Stefen Chow ist in normalen Jahren rund um den Globus unterwegs. 2020 hat er China nicht verlassen, hat aber die Möglichkeit genutzt, um im Land selber Aufträge und freie Arbeiten zu fotografieren. Darüber, über die aktuelle Situation in Beijing und über seinen Wunsch für die Zukunft hat er mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:
Stefen, how are you
I have been good. It could have been a lot worse. I have been based in Beijing, China since March of 2020, and I have not left the country since.
My wife and my children are with me, so I have spent more time with them compared to all my past years as a Photographer and Director.
What is the current situation in China?
Things started becoming more normal from the second half of 2020, but a second wave hit Beijing and we lost another month and a half.
China has contained the pandemic quite well due to very strict rules surrounding new cases and transmission. We are able to lead lives rather normally now – we can eat out, watch movies, meet friends, but the monitoring is still very strict. There is a new cluster of cases in Beijing recently and everything has been very tense again.
How did you live through the pandemic photographically and job-wise?
Like many others, I was initially lost but production and shoots starting coming back in the second half of the year. Towards the end of the last quarter of 2020, I was on back to back assignments in different parts of China, doing directing and photographing still campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. It has been a fortunate end to the year. Things are obviously affected, but its still good.
Did you work on free topics?
I did do some personal work on the side, and I contacted professional athletes, restaurants to collaborate on interesting projects. However, I would also do this every other year so it didn’t feel that different from other years.
Will the pandemic experience change photography and the photographic business?
Absolutely. I am not too keen how it will turn out once we are on the other side of the tunnel.
For one, I started doing a lot of assignments where there is a remote element in the production – my client, creative directors, other decision makers could be on the other side of the world, communicating with me through a iPad, computer while we are undergoing production. I was never that comfortable with that, but during the pandemic year this was the only way it will happen, and I have gotten used to it. This is what made a lot of production still possible.
What do you wish photographically for in the future?
I wish we can still do what we love.
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