YongQing Li is a China-born photographer, currently living and working in Milano. She is currently focusing on fashion photography trying to blend cultures and inspire people to a more positive mindset.
How did you choose to focus your photography on fashion?
I chose photography as my major; I was focusing on street photography at first. Once I was invited to an event and I coincidentally met some models. I clearly perceived their confidence, dedication and passion which inspired me a lot at that time. Then I started learning how to style according to different topics when I was shooting in the studio. Women enjoy fashion. I was dreaming about being a fashion stylist when I was a little girl. I am pretty lucky that I am getting closer to my dream as a photographer, so I am extremely passionate about the things I am doing right now.
A sense of identity always pours out from my heart after every fashion editorial shooting I do. I am doing better and feeling more powerful because of the things I am doing.
What is your process of creating an idea for a shoot?
I discover different things at work. Also, fashion photography for me is a language to show different cultures which bring me a lot of inspiration. The inspiration is often coming from my mind when I start discovering different materials at work. Every time during the shooting, waiting for the right moments, it needs a lot of time on it. I record my perspectives and feelings by taking those photos in certain places with different topics. As a Chinese photographer, my style is combining the aesthetics of western and eastern cultures into my work. For a commercial campaign, it takes effort to know the culture behind a brand, to know the customers’ needs.
What are your major influences as a photographer?
Most of my works are representing the attitude “to be confident, to be positive, to embrace all adventures”. I would like to share those positive sides with all audiences. I want to express myself and record the reality to also influence people to jump out of negative mindsets.
Do you prefer shooting indoors or outdoors?
It depends on different styles or themes. Outside space can always connect with nature which is full of incredible unknown possibilities. Anything that catches my heart could always be the background of a photograph. I really enjoy finding unknown or unlimited elements which can surprise me a lot. When I work in the studio I focus on the storytelling and the stage which can shape the styling part and emotions of characters strongly.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a photographer so far?
As an independent fashion photographer and as a Chinese in Italy, the first challenge is the language environment and the change of mentality. It was not easy to get used to the environment in the beginning.
What would be your dream project to work on?
Finding normal people’s touchable moments. One of my dream projects is to be a battlefield photographer, to know death and life could be happening in one second.