Schlagwort-Archive: Beijing

#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 121: Stefen Chow aus Beijing

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.

Li Jingliang »The Leech«, one of the highest ranked Chinese UFC fighter.

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.

Print campaign shoot for Zhende Medical, with advertising agency Ogilvy.

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.

Portraits at the restaurant Huda in Beijing, China. Many of the staff are migrant workers within China, coming from smaller villages across the country to seek better job prospects in the country’s capital. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 3 of the 5 Huda restaurants had to be temporarily closed.

What do you wish photographically for in the future?
I wish we can still do what we love.

Website von Stefen Chow
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 48: Aurélien Foucault aus Nantes

Aurélien Foucault ist seit Mitte Februar in Nantes »gestrandet« – aus China angereist zu Besuch bei seinen Eltern wartet er nun darauf, dass er wieder zurück nach Beijing fliegen darf. Den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt er von seiner Situation:

»Although I am based in Beijing, China, I’ve come back to France with my family mid-February because we were in the midst of the virus crisis and my kid’s school had closed so we decided to use that time to introduce our new-born baby to my parents in France, hoping to get back to China as soon as things would get better.

Little did we know that we’d end up being stuck in France, because of the lockdown but also because China decided to close its borders to all foreigners, even those with residence permit.
So the four of us have been stuck in the room I used to inhabit as a teenager at my parents since mid-february.

Meanwhile, we still pay the rent for our apartment in Beijing and I haven’t been able to get any work here because of the lockdown.

I also had a nice exhibition of my work planned in France for March-April, but it only got to be open for a week before France went into lockdown. It’s really hard for us to plan anything at the moment because we have no idea when and if we’ll be able to go home.

All in all, we manage to stay positive as we are together and we have a roof over our heads and food on the table, which is sadly more than many can say.

Regarding my work, I am a documentary/ travel/ editorial photographer and my work has been published in newspapers such as The Guardian, Financial Times, Vice, Focus, Libération and many more.

My personal work has long been focused on the youth and the nightlife of Beijing, trying to show another aspect of China, that goes beyond the economics and the politics and reaches us by its universality.

I’m currently looking for funding to go shoot my next project, an uplifting story about paralympic athletes in Bhutan. If anyone reading this could be interested in helping out, please contact me!

Thanks again for initiating this #Facesofphotography project, it’s really fun and interesting and it gave me a reason to get back to creativity despite this difficult time.«

Website von Aurélien Foucault
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