A sharp street sniper, Stacey Young’s life revolves around hunting down style-savvy individuals around the cities of Asia. Armed with her trusty top-of-the-crop weapon – a Canon 5D Mark II, Stacey shoots her subjects and presents them in her street style site, StyleSophomore.
Needless to say, Stacey’s city-hopping lifestyle means that she leads her life out of a suitcase together with her husband James Bent, who runs a personal street style site called La Mode Outré. Sounds familiar? That’s because he caught Nookmag’s attention earlier this year and was featured in his own glory.
This month, Nookmag collaborates with Stacey on a Tokyo special for our August edition of Nooked. Contrary to our previous Nooked editions where we usually award a participant with the most votes, a voter will be awarded this time.
Follow these simple steps to take part in the Nooked fashion voucher giveaway…
1. Vote for your favourite style in our Nooked section.
2. Head over to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ the photo of the individual that you voted for.
3. At the same time, post a comment elaborating on what you adore about the individual that you voted for.
4. The voter with the most interesting comment will win some fashion vouchers from Nookmag!
Scroll on to find out more about Stacey and her unregimented nomadic lifestyle. Great news is that this will not be the last you hear from her as she will be starting a monthly column in Nookmag called ‘Street Mode’, where she will be waxing lyrical about a particular trend in a particular city she is residing in that particular time. Keep a lookout for this!
N: What’s a typical day of shooting like for you?
S: I only like to go out and shoot for a couple of hours each day as I find that it works best for me especially in a city like Tokyo where there is so much happening and it can become quite overwhelming. It’s nice to do a quick burst of photography, then put the camera away and just walk, observe and absorb everything going on around me.
N: How do you decide where to go to take your photos?
S: With every city, whether it’s Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore, I quickly work out the best areas to shoot and the places I’m more likely to find the sort of style I’m looking for. The location will also depend on what clients I’m shooting for and what type of style I need to get for them, whether it’s just general street trends or whether it’s more high fashion.
N: Any particular attributes of a subject that usually attract your attention?
S: I look for a good overall style that extends beyond what they are wearing. Style to me is everything from the clothes they wear to the way they hold themselves, the way they walk and interact with other people. They have to look like a cool person, someone who is confident in what they’re wearing and who has a strong individual style.
N: What other projects/work are you involved in?
S: At the moment I’m just building up my client list while continuing to contribute photos to fashion magazines like Refinery29.com on a regular basis. I’m also working on a behind-the-scenes-of-streetstyle-photography book with my husband James Bent of La Mode Outré. We have publishers in Taipei who are working on getting this completed and launched later this year.
N: You sure travel a lot! I’m guessing you really enjoy this nomadic lifestyle?
S: Yes! Travel has always been something that gets me excited and then to combine that with photography, I couldn’t ask for anything better! It took awhile to get used to not having a home base and having to lug all our possessions around with us from place to place but we’ve now got it down pact. It’s just a case of always getting rid of the old, making room for the new and it’s great cos’ we both have no choice but to be constantly updating our suitcase/wardrobes!
N: What’s your favourite part of travelling?
S: The best part about travelling and staying for 2-3 months in each city, is that we get to experience actually living in those cities as opposed to just staying in a hotel and running around like mad tourists trying to cram everything in just a few days. So it’s good to just relax, do our photography and explore at our own pace. Also while doing all this photography, we get to meet so many people along they way and we get to interact a lot with the locals, which is nice.
N: Of all the Asian cities that you frequent, which is your favourite?
S: There’s so much about so many cities that I like and it’s actually quite hard to choose but if I had to pick one, it would be Tokyo! Tokyo is just so huge, there’s so much going on especially during the summer months, we are always stumbling across festivals and fireworks happening in the city, the people are so friendly and the food is great! In saying that though, I love and miss the food in Singapore – the variety of local food there is amazing and so easily accessible and affordable.
N: How do you plan your travelling schedule?
S: We only ever plan three to four months ahead so it’s exciting that we might not even know where we will be in 6 months time! Right now, we know that after spending the summer in Tokyo, we’ll be heading back to Seoul for one month, then back to Taipei for one month, then back to Tokyo in December. Who knows what will happen after that?
N: Any philosophy you live by?
S: I don’t really live by any philosophy but one that I would like to live by (or one I try to remind myself about) is ‘doing is better than not doing’. There becomes a point with some things when you realise that you’ve just got to go out and do it, regardless of whether you are 100% ready for it, and regardless of whether it’s going to come off perfectly. Nothing will ever be perfect and you’ve just got to do it and then learn from it.
N: Share with us more about your interests and hobbies.
S: When I’m not taking photos, my life is consumed by food. When I’m not in the kitchen cooking breakfast, or preparing lunch and dinner, I’m either watching cooking programmes, scrolling through food blogs, at the supermarket discovering new and weird ingredients or staring into blank space and thinking about what I’m going to eat next!
N: We’ve featured your partner, James Bent, on Nookmag before and he does street photography as well. Do both of you collaborate? How do your works differ?
S: We do most of our shooting together, as in we go out to the same area, walk around together but at the same time we are both doing our own thing and taking our own photos. There has been the odd occasion when we have seen the same person and both wanted to get their photo, and it has come down to who spotted them first or we try to agree on who should have the photo. Our photographs are similar in style but the difference is that James photographs solely for himself and his site, and I am photographing for clients and other fashion magazines as well as for myself so I take a wider variety of styles.