Slowing Down with Photographer Ming Nomchong

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Pacific Ale through a new lens...

Pacific Ale through a new lens...

Coming together for a beer around the breathtaking Northern Rivers coastline is how people love to connect in this region. Now, as we spend more time at home and away from our close ones, there’s a certain nostalgia to these times of sharing and connection.

No one quite captures this Northern Rivers nostalgia like Byron Bay photographer Ming Nomchong, who we recently worked with for our latest Pacific Ale campaign. Taken at some of the Northern Rivers’ most iconic locations, these shots capture Pacific Ale’s original essence – summery vibes, coastal energy, slowing down – with Ming’s eye for nostalgia.

During these times, we think it’s important to slow down, take a breath and picture those places we love to share with friends – it’ll make it all the sweeter when we can return again. 

Read the full Q&A with the amazing Ming and check out a few of her photos below to take you to those happy moments.

Tell us a bit about yourself…Where are you from and what brought you to the Northern Rivers?

I was born and grew up in Sydney and spent my adolescence jumping from North to South to Inner Sydney before a calling for the quieter life, a slower lifestyle (and better surf) pulled me north to the Northern Rivers. (It also helped that mum had bought a house in Sunrise in 2005 which the family all used as the excuse and moved up and lived in for periods while we got our lives sorted. Thanks, Mum!)

What do you love about this place?

Where do I start? I think what I love most about this place is the sense of community. I love walking through town and knowing so many faces, stopping to chat in the street, catch up on what’s going on about town and the sense of belonging that I feel when I’m anywhere in the Northern Rivers. Second is the surf and then followed closely behind is the creative industry that so many amazing individuals here have built together over the years whose epicentre is the buzzing industrial estate you know today.

How long have you been in the photography game for and what/who influenced your passion?

I’ve been in and around the game since finishing uni in 2004. From working in portrait studios and shooting the odd wedding, to assisting commercial photographers back in Sydney to then building my own client base here in Byron and also nationwide. I can’t even remember wanting to ever do anything else but photography. My mum and dad both had lives in the photography industry, so I’m sure they influenced my path in some way.

What’s your style, Ming –what do you love shooting the most?

I love shooting filmy romantic, whimsical portraits of people. The analogue world has pulled me back in from my old uni days and although I still shoot digital and know there is a great place for the pixel, the grain is what gets me excited. The imperfections are what make it a perfect medium in my eyes.

Looks like you’ve shot just about every beautiful location in the world. Do any favourite places come to mind?

The Seychelles is still a standout after all these years. I’ve still never seen anything quite like this kind of paradise before. And there’s fun, fun surf…

What do you like about shooting on film?

I like that it slows me down, makes me really think about when I press my finger on that trigger button and ask: Have I thought about the correct exposure? Is the lighting right? Is my subject doing exactly what I want them to? You’ve got 24-36 frames to get what you need, so you have to make it count. You can’t just hold your finger on the shutter and spray and pray; you have to be thoughtful, not wasteful. It’s a lesson in consumption control haha!

Fave lens to work with?

It all depends on what I’m photographing. If it’s documentary style, I like it wide, 24 or 35mm. If I’m shooting portraits, I love the 24-70 or my 100mm. 

You’re down at Wategos after a big day of shooting in the hot sun. What’s your go to knock off beer?

What else? Anything by Stone & Wood of course! Keep it fresh, crisp and local all the way!


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