Three Photographers on Shaping the Future of Creative

3 photographers on shaping the future of creative

 

The best thing about creativity is that it has no limits. Technology and social media have opened up a world of endless tools and capabilities that allow almost anyone to create, be seen, and be heard.

 

With the help of our partner Death to Stock, we spoke with three talented photographers about creativity, the future, and perspective.

 
 
 

PATRICK MICHAEL CHIN

Winter Park, Florida

PatrickMichaelChin_ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

My name is Patrick Chin and I'm a freelance commercial photographer based in Winter Park, Florida where I live with my wife, Kimberly, and two kids - Harper (4) and Ansel (8 months). I specialize in lifestyle, travel, hospitality and portraiture.

 

Define your taste. 

I would describe my taste as clean and idealized. As much as I can enjoy imagery that is raw and full of imperfection, I love for my images to feel like idealized versions of whatever it is that I'm shooting. Not fake, but idealized in a way that makes you wish you were there in that exact moment. 

PatrickMichaelChin_ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue
PatrickMichaelChin_ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue

This issue is themed "Future" - what do you think is the future of photography or the creative industries in general?

Feels like things are moving from being hyper-perfect to more raw, which as I mentioned, is maybe a stretch for me. I see it mainly in fashion photo/video right now, but I'm curious if it will begin to extend beyond that. I definitely believe people are fatigued by the extremely "epic" type of Instagram-y thing that they've been bombarded with for the last few years with the rise of influencers and are reverting back to authenticity.

 

What do you think about the increase in video across digital and how are you being reactive to this rising trend of rich media (GIFs, etc.)?

The accessibility of video is absolutely changing the visual arts in every way. I actually still have no desire to get into video personally, but it's given me a lot of opportunities to partner with film makers on shoots. Over 50% of the time these days my clients ask if I do video and when I say no I always recommend someone who does and we usually end up working in tandem. I like it more that way. I can't imagine juggling both. Though they're related, they're such different skills. I've done a couple of cinemagraphs for clients in the past, but only if they ask.

PatrickMichaelChin_ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue

Do you see any part of your industry becoming obsolete or being replaced?

I don't personally ever see still images becoming obsolete. Not anytime in my lifetime anyways. Photography will always have it's place as long as print and printed advertising exists.

 

If you had to boil down your perspective to one thing, what would it be?

I know I'm not the best photographer in the world, and that's ok. I've been doing it a fraction of the time as my idols, but I can stay hungry for knowledge, keep practicing, and I can make an impression on people by just not being an asshole. I believe your talent can get you hired once, but your personality gets you hired again. People have to like working with you and a ton of my work for the last year or so has been repeat clients.

 

Visit Patrick's WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

 

ALEX TAN

LOS ANGELES

 
ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_AlexTan

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

My name is Alex Tan. I currently work full time as a Content Creator at a nontraditional advertising agency here in Los Angeles, California named Operam. My strong-suit is photography & art direction but I also write a lot and try to get my hands into anything creative. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and spent the last year in Chicago before moving to LA three months ago. I picked up a camera after throwing in the towel from playing soccer at a competitive level for over 10 years. Ever since then, I've been absolutely obsessed with trying to make new things every single day. I think that growing up and spending time in the midwest attributed to my desire to travel, work hard, and making things out of nothing.

 

Define your taste. 

I think our tastes are always changing, and can be exemplified through a variety of outlets. The way we dress, what music we listen to, the kind of art we make, etc. I also believe that the things we are constantly consuming have a direct impact on the things we create. If I could define my taste in a few words, I would say that I enjoy things that are simple on the surface but not always clear. I love things that create curiosity and allow you to dive a little deeper. For example, I think that artists like Frank Ocean are so fascinating. I love reading the reddit threads that speculate his work based on his history, but he would never come out and tell you the whole story himself. Mysteriousness has always been attractive to me. In my own artistic style, I like make the ordinary things feel as if they are not from this world. Sometimes that means manipulating colors, or even an exaggerated expression of the model in a photograph.

ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_AlexTan
ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_AlexTan

This issue is themed "Future" - what do you think is the future of photography or the creative industries in general?

The creative industry is such a weird place right now. It's hard for me to explain to most people that I actually get to take photos and make things to support myself. It doesn't register to a lot of people because my job position didn't even exist maybe 5 years ago, and I never was never educated in the arts (I studied Accounting for two years before leaving school). It's also difficult to tell where the creative industry is headed but it's definitely coming from a place that is influenced by advancements in technology, social capabilities, and popular culture. At the end of the day, good art will always be good and trends will always be trends. Most creative people can see right through the difference. 

 

What do you think about the increase in video across digital and how are you being reactive to this rising trend of rich media (GIFs, etc.).

It makes sense that so much traffic on the internet leads to video content. I feel as if video is a little more interactive, expressive, and easy to share. I probably haven't reacted to it as well as I should have. Making films is a lot less attractive to me than directing is. Even in photography, my favorite part is coming up with the ideas. I want to say that "I'll start pushing into filmmaking this year" but I want to just do it instead of talking about it. 

ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_AlexTan

Do you see any part of your industry becoming obsolete or being replaced?

Things can change without being obsolete and replaced. A lot of mediums and the way we make things will always be dependent on technology and popular culture, but the ideals are typically similar. Like I said before, the trends will die out eventually. The truly creative will always find a way to make things work. Who knows if creative Snapchat content will be around forever. But those who are hungry will find a way to take what they've learned and bring it to whatever comes to the table next.

 

If you had to boil down your perspective to one thing, what would it be?

My perspective on life comes down to this idea that we will never be able to control the circumstances of today, but we have full and total control over how we react to it. We have the opportunity to design a life that is ours and nobody else's, as opposed to just letting life happen to us. Every day we have the choice to wake up and be great at what we do. If you stand with an attitude of positivity and success, then you're already halfway there. 

VISIT Alex'S WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

 
 

RAY KAY

SEOUL, KOREA

 
ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathToStock_RayKay

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I’m a photographer and a cinematographer Ray Kay based in Seoul, Korea. Mostly I’m doing fashion photography and fashion film here (or there). I majored in graphic design at university and also I was a singer-songwriter as well, so I prefer to be called an artist.

ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_RayKay

Define your taste.

My little motto's always been 'all photography is an art.'  I enjoy to adding some emotions or stories to my works even if they are commercial works. So I try to organize my shoots to make people see a little bit of art in them or at least feel something.

 

This issue is themed "Future" - what do you think is the future of photography or the creative industries in general?

As a bunch of new high-tech equipment is becoming available, the skills for photography or lighting are no longer a big issue. Taking a photo is becoming simple and easy because of these advancements. We don't need a book for learning anything new or treating gears due to information that is on YouTube, all the creativity on Pinterest and sites like Behance. In my opinion, at least many more creatives who are tired of high-resolution would try to return to analog or artistic ways for their expression with recent elegant elements.

ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_RayKay
 
ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_RayKay

What do you think about the increase in video across digital and how are you being reactive to this rising trend of rich media (GIFs, etc.)?

The rising trend of rich media is unstoppable and also essential according to our lifestyle. I think GIFs are really fun and effective. I've been watching many creatives try GIFs format for their works. I'm not against this trend but also worried that if there is something rising, there is always something falling.

 

Do you see any part of your industry becoming obsolete or being replaced?

They do, so they act. Many things have been replaced, including people.

ShapeShiftReport_TheFutureIssue_DeathtoStock_RayKay

If you had to boil down your perspective to one thing, what would it be?

It might be off the subject, but It would be going 'off the grid.' I used to struggle in front of a computer to solve the problems from the creativity, methods, routine, systems, and changes. I realized that whatever we do, the answers are always at under the blue sky. Going off the grid to get into the grid.

 

VISIT RAY's WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

 

 

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