Esther Jung, Photographer

     The word 'sweet' immediately comes to mind when I think of Esther Jung. It comes as no surprise that the girl behind such magical photography, with its dazzling lighting and color palette, has an absolutely endearing personality. To discover more about the charming camerawoman, I interviewed Esther about her NYFW memories, mastering Instagram, and more...

When did you begin to develop a passion for photography?
     About 7 years ago after taking an intro photo class in high school. Surprisingly before this, I actually had very little interest in photography (I was more into drawing/painting). I somehow ended up in the photo class because of scheduling conflicts, but a few months in, I discovered how much I actually enjoyed taking photos. It challenged me to seek out beauty in my everyday surroundings and was unlike anything I'd ever done. 

From editorial to street style to portraiture, your photography takes many forms. Do you have a favorite style of shooting?
     Definitely fashion editorials! I love working with a team (models, stylists, make up artists, etc.) and turning a creative idea into reality. But for all of my shoots, what I really enjoy is that they involve a certain degree of spontaneity. I usually go into a shoot with a preconceived idea, but I don't plan out all of my shots. I rely somewhat on luck - for example, for Neptune's Daughter, we found an amazing sand castle that happened to fit our theme. I love unplanned moments like these and how things somehow always fall into place.

What's your most memorable moment from photographing New York Fashion Week?
     Probably when I realized that I was shooting street style right next to Bill Cunningham (my hero)!

Who or what is your dream subject to photograph?
     Definitely the aurora borealis! Oh, someday...

Your Instagram feed is fantastic; do you have any tips and tricks for iPhone photo editing?
     Thank you! I think the key to good Instagram photos is good lighting. Try to avoid using flash and use natural light as much as possible. The best light is soft - not direct sunlight, but less intense light that won't create harsh shadows or overexpose photos.

Any et cetera?
     I think no matter what a person's career or academic interests are, they should still maintain creativity through some sort of outlet, whether it's photography, dancing, singing, etc. During my first year of college, a few classmates discouraged me from doing photography, telling me that it would distract me from my studies. Four years later, I'm about to graduate with a neuroscience degree and I now have a larger portfolio filled with photos from these past few years. Art and science aren't mutually exclusive and I'm really glad that I ended up doing both.


She's a Jeanius

     While everyone's spent the past year obsessing over Frozen's snow queen, Elsa, I've been ogling over a different blonde beauty by the same name. Swedish model Elsa Hosk is - pun intended - a jeanius. After double-tapping one too many of her personal style Instagram photos, I've fallen in love with the way Elsa simply styles denim but still manages to look super put together. Whether she's sporting a Canadian tuxedo or a fur coat with vintage Levi's, this girl has her pants on point. 


James and the Giant Tee

     In 1955, James Dean not only played a major role as Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause but also in the popularization of the white t-shirt. Dean's character Jim made the blue jeans and white shirt look iconic (cue Lana Del Rey). Teens all over America could relate to Jim for his angst and daring demeanor, and tried to emulate the rebel by wearing white t-shirts too. 
     At first glance, a colorless tee doesn't appear to evoke rebelliousness. However, in the 1950s it did exactly that. Simply donning a plain white tee as outerwear was an act of rebellion in and of itself because typically the shirt was worn as men's underwear. Plus, colorless clothing allowed one's true personality to shine through, which in the case of Jim Stark and even James Dean himself, screamed rebel.