Seeing through the lens

作者:Gui Qian
【导读】A photographer shows how to interact with people before taking pictures 职业摄影师教你拍出打动人心的照片
Zhao Yan, 15, Liaoning
I found my interest in photography as a little child. My first camera was a little silver box, which stored my precious life moments. 

Aguo, 22, Sichuan
I am a fashion photographer. I shoot for clothing brands and fashion media. But I also do my own projects, most of which are portraits or about street culture.


Zhao: Who can become a photographer?
Aguo: Anyone can become a photographer, as long as you want it. It’s not like you need a degree or certificate or anything. Yes, I’ve been planning to take photography classes in an art school in the UK, but before this, I’d already been working as a photographer for years - I started by using my phone in junior high. Some of my photographer friends do other jobs at the same time - they are music makers, vloggers and directors.

(Photo taken by Aguo)

Zhao: What does a photographer usually do?
Aguo: There are different kinds of photographers and our lives and work can be very different, too. A National Geographic kind of photographer may travel to different places, taking photos of architecture, landscapes and animals.
But fashion photographers like me, mainly do two things - commercial shoots and our own creative projects. The former is for making money and offering service to customers. The latter is for expression - we post these photos on our own social media, submit them to media outlets and contests, or hold photographic exhibitions to show them off.
(Photo taken by Aguo)

Zhao: What makes a good photographer?
Aguo: For commercial shooting, there are some routines that we can follow and the most important thing is to meet the needs of our customers. For our own shoots, what matters most is that you have something that you want to express. And these things can resonate with a certain group of people.
For example, I’ve shot a collection of portraits of children and teenagers from my hometown, Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Sichuan. Named When I Look at You, it shows my attachment to my hometown and ethnic group. During the shoot, getting the trust of your subject is important, too. So, before I took the pictures, I played with the children for one week till they were familiar with me so I could catch their most natural moments. When I do other projects, I’ll talk with my subjects, play their favorite music and guide them to bring out their true selves.

(Photo taken by Aguo)

Zhao: I’m not good with equipment, numbers and technical stuff. Is that a problem?
Aguo: Not at all. Every photographer has their own style. Take me as an example, I prefer natural photos much more than technical ones. I still often use non-digital film and common cameras. But if you like using special techniques, post-production or special effects, you could train yourself to be a photoshop master and turn that into your own style, too.
By GUI QIAN, 21st Century Teens


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