Joe Chong from JNV photography joins us on a Q an A session, describing more about what drew him to photography and how he managed to find his style. Delivering piece after piece of stunning images with his carefully thought of lighting to the enticing visual composition, he is a master waiting to be discovered. Here, we discuss Joe about his works and how he first started out in this wedding industry.
Q: What first drew you to wedding photography—and how did you got the interest?
A: I’ve always dabbled in photography as my hobby, but my wife ignited my commitment to photography when she gave me my first ever DSLR. That is when things got serious, and I started to pursue the photography industry part time. In addition to being a photographer, I’m a full time architect as well, and I find that there are lots of similarities between the both. As an architect, it’s important for me to design around the light source of a particular room and I guess that has a major influence in my style of photography. I’m a chaser of natural lights and always conscious of it. I got interested into Wedding Photography because it is dynamic and a lot more challenging. My style of photography errs on the side of a more natural finish. I particularly like the interaction I get with newlyweds and capture the candid, untouched moments shared between both. Ideally, I like to encapsulate their love and affections towards each other and memorialised in photos, and that’s the best gift I could give them as a photographer.
Q: Who influenced you the most? Is there any other photographer that you consider as a kind of idol?
A: I can think of four photographers: Jose Villa, James Day, Jonas Peterson and James Simmons. Right at the top of my mind, Jose will get the most credit for deepening my passion for photography. As for the other three photographers, I admire their curiosity and spirit in their photography. Their creativity is what I aspire to and would hope to incorporate some of it into my repertoires.
Q: Since the photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times?
A: I’m a registered member in AIPP, and that helps to keep me abreast of the latest techniques and equipment. I do attend various workshops and get some pointers. Recently I’ve also started experimenting with drone photography from DJI, and it has already given us another dimension to our portfolios. I always viewed photography as dynamic and ever-changing; therefore I equate it as a journey of constant changes and improvements.
Q: How would you describe your working style? Can you show us a sample picture?
A: My working style is sociable and relaxed with my clients, yet calculative and thoughtful when comes to composing the photographs. I find that it’s important to get acquainted with the couple first. I would often meet up with them before the actual day of the shoot to know them better, get a sense of who they are as a person and hopefully, they would
feel more comfortable around me. Ideally, I would like them to treat me as one of their buddies. I find that it helps in creating the style of photography I’m specialising in. I like to capture candid, untouched moments between couples. I like photographs that can withstand the test of time with little gimmicks and fuss. Even though I shoot with a DSLR, I still shoot it as if I’m using a film camera because there’s something poetic and precious in composing your shots
before burst shot and hope for the best.
Q: We would love to see your most favorite picture. Among your works, which one is your most favorite and Why?
A: Here is one of my all times favourite; it’s a shot that I took of my close friend and his wife. It truly encapsulates why I do what I do now. The picture itself is dramatic and elicits a sense of hope and bliss, which coincidentally sums up my personal experience; I moved to Adelaide with my family, set up a business and a life here and haven’t looked back since.
Q: How do you see yourself in the next 5 years or so?
A: I’m hoping to expand more internationally and give back to the photography community by mentoring newcomers in the industry.
Q: What advice can you give to photographers who are just starting their career especially in the wedding industry?
A: Go seek your style, back yourself up and never stop learning. Continuously improve yourself and take references from your favourite photographers. Be more sociable as it is so important, especially if you’ve chosen to work with portraits. Getting the essence of the subject you’ll be shooting will certainly help you to capture it. I would sum it up with a quote from the late Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish”
Joe also partners with Vivian and her team who are providing makeup and hairdo alongside JNV Photography and FIlms. Together as a team serving newlyweds, they created a brand identity so indestructible that customers keep coming back for more. After all, everyone needs a wedding day to go well and they are just the perfect help!