What camera equipments do you use?
I shoot with a Canon 7D and I have three lenses:
-Canon 50mm F1.4 - my favorite lens for portraits
-Canon 85mm F1.8 - great bokeh. I use this for portrait shoots but not my pick for everyday usage.
-Tamron 17-50mm F2.8L - nice walk around lens with great value. Not as sharp as my 50mm but I use it most because of it's convenience. I would like to upgrade to a Canon equivalent someday though.
-Tamron 70-200mm F2.8L - A value alternative to Canon's popular 70-200mm. I love this lens for portraits and for "stalking" animals. But it's very heavy and bulky, so I don't carry it around as much.
I also use Canon Speedlite 430EX for when I photograph indoors.
What's your nationality and what language do you speak?
I'm 100% Chinese and I lived in China until I was 14. I still speak fluent Chinese and I can read Chinese books pretty well. However my writing in Chinese has gotten pretty bad since I haven't used it in a while.
What image-processing software do you use?
I edit all my images with Adobe Photoshop. My current version is CS5. I can't live without it.
How long have you been doing photography?
I purchased my first DSLR camera summer of 2006. Prior to that I used a point-and-shoot camera and started messing around with images in Photoshop some.
How did you learn photoshop?
I learn Photoshop mostly through experience - a lot of trial and error. Through time I have developed a work flow that enables me to work efficiently. I worked at a photography studio for about a year doing digital retouching, and I did pick up a few portrait editing techniques. I also browsed around deviantart and Google extensively for inspiration and tutorials.
Are you a professional Photographer? What do you do anyway?
I don't do photography for a living, even though I do offer paid services upon request. However, it's definitely one of my favorite things to do. I haven't spent a lot of time marketing myself locally as a photographer in the past because my focus in life has always been school school school (typical Asian :p). I'm currently attending medical school to become a medical doctor. I was able to creative this site since I took a year off between undergraduate and professional school. Hopefully I can maintain this blog and continue to use it as a balance to my stressful med-student life. :)
Where do you get your inspiration?
The almighty interweb! I love browsing around sites like deviantart and flickr for awesome images, and I have recently become addicted to tumblr. Here are a few of my favorite artists/photographers that I can think of on top of my head - Akif Hakan, Lara Jade, Audrey Kawasaki, Loish. I'm also in love with some Japanese films such as Survive Style 5+ and Memories of Matsuko. They have amazing colors and compositions. If you're interested to see things that inspires me, check out my tumblr.
How old are you?
I was born in 1986. Do your math if you want to know my age so I don't have to update this number every year. ;p And I know, I look very young for my age. I've been looking 18 for several years now. The blessing of being an Asian.
What kind of camera was your first DSLR?
My first DSLR was a Nikon 50D. The quality was amazing but it only has 3 auto-focusing points which I hated, especially since I did a lot of self-portraits. My 2nd camera was Canon Rebel Xt, which served me pretty well but I decided to make a small upgrade to Canon Rebel Xti for extra details. More than half of my images now in my portfolio were taken with the Xti.
Do you have any advice/suggestions for someone wanting to get into photography?
The first thing I would advice someone to do is research about both DSLR (or film) cameras and lenses before you make your purchase - especially lenses since a lot of beginners often underestimate both the cost and the importance of lenses (check out dpreview). Once you got your gears set and ready to go, you just have to get inspired and practice practice practice! Browse around the web for beautiful images, which not only inspires but also trains your eyes to access correct exposure, good compositions, etc. Also, don't forget all the great, and free tutorials out there on the internet.
Another advice I would give is don't compare yourself to others too much because you can easily get discouraged. We all start as newbies and it takes a lot of time and effort to improve, so if your work doesn't look magazine-worth in 2 months after you got your camera, don't give up!
Who took all these photos of you?
The photos labeled "self-portraits" are taken by myself. I set my camera on a tri-pod and I use a remote to take the shots. Sometimes my husband would photograph me, mostly the out door ones, which would be indicated in the description.
When you take pictures of others, do you also use reflectors or gobos? Do you like to shoot at a specific time of day or do you just go with the flow and shoot away?
I never use reflectors because I don't usually have any assistants, but it's definitely something I want to learn to use though. I prefer to shoot on days that are over cast, or around sunset when the sun is not as strong. With that said, I wouldn't refuse to shoot when it is super bright, just have to choose the lighting more carefully.