Today we’d like to introduce you to Zhenze Zheng.
Hi Zhenze, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My passion for photography started abruptly. One day, I found an old camera in my family’s storage room and took a picture of a bowl of fruit in my living room. I haven’t stopped shooting since then. I traveled a lot when I was in high school, all through Europe and Asia, I carried my camera with me everywhere I went. Back then, I shot a lot of scenic nature shots, animals, and architecture. However, I soon realized one thing that I would love to add into my photography is people. I started using my friends as my models, digging through their entire closet just to create a wardrobe for the shoot. I liked the fact I had precise control over what I placed into my frame. Every little thing is carefully arranged in my photographs. Soon, shooting plain portraits are not good enough for me anymore; I looked for edgier and edgier ways to present my imagination. I created characters and scenes in my mind and exhibited them in my photography as if my photos are screenshots from a long movie.
At that point, photography to me is much like writing a book – it’s about executing my imaginations and making them real. Next, before I know it, my category of photography slowly slid into the genre of fashion photography because I was mesmerized by over-the-top designs and presentations. I discovered endless possibilities with fashion. Over the years, I have struggled distinguishing the difference between art and fashion or whether something had commercial value. I have been trying to find a delicate balance between fashion and art, much like how I am trying to unify eastern elements and western elements in my photography. Being an international personale, it is difficult not to bring my cultural background into my visions. I do think sometimes eastern elements are misrepresented and I want to really showcase my culture, my roots, my aesthetics in a modernized way. I was glad to see some of my photographs that featured lots of Chinese elements were accepted by Vogue Italia’s online gallery. Nothing brings me more joy knowing that there is a vast interest in the diversity of aesthetic. I hope to continue develop my visions and creativity by creating something that unifying different cultures, influences, elements, and aesthetics.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There were definitely some obstacles along the way. For me, my biggest struggle was finding a balance between creating something that is adored by the public or something simply that pleases myself. Of course, everyone wants to be liked, but everyone also has their own cherished aesthetic pursuit. There are times I post my proudest piece at the moment, and no one seemed to care, yet, when I put out something I consider ordinary, people respond to it really well. Over the years, I have struggled to not succumb to just creating things that would please others but create things that is unique to me.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
ZEMO Visuals is a brand that focuses primarily on art and fashion photography, strive to create unique art directions. ZEMO Visuals started in Boston, partnering up with a local studio named StyleMe Fashion, and now is branching out to LA. With StyleMe Fashion, we not only produce photographs but also designs. We have a team of makeup artists, stylists, and designers that help us make every photoshoot a fun, energetic, professional, and productive experience. We have worked with a lot of aspiring models to develop their portfolios and get them published on magazines, and also worked with emerging music artists to shoot their album or EP covers. What sets us apart is that we don’t just click buttons on a camera; we help individuals achieve their creative visions or discover a hidden side of them. We are not just simply taking pictures of people, instead, every photoshoot is supported with an underlying strategy that amplifies every single person’s strongest strength.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
There are several good friends that gave me physical and mental support that helped to a kickstart. Two of my most important teammates, Florence and Alice, have always had my back during tough times. When things were looking uncertain, they were helping me out the most and therefore helped me reducing my stress the most. Another one of my friends, Rocky, who is always pushing me forward and giving me the most honest advice, helped me solidify my vision and strategies through the past two years. Sometimes even just his simple words made me realize things that changed the way I looked at my plans. Olivia, who is the owner of StyleMe Fashion, also gave me quite a few pointers along the way. I understood that confidence and strategic thinking is crucial because of her. She is also a talented dancer who started her own thing from scratch; I learned a lot from her.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: zemozemo.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zemovisuals
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zemovisuals
Photographer: Zemo Zheng Models: Jessica Zhu, Qiu yi, Anna Ma, Kimmy Cunningham, Nice Georges, Eliane Cabral, Ieshah Sadberry, Rafael Roque, Lynn Xiao Stylists: Kimmy Cunningham, Anica Buckson, Michael Stallings MUA: Alex Barish, Yuhui Fang, Erica Imoisi