INSIGHT AND BEAUTY
I’ve often been asked about my logo, and if it has any meaning.
In short, it has great significance to me, since it is my name!
My paternal grandfather gave me the name, after much deliberation. One’s Chinese name must be well chosen, as a good name can be auspicious. There’s even a saying that goes, “Instead of giving your child gold, teach him a skill; instead of teaching him a skill, give him a good name.”
I’m very happy with my name. The big character on the right is my family name, pronounced Teng in the West, pronounced Dèng in the East. The two characters on the left are my given name, Wei Mei, (pronounced way may).
Wei means wisdom and insight, and Mei means beauty. Growing up in Berkeley, I was always Maryanne since few people even knew my Chinese name. It wasn’t until I was an adult living in China that my Chinese name became a part of my identity.
I spent four months living with various relatives in Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. Some of my most precious gifts were my chops (seals), which are like rubber stamps of your name, but carved in stone. The ink used is always red.
While designing my logo, it seemed natural to use one of my favorite chops, since it is my name afterall. How serendipitous that the meaning of my name is also a representation of my photographic aspirations – insight and beauty.
It is my aim to gain insight into the inner beauty of the person I am photographing, and reveal it in their portraits.
True beauty comes from within, and it is my job to entice your inner beauty to shine on the outside, so that I can take the best photograph you’ve ever seen of yourself and your loved ones.
Afterwards when the portrait is on your wall, in an album or folio box, or perhaps in a small frame on your desk, you can always reconnect with that beauty.