The power of photography caught Anthony Chang’s eye at a young age, all thanks to the seemingly “magical powers” of the Polaroid OneStep 600 instant camera his father brought home one day.
As the years went by, Anthony’s growing passion for photography, led him to purchase his first camera (a Minolta x700), and then another, and another, and… another, leaving Anthony to begin wondering if his interest in photography was beginning to border on obsession rather than passion.
But back then, even with his growing passion/obsession and seemingly ever expanding collection of gear, the thought of trying to earn a living by becoming a full-time photographer didn’t cross his mind.
That idea came into being a little later on…
Anthony’s big break came when was invited to collaborate with fellow photographer and good friend Steven Domjancic of Gotham Studios.
It was through this collaboration with Steven and Gotham Studios that gave Anthony the chance to work with bigger clients, some of which he never dreamt he would ever have the opportunity to work with.
Using a creative style that Anthony describes as more environmental than anything else, you will find that his images tend to capture subjects against backdrops that are alive with details.
Never would I have guessed I’d actually be doing the thing I love, life is funny that way, isn’t it?
In fact, this is one of the features that make Anthony’s work stand out so much. You will rarely, if ever, see a subject of his photographed against a plain background, be it black, white, grey or any other solid colour.
For his personal work, Anthony’s creative process takes on a bit of a “playing it by ear and improvising” aspect.
Starting with a rough concept of what he wants, the first step his process is to find a good location and build it up from there.
Finding a good location isn’t as easy as it sounds and when Anthony comes across one, he will do whatever he can to work with it and include it one way or another in his photos.
To capture his sweeping panoramic images, he starts by mounting his camera on a tripod and shooting a single frame of his subject to compose. Once the composition is correct, he pans the camera around, shooting until until he has the shots he needs to stitch together into one shot in post.
While this more spontaneous method works for his more personal work, Anthony strongly recommends pre-planning your “paid jobs” more thoroughly to ensure that both you and your client get the shot you are looking for.
What it takes to be successful
Being a successful professional photographer involves more than just being able to capture beautiful images and to that, Anthony shares some hard truths about the business side of photography.
If you want to succeed and become a full time photographer just being a good photographer isn’t going to cut it.
A huge part of it is being a good businessperson, so if you want to do this full time take a business course, read some books, go to networking events and speak to and learn from other photographers that have managed to be successful.
You really can’t ignore social media either. Being active and engaged in social media is very important in this industry learning how to take advantage of it is also very important as a photographer.
Finally, stop obsessing over gear. No camera and lens is going to magically make your photos that much better. Your photos will only get better if you become a better photographer and the only way to get better is to practice more, so go out and shoot more and have fun with it.
Anthony Chang’s full Gallery of images is available for public viewing during regular business hours at Vistek Toronto until the end of April.
If you’d like to view more of Anthony Chang’s work check out his website Cloud Age Photo or follow him on the following social sites:
Also published on Medium.