My name is Simon McCheung, and I create worlds that embrace the beauty of wonder and imagination.
I took on an Animation Degree in 2005 with the hopes of creating stories that were cinematic and memorable. I later began to realize that I didn’t really have the patience or the human resource to create story pieces with the desired production value.My hunger to create stories came back to me after I noticed the accessibility of producing cinematic videos with the new DSLRs on the high street. I made the spontaneous decision to buy my first camera in April 2012, in the hopes of creating short films for YouTube. The only thing that was holding me back was my lack of camera knowledge to utilize its production potential.
I knew I have to get myself into project in order to train myself with a purpose to create something memorable, so I looked online for communities or clubs that I can get involved in. I quickly discovered Alex Stoddard’s 365 Days project on Flickr and I was impressed with his progression on not only his visual executions, but also his execution of communicating stories, emotions and concepts.I think I have found my project and then started my own 365 Days project the day after. About one week in, I had fallen in love with the instant results of taking photos and also how satisfying it is to dynamically see the impact on the image from the little changes you make on each shot.
I then started to consider my shots with props, costumes, locations, lighting and eventually photo manipulation.This changed my whole perception of photography as I used to think the camera was just a tool to capture the moment, but now it has become a tool to capture my imagination.
I used to draw my inspirations for concepts from my own recent and childhood dreams. Most of which I don’t actually remember the context, sometimes I remember objects, people or locations, however the one thing that always gives me the lasting impression was the last feeling you get during and after the dream. This impression can be joy, sadness, liberation etc. it is this lasting impression that I wanted to share with the viewers.
Other than my dream inspirations, I get ideas from pretty much every where else. From interesting objects, people, conversations, skies, location, songs, etc. I had slowly developed a style that is surreal, dreamy and cinematic which is something that I aim to achieve. However in order to keep my creative process fresh for myself, I experiment with other style themes such as fashion, noir, horror and comedy.The point of my creative journey was to connect and inspire the viewers with my stories. I get a thrill from their reactions, whether they understand it or not, it doesn’t really matter. As long as my photos and its stories had inspired the viewer to reflect on it and perhaps even relate to it, then my photos is something worth creating for.
Out of my many emotional themes, I really like the portrayal of liberation. I incorporate this in most of my photos, as I remember this emotion the most in my dreams and my childhood. Even in my darker images, I often add in a sense of a desire for liberation.The way I engage the viewer is that I have to make sure my work looks believable. It’s quite a challenge since my work is mainly surreal in style. However once all the lighting, camera angles, composition, etc. looks right, then the stage is set to immerse the viewer and the doors to my imagination becomes more approachable. [Official Website]