travel

Well-Traveled: Tina Lee, Of Leather and Lace

Tina Lee

Photographer and influencer Tina Lee goes big when it comes to her images — we’re talking a myriad of colors and sprawling cityscapes around the world. She’s not afraid to step out of her comfort zone to get the perfect shot whether that means scaling a ledge, dangling precariously off of a swing or laying on the ground in a bed of leaves to show off fall’s array of colors. A Parsons Fashion Design graduate, style also plays a big role in her photos which she showcases on both her website Of Leather and Lace and Instagram. Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, she travels the globe capturing incredible moments in countries like Morocco, Japan, and Turkey in her signature bold style. We spoke to Lee about how she creates her famous cinemagraphs, her recent wedding in Italy and her upcoming travels.

When did you start traveling and shooting/sharing your photography? When did it go from a hobby to being your job?
Tina Lee: I quit my job to pursue blogging/Instagram in 2017, but it only really became a full-time income in 2018-2019. I started learning photography in early 2018 and it quickly developed into a huge passion of mine.

What role did Instagram play in your success?
I think Instagram probably is 98 percent of my job so I’d say it’s critical to everything I do.

How much planning goes into your shoots? How much time and effort goes into clothing and setting a certain tone in the image?
I often plan far ahead, especially when I’m trying to maintain a color-coordinated feed. I often plan down to every little detail including what time of the day is best to shoot, what outfit fits best and what type of composition I’m trying to get and the distribution of color in each photo. I’ve even created PowerPoint files with locations and visuals/outfits for some trips to make sure I don’t miss any important details.

Tina Lee What have been your top three destinations to visit and why?
Tuscany, because it’s where I got married, Istanbul, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and fall in Japan because I love red.

If you had to choose a favorite destination photo, which one would you use?
This is such a difficult choice as I love so many destinations! But since red is my favorite color and seeing the fall foliage in Japan has always been one of my biggest bucket list destinations, it would have to be this photo from my recent trip to Japan.

Tina Lee Japan

How did you share your recent wedding online? How did you decide what’s private and what to show?
I am pretty open about most things so I was happy to share most of it. We didn’t share our vows because that part was quite personal, but most of everything else was just part of the normal process of a wedding. It was truly such a happy event for us so I wanted to share the joy with all of my followers. You never know what you share might make someone’s day better or just bring a smile to someone’s face.

What was your most memorable moment during your destination wedding?
Seeing the reception for the first time. Everything throughout the day was exactly as I had planned and went smoothly. The only part of the wedding I hadn’t seen all day was the dinner reception. When I saw what we had planned come to life, but look even more magical than I had ever imagined, I was almost in tears! Tina Lee Wedding You live in NYC, what draws you to having this city as a home base? I’ve always been a city person and I love the convenience and closeness of everything in NYC. Plus, it’s super photogenic and easy to fly anywhere in the world so it was a natural choice.

You’re famous for your cinemagraphs, what goes into making them? What are some cinemagraphs you’re most proud of?
The key element to making a cinemagraph is using a tripod. Other than that, it’s just being creative and finding the right motion to capture. However, cinemagraphs can be a hit or a miss. Often what I envisioned in my head won’t work out as I imagined and I have to improvise on the spot. I really loved creating the “lobby cinemagraph” for Fairmont Royal York. It was a very new idea and one that wasn’t easy to execute. I love how it turned out.

What are your three favorite beauty products to bring with you?
I cannot live without face masks, a brow pencil and eyeliner.

Where will you be traveling to before the year ends?
We’ve decided to take it easy for the rest of the year since I’ve been traveling non-stop throughout the year and it really took a toll on my health. We rented some cute cabins in upstate New York and will be spending Christmas there.

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