Photographer: Lauren Engel
How did you get started in photography and what do you love about it?
I started photography when I was 15 by photographing my friends and classmates. Soon after that, I started shooting with a lot of agency models. I love the connection my camera creates with shooting and finding how to shoot the person in the most beautiful way. I fall in love with light every time I shoot and love how light touches people’s faces.
What prompted you to start "Sidewalk Talk"? Where do you hope to take it in the future?
I realized that there was so little in-depth content with the artists I love. I’ve been doing interviews for a few years but it was all text. For electronic music, a lot of interviews are text as well and so little are in video form, let alone longer content. I was still living in Hong Kong when I thought of this idea and it killed me because so many people I interviewed wouldn’t go there. Although I was lucky enough to interview some of my fav artists like Bondax, Cyril Hahn, Autograf, etc. However, while living in Hong Kong and having some free time I was able to really think through the format of Sidewalk Talk, creating the logo and the types of questions I wanted to ask.
As soon as I moved to LA I started doing these on a huge scale, even doing a few interviews per day. I felt like through them I could connect with other like-minded people who are curious to learn more about their favorite artists in this form. As for the vlog format itself, I’m actually quite a shy person and it would be terribly awkward if I did the whole interview sitting down. Plus so many people already do this format. The idea came from pacing when I would listen to phone calls, and walking generally makes people more comfortable when talking. I’m hoping to grow Sidewalk Talk step by step. First, by introducing non-electronic musicians like rappers and pop singers. I will also do more and more behind the scenes people like directors, managers, and PR people. Then I plan to add roundups and put on smaller artists. One day I might even interview athletes and actors, and just be known as an informative platform for learning more about the people and their talents. Maybe by the end of next year I will introduce merch and one day even do concerts.
"I love the connection my camera creates with shooting and finding how to shoot the person in the most beautiful way."
What has been one of your favorite interviews you’ve done thus far and why?
I would say Troyboi was one of my favorite interviews. I was obsessed with his music four years ago when I was in college and he just started putting music out. He was still in the UK during that time so I never knew if I could see him live. Interviewing him was truly a dream come true.
If you could interview anyone in the world on your channel, who would it be?
Charli XCX! She’s so talented and such a cool girl. I love all her music and her whole image. I’m going to have such an emotional moment one day if I have her on the series. Also, I was realizing the other day that I actually really want to interview Hilary Duff because she was such a big part of my childhood.
Tell us three photography tips.
Learn some poses or angles to instruct the person you’re shooting if they have difficulty or let them know what’s best. Learning how light hits different objects or skin tones and faces is super important. You don’t have to find just one style. For years I was using the same color correction but one day my hard drive died and I had to make new ones. I wasn’t able to recreate my previous curves/actions and had to start new. It made me appreciate other styles and embrace them in my own art.
What does MISSBISH mean to you and who’s your MISSBISH?Being fearless in going for your passion. Figuring out your place in the world and what you can contribute, then going all in! Currently, my MISSBISH is Julia Michaels for pursuing what she loved at such a young age and writing so many hits each year. She’s just going to keep getting bigger and bigger since she can write a lot of her own songs!