Meet travel Photographer and Journalist, Mandy Sham, better known on Instagram as @peach.punk. Originally from Toronto, Canada, globetrotting Mandy captures unique moments through her lens that create feelings of nostalgia and a sense of a dreamlike otherworldliness. As you scroll through the photographer’s colourful feed in peachy hues – her images will most likely give you travel envy too.
We reached out to Mandy, because not only do we love her beautiful photography, but also her poetic words that accompany them. Her journalism skills add to the images to tell a grander story of her travels to her followers. Here, she shares her wisdom on what it takes to be a great and established photographer.
Where did you do your first internship?
My first internship was with a company that connected film and television producers with spaces to shoot — the Airbnb of location scouting, as it were.
Did you have any mentors you learned a lot from?
My aunt taught me to be more curious and compassionate. She always led by example and encouraged me to do the things that I liked.
What was your first job?
I was an assistant instructor at a private swim school. The official job title I believe was “water assistant,” which probably implies something different entirely.
Have you experienced a lot of competitiveness in your career path?
I don’t think so. I’d say yes in the sense that you need competitiveness to understand what your art is and isn’t. But it’s by and large one of the lesser obstacles that artists have to face in their careers.
Have you always liked working in the art world and why?
More than other industries I’ve worked in — there’s a refreshing candor and openness to collaboration among peers. Artists are generally very supportive of one another. Maybe it’s because most forms of creative expression are ultimately solitary. We need each other to not go crazy.
Do you feel that the art world is undergoing a lot of changes these days?
Without a doubt. It’s globalizing at such a rapid pace. For better or worse, we have access to niche artists we may have never otherwise found, but we also have a growing echo chamber of what the social media mainstream dictates. So I think it’s becoming more important to consume as conscientiously as we create.
Where do you see yourself in the coming 5 years?
I see myself as having diversified a bit more as a person. I’d like to be splitting my time between travel photography, journalism, humanitarian work, and creative retreats. And in an ideal world, I’ll still be moving around a lot.
Best career advice you received?
Be the one to reach out first.
What are your words of wisdom for young women?
Creativity can’t thrive in a vacuum. Experiment — don’t be afraid to move laterally across creative industries or seek perspectives outside your circle.
You can find more of Mandy’s images via her Instagram @peach.punk– but be warned her images from around the world will give you instant wanderlust!
Interview by Peigi Mackillop