagram is now just a different vessel for consumption. I don't overthink it or over-invest, but that applies to many things in this life.

Do you have any suggestions to budding photographers out there?

Listen to this track: "Ice cube - Do your thang".

Any additional info you'd like to share about yourself and/or your photography?

I love eggplant and sometimes think about staking out in a forest, head-to-toe in camouflage, to photograph wildlife. Imagine perching with a meerkat or lemur on your shoulders while it investigates your camera! No tigers, though. At the time of these answers, I have just begun watching Tiger King on Netflix.

We obviously believe this outtakes concept is brilliant, but why do you think it's important for outtake photographs to be promoted in the industry?

So much can happen within the timeframe when options are being taken for one shot. I think it's nice to be able to follow a trail from one iteration to the next. We're all just problem solving in our own way.

Anything you're working towards with your next move in photography?

Like many of us, I was scoping out some potential time overseas, but 2020 probably won't be the year for that now. That being said, see next answer.

Share a quote you live by.

I recently came across an image of a tattoo, misspelt "Never stop dreming". I really like it - it's ambitious and proves its own point.


︎Next feature

︎see the outtakes
︎follow Daphne on Instagram

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