Artist Spotlight #12: Shaun Li

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Shaun Li

Although Shaun Li has been doing wedding photography for only a little over a year now, he has already become one of the most in demand photographers amongst young, hip couples. A glimpse at his diverse and stunning oeuvre will tell you why this articulate individual has become a firm and local favourite. In our latest spotlight, he informs us of his working process and style, amongst other interesting tidbits.

Q: Hello Shaun! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I’m actually a dietitian by training, but I’ve developed a self-diagnosed obsession with photography in the last couple of years!

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Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: I get inspiration from a wide variety of sources. I’m a very visual person, so I tend to get inspired when I see something that strongly resonates with me. I like to explore Adelaide, and I always find sources of inspiration when I wander. I also become very inspired by positive energy and atmosphere. I’ve been shooting a few weddings lately, and I find the buzz and atmosphere of the environment always gets me motivated.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: Digital photography at this stage, but I’d love to experiment with shooting in film further down the track. The intricacies and technical aspects of it fascinate me.

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Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Stylistically, I’m actually all over the shop. The current work I share through Capture the Present is very light, joyful and calming. It’s both a reflection and extension of my interest in mindfulness.

But I also enjoy a more gritty and urban street style of photography, which I’ll be sharing as part of a different concept – so stay tuned for that!

In essence though, I’d say my style in photography is really about capturing a unique moment in time and attempting to transfer the emotions within that moment to the viewer.

Saying that, I try not to take my photography TOO seriously.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: My creative process can be quite spontaneous and sporadic. The initial idea can be triggered via a visual cue, current affairs or a story, but sometimes random ideas can just pop into my head. From then on, it’s a brainstorm of where I can go with that idea. I really enjoy that process, and at times have to stop myself from getting carried away, I’ll often be thinking, ‘Yeah that’s a good idea…but you don’t have a budget of $2million!’.

I’ll take notes of all the feasible ideas (I highly recommend Evernote, which is a brilliant note taking app) and subsequently flesh those ideas out. If I need a model or a subject, odds are some of my mates will get a call for a favour!

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Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: Hopefully around the world! I would love to be able to do some freelance work overseas. Traveling whilst taking photos is LITERALLY one of the best things ever.

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A: Too many to mention! Currently, I’m hooked on Steve McCurry’s photos. He’s a photojournalist whose images always leave a long lasting impression on me.

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Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: Embarassingly, I’m not a frequent visitor of galleries. But I did enjoy the Musee d’Orsay quite a fair bit when I was travelling a few years ago.

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: I’m currently on Facebook and Instagram under the moniker of Capture the Present.

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Q: If you could photograph three people or monuments, who/what would they be?

A: Machu Picchu. It’s a place I’ve yet to visit, but I have a lot of friends who have been, and I’m craving to see it.

Apart from that, I can’t think of any other specific examples. Honestly as long as the lighting is good, I’m excited to take photos!

-Masya Zabidi

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