Can I Help You?

Rather than compiling a thousand Q&A’s into one painfully long post, or write an essay about my perspective on life, I’ll just check in once a month to respond to your questions in the comment box, and you can all refer back to this page for answers to burning life questions, when you need them most.

Ask, and you shall receive.

I often forget that not everybody is as wholly fused to multiple social media platforms as I am. As a result, those questions that are answered on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and email, don’t make it to each and the other, and I find myself faced with the problem of a thousand messages across every platform, asking more or less the same thing. Given that the choice is between answering every single one with slightly different phrasing, or continuing with all too many readings ahead of classes this week, I thought it more effective to direct everyone to this one post. And, rather than compiling the lot into one painfully long post (as I have done once before, and will never, ever do again), or write an essay about my perspective on life (which will probably reoccur eventually, but for now, ain’t nobody got time fo that), I’ll just check in once a month to respond to your questions in the comment box below, and you can all refer back to this page for answers to burning life questions, when you need them most.

Or, there’s also Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and email, for that.

As a matter of guidance, or not, here are the answers to what have essentially been the most pressing subjects in question across all of my social channels over the past month:

How do you balance Law School and your Fashion life? In short, it’s not impossible. Consider all the time you spend procrastinating on Facebook, on the couch, on your phone, in a day, and reallocate that to something productive, even if that means going for a run, or cleaning out the house, or making dinner for your parents, or volunteering at a community centre. Set signpost goals in your mind of where you want to be in a year, two years, five years, and ten years. If what you’re doing at any point in time isn’t contributing to that, stop and do what you should be doing. Time management and long-term ambition is key. (Having said that, you really do need time off to stay healthy – just allocate that to a particular day of the week or month).

How do you get brands to give you money? If your goal in a creative field is looking to be solely commercial, you need to step back and reassess. Do you want to build a powerful digital brand, with credibility, long-term influence, and promote good values to a loyal audience, or do you just want to fly around the world, look pretty and have nice designer bags? If you’re after the latter, then just sell out like crazy, and the dollars will come.

How did you meet your boyfriend? Not on the internet.

What was this image (above) shot for? I shot this for the Caslazur Cartel while romping around New York last month – you can see the full series here.

What should I wear to University in Winter? Not sweatpants. Try this.

Are you still a vegan? I’m actually back to just being a vegetarian, but try to keep a cap on how much dairy I consume (too much makes me feel ill).

If you’re a vegetarian, why do you wear leather? As much as I am against animal cruelty, my vegetarianism stems mostly out of personal health reasons. The leather that I do buy does not come off the back of a truck – I buy from regulated (often boutique) brands and designers who have a social conscience, and are not skinning cows alive in their studios.

Have you had a nose job? No.

Why are your eyes so small? Oh god.

What are some of your favourite websites? I made a list quite recently, here.

What camera and lenses do you shoot with? Nikon D600, 85mm f/1.8G, 14-24mm f/2.8G, and 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D.

What is your skincare routine? I try and switch it up every couple of months, as your skin just gets used to certain products and they become less effective, but I consistently use extra virgin coconut oil as a make-up remover and moisturiser (unless I’m traveling – it’s too hard to carry, and having it spill in your luggage is disgusting), I always wear sunscreen (Mecca Cosmetica’s series is a handbag regular), and more of my favourites are here, and here. Everybody’s skin responds differently, though (my skin is classified as normal, for the record).

You eat so much on Instagram! How do you stay so skinny? While it may surprise you, I don’t personally consume every piece of food that shows up on Instagram. Sometimes, I’m not eating by myself in a corner, and I have cute food dates with other people, who also eat, rather than watching me devour multiple meals in one sitting.

Who takes all of your photos? Unless I’ve credited otherwise, I shoot all of my own photos on a tripod and self-timer.

Even on Instagram? Yes, unless it’s a photo of me, in which case I’ve just ambushed a stranger to snap a quick shot, or convinced whoever I happen to be with to have more than two seconds of patience. Most of the time, this is Alex.

What apps do you use for your Instagram photos? My favourites are Luminance and Snapseed.

How do I create my own personal style? First consider your body shape, and what you feel the most comfortable in. Then expand into colours, textures, and prints from there.

How often do you workout, and how long for? Five days a week, one hour per session.

What are some of your favourite foods? These. And my Mother’s sticky rice dumplings. Heavenly stuff.

How do you afford to travel so much? The majority of my travel is for work, and I just try to sneak in a day or two off in each city. I work roughly the equivalent of full time, so if it’s a personal holiday, I just set aside dollar bills as any other person would.

What’s the best way to manage my finances (i.e. save for fancy shoes)? Cut up your credit card. And shop sales.

Do you think the fashion world is racist? Read up.

Please tell me how to get my foot in the door in the fashion industry? Experience is everything. Have initiative and consider what potential employees would want to see on your resumé, beyond your supposed “passion for fashion” (please don’t put that in your cover letter). Internships are not difficult to come by, and given that the Australian industry is relatively small, a good reference letter from your boss can go such a long way. Make sure you build yourself a strong public digital brand, even if that means posting inspiration photos on Instagram, and having a separate private account for your drunk nights rolling around on the beach in Thailand. If you want to be a fashion writer, start a website with properly structured opinion posts about events in the fashion industry. If you want to be a stylist, reach out to photographers and build your portfolio of work. It’s very straightforward stuff. Creatives don’t want to guess what you’re capable of – they want it in black and white in front of them.

Anything else?

Ask and you shall receive.

My facial expression is ready.

Comment box is below.


shot on Nikon D600 with 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D

wearing Caslazur

  • helen

    what do you do for work margaret?

    • priyanka gupta

      It’s all on her About page!

      • priyanka gupta

        Also, Margaret I have a question too!

        Do you ever get pimples?

        • margaretzhang

          Hey Priyanka – I generally have quite clear skin, but once in a while I’ll get an absolute Everest (usually on my forehead) from lack of sleep, dehydration, or too much stress.

    • margaretzhang

      Hi Helen – I work freelance as a photographer, stylist, writer, and creative consultant. From time to time, I also work on projects with brands for Shine By Three.

  • Nina Ng

    Dear Margaret,

    Thanks for posting this! It answered a lot of my questions :)

    I have a few more:

    1) Do you believe in life after death?

    2) Are you actually going to be a lawyer?

    3) What products did you use to get your hair wet-looking like the photo above?

    4) Who is your hairdresser in Sydney?

    5) Do you think it’s better to work freelance or for a company?

    Thank you! I love your work and admire you so much. You really stand out from other ‘bloggers’.

    • margaretzhang

      Hi Nina – here goes:

      1) I don’t spend too much time thinking about death, but sometimes wonder if I’ll be reincarnated as a beaver.

      2) I’d absolutely love to one day – it’s just a matter of when.

      3) In this photo, I had literally just gotten out of the shower, so no product there. Otherwise, I’d use a combination of these two products, and, to achieve a roughly combed wet look

      4) Paloma Rose Garcia at Oscar Oscar Salon in Paddington is my go to hairdresser – such a talent, and such a gem!

      5) It depends on what type of person you are. Freelance in youth is great for super driven and organised people with a strong personal brand and business smarts. On the other hand, working for somebody else is a great way of learning from an expert in a particular field (and in some professions, is the only way to start e.g. investment banking, law, some forms of corporate marketing). There’s also no reason why you can’t dabble in a bit of both. There are no rules.

      Thanks for your kind words, too!

  • Bernadette Williams

    Hi Margaret – I am OBSESSED with what you do!!!! You are such a role model for me. Just one Q from my end – I know you are a professional photographer/stylist/writer etc, but would you ever consider professional modelling? You are so good at it, and you’re so edgy/beautiful. I also saw you are on IMG’s online model books, but only in special bookings?

    • margaretzhang

      Modeling sometimes comes into my work, but I think I enjoy doing too many other things to commit a lot of time to modeling. I’m so flattered that you think I could, though!

  • Nicole

    Hi Margaret! I’d just like to ask a question out of curiousity – your high fashion work is pretty clear so I won’t ask anything related to that.

    You could probably get a job easy in Vogue, but since you’re studying law, if you had to make a choice, would you get into a career in law or head into the Vogue house?

    • margaretzhang

      Given that chancing careers is not as difficult now as it was twenty years ago, I don’t think I necessarily have to choose. I’d love to do both at some point in life – it’s just a matter of what order (probably fashion first, law later).

  • Nicole

    Oh and another thing, how do you get that wet look with your hair? What products do you use? I know you’ve said this somewhere but I need my mind refreshed.

  • Hi Margaret, could you please suggest where I could buy some affordable backpack and ankle boots? A backpack that I could bring my laptop to somewhere. Thanks a million and wish you a wonderful week ahead.

  • This is great. Loved reading your answers to the questions. I’ve also wanted to ask you a few things!
    1. What clothing items would be best to wear for confused(for lack of better term) weather? Lately here in Manila, it’s rainy and cold then sunny the next! Both phenomenon happen in the same day like rainy in the morning then sunny in midday then rainy late afternoon. I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to dressing up when the weather is like this!
    2. Any tips on editing photos for the blog or in general? I really love how yours looks so professional!
    3. In your opinion, what makes a fashion blog awesome/stand out? What with hundreds of style bloggers out there today.

    Would love to hear your answers on these queries. Stay awesome, Marg! x

    • margaretzhang

      Glad you liked the answers, Jeline.

      1. It’s probably best to layer, in cray weather like that – wear cottons or silks, and layer with light knits and heavier outerwear.
      2. I think the better way to approach photos is to get them right when you’re shooting them – wise (and eloquent) words from a TV cameraman I worked with for a week in Thailand: “You can’t save a turd, Marg”. Basically, make sure you’re happy with the lighting, the composition, and the colours. Your editing process should just be to enhance e.g. make the photo brighter, make a red shirt redder, make dramatic shadows stronger.
      3. Original content that comes from a genuine and carefully considered place, not playing it safe, and provoking thought with readers.

      Hope that helps! X

  • Angelique

    Hi Margaret, your hair always looks super luscious which products do you use and where are good places to get ultra great staples like plain shirts and black jackets. And also I think you should write a book (but including photos, like a coffee table book) your writing is great and I always enjoy to check in and soak in the knowledge. Thanks

    • I usually only use sea-salt spray. I just have a huge amount of hair! I really like Everlane for reasonably priced, great staples. The quality of Bassike and James Perse products are also fantastic.

  • Jo

    Margaret!! I recently started a bachelor of mech engineering. A guy walked into my lecture in TRACKSUIT pants and I was like ‘girl, I am in the wrong room’. So I’ve deferred from uni to focus on my creative interests (blogging, sewing, sleeping etc.). Please tell me I’m not alone in thinking that wearing trackies to uni is like giving up on yourself??? I love fashion, but sometimes I can’t help but feel like a Class A Bitch. How do you remain so passionate about your love of fashion when you know that so many people probably think you’re crazy in the coconut???? I don’t think there was a question in any of that? I just love Shine By Three. Wanted to be a part of question time. Okay, bye. Peace

    • margaretzhang

      I guess we have a bit of a winter trackies culture in Aus, right? As I mentioned here,, there will always be people who think what you’re wearing is outlandish and stupid (hell, my Mother and brother text me daily, saying that my latest Instagram outfit was too strange). But, just as Mech Eng dude is entitled to wear trackies to class, you’re entitled to wear whatever the hell you want – even if that’s a taco costume. You rock that taco costume. Confidence is how Rihanna gets away with turning up to events basically naked. When you stop being self-conscious, people stop judging – just as when you stop judging, people stop judging you. Eventually.

      • Jo

        Wow, you are my fashion Yoda, only much taller!!!! Thanks Margaret, I feel very inspired by your honest responses!! Keep doing what you do because it’s incredible!!!XX

  • Jane

    How did you start off? We’re your parents supportive of your dream? Why didn’t you choose to do a degree in Fashion instead?

    • I think I’d go nuts if I were only in Fashion 24/7. Everyone needs that balance – Law and Business are the grounding, disciplinary, real world knowledge that I need to back up my creative side that already exists. I don’t think you can teach people how to be creative – you either are or you’re not. Given that, I think Fashion college is only good for people who need the technical know-how of things like fashion design, or product development… or something along those lines. Other things like fashion PR, or fashion journalism need a media/comms or business degree, with work experience.

      My parents don’t fully understand what it is that I do (my Dad still thinks I own a shop), but they can see that I can support myself, and sometimes see press, which they get excited about, which is good enough for me.

      • Emma T

        If if your parents were so ignorant ( as you disrectfully say about them), how did they afford and also realise the ballet and piano lessons that you attended. I don’t think they are as ignorant as you make them out to be. Give them the respect that they are also capable of understanding what their daughter does. This is not just a rag to riches story. Climbing up the ladder in any occupation needs TALENT ….yes…but also OPPORTUNITY and RUTHLESSNESS. You have all that. Quit the puppy dog behaviour.

  • Curious George

    You know how some actors (when they become well-known) no longer need to hunt for work/roles, and people in the industry start to approach THEM? Do you feel this is a fitting analogy for where you’re currently at?

    • I don’t think anyone should ever be so complacent that they feel they can just sit and wait. It’s definitely easier workwise than it was at the outset, but then again, I was not really dying to work at the outset. I was just a student. Always work hard and look to improve yourself – any success is temporary and fleeting. On to the next.

  • The Man With The Yellow Hat

    You mentioned earlier that it’s important to have long-term ambition and signpost goals in order to get ahead. Fair enough. Just a few questions about that:

    1. Are your signpost goals very specific, or more general? Not that it matters all that much – I’m really just trying to get some insight into how you, as somebody my age who’s accomplished so much, work.

    2. Hopefully you won’t direct me to Google (been there, done that ha), but I wondered whether you had any advice for those who have achieved a lot at school and uni in terms of results, but who don’t know where their life is headed? Don’t mean to inspire impatience, but were you always so certain? I just don’t know where to channel my energy, which, for somebody who works hard, is really crippling.

    Anyway, thanks for your time!

    • Hey Yellow Hat Man! Sorry about the late response!

      1. My signposts aren’t down to the minute in terms of who I’ll be working for, and what exactly I’ll be doing. They’re more in terms of scale e.g. I would like to be working overseas, at a senior level either freelancing for or within a large corporation. Nothing specific, but you can pinpoint a couple of jobs within the creative world that fits that description.

      2. Not at all – it’s fantastic that you work hard, because there’s value in that. I’m really lucky that I found what I’m very passionate about very early on, but I’m sure a lot of people you know will say that it sometimes takes a few career changes to do that. My best recommendation would be to fill your time with as many hobbies and interests as you can, and develop mini skill sets in each of them so as to speed up that search process.

  • Joe Beverly

    Great post! I love the Caslazur photo shoot, especially the shot of you in the jumper. It’s really cool that most of your shoots are done with a tripod and a timer. You’re obviously doing something right.

    • margaretzhang

      Thanks, Joe! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • I love how your honest about things like your travel vs work. I can only imagine how many times you’re asked about your finances. And the inclusion of the eyes question. Glad that despite all the attention you get you seem to still stand proudly with optimism!

    I think the only question I have to ask now is, with all these opportunities and the busy timetables. Is there anything you miss or wish you could still have that you’ve lost from all this?

    • margaretzhang

      Thanks for the sweet words, Rosa! I do sometimes miss having weekends off, and not being so reliant on technology – but hey, comes with the job(s)!

  • You are amazing – I love how down-to-earth you’ve stayed, and your fantastic response to the eyes question that gives it just enough attention to curtly tell it off.

    • margaretzhang

      Thank you so much, Isabelle! Glad you’re enjoying the site. X

  • Linda

    How did you start off working in the fashion industry after having created your blog? Also, what was it like having a blog at such a young age? Thanks M!

  • Neil

    Is there a particular reason why you don’t drink? I’ve personally never been a fan myself, hence my abstinence.

    • margaretzhang

      I’ve just never had alcohol – I was a year younger than everyone in my year group at school, never had a fake ID, and always had fun with friends without alcohol (even if other people are drinking). When I finally turned 18, the curiosity just wasn’t there, and I’m still not curious in the slightest – I could buy a whole serve of dumpling AND ramen instead of a glass of sugar and mint leaves with a drop of vodka. Logic. Having said that, I don’t condemn drinking at all – it’s a huge part of people’s social lives, food rituals, and helps people relax, which I’m all for. Makes for less awkward conversations.

  • Jenn

    Have you ever ‘purged’ from using coconut oil? And if so, for how long approximately?

    • margaretzhang

      Not intentionally – probably only when I’m overseas and don’t have any with me (minimum period of a couple of days, maximum period of a month).

  • J

    How do you maintain your relationship with your boyfriend, if you have to travel so often ? :)

    • margaretzhang

      I’m not going to the moon – there’s always Whatsapp and emails to stay in touch.

  • caro qy

    Your writting and your thought are really influencing

    • margaretzhang

      So happy to hear that you think so, Caro X

  • Vicky

    I’m thinking about doing a commerce degree and somehow tying that in with fashion, but does it involve a lot of arithmetic or is it manageable for a creative orientated person? Love your blog Margaret!

    • margaretzhang

      Any Commerce degree is going to have maths in it – about half of your compulsory first year subjects involve a lot of numbers, but it’s pretty basic. Even if you are creatively geared, I would highly recommend that you take a Commerce degree, just so you understand even the basic workings of how to manage a business and finances, and how larger companies operate. This is invaluable if you end up working freelance, or even in a creative firm – it gives you a real life edge over pure creatives.

  • Anon

    Hi Margaret! As a blogger, how would you say is the best way to collaborate with brands?

    • margaretzhang

      Don’t try and collaborate as a ‘blogger’. Collaborate as a stylist, a writer, an artist, a photographer etc. with your blog following as a platform to showcase it.

  • Allison

    How much do you make a month?

    • margaretzhang

      I don’t feel like that’s something anybody is going to tell you about themselves, but I’m happy.

  • Allison

    What are you law school grades like? Given that you are juggling full time work. How does this affect your grades and what is your average?

    • Same as below: I don’t feel like your average person is going to divulge their transcript unless you’re a prospective employer, but I’m happy with my results and always pushing for higher. Time management needs to be militant, but it’s not impossible.

  • Jennifer

    How tall are you?

  • Thuy

    What are some of your travelling overseas essentials? How do you keep organised abroad?

    • These are some of my go-tos:

      I have smaller pouches for everything within my suitcase/carry-on e.g. electronics bag, toiletries bag, underwear bag, shoe bag… everything goes where it was in the first place, and I don’t lose anything that way!

  • Silvia

    Hi margaret! I have to say, i love your blog so much! It’s different from other fashion blogs and the way you writes are admirable! I am wondering do you study journalism before or how are you able to write and compose such beautiful writings? I was reading through it and it feels like i’m reading a novel, seriously.
    And i have another question, with you being so long in the fashion industry, is it necessary to have a degree in fashion journalism or fashion design if i wanted to become either a writer or designer?
    Anyway, thanks so much beforehand! :)

    • I haven’t taken a journalism course, no, but I’m so flattered that you’re enjoying the writing! I think that good writing can only come from reading a lot – which I did more of when I was growing up. It’s not as much to see how other people write, but rather how they use the English language – there are so many figures of speech that evolve with the speed of our pop culture now that it’s important to keep up, even if it’s you recognising the difference between really terrible writing and exceptional word play.

      I don’t think it’s necessary to have a degree for anything except technical practices like medicine or architecture, but it definitely helps you build the way you think and approach say, fashion design or journalism. At the very least, take a course (there are so many short intensives available)!

  • Angelique

    Hello again, i was also wondering where to get cool casual tops and how do you get that wet look with your hair and does it last all day and how do you get the volume-y side part on top of your hair. Thanks

    • ASOS and Shopbop are great for cool and casual.

      Wet look hair is usually straight out of the shower, so literally wet.

      Side part with volume is achieved with seasalt spray!

  • Suzie Yang

    Haha, that was a great read as always. You’re so grounded and ‘aware’ on all levels.

  • Prisca

    You mentioned about forgetting alcohol/coffee if we’re saving up. What about those monthly magazines (eg. Vogue, Bazaar, The Collective, Frankie, Australian Yoga, etc.)? Should we forget about them too and spend almost or completely zero by reading blogs only over the internet?

    • I still buy the odd magazine when I’m at the airport, if there’s an issue that I know has an excellent editorial or story, but I’ve never subscribed to magazines. If you really want to see every editorial and ad campaign, Fashion Gone Rogue literally documents everything:

  • DN

    I read that you swim in the morning. Is there anything else that you do to keep fit and stay healthy? Also, how do you manage your time during the day to fit in so many things? or, can you please let us know what is your typical day like?

    • HIIT and Pilates are my favourites at the moment. I’m always up by 6:30-7 at the latest, and fit in something e.g. exercise, or a load of emails before I have to go to class. I don’t hang around on campus – usually in my breaks, I leave and go to meetings or showrooms for work. It’s just a matter of filling your day until you have to go to sleep.

  • Domenica Calarco

    Hi Marg

    I love everything you do an will support anything you do. I’d really like to know where you see yourself in say 5 or so years time? Will you continue on with Shine By Three or move onto bigger and better things?
    What do you say to people who think you are ‘selling yourself out’ by taking part in the blogger reality series? (I for one don’t think so but have been reading comments on the articles etc. I don’t really think its any different to what you are doing now anyways!)

    • Hey DC! Sorry about the super late response – totally slacked off on this post.

      I’ll always have Shine By Three – whether or not it remains the same content, depends on where I end up career wise which is always open to change. People will always be keen to see the journey, regardless of whether or not that involves me in clothes. I’d be interested to explore more specific areas in print, digital strategy, marketing, PR, talent strategy, film… you name it.

      For me, the blogger reality series was just to show a little more of what I do. I didn’t take on any sponsorships that were associated with it – for me it was a purely documentary exercise. I was so busy between work and class, the crew just had to come and get what they could of what I was already doing. So for those who are seeing it as ‘selling out’, there wasn’t really anything being sold.

  • Do you ever pitch collaborations to brands or do they always approach you? If you pitch, how can you make your idea stand out?

    How do you edit your videos?

    • margaretzhang

      Most of the time, a brand will come to me with a message to push, or a season collection, and I’ll build a few creative concepts around it, then pitch back to them. There’s no way to make an average idea stand out – you just have to think outside the box, and see the brand as a whole, know its history, its direction, and where it wants to be positioned in its immediate industry.

      I use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit video content.

      • Amelia

        Thanks Margaret! That’s actually really helpful xx

  • Emily Barnes

    Do you ever help people make a modelling portfolio who have little experience and want to work in the modelling industry?

  • Bonny Yang

    How do you manage to consistently work out without getting bored or exhausted? I really admire your commitment :))

    • margaretzhang

      I do get exhausted, but I work across too many areas to ever be bored – if I get sick of writing, I move on to editing, then to studying, then to concepting, then to styling prep, etc. etc. Filling your spare time with different interests is an awesome way of staying interested and passionate.

  • Jessica

    Hey there! I follow your blog/instagram/any form of social media religiously. Primarily because I feel like we literally have a million and one things in common (I study com/law as well just in Melbourne and I am 21! etc etc ..). Anyways recently (as in literally 2-3 weeks ago) I started a lifestyle blog as a creative outlet to my ridiculously tedious workload, and although I am necessarily interested in obtaining overnight ‘blogger-fame’, I do too some degree want to establish a readership for my blog… I was wondering what you thought the best way to go about this was in the blogosphere of today. Thank you for your time!! and for your amazing posts (you are incredibly inspiring!) xxxx Jessica

    • The blogosphere is definitely tougher than it was, say, five years ago, just because of oversaturation. I think you need to invest in a great site design, and build up a bank of really high quality imagery and considered articles. Try and have a think about what you’re trying to achieve beyond ‘blogger-fame’ and use your website as a way of communicating that. That’s what people are interested in.

      • Phelis N. Marv.

        Can I do a design similar to your website, im a developer and i absolutey adore you.

  • Maddy Button

    I’ve always loved your work! Your pictures are so timeless and well set up, I need to do shoot for my new band but I want something that is fashion forward and something differnt..any ideas?

    • How about a studio shoot and get an artist aligned with your creative direction to paint over it!

  • What did you major in at uni? I’m doing a double degree in Commerce/Arts as well as a fashion tafe degree part time, but I don’t know if I want to choose a career in commerce or fashion. I really enjoy fashion in particular product developing, but being brought up in an asian family, I feel that commerce is much much more stable a career. xx

    • I did Finance/Marketing in Commerce, and I guess it would be an IP/Media Law major situation in Law this year. Financial stability is important, but there’s no reason why you can’t combine the two!

  • Mirna

    How long did it take you to become known within the industry? did you start with creating this blog first or did you build up the experience and contacts first then created the blog?

    • I started my site when I was 16 in highschool without intending for it to grow the way it has. It has definitely helped me crystallise my career preferences, and built a profile for me within the industry, which I’ve then been able to build on.

  • Hey Marg, just wanted to say that I find your blog a wonderfully entertaining read! You mentioned above that you work out for an hour, five times a week – I was just wondering what kind of exercises you do? I’ve been slacking on the exercise front this Winter (I’d much rather be a burrito in my duvet), but have lately been feeling more motivated by the warm(er) weather. Any recommendations aside from running? Thanks x

    • Hey Chloe! I do a mix of HIIT and pilates at the moment, but I tend to go through phases. Swimming is always a good one for staying trim rather than muscular!

  • Mridula

    Any books/films that inspired you to push ahead with creating such a strong personal brand that’s also edgy? I’d love to know what you’re into.

    • Hmmm I definitely have books and films that I have always loved and analyse to improve my creative outlook, but not in that soul-searching, motivational speaking way! My favourite films are The Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, and Of Mice and Men with John Malkovich. I also just watched Birdman which I think is exceptional. Books-wise, I just read Suki Kim’s “Without You, There Is No Us” which is very powerful. Old favourites are Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Catch-22 and To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • Mridula

    How do you usually get connected to brands and travel to do shoots for them/styling work? Do you email them, do coffee or do they seek you out? How did you start in the beginning?

  • Kelly

    Can you please do a compilation of places to eat, shop, and visit in Sydney? And hotels you would recommend for someone going there for the first time?

    • Totally!

      EAT: Fat Rupert’s, Fratelli Paradiso, Kawa, Oneness, Coogee Pavilion, China Diner, Bill’s, Ramen Kan, Micky’s, Iceberg’s
      SHOP: Glenmore Rd (The Intersection), Five Ways (there are a few great stores across from Thomas Dux like Parlour X and Camilla and Marc), Desordré, Strand Arcade, Westfield Bondi Junction, and Bay St in Double Bay

      SEE: MCA, White Rabbit Gallery, whatever opera/ballet/play is on at the Opera House for the experience, Bondi-to-Bronte coastal walk, Gordon’s Bay and Clovelly Beach

      I love the QT hotel in the city. Watson’s Bay Boutique hotel is also really nice.

  • Jess

    You mentioned a Chinese cream that you used for reducing the redness of pimples in a post a while ago, what was that?
    Also: top 10 clothing items (or 5 if 10 is too much) to make one appear taller?

    • I actually can’t remember the name, but let me dig up a tube and get back to you! Top… I’m going to go with 5 haha:

      1) high-waisted, wide-legged trousers
      2) floaty maxi dresses
      3) midi skirts
      4) tapered trousers with a skirt over the top

      5) long jumpsuits

      It’s basically anything that disguises where your hips and knees start to create the illusion of being taller

  • Ian

    Hi Margaret! Which law subjects are you studying this semester? Fantastic to see the fashion/legal dualistic passion alive in you!

    • margaretzhang

      Hi! I’m doing Equity, Evidence, Corporations, and Public… oh happy day…

  • pdr

    Why do you attend Law School if you want to work in the fashion industry (assuming that is your long term goal)?

    • Everything is a business now, so I went to business school. As an independent business person, it’s important to know your rights and how to handle the more technical side of your business, so I’m at Law School. There’s a much lower incidence of success from being purely creative, and I don’t believe in hiring people to do everything for you, unless you have a solid understanding of what they’ll be doing for you. I’m still really fascinated with international law in the digital space, design and copyright law and media law, which are my electives this year at Law School (and highly relevant to the fashion space), so I’m sure my double life will converge at some point. Law School also teaches you efficiency, focus and severely analytical thinking that I apply day to day. Plus, I enjoy learning.

  • Humairaa

    I love reading your blog your work is amazing and fascinating.please can you do a makeup tutorial or mention makeup products you use on a daily basis .Your make up always looks so effortless and glowy.

    • I still haven’t gotten around to doing make-up tutorials (honestly I’m wearing it less and less haha), but it’s on my to-do list! I’ll keep you updated!

  • Shannon Beer

    I’m so glad you’re doing this post, I have a million odd questions I could ask but I’ll stick to two!
    1. How did you first get into the kind of work you’re doing? As in, how did you go from being a student to a writer/stylist/model/blogger etc?
    2. How did you design your blog? I love the layout, it looks so professional and I’d love some tips. What website do you host on?

    Thank you for inspiring me every day!

    • Shannon! Sorry about the late reply. Here goes:

      1) I started my site just as a space for my art inspiration while I was in highschool, and slowly refined my content to what it is now. It was all a very organic progression, and I’m glad it has worked out the way it has!

      2) Amazing Shini designed my website – – I’d highly recommend her work! Such a fantastic eye and a breeze to work with. The backend is based on WordPress.

  • Shannon Beer

    Also could you please do a day in the life of your wardrobe/an insight into your wardrobe/key pieces you couldn’t live without etc! I’m going to start uni in September and will only be able to bring the essentials with me.

  • Hi Margaret :)

    I must say, I’m a huge fan of all your works! I also follow you on all your social media platforms (yes, I’m that hooked! haha!)
    I am always in awe of your posts and wit! Thank you for doing Q&A again! =) If you don’t mind me asking the ff.:

    1. What is your strategy for focusing while using a self-timer?
    2. What is your current workout? Is it still Bikram yoga?
    3. When is Fashion Bloggers TV going to air? (so excited for this!)

    I really hope to get to bump into you or meet you one day! I have so much more to say but I’ll keep it short as I know you have tons of questions to answer! :) Cheers to you Marg!<3 xx Thank you in advance for your time. =)

    • Hey Rachelle! Hope you’ve been well – always great to see your comments on Instagram.

      Ok here goes:

      1) Use a reference object that’s in line with where you want to stand e.g. a bin or a tree. Alternatively, use a remote.
      2) At the moment I do a combination of HIIT and Pilates – I stopped doing Bikram after I read about how creepy Bikram (the guy) is, but I think I’ll have a look for some other hot yoga alternatives, because it really was so good!
      3) I’m sure you’ve been watching Fashion Bloggers! Hope you liked it.


  • Isabelle Cameron

    Ever consider hiring an assistant? And if so, where can I apply?

    • margaretzhang

      I’m coming to the point where I really do need one, but it’s difficult given that my different areas of work are so varied that I’d almost need two or three, which is a whole management process in itself. Always happy to read CVs, though –

  • Henisha

    Hi Margaret, are these the jeans you were wearing in one of your previous instagram posts?

    They looked awesome on you! Thanks

    • margaretzhang

      Hi! Yes they are – actually wearing them as I right this. Weird? They’re currently the most comfortable bottoms I own (even for flying!).

  • jenny

    Hi Margaret, just wanted to let you know that your passion, determination, work ethic, and your impeccable time management skills is really something, truly an inspiration and really empowering for women wanting to achieve their goals in life. You have so many strengths that’ve helped you where you are today- what do you consider are your weaknesses and how do you go about improving these aspects of your life?

    • Thank you so much, Jenny! And sorry about the late reply – kind of dropped the ball here. My weakness at the moment is definitely looking after myself – mainly with sleep. I forgot a lot of the time that I’m not invincible and I really need to make the time investment in switching off so I can operate more effectively for longer. I think I’m also too much of a perfectionist, sometimes to the point where it becomes unproductive. So that’s something to work on. A few more 2015 resolutions here:

  • Tracy

    Great interview!

  • parkncube

    Why are you so awesome? Please elaborate.

    • margaretzhang

      I learn from the best. i.e. you. @parkncube:disqus

      • Susan

        hahaha you guys are funny – bit late for me to be reading your blog posts – have been following parkncube and your blog since you both started. You guys are doing an incredible job :)

  • Victoria

    what’s your height?

  • J

    Has coconut oil ever caused you to break out before? I broke out from using it at first — is that a sign that I should stop using it? Or, is that just part of the ‘worse before better’ phase? Thanks, love! xx

    • Hey J! I personally haven’t had any break-outs from coconut oil (though bear in mind that your face shouldn’t be dripping in it so your skin can’t breath – apply, then pat off a bit with a facial tissue). I do have friends who have said that there were a few days of bad before the good – cleanse regularly, and if you’re still having issues, see a dermatologist :) X

  • Sophie

    Looking for places to stay in NYC, any suggestions? xx

  • Soph

    Looking for places to stay in NYC, any suggestions? xx

    • Take a look on Airbnb ! There are some great apartments particularly down in Chelsea and Chinatown. If you’re after a hotel, I’d 100% recommend the Soho Grand. The service is incredible, and so is the food and location.

  • Cheryl

    Margaret, I must say that in this sea of websites…you’ve really stood out with a clear focus in your style and voice. I think your advice on having goals is really a reflection of your life & that’s really motivating n inspiring for many of us! I have something silly to ask…and that’s:

    1) How much sleep do you get a night and do you find yourself getting lost in time in the flood of social networking sites/websites these days? I find that it really eats into my rest/sleep, but sometimes I can’t help being immersed into this need to feed my eyes with sensory overload after sensory overload, and then regret it after :/

    2) Do people ever ask you how old you are at work? And how do you build such confidence to dismiss all naysayers?

    Keep writing! :)

    • Hey Cheryl – so sorry about the late reply! I so appreciate your kind words and support – such a lovely pick-me-up after a long day hunched over my computer!

      Ok so:

      1) I really wish I could say 8, but realistically, depending on how busy I am, I range from about 5-7. It’s a New Year’s Resolution of mine to shut of my technology an hour before I want to go to bed – it really is terrible for you!

      2) When I just started out in the fashion industry, it was a novelty to people – “look how cute – Margaret’s doing things and she’s only 17!”, and once you hit 21, it can become condescending. It doesn’t help that I still look like I’m 17. They key is A. to give no sh*ts B. never appear embarrassed. People have their doubts, but if you can prove that you have the experience and the know-how to back it all up, they very quickly forget about age.

      Have a great weekend!

  • Liz Liu

    What are some affordable staples in which you wear to go to classes? What are some business outfits you like to utilize for cases and etc? I am going to grad school in January and will be making the transition from daily scrubs to more professional wear and would appreciate any advice!

    • Hey! Hope Grad school is going really well. I think you just need to invest in three really good quality shirts (one white, one blue, one oversized), two great blazers (one long and slightly oversized, but square around the shoulders, and one cropped and fitted), two pairs of trousers (one peg-leg or tapered and one wide-leg and high-waisted), one midi skirt if you’re into that, and two pairs of shoes (one razor sharp black pump – I like these Kurt Geiger ones – and one pointed flat). Hope that helps!

  • Prita

    “How much you make a month?” Do you think about sucker punching people who cross the line with questions like this? Do people ask you questions like this when they meet you in person?

    • margaretzhang

      I think the protection of anonymity online destroys people’s mind-to-mouth filter. It’s only a matter of time before it filters into real life… unfortunately…

  • Pandora Sykes

    Congrats, Margaret. Not only are you really honest about everything, but you’re really f*cking kicking it as a top blogger, without commanding a fleet of 5 assistants to maintain your ‘brand’ nor wearing gross clothes cos the company pays $$$$. Just a note, from one fashion writer to another, there.

    • Why thanks, Pandora – that means so much coming from you!

  • addisar

    What types of clothes should you wear if you are trying to hide a gut?

  • Olivia

    Do you mainly travel the world for work or leisure? Where have you been? You’re such a great role model, being able to juggle com law and fashion is a great feat! Xx

    • The majority of my travel is for work, but sometimes I have a little time in between to fit in some personal adventures. I’ve been to the US, France, Spain, UK, Costa Rica Nicaragua, Morocco, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Austria, Germany, Italy… I think that’s everything!

  • Franny

    Hello! I recently came upon your Instagram and I have to say I’m obsessed! You’re currently my favorite fashion icon.

    I don’t really have a question; I’m just an admirer. I found this site by an young aspiring blogger and I thought you should hear about it. It was posted about a month after your “Growth Formula’ post and it is titled similarly as Growth [ formula ]. It seems to pull a few sentences from your own writing such as “Flirty hemlines dancing above Gremlin-faced knees seem so wrongly juxtaposed that perhaps exposed belly buttons are better.”, “And so is born the burning life question: what’s in a hairline and a hemline to speak for your age?”, and “To the issue of our hair, I definitely have to say that shorter, less girly lengths seem more professional and composed. More than once, I’ve contemplated a Michelle Williams pixie cut with a back story of career accomplishment and self-confidence, but again – something for when I’m
    more accomplished and have an even bigger self-confident at the grand age of 30.”

    Here’s the blog post:

    I’m not sure what she is trying to accomplish by obviously plagiarizing your post and making it seem like her own witty remarks. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know. I got your back, love! :)

    • Hi Franny! I’m so sorry about my late reply – thanks for being so supportive and sweet in bringing this to my attention. Such is the nature of the internet, I suppose – I’m glad there are people like you who know what the real deal is!

  • Jenna

    I’ve seen a lot of people ask how tall you are, over time, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you answer it. Is it a rude question to ask?

    • margaretzhang

      Hi! I don’t think it’s a rude question, no – I’ve answered it a couple of times before, is all. I’m about 5’5”.

      • Nahid

        No wonder most dresses are short for me because they make them for you. :-) I love the fit and the length of the dress you are wearing but I am 5’8″ and it’s going to be short as always. It’s so hard to find a right length these days.

  • annie wu

    there’s an ear cuff that i really like of yours. you posted on your ig as “wednesday feels….” what is the name of the brand? Thanks!!

  • Courtney Greenhalgh

    Hi I’m looking to purchase a new camera as I’m currently using a basic digital camera for my blog, but cannot afford to spend $1,000. What would you recommend for beginners as I need a tripod too? And also, what brand would you recommend or which do you prefer as I’ve never tested either – Canon or Nikon?
    Thank you very much!
    Courtney x

    • As I mention above, I think it’s better for you to wait, save up, and buy a good camera that you’ll be able to use for a while. Tripods are super cheap in comparison and you can get them online for very reasonably prices. You should see if you can borrow a friend’s or go into a store and test out some cameras just to get a feel for which you prefer – I personally shoot on a Nikon, which I find gives me more detail than my Canon camera could previously, but most of my friends are Canon faithfuls so each to their own.

  • Alice Han

    Hi Margaret, I just have two questions 1) any suggestions for 2 college girls doing a food-startup and trying to write pitch emails to fashion/women’s magazines to cover us? We see a lot of connection between fashion magazines and the new healthy eating trend. Did you build up your portfolio and then get solicited by all those magazines or did you reach out to them proactively? 2) what kind of tips do you have for plating food and photographing food with a DSLR. Thanks Margaret. Loving the wit, wisdom, and rock n’ roll with which you write and live!

    • Hi Alice! When pitching to publications, because they have so much going on all the time, it’s important for you to give them an example to prove that connection between fashion and healthy eating e.g. invest the time and resources into shooting a still life series with food and jewellery and send it to them. It makes it much easier for them to visualise. In terms of plating food, people love seeing bright natural light, clean lines and ‘organised chaos’, not necessarily symmetry. Shoot on the ground so you can get high enough to get perfect aerial shots X

  • Victoria

    Margaret, I’m looking to get into photography but I have zero experience and a small budget. What is a good camera to begin with [on a small budget]? And how important is lighting/location IRL vs Photoshop? Since I don’t really know any of the technical things involved in camera work, i.e. the effects of different lenses and I’m wondering whether it is worth taking a course or simply googling things. What would recommend?

    • I really think it’s worth just waiting and saving up the money to get a more solid camera that you can grow into so you don’t have to keep buying new ones when it stops fulfilling what you’re wanting to capture. Lenses are important, but you can get really good, reasonably priced ones that can cover almost any scenario. I’d recommend something like a Nikon D60 and maybe a 50mm or 85mm lens to start.

  • Maria Diana

    How tall are you? :)

  • Ellen Faith

    Hey Margaret! Just wondering, would you recommend someone wanting to be a stylist start a style blog as a portfolio in a sense? Also, any tips for shooting outfit posts with just your tripod? It seems awfully hard to get the quality of photos that you do, yet you get them so well! Cheers :) x

    • I think it’s a great idea, yes – or at least a Tumblr.

      My best tip for shooting with a tripod is to use Manual settings – shoot with a reference object like a tree or a wheely bin to check focus, and stop if the light isn’t right. Lighting is key.

  • Christine

    I’m looking for a pair of everyday ankle boots that’ll last. Any suggestions on good quality brands or just things I should look for?

    • margaretzhang

      I guess it depends how much you’re willing to spend – Acne’s boots are consistently high quality, great value-for-money and long-lasting. My Acne Pistol Boots have lasted pretty well (, and my new Jensens ( are so comfortable for everyday wear. I’m also told that Rag & Bone ( and Chloé boots ( are both comfortable and durable.

  • TweeWu

    Hi Marg,

    I really enjoy reading this Q&A post ! Always love your writing! Just wanna let you know that I have also started to use extra virgin coconut oil as makeup remover for couple of months now and it’s just magical! Thanks so much for your recommendation! I carry my coconut oil in this MUJI bottle ( when traveling , which hasn’t been leaking so far so I think it may be handy for you too =) Also, will you be in Hong Kong anytime again soon? I have missed the Sambag event last time =( Hope I will have the chance to meet you in person next time when you’re in Hong Kong ~

    Take care


    • I should hopefully be back some time this year! See you there!!

      And oh my god how good is coconut oil. Thanks for the hot tip on that bottle! Definitely getting one X

  • Nicky

    Hey Margaret! Letting you know you’ve got a big big fan in Chile! I seriously use your blog as inspiration at times when I see myself too overwhelmed with work, and remember that you can live life glamorously day to day. As a med student, i can relate to your busy schedule, and therefore need to ask: how do you cope with personal, social life? Do you feel your social life is in some way restricted, and if not how do you manage to keep up with a boyfriend, family, friends? thanks!

    • margaretzhang

      Hey Nicky – thanks so much for your sweet message! As with anything, there’s always a bit of give and take when it comes to balancing all sides of life – interestingly, being busy really filters out the people who don’t really care, so you’re left with a more manageable group of nearest and dearest who are supportive and understanding. I certainly don’t go out every weekend, and sometimes can’t make it to birthdays/housewarmings/weddings etc. because of work/travel, but always stay in touch and clear time to catch up with people who are important to me. Technology also makes life much easier – where would I be without Whatsapp!?

  • Guest

    Could you please tell me where did you get that marble-style Iphone case which is showing in this picture?

  • Could you please tell me where did you get that marble-style Iphone case which is showing in this picture? Sorry for doubling the comment at first :(

  • Cynthia Nguyen

    Great two piece printed ensemble! Its always so difficult to find a suitable outfit like this that would fit my petite frame.


  • Kaitlyn Tru

    I know you do a lot of your style posts with just a tripod. Advice on settings and getting good results? Also, how do you pick your favorite locations to shoot?

    • margaretzhang

      I always manually set everything (including focus), but if you’re unsure, just use Creative Auto, and you’ll get a pretty good image that you can then play around with for brightness and contrast in post. I don’t really choose based on location – I just look for good light and compose as best I can with what’s in the background.

  • Marvic

    This is so incredibly insightful! You’re knowledge and maturity is well beyond your years. You have grown to be a great inspiration for myself and the fashion blog which is run with my best friend. Good luck for the future!
    Marvic Casingal for Primed Men

  • EET

    Hi Margaret,

    Can you generate money from running a blog such as yours? If so, what actually makes the money?

    • My website itself is not really a revenue generator – e.g. I don’t offer advertising. My income comes from working freelance as a photographer, a stylist, a writer, and a creative consultant.

  • Mariana

    how do you reach out to photographers?

  • Frances

    Hi! Out of curiosity, what inspired you to come up with the name, “Shine By Three,” for your blog?

    • Honestly I think I just liked the word Shine at the time…

  • Brie

    Hi Margaret! I was wondering how you edit your photos and make them look so professional. Thanks!

    • Hi Brie – I mostly use Lightroom or Photoshop for colour or lighting adjustments. Glad you’re liking them!

  • Xema

    Hi Marg,
    Favorite stores for artistic/classy dresses under $500?

    Your intelligence and efficiency are inspiring.

    -from nyc, ny

    • ASOS actually has some really great pieces if you dig – just always check the fabrication and watch the video to make sure it moves as you expect it to ( . Shopbop also has a great range and more mid-range luxury designers ( I’d also recommend having a look at sites like THE OUTNET if you don’t mind wearing past season pieces – heavily discounted, all great quality designer product ( X

  • ediot

    digging this post. love to hear more about you.

    you have such an amazing blog

    and inspiring style


    e d i o t

  • Rem

    Have you ever done photography/stylist training type courses you are you going off talent? And how did you start your fashion career?

    • I studied film photography and all associated dark room chemical business when I was around 11-12, then didn’t shoot for a few years, and got myself a DSLR just before I started my site. My ‘fashion career’ started when I started my site.

  • Elle

    how tall are you? //

  • Vanessa

    Hi Margaret!
    I stumbled across your page and Instagram account from the #mosthunted campaign Westfield is running – and fell in love! I was wondering if you could tell me the brands of the fringe pencil skirt and top you were wearing in the promotional video? I am absolutely in love with that outfit! Thank you!

  • Tamara

    I love the name of your blog. How did you come up with it and what meaning does it have to you? Or did you just make it up?

    • Why thanks! It was just a middle of the night 16-year-old Marg decision – nothing terribly sentimental. It’s definitely stuck, though ha

  • Haileeelula

    height? :P

  • Kathleen

    How do you edit your stunning and beautiful photos? Please advise.

    • Hey Kathleen – I mostly use Lightroom for colour and contrast correction, and sometimes use Photoshop for selective colour adjustments. Hope that helps!

  • Ling

    Do you own all the clothes you wear, or do the companies you shoot for supply them? Loving you work, thanks for sharing with us!

    • It depends on the project – if I’m shooting something more editorial (like this or, it’s just like any other editorial shoot where I have to pull samples from brands and showrooms to put together looks to a brief or a concept I’ve come up with. If it’s just me going about my daily business (like this or, then it’s just my personal wardrobe… which is why there’s so much repetition – sorry! Haha

  • Louisa

    What is your opinion on ‘plus size’ in the fashion industry? Trying to find affordable, fashion forward clothing in Australia is near impossible. Any ideas?

    • I think the problem is that there isn’t any one body shape or size that is the most frequently occurring globally to justify the fashion industry just deciding that X shape/size is the way to go, and anything outside that needs to be labelled as abnormal.

      I’d highly recommend buying online, if you know your measurements and start with a site that’s relatively cheap (like ASOS) with free returns until you get a sense of exactly what sizes you are in EU, US, IT sizing. All their shipping is pretty much free now and can get here to Aus so quickly (I’m talking like 2-3 days which is incredible), and is so much less stressful than trying to find things in stores.

  • Sarah

    Hi Margaret,

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident – and I’m glad I did. Your photos are absolutely breath-taking. I have a question for you – have you ever taken the Myer Briggs test? If so, I’d love to know your personality type.

    • So glad you’re liking the content! Always great to hear. I don’t think I have, no – I’ll update you when I do!

  • Em

    So often people in their 20s are madly exploring a dozen different areas and can’t make decisions, to me it’s amazing that you are so focused – how do you stay so focused and committed? (In general, but also in a daily, monthly, yearly way?) Thanks!

    • I think that doing as much as possible really helps you focus more – you don’t have time to be inefficient so you need to work as effectively as you can. When you get bored of one thing, working on other things is super productive procrastination. Make sure you have a list of things to do each day, have a uniform morning and evening routine, and achieve as much as you can in a day.

  • Emily Hayden

    Hi Margaret!

    This is a comment, not a question, but it seemed like an appropriate place to post it. Just wanted you to know that I’m so inspired by your work ethic and success, paired with your ambition to take care of yourself and present yourself well. I’m an architecture student and I feel as though I am constantly struggling to excel at school, make it to the gym in the mornings, eat well, and get enough sleep…not to mention pursuing other hobbies! It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “I’m too busy,” and all too often we “work all day” and end up procrastinating, wasting hours when we could have been productive or just out having fun! People like you have proven many times that you are often the only thing holding yourself back from long-term success. Obviously you already know all this, but hope you realize what a great example you’ve put forward for young professionals, regardless of their industry. Also, I hope to work in Australia one day so I love the glimpses of your life in Sydney! I fell in love the first time I went there and I can’t wait to go back. Keep it up!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It really means so much to read something like this from a reader! Definitely come to Australia – we have a great time over here haha X

  • Whitney Madueke

    How did you get so good at photography? I would love to have your photography and editing skills. What do you use to edit your pictures on your website? I just started my blog and you are so inspiring.

    • I studied still life film photography for a few years while I was in the ballet world, so learnt all the technical basics there, but kind of readapted those skills to digital and am still figuring it all out as I go. I mainly use Lightroom and Photoshop for colour and light correction, and sometimes clarity if it’s an editorial. Have a great weekend!

  • I am sorry I just had to laugh at this one “Why are your eyes so small? Oh god.” Yep just ridiculous…

    Adventures on Victoria Falls | Dipping Into The Devil’s Pool

  • JB

    What do you use as your flat lay backgrounds? How do you get them to look so good? Is it tricks with lighting?

    • Usually, I make do with whatever surface is around – I have a white IKEA table at home, and if I’m at someone’s office I just find a bit of white cardboard. Natural light is key for flatlays – sometimes, it’s even worth setting it up outside. X

  • Steven

    Do you need a PA or PR Assistant? Absolutely love your work!!

    • Ironically, I think I’m a little too busy at the moment to take one on, but I’m not totally opposed to the idea some time down the track! Always open to receiving CVs.

  • Whitney Madueke

    How would you advise me to be better at photography? Plus Websites or sites that help real beginners like me. Thank you for your replies.

    • Aside from reading about basics like ISO, aperture and so-on, nothing is as good as experience. There’s no formula for a good photo – just what you think works in terms of composition and light, so I’d recommend doing as many test shoots as possible, working with different people and getting their opinion on your photos. Study the work of photographers you admire, and crystallise why they’ve done so well/what their signature is.

  • I’m a huge fan of your work and your creativity never stops to inspired me.
    I actually started blogging in HK 3years ago where I got into a group of fashion bloggers where they welcomed be into and I got to meet so many people and all. Unfortunately I’ve moved to Tokyo my home country and study in Paris (although I’m taking a break for family reasons).. I’m basically based in Tokyo, but being a relatively closed country I’m having a hard time meeting fellow bloggers. Pleaase give me advices!!

    • I don’t think you necessarily need to be hanging out with fellow bloggers to create great content and build your following – I certainly don’t on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s actually better to work in isolation so that you know that everything you’re producing is from a genuine place and that it’s very much your signature. Very jealous that you live in Tokyo! I’ve only been in and out for work, and am dying to go back and explore properly!

  • Ray Ray

    This is no question, I just love your eyebrows! It’s unique and it kinda gives that signature look! I like it hahah ^_^ Ok this is a question, Are you thinking of bringing out your own clothing line anytime in the near future? Sorry i’ve got another one, what foundation do you regularly use? Your skin looks so dewy and flawless xx

    • I did a lot of costume design during more intense ballet years, so I’d love to do something of the sort at some point, but not fast fashion and most certainly not in a rush. Maybe when I’m 40.

  • Marsha McGowan

    how did you tap into the fashion industry?

  • Guest

    all of social media platforms- you’re style is stunning! As I am studying a Bachelor Design at university you’re a huge inspiration. I just wanted to ask how it was that you first entered the fashion industry? And how you started promoting, photographing and styling for such a diverse range of clients?
    Ps. If you ever need an assistant or intern it would be an honor to learn from you.

    Thankyou so much! X
    Instagram: @hayleskrakouer

  • Hayley

    Hi Margaret, I love love love your blog and all of social media platforms- you’re style is stunning! As I am studying a Bachelor of Design at university you’re a huge inspiration. I just wanted to ask how it was that you first entered the fashion industry? And how you started promoting, photographing and styling for such a diverse range of clients?

    Ps. If you ever need an assistant or intern it would be an honour to learn from you.

    Thankyou so much! X
    Instagram: @hayleskrakouer

    • Hi Hayley – I’m so glad to hear that you’re loving all my content! There’s never a definitive starting point with anybody when entering an industry. Be proactive and reach out to people who you admire, take on unpaid internships with brands that you’d be keen to work with, learn as much as you can and network from there. I definitely think you need the experience of working for other people first before you go freelance, just to understand the structure of the businesses you would be working with, and to build on your credibility.

  • Crystal

    I don’t have a question, but I just wanted to say I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH AND I HOPE TO BUMP INTO YOU ONE DAY! I’m always asking my brother, who also goes to USYD, whether he’s bumped into you yet, haha. Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing!!!

    • Thank you so much, Crystal! So kind of you to say. Do come and say hello if you or your brother see me around.

  • Marj B.

    Hi, Margaret! I got to “know” you through the Fashion Bloggers show on E!, and I have to say that you are my fave of the bunch! You seem so grounded, smart and lovely, and your personal style is so kickass. :)
    Here are my questions:
    1. Top tips for efficient packing for a fall/near-winter trip for a first-timer? I’ve never been outside of the tropics and I don’t know what to pack!
    2. Favourite lipstick brand and shade of all-time?
    3. Favourite brand of foundation?
    4. Would you ever consider having a pixie cut?
    You are very much welcome to visit the Philippines. We have awesome food and lovely beaches over here! :)

  • thebalancingunicorn

    Hey Margaret! First of all, I wanted to say that I really love your blog. Seriously. I admire the dedication you have especially with your law degree!! I’ve had a blog for almost a year, however, I don’t seem to have a lot of traffic on my site. I don’t know if it’s my content or something else! What is your advice for a teen fashion blogger looking to have a larger audience?

  • Izzy Wijaya

    Simple: Write down as many as possible brands/places where you get your jewels from, please? Thanks! ♡

  • I

    I think I’ll just say you’re one of the bloggers out there with a vision rather than one with a s**tload of fancy stuff. You’re your own PR team, stylist, photographer, etc etc I think you should be very proud of the things you can achieve on your own at a very young age. I’ll be your age in 5 years and I hope I’ll find something I love doing as much as you love what you do and be successful in that field. Much love and support all the way from Indonesia.

  • Milly

    Tips for writing on your blog? And getting it more well known!

    • Be genuine – don’t try to write in a certain style that doesn’t reflect your personal voice. Write about something more substantial that isn’t necessarily related to your images – there are only so many things you can say about a dress and boots. As I said below, once you have a really beautiful site with great imagery, a clear theme, a clear personal voice, and regular social media updates, the traffic will come.

  • Teri-Adele Cunningham

    I’m a lifestyle and portrait photographer but I love fashion photography and want to break into the industry. Do you have any advice on how I can gain more experience/ get noticed as a photographer? I live in the UK and I am always saving so I can be anywhere in the world if someone says yes to my email to come and shoot, I’m just struggling to get people to say yes to collaborations/intern/assist. How can I get that’s much desired “yes”?

  • kaitlyn

    how long does it take for you to write a post?

    • It depends how tired I am, or how much time I have. Sometimes I get so stuck because I have too much other stuff on my mind, so I’ll keep coming back to the same article over a day or two. Other times, I’ve been thinking about the concept for days, so can smash it out in 20 minutes.

  • Angelique Ford

    What does someone wear to a concert? I’m going in March and had a dress which I figure is probably too fancy. I am theinking boots, a gold skirt, a black lace camisole and boater hat. Is this ok? I have never been before, the band is first aid kit.

  • Daniel

    How do you make your GIFs? They’re awesome!

    • Hey Daniel! Glad you like them – I animate them in Photoshop and then export them for Web.

  • wwei

    Also not a question, and I don’t usually comment on blogs. I lurk. But I just wanted to say I appreciate how real you are. It is easy to lose your identity in today’s business, but I think you’re managing it really well. And I admire that. I hope you keep on doing what you’re doing x

  • HT

    How did you first create a website? Which weblog publishing tool did you use? Also did you learn how to design your blog?

  • Nat

    I wanted to ask a little question, I agree on having different hobbies as otherwise you either burn out or go crazy, heh. :) my main goal is doing photography and I have an account which concentrates on that, but I absolutely love fashion and make up and want to share soo much what I know that I might explode. But I don’t know if I should keep those things separate, in terms of account as it will look more professional in terms of my main work or combine it which will show multiple sides of me. Would love to know what you can suggest :) just my worries keep me from doing anything.

    Thank you

  • omg this is embarrassing but i did ask people pretty smart and they are not 100% sure. so …. what does “shine by 3” mean ? is it the flesh light count down 3,2,1?

  • Mia

    This isn’t a question, but I just wanted to say that I really look up to you ever since I saw you Fashion Bloggers! I admire how you’re able to balance both law school and working in the fashion industry. I also admire your style, it’s simple and has a chill vibe to it, but still keeping it classy (which I REALLY love by the way). I am an aspiring photographer & always looking at your posts makes me want to shoot more & to be better at it [photography].

    Keeping doing what you do! Sending love from Manila <3

    • Mia

      *saw you on Fashion Bloggers…
      (sorry for the typo)

  • Maggie

    Hi Margaret! What hosting site do you use/do you have a recommendation for one? xx

  • Leeky Chen

    Hi Mag, I really like your OWN way of representing the style of fashion or even a little bit everything else, absolutely remarkable! Just wondering what was your expectation on all the photos/writings you have done at the very start before you think you might want to take it a bit more serious? I agree that defininately not by counting the followers everyday:-p, however in some circustances, you might need something to tell/encourage yourself that you have done a great job or at least you know there are some fellows on the earth who have the same dream as you rather than keep posting by yourself and no one knows? Thanks X

  • Vivienne

    What subjects did you study for the hsc?

  • Monica

    I really have no question in my head, as your FAQs page made me quite content. I’m still in year ten, yet I’m already focused on taking up international law in college. Despite such a “boring” and “serious” road I’ve chose to pursue, I often get complimented on how I dress. I devoped an eye for haute couture garments following fashion blogs on tumblr — that’s where I found your blog. I started to scroll on your tumblr feed, followed by following you on other social network platforms, such as instagram, and figured that you’re basically achieving every life goal I have. I just wanted to say, after this time-wasting story, that you’ve been quite the inspiration for, not only me, but to teenagers who are like me, I’m sure. Thank you for being you, you’re absolutely amazing. (PS, I also am Asian. I’d love to have a debate with anyone who thinks you aren’t a role model for the Asians in the fashion industry.)

  • Tiago

    How did you start your blog ?
    I am a huge fan and it’s been a dream of mine to make my own blog and I think that now I am ready for it. By the way I am an 18 year old boy and one of my goals is to break the wall on men’s fashion and make it as main street as women’s I am really passionate about fashion and I would like to help other men with fashion tips and also voice some of my opinions, I also think that the blog would be a great way to expose my photography and graphic design work.
    Anyways I would really like to know on what platform do you use to do your blog or what platform you used to use ? and any advices for me on making my own blog ?

  • Zulaikha

    Hi Margaret! I came to know about you when watching E!’s Fashion Bloggers. I really admire your achievements in life so far, especially where you find a convergence between being educated in business/ law, and using that to better yourself in managing your already established creative side.

    Sorry for the long introduction! So here’s my question: What tips can you share with the average person about being able to look simple and elegant (close to your gorgeous style) yet not having the economic capital to purchase high end clothing?

  • Sara

    How do I achieve my goal of being a photographer and stylist (and have a blog, but that’s a vehicle for the other two) if I live in a very small, and not very well known country with its fashion industry being very low?

  • Jen

    what inspired the name ‘Shine by Three’? x

  • Apertural

    Hi Margaret, I’m one of your fans from Jakarta, Indonesia. I’m so happy to know that you spent time, answering this dying-to-know questions from all your followers. The article answered most of my question already so, I dont really have any question at the moment but somehow after read from top to bottom, this article inspired me a lot, to keep on with my passion and living my dream, which is to take photos of you. Hopefully this will come true one day haha. Thank you for always be my insipiration, hope we can make something great together one day! Oh, btw I’m so sorry for leaving this comment in a place where It shouldnt be (this is the Q&A section) lol. Have a great day! – A

  • Grace Furness

    Have you done any photography courses? Or has it all just come from practice?

  • Daph

    When you first started blogging, did you tell your friends to read your blog and went around promoting it? Or it just somehow picked up? I’m starting a simple blog but it’s sad to say I can only count my followers on one hand so I’d like to increase that number. Sorry if this is a repeated question! I will hunt around your blog for the answer if I can.

  • I just want to say that I think it’s so very inspiring, what you’re doing. You are so mature for your age and you’re such a fantastic role model for young girls all around Australia. It’s a real shame that you won’t be returning to Fashion Bloggers, as you were definitely the most level-headed (and dare I say it, unpretentious!) of the bunch… not to mention the most relatable. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending as I’m not really that much older than you- I just know sometimes it’s nice to be complimented for how you present yourself as a person, not what you wear. :) You’re doing a great job and I can’t wait to watch you grow your business even more once you’ve graduated. xx

  • Hey Margaret,
    it’s amazing that your pictures, where you shoot yourself with the help of a tripod, are looking so good. I always try do to it by myself (my friend doesn’t want to help me and my cat is not the best photographer), but it always looks so flat. I really struggle with creating a certain atmosphere when I am not standing behind the camera. So do you have some tips for shooting yourself? And maybe some advises for acting in front of the cam(cause I am not the most photogenic girl)?
    Thank you!

  • Kelly Rahardja

    Hi Margaret, (it seems that it’s the way to start off a question in here)

    I don’t know if this question has been answered or not, (and I do apologise if it has) (because I kept scrolling and scrolling for an hour and I can’t seem to find it), but I wanted to know how you picked Shine By Three as your blog name? Also I love you so much! Much love from Southeast Asia.

  • Alyssa Sobere

    Do you really have to know how to draw and/or write intricately in order to have full success in the fashion industry? And what do you think is the best course if you want to get into the fashion business? Thank you for your time!

  • Wenxi

    What would you con side investment pieces/basics for every wardrobe?

  • Aditi Mayer

    Hello Marg! How, if ever, did you deal with lack of recognition with your blog/work?

  • Dominique

    Big fan your work Margaret. I have 4 questions if thats OK:

    1. Have you set a company structure to protect your Shine by Three name or do you act in a personal capacity? If the latter, would you consider it wise setting up a company if you for example expanded into having an online shop as part of your website?

    2. When you do your photo shoots, where do you start in creating it – Is it deciding on the location first then seeing which outfit works best or vice versa?

    3. When deciding on the bestvoutfit and location pairing for the shoot, what criteria do you use I.e. do you try and match up colours in the backdrop and the outfit?

    4. Are you having to buy new clothes constantly to stay current in your posts or do you ever trawl through your wardrobe for older pieces?

    Thanks so much !

  • vivaaa

    Hi! Okay, you are literally my inspiration right now! (sorry if you don’t understand half of what I’m about to say cause I really suck at english haha) but anyways so I just wanted to ask how did you start this fashion blogging career? So like how did you start off and get so successful? I am super interested and have always dreamed of being in the fashion industry but I don’t really know how to start and get it to success. And (if it doesn’t waste too much of your time) can you give me a couple of tips on being a fashion blogger? :) thank you so much and I hope to run into you sometime in the future! :) xx

  • Cher

    How to be a successful writer?

  • Nic

    Where is the name shine by three from, how did you think of it?

  • Charesa

    Hi! My question is how can a young photographer build a portfolio? I’m currently trying to build up mine but I have nothing yet..

  • Hi Margaret!
    I’ve been following your work and blog since I saw you on Fashion Bloggers Tv. Your work ethic and success across multiple platforms has really inspired me to further consider and develop my own business/brand. I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me to aspire for success.
    If you have any spare time I would love your feedback on the style of my Instagram @astridvmulder

  • NM

    Hi there! I have a question about photography; in particular, how did you get started both in terms of camera and equipment, and simply in terms of skills?

    Loving your photography style -belegant yet edgy and modern without being dull – I would really like to develop some skills myself and I’d love some advice from a fellow business student. (I realize you might have talked about this already 847363848 times already so you can also refer me to a previous blog post).

    Also, I’ll take this chance to mention my (also) loving of your writing skills! I follow a few different blogs and I feel it’s common that usually what bloggers mostly count on is beautiful outfit and pictures. I’m glad on shinebythree there is this additional factor that brings it to a different level. Basically, you hit a great balance of writing, style and photography – nicely done:).

    Cheers from Milano, xx

  • Lena Tran

    You are very inspiring! I love your blog and style!

  • Nat

    Hi, Margaret. This is not a question but I do hope to see you travel here in Dubai as well. :)

  • Lars Michaelsen Salamante

    Hi Margaret! I would just like to ask how did you create Shine By Three. Did you learn HTML before creating it? What platform did you use e.g. Tumblr? Your blog is amazing. Can I ask what theme did you use for your blog? It’s minimalistic, straight-up, organized? And oh my gosh, I love the fonts you used, what are they? And how did you manage to differentiate the design of Shine By Three in a desktop computer and on a mobile device. Do you pay for your domain every month, and how much? Which web hosting do you use for your blog? Thank you. I look forward to your reply ☺

  • Isra Diya

    i wanna start a fashion blog but i can’t seem to come up with a name that i like and thats original please help any suggestions? please reply obsessed by the way with fashion bloggers!

  • S

    It’s really encouraging to see you take on so many things (Law / The Fashion World / Asian Parents) all at once and yet you still have the time to read all our comments and provide insightful feedback. So I guess I would like to start of by saying thanks :) I as well have recently started studying Law and have started writing a fashion column for my University magazine each week. Its really good to kind of have the get away into the fashion world and get my head out of law. My question is, what should be my next step? I have started styling looks to incorporate into the column each week, but what should I do next to really make fashion world notice me and make this into a full time job, cause i really do love designing /styling, basically everything about it!. I dont really have any following haha, guess I am quite an introvert, but do express my fashion standing in my columns each week. Whats the next step to really get me going in this field? Thanks S xox

  • Lian

    Hello Margaret
    I’m sure you get told how amazing it is that you are young and so good! But it really is.
    I used to blog when I was 19-22 then stopped for some reason
    Anyway I am primarily a singer and actress. I have been recently feeling that because I’m 26 and don’t have much experience that it really is working to my disadvantage. I need advice on first getting yourself out there in a creative field and not feeling like I’m so bloody old all the time.
    I don’t know if this is too emotional but there it is.

  • Rajo Serrano

    This isn’t a question but I really really really really really love you! You’re my inspiration! I hope you and Alex are okay! Haha. I hope I meet you someday :( I love your works :)

  • gary chew

    i just get to know about you in the recent Singapore fashion week! and you are so talented! i really wanted to see how you do photoshoot and of course of all your brilliant self fashion portrait! (Hopefully some BTS video). and what is your advised if for someone who wanted to get into fashion photography?

  • L

    How did you learn photography?

  • lusoy

    Hi Margaret! your photography skills are so perfect, I am self learning photography at the moment and I was wondering whether you had taken lessons/workshops in photography to get to your standard or was it all self taught? If so, would you mind sharing some tips or sources you have used to be able to get to producing image quality fashion shoots like yours?

  • lusoy

    oh! and also what editing programs do you use to edit the pictures you had taken for a shoot? and what are some good tools to use within the program?

  • gianna ellis

    If you don’t mind me asking what university do attend? And what is your current occupation?

  • Charli Burrowes

    Fabulous Ms Zhang, I just wanted to add my two cents to this sea of finely flung queries, and say that you have been a very inspiring figure in my life. I recently launched my own business, photographing creative imagery for brands, and it was a very scary step that my parents did not (and do not) understand. I appreciate how honest, and insightful your articles are about being a young businesswoman (and a young creative). As a developing photographer, my question to you would be how long did it take you to establish your own signature photography style? And are you self taught? If so, how long did it take you to achieve the #zhanglevel skills!? Thank you for you witty wordplay + wonderful pictures. I shall continue to prowl your site in search of Inspo + positivity. Charli xX

  • China.

    Hi, I have to say I admire what you’ve done and very interested in the fashion/creative industry but, like you said, I like business and something that is also more grounding. I’ve had ideas to do journalism, photography, or maybe working my way up to art director. But I’m 17 and feel like I need to start planning. I just wanted to ask how it is you got started and what inspired you to do so.

    Thanks so much.

  • Hayley

    Hi Margaret. I am not sure you have already responded to this question previously, but I might as well ask again for..maybe people who wonder recently. What does your blog title, ‘Shine by Three’ mean? Or is this just something that came out of your creativity. I think ‘three’ will have some meaning to it as it is specific number.

  • Consuela Bananahammock

    I’m taking up a business degree but I’ve always been interested in fashion since I was a kid. I’ve started interning at the age of 16 and made sure to go for internships where I would be able to gain skills both in fashion and business. Despite my fair share of experiences as an intern, I’m still lost as to what role I’d like to pursue in the industry – not sure if I’m more into digital marketing, styling, fashion PR, merchandising, etc. Can you give me some tips on figuring out what expertise should I focus on?

  • Hayl

    Does your blog title ‘Shine by Three’ have meaning?

  • Jane Dean

    What brand is the V necklace that you have been wearing a lot lately?

  • Eliza King

    Always wondered if you wore fake tan or whether you were naturally that tan? And do you tan?

  • Hi Margaret ! I discovered your work thanks “Fashion blogger”, I already saw some pictures on instagram and I absolutely love it ! You have a dream job, I said that because you do all the things I would like to do in the future. I’m currently fashion student and also blogger ( unkown ), do you have some tips to improve my blog and my future career ? What studies did you do ?
    Bisous, Manon B

  • Peyton

    My parents are pushing for me to pursue something like being a doctor, and part of me really wants to but I also have a great passion for fashion. Did your parents have any idea that you wanted to be in fashion at all or that you started in it? Seeing that you are also a law student, I was wondering how you broke into fashion as well and how you came out to be so successful in both fashion and also law.

  • Ali Hampton

    Can I work with/for you?? Are you ever in need of a project manager or assistant, considering you juggle so many different types of work across the globe? Also, just curious, do you collect anything on your travels? postcards, tattoos, trinkets?

  • Amanda McGlaun

    Hi Margaret!

    I stumbled upon your blog by serendipitous circumstances and all i can say is PRAISE (insert praise emoji). Here’s why: I’m a fashion blogger and law student too.

    I just started my fashion blog about a month ago–it’s all about dressing for the work place affordably and fashionably (if you want, here’s the link: I’m absolutely loving it! Yes, it’s a lot of hard work and it feels like I have a second job (I currently work at a law firm) but so many people have reached out and said how helpful it’s been, which is one of my major goal.

    Anyway, I’m about to start my first year of law school this fall and I”m getting really nervous/anxious/stressed about being able to keep up my fashion blog and succeed my first year of law school. I read your comment above about time management, but from law student/fashion blogger to law student/fashion blogger, do you have any specific tips on managing it all? And how you’ve able to succeed in both. I don’t want my fashion blog to disappear,in a sense, especially while I’m just getting started, because of law school, but I also don’t want my grades to suffer because of my fashion blog.

    I would love any advice/guidance you have to offer, and thank you in advance for your time!



  • Tara

    What books do you recommend? :-)

  • Jiajia Liu

    You absofuckinglutely have a good eye for colors and styles!! Love every piece you are posing in front of lenses!!! Can you give us some concrete advices on how you Mix and Match the fashion outfit? Xx

  • Caitlin

    Hi Margaret ,

    Am busy persuing photography and was wondering whether you mainly use manual or auto focus – aspire to shoot like you

    • Looks like Manual ! Once you start to use all the manual settings you will see all the possibilities your camera has to offer. I also used auto, but since I changed for Manual, I can’t return to Auto anymore :)

  • Iz O

    Hi Margaret,

    Recently I travelled with my team and school to a Future Problem Solving excursion, and one of the teachers who worked at Kambala said that when you were 16 and participating in FPS you began a fashion blog because it was something you’re interested in. I really enjoy a lot of subjects in school but there’s nothing I know I want to pursue a career in. The basic area is science, maths or humanities but how did you know you were interested in fashion at such a young age? I don’t even know what I should be surrounding myself with because there’s nothing particular I know I really like yet. I really want to start doing work and activities to better my future career but how can I do that without a topic to work on?



  • Wakana Asamura

    Hi Margaret!!

    I discovered you quite recently and very soon have become a fan! :D

    I’ve read about how you manage to balance uni and work really well, and I was wondering which high school did you attend?

    All the best,

    Wakana <3

  • Andrea

    Hi Margaret! I’m a freelance photographer and a frustrated fashion enthusiast from the philippines (i wish you could come here but it’s so hot). I’ve been having a hard time building my portfolio and resume in fashion photography. Any pieces of advice or lessons on how to start?

  • Nadya

    Hey Margaret! I love your blog and find it amazing that you can do all that you do and still have the stamina to study for twelve hours at a time (your recent post). Can you give a run-down of how you normally study? If you have a lot of textbooks do you carry them around with you even to work or do you use a certain e-reader? I’m curious to know. Thank you!

  • Hello Margaret,

    Your blog is such an inspiration and the pictures are stunning. I just read your article about “Asian Persuasion”, and I thought that racism towards “small eyed people” was only in France (where I live). I also came across an old lady in the Parisian subway who told me to go back to Japan because I was radioactive..! Funny thing is that I am not even japanese.. And so many other stories like that. I also often hear phrases like “Asian people are all so smart and calm” so when I get angry, they are very surprised! For me the US or Australia are countries where people are accepting each others no matter the size of their eyes / skin color, I am surprised that subtle racism still exists.
    As a blogger you talk openly about it and raise a debate about it, so i wanted to thank you ! If you don’t, nobody will.

  • fiona

    Hi Marg, just wondering how did u get involved with IMG?

  • miga

    Hello, Margaret! Your blog is my current obsession :) I have a question: how did you approach people while getting into the fashion industry? I am just really curious how it is possible to start styling with business education, like what did you tell potential employers? how did you build your stylist’s (?) portfolio? (since its something i want to do) I really admire how hard working you are and thanks in a advance for your time :)

  • Nadya Melissa

    Can I ask about what cloth do you usually use to school/Uni? thanks Margaret

  • Fashion.


  • Abbe Fortune

    What would be your advice for building a presence on Instagram? Although that should not be your main goal, it seems that it is becoming more and more necessary to get your foot in the door? It seems myself and many others put too much emphasis on creating what looks like a cool life on social media rather than working towards your career and letting the rest follow. These are just my jumbled thoughts, but I would love to know what you think!

  • Margot

    Do you have any advice on the best ways to create a brand and a successful blog? I’ve just started a blog and any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  • Rachel

    what do you use as your blog host? I have a feeling its ipage.

  • Millie

    Hi Margaret! I used to do ballet but looking for somewhere to do adult ballet classes in Bondi? Where do you go? Thanks :)

  • -F

    do you drink alcohol, if not why not?

  • Angie

    how do you decide who you’re going to work with? do you research them, in addition to that meet them and take in the vibes they’re giving? what/who inspires and motivates you? when’s your birthday? and what’s your star sign?

  • Aina

    What software are you using on photo editing?

    • Aina

      Please the image below, what software are you using for photo editing?

  • Zanele Mlambo

    What made you to decide to start blogging, I need inspiration. You are amazing! One of my favourite Bloggers is You btw! xx I’m 13 and would like to start my own small fashion blog/business

  • Zanele Mlambo

    Not to sound creepy or anything, If I want to have you to be part of something in my blog, How do I contact you? Did you finish High-School? If so, What did you study in University?

  • Zanele Malmbo

    What will your advice be to me, because I feel very unsure about my dream career anymore, How do I keep focused in My dream of starting in the fashion industry. At the end of the day I keep on asking myself: “What happens if I don’t meet my Blogger Idol Margret Zhang, What if Fashion isn’t right for me?” I need help. How do you maintain Balance in your everyday life and Positive thoughts when you decided to become a blogger/stylist?
    I’m determined and very eager on starting my own Fashion blog/Business and, I’m only 13,Please please Give me tips on how to be successful like you?
    I love you so much
    13,South Africa
    Zanele Mlambo

  • bebepetite

    How do you edit your picture with snapseed? Can you teach me some of your tips? Thxxx

    • loveth

      Hello margaret ,how do I start up a good did u start and how make money from it

  • Max

    Hi, I know you posted this a long time ago, and I’m not sure if you’ll see this, but I’ll ask anyway. I’m in high school, and I’m studying ballet. I’m starting to question how viable this path is for me, and I’d really like to go to university. I’m worried about being successful in school and whatever career I’ll have along with having serious creative endeavours. I’d really appreciate any advice you could give.

    • Hi, so I know you asked Margaret this, but I and a bunch of my friends had these same sort of questions when we were in HS so I thought I’d give you my advice. My best friend is currently making a living as a professional freelance dancer while taking community college classes on the side. She knows that she’ll always have the option to go to university at any point in her life, but her opportunity to be a dancer is not something that will wait so she’s doing it now. On the other hand, I went to college as a dance major until I realized that loving ballet and wanting to be a dancer are two separate things. So I switched my major and began the slow evolution of discovering what else I liked besides ballet (this ended up being design).

      To sum up, if you think being a dancer will make you happy right now, go do that. If you’re like me and realize that this might not be the path for you that’s cool too. Life is long, you’re allowed to change your mind about what you want to be (once my best friend retires from ballet, she wants to go into political science/global policy. How’s that for a career change).
      Hope this helped some. Good luck!

      • Max

        Thank you! :)

  • Crystal

    How did you get into the fashion industry and photography? Any tips x

  • Abigail Okutu-Adzikah

    Are you a reserved person that is you talk little and and shy, cos i recently watch FASHION BLOGGERS on E and realized you talk less among the ladies. Anyway i love your Instagram posts…

  • Roshika@Fashion Flaunt

    Hi Margaret,
    You blog is amazing and you are an inspiration!!!! I’m in the process of starting my own line and working on my collection to showcase at Fiji Fashion week. Could you have a look at my Instagram Fashion_Flaunt_Designs and share any advice / tips?
    Do you recommend its worth investing the dollars, visiting fashion shows across the globe for my blog website which I will launching soon?
    Thank you! :)

  • Phoebe Holden

    I’m currently in the process of starting my own blog and was wondering if you had any tips/advice ? thank you so much xx
    – New Zealand blogger

  • Hallow Rose

    Hi Margaret! You write so eloquently, so I was wondering what kind of background you had in English and writing, and also how did you start your blog and gain popularity? I noticed that your blog is connected to Park and Cube, so is that how you found success? I apologize if these questions are too inquisitive, It’s just that I have recently started a blog, and I am looking for some advice. Thanks :)

  • Riri Jane

    Hi! You are one of my biggest inspiration! I saw a picture on Instagram which led me to your profile and I love every single pictures you make and every pictures of you. So I also checked your blog and I love what you do! I’ve always wanted to do a blog but i’m so afraid to expose it to people especially my friends and family. I’m also not a very confident girl… because I am Asian. Throughout my childhood and even now on my high school year I get called names sometimes because I am Asian and this really lowered my self esteem and think why am I not blond? Why don’t have blue eyes? Why are my eyes small? I just wish I am as confident as you are. Thanks to you I am working on it and hoping that one day I’ll just say Fudge you to everyone who makes a silly comment. Sorry for the long comment, here’s my question : how tall are you ? I really would love to be a model but as I am an Asian, I am small… 1m57 or 5’2…

    I hope you are doing fine with your studies and work and I hope I can meet you someday!

    • Riri Jane

      Reading the other questions, I just found the answer to my questions! Hihihi sorry for this long comment!

  • luuuucy

    What would be your top advice for something who is setting out to start a blog/digital brand with little to no experience?

  • Dércio Lichucha

    How much are the rates to get you to be a photographer for my business campaign?

  • Allie Cortez

    Hey Margaret! Not a question, I just wanted to say that I’m so happy to have found your blog. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little out of focus and situated in an idle point of my life. I’m 21. I want to do so many things in my life. But I feel like I’m a late bloomer in setting out to accomplish these things, as opposed to you. Anyway, your drive, down to earth personality, personal style and sick photos inspire me and keep me interested in your journey! So dope. Much love from San Francisco.

  • Avery Simone

    How young are you ?

  • Avery Simone

    Why did you not return for season 2 of Fashion Bloggers? You were the only reason I watched it

  • Kimmy Zack

    How do you cope with shyness on street photography? I am newbie on blogging and being shy, didn’t really help at all. I try to take great photos but because of the surrounding that kinda give that judgmental look like “what is he doing?” and as if that weren’t good enough people stare you like someone crazy? Sorry for the long post. I am perfectionist and also a biggest procrastinator , for the past 4 month or more i just keep deciding what blog names should i have. the template , the layout and now dream to have a blog became just a dream. I hope you have a great time and great Christmas day. I hope you can answer my question it is really important to me as i been looking up to you since i saw you on the bus ” the Margaret Uniqlo bus” and Fashion Blogger. Thanks and Kudos to your blog. Love from Malaysia.

  • gramstein

    I’m sorry if this sounds rude, but how did you start photography as a job? You don’t have a degree in photography I presume, as you’re studying law. I’m in the same position as well, and I am in my last year of high school . What is your advice on where to start in the fashion industry as a photographer? It’s just there are so many things, and I don’t know where to start? Should I start a blog as well? I do have instagram where I post edited photos. Thanks x

  • Emma Ferrie

    Hi, I have been a big fan of your work, I was wondering who or where you draw your inspiration from, any designers or photographers or fashion bloggers whose work influence you? And I was also wondering what your aspirations for the future with your work were

  • Kristen

    Hi Margaret! I am in love with both you and your blog!

    I recently watched your Hope Summit speech on YouTube and was inspired to create my own vision board. I was just wondering how you were able to create your blog as vision board when you first started?

  • xxibjt

    First off, you are an absolute inspiration to me! Secondly why did you choose to go to law school and do you plan on using your law degree with fashion somehow?

  • Jill

    What YouTube video workouts are your favorite? I know you mentioned in another post, but now I can’t seem to find it. Thank you.

  • Lynette Moyo

    Hey Margaret, I am obsessed with your blog I really love what you do, so much so that you’ve inspired me to start my own. how long did it take you before you were able to run your blog as a business, blogs in South Africa aren’t at the level of Australian bloggers, what advice would you give local bloggers who want to make it internationally?

  • Informative writing ! I was fascinated by the information . Does anyone know if my business might be able to find a blank a form document to use ?

  • Alyssa

    When you first started blogging where do you get your inspirations from and how do come up with a content? What is your thinking process when posting on your blog? Currently what program and how do you usally edit your picture posted here on your blog? I just started blogging and you’re definately an inspiration to me. Majority of my content are on photography. What are your advice for beginners like me and how do I gain readers?

  • Filippa Timlon

    What’s the name of your font?? :)

  • Alex

    Hey Margaret! I was wondering, do you consider yourself a feminist?

  • Two questions. 1. Do you use wordpress? 2. Would you recommend the display of a sidebar on a post? 3. I love you! (oops that three)

  • Sunny

    How do you feel about people copying you? Recently I’ve seen an account on Instagram which compares this person whom calls herself a “Creative” Director and has her own label (eightslate) to you, but many of her designs are copied and some are copied from what you wore. Not trying to shame anyone, but what do you feel as a Creative?

  • hey

    Hi Margaret! I’m a young person who really looks up to you, not just because of your shiny external success but because of the internal character you have that enables you to achieve so much. What do you think are important personality traits to have in order to be successful? Would you call yourself an introvert/extrovert/both and do you think its possible for those like myself who are kind of reserved to get by without having to do too much “overt networking”? Like I can probably maybe maintain close and meaningful connections with a few people at a time, but too many and life gets ack! How much communication does your life entail (and what kinds), and how does that settle with you?

    I think why I’m asking this question is because in my view you have the thoughtfulness of an introvert, but how do you externalize those introvert qualities without losing that thoughtfulness or having an appearance of “trying too hard (to externalize said qualities)?” I’m not sure if this is making sense, or if I’m just overthinking things, so maybe I’ll finish with a question that is easier to answer: What blogging platform did you use when you were first starting up?

    Thank you! I hope your studies are going well! Actually, as an even better wish, I hope you’re done school now! I just finished first year so . . .

  • lestruelove

    Hafa Adai Margaret <3

    Thank you for always willing to answer questions from your readers/followers!

    How did you eventually make your "passion project"(this blog/website) into a profitable business? What are your TOP TIPS in progressing towards profitability, while of course maintaining your priority values (meaning- money isn't your main driving factor)? Because I can see that you did that. Your work is exquisite and your creativity is naturally valuable in the fashion industry! Thank you for sharing your talent to the world. :)

  • Bernadette Mira

    Hi Margaret, I recently came upon your site and I love everything about it. My question is, how do you edit your personal style photos? Do you use the burn and dodge effect? Best wishes to you!-BMira

  • Caitlin Shea

    Hey! I’m doing an assignment on the impact of Instagram on the fashion industry, i was just wondering when you created your blog/what inspired you to do so? The initial part of my assessment is how the development or impact occurred, and I’m trying to do some research on the fashion industry’s presence on the internet before instagram :) Please answer!!! Oh and follow me on instagram :* hahaha

  • Josh Croft

    May I say that I’ve always thought yours… to be one of the most beautiful faces… ever to grace the silver screen.

  • Amina Fourdaous

    Hi Margaret congrats for your blog it’s amazing!!! I want to ask if you what cameras do you usually us and also which programs/apps do you usually use to edit your pictures? Thank you

  • Camilla

    Do you speak any other languages beside English?

  • George

    Hello Margaret! I really love your work and I think you truly have a rare talent. I’ve been following you for about a year now, and I would like to know when you started to get really serious about your work, and when you started finding remarkable engagement with your audience.
    Thank you very much and I hope to be able to meet you someday!

    • George

      I forgot a question, sorry. Are you a self-taught stylist and Photographer, or did you develop your talent by learning?

  • Donna Green

    How did you start off in the Fashion industry and who helped you? I also would like to know who you’re inspired by.

  • Emma

    Hi Margaret (I know I’m more than a little late to this) But I just stumbled onto your blog through buzzfeed actually. I am a very young person, but I have been interested in the design industry for a majority of my life, which hasn’t been long, though I’m not really interested in fashion. Anyways I’m trying to figure out some potential majors and decided business was the way to go to support any possible “passion” I want to persue. I was just wondering how you were able to work with companies at such a young age and provide good ideas, I don’t fell qualified to offer design advice to top companies, how were you able to get others to take you seriously and have great ideas without formal training? I’m just wondering if there’s a way to still have a career in design without deisgn school or training. Was fashion just a natural talent of yours or did you develop it?

    Thank you for your time if you end up reading this despite my year long tardiness.

  • Emma

    Oh also not a question, just wanted to tell you that you have truly made me go back to considering design as a job, I had given up and decided I could just day dream about it in the future as I work at a nine to six job. Anyways thank you!

  • Thandi

    I’m 15. I’m really interested in fashion photography and want to start working near that industry now. I don’t really have the best designer clothes and I don’t know where to start…. I follow you on Instagram and you’re amazing. I just want to start something little and great but I’m not great with social media. How do I start off? How’d you do it?

  • Lola

    How do I save up for designer on a not so high budget.

  • Sophie

    Hi Margaret! I’d love to know what tripod you recommend or are they all much of a muchness? Thanks x

  • kristen

    Do you photoshoot all your photos on IG? if not, what editing App do you use?

  • Manon Bot

    Hey there Margaret. I hope this message finds you well. I am in the process of starting my own blog as I would like a medium/platform to share my thoughts, my photos and my experiences on my travels. I have been following your work for a while, and in particular the evolution of your digital presence’ design. In particular, I am very fond of your Instagram widget at the bottom of each page and was wondering if you knew which one it was? I have been doing quite a bit of research as I did not want to bother you, however I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Would it be possible for you to let me know? And if it isn’t a widget, perhaps you could point me in the right direction to whom coded it for you so that I may contact them. I would truly appreciate it. :)



  • Tatyana K Afeli

    Hi Margaret! Next year I’ll be going to university (Nottingham Trent, England) and I would like to start my own blog. My aspiration is to become a recognised fashion personality, whether as a buyer of blogger, therefore I thought blogging is a great way to get more experience and insight into fashion. How did you turn you blog into such a sucessful brand? What obstacles did you face? When did you start earning money for what you love to do and do you have any other tips for a crazy dreaming girl like me? :)) thank you so much you inspire me everyday!

  • Emily

    Hi Margaret, Im currently studying Fashion Business at FBI. I would love just some tips and tricks on blogging. Im interested in fashion writing and I am currently trying to start a blog. Whats the best way to get started and get quality traffic to your website? thank you xo

  • dreamcatcher

    Hi, i think your blog is amazing! I’ve been looking at it all night and it’s 2am, when I really should be studying for my English yearly exam tomorrow haha… I’m just so inspired by you, I think what you’ve done is incredible! I find the production in making clothes extremely fun, and being able to design, produce and wear my own designs is exhilarating. My friend and I are starting a little thing – hopefully it’ll bloom into a shop one day! But for now, we’re just busy students living the study life. And I am so proud to be able to say I go to the same high school you went to! It’s such a shame I only missed you by a couple years. I’ll be graduating in 2018! Come by some time, your picture is currently in the hall! I think you’d be an amazing inspiration to all the girls here.

  • Hélène

    When you go to a meeting or conference what do you take with you? (Or what’s in your bag?)

  • Curious Commkid

    Hi Margaret! I’m just curious what did you major in for your Bachelor of Commerce degree? Was it marketing?

  • Sheen Jain

    why law school and how has studying law helped you on this career path?

  • Kim Rii Shein

    Hi there, just came across your blog through the fashion blogger reality show, because I wanted to watch any sort of documentary on fashion bloggers, and the main thing I really loved about your blog is your unique writing. Do you mind sharing your thoughts or history on writing, and maybe how to get started with writing?

  • Fahshai Damrongchaitham

    What does Shine by Three mean?

  • Laree

    Hi Margaret, since this post, have you upgraded your camera/ tripod etc? xx

  • Trinity Clements

    Hi Ms. Margaret Zhang!

    I am Trinity Clements, a twenty-year-old woman and an aspiring fashion photographer. I am returning to NYC and am hoping to further my knowledge and abilities by learning from successful fashion photographers. My first experience in NYC was life changing. As a changed woman and photographer I am ready to make my mark on this planet and NYC. I have been a follower of your work for years now and it would be an honor to learn from you in any capacity. I have a portfolio I would love for you to see.

    Best regards,


  • K C

    I understand that you started all this around 2009. I have more or less the same interests as you and would like to do all the things you do. Is it too late to enter the industry the way you did? It seems there is so much more competition and, like you, I would like to continue with my academics. Should I go the traditional path of interning for a magazine or working as a retail assistant to get to where you are or take a risk and be unique, like you? Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions.
    From Canada

  • @LouiBurke

    I’m Obsessed with your collages that you have been sharing on your Instagram story. Are you using Multiple Apps. via your phone or something from the Adobe suite? (I’m referencing the collages with the flat colour background layered with a still image and then a video image placed over top with the calligraphy and typeface fonts.)

  • Hi Margaret, I love your photography. I’m desperate to get better at fashion photography. What camera lens would you recommend for street style? Also, you used an awesome tripod in season 1 of Fashion Bloggers, could you possible share the name or a link of your favorite sturdy tripod? Thank you so much!

  • Matanna

    I wanted to know what app I can download to be able to create colored boarders with multiple photographs and videos on them for Insta Stories like you use? It has been so frustrating searching app after app and not finding what I’m looking for.
    I hope you have a lovely day. xo

  • Michelle Lee

    Hey Margaret,

    thanks for being a great role model to future creators. I wanted to ask how can a brand (such as yourself) feature multiple brands in one post and be compensated for each posts/material/publish? ( eg: Instagram, blog, website) Is this the matter of self funding/sponsor/work for free/ and tagging or pre-emailed collaboration/ set fees for posts? I am struggling to understand the business side of this field. Your support most appreciated.



Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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