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Chai Qi: The photos tell a story and capture the emotions of the models.




Can you describe your journey into becoming a fashion photographer? What initially sparked your interest in this field?

Hey, I'm Cherry Chai. Currently studying in the SVA Fashion Photography program. When I was 18, I randomly flipped through a fashion magazine and was deeply captivated by its unique visuals and creativity. In that moment, I decided to become a fashion photographer.


How do you approach each fashion shoot creatively? Can you walk us through your process from conceptualization to execution?

My fashion photography creative process includes: researching inspiration, conceptualization, team collaboration, planning and preparation, shooting, post-processing, and feedback adjustments. From researching fashion trends to the final post-processing, every step is crucial.


What is your signature style or aesthetic as a fashion photographer, and how do you ensure it shines through in your work?

High-contrast color expression. The photos tell a story and capture the emotions of the models.


Fashion photography often involves collaboration with stylists, makeup artists, and models. How do you effectively communicate your vision to ensure everyone is aligned on the shoot day?

Before shooting, I write a plan and hold a meeting to ensure everyone is aware of the plan's details. However, unexpected incidents often occur during the shoot. Consistency is really challenging to guarantee.



Can you share some challenges you've encountered on fashion shoots and how you've overcome them?

In a fashion photography shoot, a sudden change in weather became a major challenge, threatening the shooting schedule. Rain made the location slippery, and controlling the lighting became difficult. I promptly adjusted the plan and discussed alternative options with the team. We directly changed the theme and mood of the day's shoot, capturing models walking with umbrellas in the rain. We captured emotions of resilience, tranquility, or romance, creating unique visuals blended with the rain.


In a highly competitive industry like fashion photography, how do you stay inspired and motivated to continuously produce innovative work?

Look more, think more, learn more. And accept the fact that others may work harder and shoot better than me.


Fashion trends evolve rapidly. How do you stay updated on the latest trends and incorporate them into your photography while maintaining your unique perspective?

I generally stay updated on the latest fashion information through social media. However, I don't believe in capturing what is currently popular, as this often leads to losing one's uniqueness. I maintain a unique perspective by only shooting what I personally like and find interesting.


What role do you believe social media plays in the success of a fashion photographer today, and how do you leverage platforms like Instagram to showcase your work?

Social media plays a crucial role in the success of contemporary fashion photographers. Platforms like Instagram provide photographers with extensive exposure opportunities, strengthen personal brands, and expand their client base. Currently, I upload whatever I shoot on Instagram. Recently, I've started not only sharing the photos I take but also recording the shooting process in videos.



Can you share a memorable experience or shoot that has had a significant impact on your career as a fashion photographer?

Received a fashion photography task from a renowned designer, faced significant challenges. Thoroughly researched the designer's style, meticulously planned. During the shoot, the designer proposed creative changes, requiring urgent adjustments to composition and lighting. Successfully completed the shoot, showcasing my flexibility and creative adaptability.


Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring fashion photographers who are looking to break into the industry?

Be more social, be a bit bolder. Courageously request coffee chats with impressive individuals.






Visual Assistant: Skylar @brilliantwjy

Photographer: Chai Qi @cherrychai2000

Fashion Designer: yidi zuo @uuuuuidi

Fashion Designer: Nausicaa Nyc @nausicaa_nyc

Fashion Designer: Angel Yi Pan @angelpan_studio

Makeup Artist: ShanJu Wu @bella_yumi1221

Model: Julia Willett @julia.willett

Visual Assistant: Ziyi Jinyang @ziyiart2022

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