Joseph Chen

September 24, 2017 by Laura Gomez


Photographer Interview:

Name: Joseph Chen

Colour: Black

Book: about a hundred of them.

Movie: The Godfather

Food: Dim Sum

Quote: “A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to take it off you.” –Francoise Sagan

For how long have been in photography? How did you start? I have been shooting professionally for more than 6 years now. I don’t really know how to answer that; there is not one exact answer for it. Maybe it is just destiny.

How would you define yourself as an artist? I define myself as a storyteller; I like to take picture with narrative. Without it, even though it was a good picture I feel unfulfilled.

Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in movies, books and beautiful women.

Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life today? Donald Trump! LOL, all jokes aside, I find inspiration in people who are blessed with great advantages in life and yet humble. People who work hard and try to make something of themselves.

What for you is the most enjoyable part of your photography? I like the part when a new idea comes to me out of nowhere.

Is Brainstorming not the only creative method use to create new concepts? I find myself more like the character of Dr. House in the TV show House, where the main character needs his staff to be a sounding board, to bounce his ideas to. I exchange ideas with my Creative Director, my stylist and my assistants.

Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology? I think digital technology has improved a lot that it’s resolution is way better than analog. But sometimes digital lacks the romance of analog.

What type of camera do you use most? Canon Mark 4 D

What is your favorite lens? I think it is the 50mm lens and 85 mm for portrait.

What has been your most memorable assignment and why? There was this one story I shot a while back with a diva stylist, it was memorable because it taught me what not to do. It taught me that I have to take control of my shoot so that the outcome will be what I envisioned it to be.

What are your favorite two images you have shot recently? My favorite images of my own work changes a lot. If you ask me now, on top of my mind will be one of the picture I did for an editorial for Elle Bulgaria called The Actress, a campaign I did for a joint shoot of Lycra and Global Denim and another editorial I did for Elle Bulgaria that was set in the farm.



How important is an awesome website for your business? Nowadays a good website is more important than a physical portfolio. Marketing is all online now. But you don’t have to have a fancy website. A clean and easy to use will suffice. In the end it is still about the quality of your work. Instagram is also very important.

What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have? I believe persistence, you don’t have to be the best out there, as long as you’re persistent. You should also have the humility to accept criticism from the right people, people you trust. And it needs to be right people, someone who knows the what they are talking about and is giving you their opinion for you to improve, because sometimes there are people out there who try to criticize you just for the sake of putting you down, I met a few of those too.

Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? I don’t see my work that way. I like them for 3 months to 6 months, maybe sometimes up to a year. After we finish post production on a project I am on to the next one. At the back of my mind there is this voice whispering to me all the time: “Is this the best you can do? Is this it for you? Can you do this again?” So I do not really have any project that gave me that much satisfaction.

List of your clients? I don’t really feel comfortable listing my client list. If people like my work they could hire me but don’t hire me because I worked for someone else. I might not be the right photographer for them.

Who are the photographer’s you admire the most? I admire Peter Lindbergh and Irving Penn a lot, not only that I admire their work but I heard they are/were nice people as well. I also admire the works of Gregory Crewsdon. Helmut Newton is another one.

What about architects and designers? For architect I like Olson and Kundig. For designers, I like Gucci, Dolce and Gabana, Chanel, but for personal use I like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren,
Hugo Boss and Diesel.

What are your next projects? Planning a fashion editorial and hopefully a short film soon. That’s all the details for now.

Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Extremely impressive international selection of artists and the content of their interviews.

IG: @josephchenny