venus tong overtnyc

WHO: Venus Tong

WHAT: Staff Artist @ New York Times moonlighting in Photography + Content Curation

WHERE: Williamsburg, BK + NYT Building, NYC

IG: @venuswaslike

We wanted to find out – what “Venus was like”. What started out as an Instagram crush, a little online “heart” flirting turned into an IRL coffee date and led into a sunny Sunday afternoon with Venus. We met in Williamsburg for coffee and street hangs, then followed her to The New York Times office in mid-town where she holds a full-time day job in the digital creative team.

Venus is a talented creative export from New Zealand, she is based in Williamsburg and has been in New York for 3 years. She is a photographer at heart, with an exceptional eye for capturing moments in their simple glory, the perfect light – moments that would appear otherwise basic to the normal eye.

Her talent has led her to many partnerships as a content creator and art director – seeing her work with impressive lifestyle and fashion companies, CFDA, Suno, St Germain and Corzo to name just a few.

Find out more about Venus, how she got to where she is and her life + style in New York with us below…

Tell us a little bit about your life at home in New Zealand compared to New York? What was the transition from Auckland to NYC like? 

New York is very different to New Zealand. I was raised in Auckland. It’s a very small town. You’d always run into the same group of people every time you went out or just anywhere in general. My life was comparatively slow.

In New York, you rarely run into someone and everyone is so busy doing their own thing. But when you do run into someone you know it’s like a great surprise.

I drove everywhere when I lived in NZ and I also never used to be a sneaker person till now! Having a good pair of sneakers is important living here!

venus tong overtnyc

What sparked your love for photography and how long have you been doing it for?

I love being able to capture a moment in time and be able to look back at what happened. My parents got me a camera for my 16th birthday. I started shooting my friend’s band and music concerts. After that, I started shooting parties and events.

I used to run a party site called Party of Wolves where I’d cover events from house parties to red carpets. I was also a photographer for Guest of a Guest LA back when they first launched. After that, I started experimenting still life and lifestyle – all of which has lead me here to today.

You scored an awesome job at the Times in digital – How did this come about and where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Who you know is just as important as what you know – especially in a city like this. It was all through Instagram.

In 5 years time…I see myself maybe freelancing full time in photography, working for myself or having a Manager. Who knows! So much could happen in 5 years. 

What is your favorite subject to shoot and how would you describe your photography style? What has been your biggest “pinch me moment” since living in the city?

My favorite subjects to shoot are still life, coffees and lifestyle. I guess I’m very lifestyle-ish and commercial. 

Haha…I feel like every minute living here is a pinch me moment! A definite pinch me moment was meeting Bill Cunningham and then eventually working literally across from the man himself!

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Your Instagram is full of amazing food and fashion pictures, what are some of your favorite cafes to shoot at?

Butler (pictured here)

Happy Bones

Gasoline Alley


What does a day in the life of Venus look like between working at The New York Times and freelance projects? 

Wake up. Check my emails. Have brunch with friends. shoot around the city. Run errands. Then go to work.


“Living in NY has definitely been absolutely surreal for me.”


Shop Venus’ style

                      veda leather jacket overt nyc         velvet stripe top overt nyc    7 For All Mankind ripped black jean  dita flash aviator