Our Behind The Creative works on two levels: firstly, you get to discover a creative we're buying stock in, and secondly, you get to peek through the window of all their loves and influences. From filmmakers and dancers to writers and actors - we're looking to shine a light on the people that make this messed up journey worthwhile.

The latest inductee into our Behind The Creative series is the incredible Bao Ngo - a New York-based photographer obsessed with "horror films, ABBA, and long drives in the countryside." Outside of those passions, Ngo's portfolio includes work with the likes of Adult Mom, Josie Qu, Melanie Santos, and Mitski (she shot the cover for 405 favourite, Be The Cowboy). With a bold and evocative eye, we're pretty sure Ngo could make a ham and cheese sandwich look like the greatest thing in the world.

Check out our mini-interview with Bao Ngo below, then be sure to head over to her official site. We promise you're going to fall in love with her work.


What's your favourite album of all time and why?

Behind The Creative: Photographer Bao NgoSomewhere out there, there’s a music elitist sneering at me for this one, but it’s ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits. While ABBA has some solid deep cuts, their best songs are actually their hits. So I have no shame in this. They’re probably the best pop band ever, and we all know this, but 'Dancing Queen' is the best pop track ever written. What resonates with me so much is while their songs are generally upbeat, feel-good sounding songs that make you want to dance, the lyrics are actually quite melancholy. And there’s nothing I love more than sadness repackaged as a good time. My favourite songs are 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' (major heartbreak paired with gorgeous, lush harmonies) and 'SOS' (a goth-y synth-pop track with a powerful, emotional vocal performance).

What's your favourite film of all time and why?

Behind The Creative: Photographer Bao NgoLes Parapluies de Cherbourg is probably my favourite film, which is funny because usually I opt for horror films, and this is sort of the opposite of everything that I love in films. It’s a French romantic-drama-musical from 1964 directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve, with a stunning score by Michel Legrand. With the abundance of floral wallpapers and pastel umbrellas in the set/prop design and the sugary sweet 60s wardrobe styling, Parapluies is pure eye candy. The world in which the characters exist is so perfectly constructed. And we watch their lives completely fall apart within it, all while they’re singing opera for the entire 91 minutes that the movie runs for. It’s pure magic realism in its most traditional sense.

What's your go-to piece of clothing and what makes it so important to you?

It depends on the season but generally my go-to piece of clothing is this vintage 1960s patterned quilt dress. It’s super soft, worn-in, and comfortable, but also makes me look like a fabulous grandma. It looks over the top but doesn’t feel over the top. It’s soft enough for me to wear at home and take naps in, but also durable enough for me to wear outside all the time— which I do during the fall/winter/early spring. I wear it everywhere. And I always receive compliments on it every time.

What's your favourite book of all time and why?

Behind The Creative: Photographer Bao NgoI have to admit I’m not a huge reader, but I love non-fiction. I also love cinema, so naturally, my favourite book is Making Movies by Sidney Lumet. While I’m a photographer by trade, sometimes I dream of another life where I was a full-time filmmaker, and Making Movies is an exploration of what life on a big budget set is like, written by one of the most prolific directors ever. He talks about his relationships with his actors, cinematographers, and producers in-depth and covers all the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of filmmaking and all the roles that work hard to make movie magic happen. Lumet breaks down the complex process of making a movie and turns it into a fun, easy read.

What's your most essential gadget?

Behind The Creative: Photographer Bao NgoMy Sony DSC-T10, for sure. It’s a tiny digital point-and-shoot from 2006. I actually bought it secondhand at a used electronics/manga/DVD store and it’s in Japanese so I can’t even read any of the controls, I just know how to adjust the exposure meter and turn the flash on and off. But it’s such a good camera, and I carry it everywhere with me. People don’t carry digicams around anymore because now we all have smartphones that take decent photos, but my DSC-T10 actually takes much better photos than my iPhone 7 plus. I’ve even shot some professional work on it, and it’s definitely way more compact than my mirrorless.

Lastly, name some people you think we should be keeping an eye out for!

Behind The Creative: Photographer Bao NgoUna Blue: a dear friend of mine, photographer/filmmaker/musician from Seattle whose work is surreal and ultra spellbinding.

Be sure to head over to Bao Ngo's official website to view some of her work.