Interview: Anthony Chang

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Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well the name is Anthony Chang, I’m 21 right now and really I’d say I’m a photography enthusiast. I’ve been doing photography for a few years now but it wasn’t until 2-3 years ago did I start to take it more seriously. Since it was such an on and off thing for me I say that I don’t even have a years worth of real world experience when it comes to photography. For now its just a hobby of mine that I quite enjoy. I’d say 80% of my mind is filled with photography and the remaining 20% is left of everything else, I spend quite a lot of time just reading up on photography on my spare time. Whether its learning new techniques on just keeping up with the technology I just love learning more and more about it. So because of that I’d say I know quite a lot on the technical side of photography, though that doesn’t make me a good photographer hahaha. Some other stuff about me thats not photography photography related is that I’m born and raised in Canada, so I’m Canadian. I’m a very optimistic person and I can brush aside almost anything thats thrown my way. I’m still young and I’m a pretty quiet person, I don’t talk much so that means I’m bad at networking (which is key in this industry). What can I say I’m a little anti social but most people who really know me would never be able to tell that but thats because they went out of their way and talked to me first, I rarely make the first move when it comes to socializing.

Did you go to school to study photography?

Actually I still am in school for photography! I go to Fanshawe College which is located in London Ontario. Its a good school and I like the people there, they’re what makes going to school fun. Truth be told I haven’t learned much from school and I’ve learned more on my own and just from doing photography outside of school, and funny enough some of my teachers know that. Though I don’t regret going to school for photography because its the environment and the people that have really motivated me to be a better photography. Being surrounded by over 100 like minded people who all want to be successful in the photography industry and seeing all their work really keeps me motivated, and its fun too.

When did you first become interested in photography?

As I child I’d say is when I first became interested in photography, I’d say its partly because of my dad. I just remember him taking out his Pentax K1000 with its large hammer flash just to take some family photos, I’d say I was interested in the gear as a child more then the photography aspect. Though it wasn’t until 2-3 years ago when DSLRs became more available to everyone was when I really got interested in photography. Being able so see what you got instantly was amazing and thats what really started it all. My brother was quite the influence too as thats when he started to get into more seriously too. After that it just snowballed from there to where I am now.

How do you find your subjects?

Subjects huh… Thats a tricky one to answer I take photos of anything and everything, whether or not its good or bad is up in the air. For some of the more creative photos I have (like the ones up on 500px) I more or less created my subjects from things I had around the house. Most of my still life work I’ve done is just from things I have around the house and trying to arrange then do shoot them in an interesting way. When I do portraits its normally a case of the models asking me for photos, only a few times have I asked someone to model for me. Also sometimes its just a case of my friends and I going out to shoot just cause we want to. A lot of the locations I shoot in are just around my area, they’re normally nothing to special except for the time I shoot in an abandoned building. And sometimes I just stumble on to my subjects when I’m just out walking around, which is why I always carry a camera with me. So I really don’t do much in terms of finding my subjects.

How important is Photoshop in your final images?

Photoshop is very important not just to me but I think its important to every photographer out there. A lot of people talk about how everything is photoshopped now and how it was never like that in the old days, but thats not true. People “photoshopped” images back during the film days too it just took a lot longer! For the most part I use Photoshop for colour correction (or for screwing around with the colours), sharpening, cropping, getting rid of blemishes, the usual stuff. Then there are times where I end up using it to put together panoramas, or composites, but that doesn’t happen that often. Only when I feel like I need to do it and during those times where I feel its easier to just do it in Photoshop then trying to get it straight out of camera. Thats normally the case when I end up doing composites. I actually don’t like spending to much time in Photoshop.

What are the ingredients for success with photography?

The key ingredients to succeed in the field of photography is the keep shooting and have fun. Be passionate about it, if its not fun then its turning into work and you don’t want it to feel like work, you want to have fun while your shooting. Don’t take photos because you have to but because you want to, thats something aimed at others photography students. Look at other peoples work and be inspired, take your camera everywhere because you never know when that decisive moment will come. Try new things, just play around whether or not it turns out well is not important, you learn a lot just from trying (though don’t try something new you’ve never done on a paying job unless your confident). Don’t get to obsessed with gear because its not important, its nice but its not necessary. Though the number one thing I can say if you want to be successful and actually make money in this field is to network, and learn how to market yourself. Know who your target market is and don’t carpet bomb everyone. To bad I can’t help much in this area since I’m not exactly good at it!

Where is the most spectacular place you’ve ever been?

Sadly I haven’t traveled much in my time, money is always an issues so my family doesn’t really travel. I’ve been outside of the Country a few times because of my girlfriend, though mainly to Buffalo NY, which isn’t far outside of this country, its just across the border. I’ve only been outside of Ontario once aside from the times I’ve been to the States and that was to Quebec and that was for family reasons. Though as a child we went on a family trip outside of Canada and that was back in 2001. We went to New York city during the summer, I’ll never forget that day because on that day we got to go on top of the Twin Towers. It was the most spectacular view I’ve ever seen, to be at the very top and looking down on the world as the cold high winds blew across my face. It was a mix of fear (not very comfortable with heights…) and excitement as I stared down on the world. It was something else, even more so when not even a month later after our trip was when the 9/11 attacks happened, it was a once in a life time experience and its something I won’t ever forget.

What’s your dream photography project?

One of my dream projects that I’d like to pursue, but I just can’t mainly because of my shy nature, is to start a 100 strangers project and the street studio project. The 100 strangers project is a street photography project where you take a portrait of well 100 strangers. I’d be going to up 100 different people and asking them if I can take their photos while getting some information about them and who they are. While the street studio project is another street photography project where you set up a white background and again stop strangers and ask them if you can their photo on a white background. Those are two projects I’d really like to do, maybe sometime in the future when I can get over my shyness, not an impossible dream and its something I can do.

Do you remember your first photography sale?

I remember my first sale it was actually a just a simple photo shoot I did for a friend of a friend. It was a simple lifestyle shoot for a couple, I didn’t ask for much since I wasn’t really confident when it comes to photographing people at the time. Though it was a good experience, they were happy with the photos and thats what matters right?

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?

Like I said before just keep shooting and shoot for fun, start a 365 project it’ll be a good experience and it’ll help keep you motivated to shoot everyday. Who knows you might learn a thing or two as well. Also always bring a camera around whether it be a point and shoot, your cellphone, or even your DSLR, just bring something with you so you can keep shooting.

One Comment to “Interview: Anthony Chang”

  • Kuma – I can’t stop looking at these eeithr! They melt my heart. Absolutely the cutest pictures ever:) I love how expressive Mia is, she definitely has a fun personality and it’s amazing to see it develop! Aron, going with your passion was the best choice you could have made your talent is endless. Love you all xoxo

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