Photo Feature: Sydney Wong

On set of Songbird, an Inavision short film, we see a young girl looking out into a theatre where her mother sits across from her in awe. The dream-like environment offered an angelic glow around the girl.

Vancouver is a city that screams vibrancy and culture, and the only place that 21-year-old photographer Sydney Wong has called home. Naturally, artistry runs in Sydney’s family; many of her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents enjoy photography. Wong continually finds ways to expand her artistic palette, not only with the taking photos around her city, but also with her studies at BCIT. She took up Radio Arts and Entertainment and has now transitioned to Television and Film Production.

With a long history and passion for music, she was introduced to concert photography when she began to attend shows regularly as a fan. Her curiosity piqued after she noticed “thank you” posts artists gave to their photographers after concerts. Wong then became determined to capture their stories on stage. She enjoys every challenge the stage offers—from new environments and lighting patterns, to different technical specs with a camera.

While studying film, she expanded her skills by becoming a still photographer on sets. She gravitated most toward music videos because they are most like concerts; they are a mixture of music and film. Ever since, she dreamt about stepping onto music video sets. She still doesn’t believe half the opportunities given to her this year.

Working in such a competitive and intense industry, the obstacles are endless. Wong learned confidence and motivation are necessary to make waves.

The themes in her artwork include music, people and colour. She enjoys telling stories about equally passionate creatives—from artists singing their heart out on stage and interacting with fans, to actors in front of the camera.

Being a fan herself, she is familiar with how fans love to see photos of artists having a great time at shows. To capture this, she uses unique shots, angles, and techniques. She always asks herself, “What would a fan of this artist want to see?”

Wong has been shooting professionally for two years, but in that short amount of time, her art has transformed completely. Drawing inspiration from artists like Steven McCurry, Jessica Kobeissi, Lindsey Blane, and Cynthia Parkhurst, she has become more experimental. In photoshoots and editing booths, she creates a hybrid of artwork.

She continues to grow and expand her portfolio everyday. Her dream is to become a still photographer on tour with an artist. She hopes to expand from Vancouver as she captures moments on the road.