Sunday, 7 June 2015

Modern Movement - Margaret Zhang

TFV was invited to attend 'Modern Movement' – Instagram workshop by Fashion Blogger extraordinaire Margaret Zhang hosted at Canberra Centre.

Margaret, photographer by trade and current Law/Commerce student started her prominent career in fashion as a 16 year old whom had recently given up ballet and ‘was bored’ with high school which led her to create her fashion blog shinebythree. Her self-confessed obsession with technology and strong creative vision seem to be the perfect pairing to attract a following of 436,000 followers of her Instagram account.

Image source:

Margaret was a recent participant of the first season of TV series Fashion Bloggers alongside, Sarah Donaldson from Harper and Harley, Amanda Shadford from OracleFox, Zanita and race wear queen and celebrity columnist Kate Waterhouse. A workshop participant expressed her disappointment that Margaret was not going to be joining her blogging peers in the season 2 of the show and I must say I am not surprised, as Margaret modestly revealed an extensive and impressive working portfolio including global fashion brands Louis Vuitton, Swarosvki, and a soon-to-be-released Clinique campaign. Margaret consults with these brands as a photographer, stylist, creative director and as a social media guru and her work has recently taken her to and from Milan, Paris and New York for the latest New York Fashion Week…of course.

When asked how she finds the time to fit all of these incredible creative projects in (not to mention her law/commerce studies) she candidly revealed she is not a coffee drinker and does not own a TV and ‘ will sleep when I die… I guess’.

Throughout the workshop she was an open book and kindly gave away her top tips for dominating Instagram to an eager audience including local fashion bloggers and stylists, media and other local creatives keen to learn the tricks of the trade with smart phones, tablets and cameras in tow.

Margaret discussed 5 key photography elements to a great Instagram pic:

1. composition
2. lighting 
3. colour balance 
4. vector/ lines; and 
5. the importance of developing your own signature for strong brand presence.

She shared her ‘trade secrets’ being her favourite filter smart phone apps which enhance colour saturation and allow you to improve the quality of your images but she stressed the importance of starting out with a great raw photograph as the foundation.

The audience was treated to a behind-the-scenes insight into Margaret’s famous flat lay which adopted the hashtag #zhangflat. If you are an active Instagrammer and think you haven’t come across her signature flat lays think again, I assure you if you search the hashtag you will recognise at least one of the hundreds of #zhangflats which are strategically placed with trinkets and lifestyle items around a ‘hero subject’. Margaret joked that she is probably the only person in the world who ‘can be bothered spending half an hour’ to create her signature flat lays. For the background she regularly uses a flattened Ikea table and shoots from above – if you watch the first season of Fashion Bloggers you will catch Margaret in action, elevated on a ladder all to snap the perfect #zhangflat.

Flat lay prepared by Margaret Zhang

Her self-confessed style is boyish with a touch of feminity stating her 5 must-have wardrobe essentials are:
1. a great black blazer 
2. black leather pants
3. a pair of black heels – whether a pump, boot or wedge 
4. a timeless watch in either tortoise shell or gold naming Michael Kors as one of her favourites.

Margaret is clearly a true creative talent with her success being no surprise and a testament to her inner drive and professionalism. Throughout the workshop she expressed the importance of being authentic true to her self in whatever you do to promote a strong following and why would you want to be anyone else if you were Margaret Zhang.

Me, Margaret Zhang and our Beauty Editor Melissa.

SP xo

Photography by TFV's Daniella Cheung (DJ)


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