Sabrina Sikora may be a name and face you are familiar with in our posts in our social media channels. She is a Hong Kong-based professional photographer, model and style blogger. We have invited her to help style our new winter collection. As someone who is so involved in the fashion industry, Sabrina is a great person to talk to. We have chatted with her recently, and let’s get to know more about her and her tips for winter outlook!
- Why would you choose to be a model before?
After taking a fashion class at my local mall when I was 12 years old I decided I wanted to be a model. At the time I was 5’8” and a size 0. I sent photos to Elite and they turned me down saying I was too young. The next year I sent updated images and was turned down again this time for being too thin. At age 14, when I was 5’10” and a size 2, Elite signed me. I wanted the chance to see more than my hometown of Macon, GA and thankfully my walking hanger-like body allowed me to do just that.
- What brought you to Hong Kong and why did you decide to stay here?
I was modeling in New York where I met a boy and fell in love. After a few years together, his job offered him an opportunity to relocate here and he asked if I would join him. Because I can do my job anywhere (and I wanted to be with him) I said yes! We still live in HK and are now married and have a son who is almost two.
- What made you switch your career from modeling to photography?
Originally I had still planned to model full-time and shoot as a photographer part-time as I had done in New York. Once we relocated to HK and I took the break from modeling I found it really refreshing and loved the freedom of setting my own schedule and not having to watch everything I ate. I made the leap to full-time photography and set up my studio here in 2010. It was slow going at first, as my work is mainly word of mouth, but once I linked up with Sassy and started blogging and shooting for them things really took off. Now I shoot around four times a week from both my Chai Wan studio and on-location as well. I also maintain a studio in Georgia, where I am from, and return there several times a year to shoot and see family.
- What is the most enjoyable about being a photographer?
Seeing the world as a photographer sees it is my favorite part. I don’t mean traveling around, though that is nice as well, but actually seeing the world in a different way. It’s the little things like looking at someone and noticing their angles and the way they laugh and brush their hair away from their face. It’s walking down the street and seeing the beauty in everyday objects or the way the light falls down an alley. It feels like people can be so busy that they miss all the small beautiful elements all around them happening at any given moment. It isn’t until you pick up a camera and start to look for the beautiful, the interesting things, that you see what is really all around you. Once you start to notice it you find it is hard to stop.
- What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
Time management for me is the trickiest part. I have to be very diligent about how I organize my schedule so as not to over load myself. It is tempting to say yes to every project, especially in a city like HK where there is so much activity and so many interesting endeavors. I have to leave time for editing and retouching. I also run my own blog www.TheFirstWife.com and contribute to Sassy Media Group so there are events to attend and articles to be written. And on top of all that I am a mom to a very active toddler, which is the most important, enjoyable, and stressful job of all.
- You’re a photographer, a blogger, and a mum at the same time. What are your tips to manage all these events, photo shoots, and your family life?
I find it so funny when people talk about work/life balance like there is some magic formula where it all works perfectly. The fact is no matter how much time you spend in any one area it is never enough and yet you always feel like you should be spending more time on it as well. I try to look at a week and balance that instead of balancing each day. I take my son to school on Mondays and Fridays and shoot Tuesday-Thursday. Mornings are spent at the computer so the afternoons can be spent at the turtle pond in Chai Wan Park or at the playground chasing my son around. Saturday night is date night with my husband and Sunday is family day so I won’t book any shoots for Sundays. The biggest thing for me is keeping my inbox clear and making sure every item, no matter how small makes it onto my iCal and Evernote which I can view from all of my devices so I make sure I never miss a thing.
- What are your must-have items in your wardrobe this winter?
This year my wardrobe is very clean and simple. I like basic pieces that I can mix and match well. We usually travel for the holidays so I need pieces that work in multiple cities. Then I add some really show-stopping accessories and bright lipstick to make the look pop. I love the Marco Visconti cropped black pants and the gray sleeveless top with the oversize knot at the collar. Both pieces work for both day and night and are great for flights, family time, and shooting alike.