Advice from an Emmy award winning videographer

So awhile back now, I made an incredible discovery; an Emmy award nominated cinematographer was following me on Instagram.

Lior Sperandeo and his photography/videography project called People Of was an account I had stumbled across a number of months ago – I fell in love with his portrait work especially, some truly honest and raw photos.However, on a visit to his website, I stumbled upon a wider array of his work and reviews left by the likes of National Geographic. His work really inspired me to continue pursuing my passion for learning about global culture and telling truly engaging, and unifying stories.

“Filmmaker Lior Sperandeo captures the raw emotion of life as a refugee”
~ National Geographic


In the process of discovering his work, I began to become a huge admirer of his journey and his creative process. But also, knowing someone – who has achieved so many incredible things – was paying attention to my own work and progress, was incredibly humbling.

I then realised I was in a unique position, to let someone I admire greatly know that:
1) I admire them and get inspired by their work
2) ask for any advice that could take my own work and content to another level

So I went for it, slid in them DM’s and crossed my fingers – hoping that I wasn’t fan girling too hard. And I got an incredible reply. His advice was comprehensive, both practical and achievable – and you can see it for yourself below:


But the one piece of advice that has stuck with me since that moment was this:


And that has stuck with me because as a young creative, trying to get published, and make that great break happen – we may start adjusting our content to what we think might pop. But that is such a big mistake.

Authenticity is the only thing that can break through a culture fueled by curated truths and fake news. Because when the dust settles, the only thing that fills the void that remains, is real human connection and conversation.

By creating art – music, photography, writing – that mirrors some form of human truth, the façade’s that continue to limit social consciousness will slowly break away.

Even the heaviest of mists can be broken by a single ray of sunshine.

Ryan Cheng is the founder of The 88, and is passionate about telling stories surrounding travel, culture and identity.

Get in touch ~
Instagram: @chinkinthearmour


  1. That would be a thrill for sure. I’m not the least bit artistic, so I’ve never been in the position to ask guidance from one who is, but his response, especially the part you liked best, “your work is not great because it gets published, it’s published because it’s great” gave me a short glimpse into the world of the talented.

    Artists must earn living like everyone else, but to get lost in your work and produce something that gives even yourself a moment of awe; how rewarding that must be.

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