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IGOTW: Taking A Tour Into The Minimalistic World Of Instagrammer @dearchar_

In this week's IGOTW, we spoke to Charlene Chen, a graphic designer who creates stunning collection of images that highlights her day-to-day life.

Cover image via dearchar_

Sometimes the simplest form of photography has the most impact. The clear lines, the clean aesthetics - you know what we're talking about. With 43k followers stalking her, @dearchar_ is one such Instagrammer. We caught up with her recently about her love for all things clean and minimal. Get ready to be inspired!

Image via dearchar_

SAYS: Before we move on further, tell us more about yourself! Where are you from, your hobbies, what are you studying, favourite Malaysian food?

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Charlene: I'm born and bred in KL, Malaysia. I studied visual communication in Melbourne and subsequently worked there for two years before moving back to Malaysia. At the moment, I'm working full time in fashion retail, as a graphic designer. As for favourite Malaysian food… it'll have to be nasi lemak and cendol!

How did your Instagram account come about?

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I had an account ever since Instagram launched. It was the perfect platform to post my badly taken food photos! I only started being more conscious about taking better photos after returning to Malaysia in 2013, after I came across the accounts of several local Instagrammers and was swiftly blown away by their beautiful photos!

Who or what inspires your photos?

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To be honest, apart from browsing other IG accounts, I don't really put too much thought into looking for inspiration. I find the process of arranging items (for flatlays) strangely therapeutical. The moment it becomes a chore (when I have to put too much effort into it), I'd probably stop enjoying it.

Places that you love to shoot?

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Anywhere with an abundance of natural light, beautiful interiors, and my home!

What objects do you normally shoot?

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Moments involving food and still life. I love portrait shots but am admittedly not very good at photographing people.

Do you use a phone or camera to capture your images?

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I use my trusted iPhone 6 to shoot. Before this, I was using an iPhone 4.

What editing software or app do you use?

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I use VSCO and Intagram's built-in editing features. Snapseed also comes in handy when there's a need to edit targeted areas in a frame.

What is your process of taking the perfect shot?

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For food flatlays, I'd arrange my props (from coffee cups and spoons to magazines or items I happen to have with me) until I'm happy with the placement. For interior shots, I'd prefer to get familiar with the surroundings, so I'd walk around pointing my camera in different angles.

Who are your favourite local and international Instagrammers?

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Local: @sherreenl @grungeee @trishates @euniceeunny
Overseas: @kessara @thetrottergirl @mrpaddingtonbear @aminuteawayfromsnowing @agiasidi

What would you say to someone who is aspiring to be an Instagrammer like you?

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Practice makes perfect. As far as advice goes, this is as cliché as it gets! It's no less true though, that the more you work on perfecting a skill, the better you will get at it.

First off, get the basics right. For me, if a photo is taken under sufficient lighting, with minimal distortion and the right amount of sharpness, the job is already half done. The rest is finding the balance in a composition, then adding a bit of personal flair to it. Everyone has difference preferences when it comes to composing, so work around that and always strive to improve.

The other thing is, don't be afraid to seek advice? I've come across the most supportive people on Instagram, and most don't mind sharing a few tips so long as you ask nicely.

Challenges you face as an Instagrammer?

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We tend to see places on Instagram before we're even there, so it's hard to explore a place with a fresh eye. Sometimes knowing which angle/frame works best after others have done it limits the ability to try and come up with something different.

Ever since you took up photography, how has it changed your life?

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I've come to appreciate details I wouldn't have otherwise noticed, like the different types of light, shadows, and sometimes, the tiles on the floor! Having that extra attention to detail comes in handy at work too!

Any future collaborations with local Instagrammers?

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Not at the moment, but I'm up for it if the right opportunity arises.

Lastly, Chris Pratt or Chris Hemsworth? :P

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Both can ah? But if I really have to pick, I'd go with Chris Pratt! I need a goofball in my life (I've been told I'm too serious).

Image via Giphy

More beautiful pictures from Charlene!

Image via dearchar_
Image via dearchar_
Image via dearchar_
Image via dearchar_
Image via dearchar_
Image via dearchar_

Charlene uploads pictures on her Instagram account throughout the week, with an average of 900 likes per post.

Want to know more about Charlene? You can follow her here.

Last week on IGOTW, we had a quick chat with @zacharyyeoh, a finance student who fills up his Insta profile with gorgeous pictures of food and coffee

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