This month's photographer feature highlights a group member who is originally from Finland and has called Shanghai her home for the last 10 years. It wasn’t until about 2009 that Petra Lomber-Ikonen found Shanghai Exposed. Having received her first camera for her birthday, attending classes and later practicing her newfound love for photography through group meet ups, workshops and just hitting the street (with camera in hand), she feels her skill level has developed and grown from novice to intermediate through experimentation and learning from others. Part of her experimentation includes an interest in shooting several genres from slow-speed tripod work to dizzying dynamics of street photography; she says, “It’s the most spontaneous way to create art with a camera.”
As with the many photography-centric outings and workshops that are ongoing throughout the year, Petra met one of Shanghai Exposed’s founders, Lois Webb while on one of these workshops in Guangxi. Shortly upon her return, she joined the group. From this point on, “It has been a huge part of my life in Shanghai. I have met people I never would have met and seen places I never would have seen on my own.” On group outings, there’s always something bound to happen. During one of the group meet ups, she recalls making it to the top of the Shanghai Post Office, but not before having to get past several officers first - providing for a stunning view of the city from a different perspective. This is what happens when going out in group with like-minded people - you just never know what experiences will present themselves. At times, though, not all is easy; she recalls a photo road trip to Huangshan that was physically demanding, especially in the heavy fog and nonstop rain.
“Being a part of a group or joining a meet up is absolutely a must in terms of meeting like-minded friends … exploring disappearing neighborhoods and learning from others how they see our surroundings.” When asked what advice she has for anyone living in Shanghai and is thinking to hit the streets, but either unsure of where to go, she enthusiastically says, “Go for it! You never know what’s around the next corner."
If you have any interest at all in capturing one of the most picturesque cities in the world with Petra and others from around the world, just send us an email to begin receiving invites to our monthly meet ups.