Morgan Ommer, originally from Vietnamese/German descent, was born and raised in Paris before he moved to Hong Kong where he worked as a seasoned travel writer and fashion photographer. His work has been featured in Time, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Travel & Leisure, Rob Report, Monocle, and The Globe and Mail.
How did you get into your line of work?
I tried not to. My father is a well known photographer so for the longest time I tried not to be one. I studied law and proceeded to work for law firms, big corporations, and ad agencies, all the while being in denial. Then one day I took a picture at a birthday party and a good friend, when seeing it somehow convinced me that I had talent and that I should give it a go. I listened to him and it is one of the best decisions I made in my life. Now I am poor, happy, and free…
What do you find challenging about your work? What do you find rewarding?
Finding work is not always easy. Taking pictures is the reward.
What do you look for when taking a shot?
The light and the moment.
What do you feel makes your photographs different from other photojournalist and photographers?
Very little. Luck? Fate? Good timing. Better reflexes . . .
What advice would you give to a budding photographer?
Try new stuff again, and again, and again. Never stop learning or honing your skills.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy to drive around on a little motorcycle and go take pictures. I don’t have a real job in the corporate sense of the word, so I get less stressed. For example, I don’t always know what day of the week it is. The only way I notice that it is the weekend is because I receive less emails.
What are some of your favorite travel destinations?
I love traveling around the Himalayas, I love mountains. I also love South America, they really know how to dance down there . . .
What would you be if you were not a photographer?
A painter or a dancer but I can’t draw and I have very little sense of rhythm. . . Thank god for cameras!
What makes you smile? What makes you sad?
Surrealism makes me smile. Ive been living in Vietnam for two years and the combination of a fast developing country and all around optimistic youth often creates total surreal situations. Think about what Vietnamese people transport on their bikes. What makes me sad is very common: human misery and suffering, injustice. I have pictures showing that too, but let’s not break the mood.
What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?
As a child, like most youngsters, I wanted to be a cowboy, an astronaut, a detective, the bionic man, James Bond, Keith Richards. But it turns out that my life has been interesting enough, still is, and I don’t actually miss anything or regret anything.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
About 13. On a good day.
What is your mantra in life?
As Mohammed Ali once said “Impossible is Nothing”
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your life?
Captain Jack Sparrow, Nelson Mandela, Henri Cartier Bresson and my mother.Sparrow is cool, Mandela is right, Cartier Bresson is good, and my mother, well, she is my mother…
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people what would your message be?
World Peace? I guess this one is a beauty pageant classic . . . but still, I think it is a great message.
To find out more about Morgan’s work please visit his Website or subscribe to his Facebook Page Little Odyssey.