Student Spotlight: Ophelia Ding -An Interview with an Instagram Star

Ophelia DingOphelia Ding studied abroad at UCL in Fall 2015. Like most students, Ophelia documented her term abroad using social media; she posted pictures on Instagram from her life in London and her travels around Europe. But unlike most people, Ophelia has over 27 thousand followers on Instagram, so her photos quickly rack up hundreds of ‘likes.’ Ophelia shared with us her experience with photography and how she became ‘instafamous.’

You can follow Ophelia @ophelia_ding. All photos courtesy of her Instagram.

12331691_1538701669785628_717535863_nHow did you get into photography?

My dad. He’s had such a huge influence on my photography. As a kid, I’d play around with his fancy cameras (and even broke a few… oops). My first camera was my dad’s old Canon and is one of my most prized possessions.

How did you obtain so many followers? 

Early last year and completely out of the blue, Instagram emailed me to let me know I was featured as a Suggested User — a list that highlights and recommends top Instagrammers to users. I was so excited, shocked and completely overwhelmed by all of the instantaneous engagement. Photography has always been just a creative outlet for me and never in a million years did I think that this would happen! 

What was your experience with Instagram while you were studying abroad? 12317612_126615974375329_895764802_n

Instagramming abroad was the best. It’s so much fun to go back to my Instagram map and look through all of the beautiful cities and countries I had the privilege of exploring! It was the perfect medium for documenting my time abroad and a great way for my friends and family to get updated on my travels as they happened.

11934792_1655361181348774_1394877304_nWhat did you like to photograph most while you were here?

Coffee. Hands down. My friends back home kept asking me why I was always in coffee shops! Ha! Living in London turned me into such a coffee geek — the coffee and tea in England was so delicious (especially Monmouth Coffee, my absolute favorite).