Alumni Spotlight: Oanh Luong


Submitted images

Collages featuring multiple photo shoots done and submitted by photographer Oanh Luong

Looking at her colorful Instagram displaying stylistic photos as if they could appear on the cover of a magazine, 2022 North Penn graduate, Oanh Luong, is furthering her creative endeavors at Temple University. 

While attending North Penn, Luong was involved with art classes, AP classes, and a variety of clubs such as the theater art crew for Once Upon a Time and Key Club to further her academics as well as explore her social and creative side. 

“As for my classes, I took a Fashion Textiles class and Digital Photography for two years on top of my core courses. I had taken AP Statistics and Calculus full year as a Senior, which I’d say really helped me because I passed my AP exam. So, at Temple, I received credit and no longer need to take any math courses,” Luong shared. 

Although Luong is currently undecided about her major, she is considering declaring something in the art field after experimenting with new media in classes such as a Zines and Artist Book class. In addition to the art courses, she also took advertising, racism, and interpersonal communications courses. As for her next semester, Luong will be taking Graphic Web Design, Digital Advertising, and Entrepreneurship, as well as English and Science courses.

“I am someone who loves to create, so for my first semester, I decided to take a Digital Photography course once again. I took it to see what I’d learn at the college level, although, this class ended up being very similar to what I learned in high school already. However, I will say I was given more opportunities to go out and shoot as well as use different supplies and media that I hadn’t gotten to before. I also took a Zines and Artist Book class where we learn to handmake and print images to convey messages or tell stories” Luong noted.

Even though Luong has dabbled with new media, she has her favorites including film cameras and DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. She also has self-taught skills with Adobe editing software and a hobby of painting and drawing, but doesn’t take any classes for it.

“With photography, I have to use a lot of Adobe software. I use Bridge, Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. I was taught some of the basics at North Penn, but the rest is self-taught” Luong commented. 

One of Luong’s main projects and passions includes portrait photoshoots with elements of fashion and design, although she is experimenting with new styles to gain experience. Being a college student it can be tricky to fit the time-slotted shoots into her busy schedule and they take up to 2 to 3 hours and can only do them on Tuesdays and Thursdays when her classes finish up.  

“This is a struggle for me on these days as I have 8 am – 4:30 pm, classes. I don’t have any breaks in between to eat and the time slot is only open from 5 pm to 8 pm. So, I have no time to run and get materials or food before my shoot…So far, planning shoots are very easy once time constraints are figured out. As for finding models, many people have reached out asking if they could model, and I have agreed. I use my school’s studio but bring my own supplies like film, DSLR, tripods, and makeup. I would say shoots are very time-consuming and take a lot of effort both in the process and even later during editing” Luong conveyed. 

Like any artist, Luong experiences creative blocks but has found that her encouraging friends and Pinterest always have her back. She finds inspiration from Pinterest, a social media outlet that displays photos of a huge variety from all different people which opens Luong’s mind to new ideas to mimic something she finds cool but with her own style.

I like learning and striving to create something better and I think it definitely shows through my old and new work. I have come a really long way in photography. I have always loved it even as a child because I like to capture memories and aesthetic images

— Oanh Luong

“I like learning and striving to create something better and I think it definitely shows through my old and new work. I have come a really long way in photography. I have always loved it even as a child because I like to capture memories and aesthetic images. It means a lot to me when I am able to put something out there that is different and well-composed. Especially when I receive good feedback after all the hard work that went into a project,” Luong stated. 

Luong advises anyone who is interested or passionate about photography to put in the time to research and practice the art form to gain more knowledge as well as put themselves out there, such as asking people for help or work to gain more experience. 

“Doing photography takes a lot of time and effort. I think it is easier when you can adapt quickly to different situations…Anyone can pick a camera and take a photo. However, you have to have a good eye for what you are creating” Luong expressed.