Today I had the opportunity to speak with Regen Chen, who won our first Benjamin Kanarek Blog Fashion Photography Contest. It was a pleasure speaking with him and as with most interactions, it was a very illuminating experience for me. I appreciated that he was well prepared for the call and laid out a panoply of questions that covered a very wide scope pertaining to the fashion industry.
I asked that he share some information about himself, as well as some other samples of his work. To listen to the podcast interview just scroll down to the media player.
Regen Chen is a 23 year Toronto based photographer, who has studied three years of Graphic Design at George Brown College, and two years at Seneca College in digital photography. In that time he has managed to publish several of his works in local life style magazines. Recently Regen has developed a passion for fashion photography by combining his distinct technique of lighting and post processing. Regen believes that fashion photography is about expressing a concept, telling a story, and creating desire.
About the submission
The piece I submitted was a school assignment which required me to do an on location portrait with one lighting. I wanted to take it a step further than just a portrait shoot by adding some style and flare. I asked friends to model, do the makeup, hair, and styling for this project. My idea was a night out in downtown.
For equipments I had one ring flash attached onto my camera plugged into a battery pack. The technique I used was slow-sync with 1-2 seconds exposure to capture the city ambient light, and also have the flash to stop the motion of the model. I intentionally shifted my camera each shot in order to blend the ambient lights on the model; meanwhile I asked my model to move around slowly.
One problem I had was focusing and framing the model because modeling light from the strobe was restricted when plugged into a battery pack. I ended up using the light from a cell phone as a replacement to help me focus. Other than that the shoot went smooth.
In post-production, I increased the contrast and clarity, with a touch of HDR. I wanted to keep intact elements such as colour and movement, but still focus on the garment. I played with the layout a lot, trying to find the right composition. I ended up with something that not only shows these elements but also maintains the edgy look I was going for.
My feeling about the industry I am pursuing
Advertising is where I want to go. I believe it will allow me to continue to express my point of view while still making my works sell able. I feel that photographers are usually underrated, because often people don’t see the whole process behind each photo taken. With today’s growing technology, it’s harder to have a sense of stability because photography is becoming more accessible to people. At this point it comes down to who I am as an artist, and I often find myself thinking, “Do I have enough good ideas?”
Regen Chen Interview Click Below