Interview

Robin Yong

Robin Yong is a multi-award winning Travel and Commercial Photographer, trained by acclaimed American photographer Jim Zuckerman, the world famous Venetian Masks Florine Houee and Danielle Massart, and legendary Hollywood photographer Greg Gorman. He enjoys traveling to exotic destinations to befriend and photograph the locals. Yong is best known for his fairy tale-esque worldview work on the Omo Valley tribes in Ethiopia, the Venetian Masked models in Venice, the Bokator boxers of Cambodia and the Maikos of Kyoto.

Robin Yong, please introduce yourself

I call my works my Travel Portraits, my Art of Travel Medicine. For most of my works, I do not use flash, reflectors or artificial lighting, depending solely on natural lighting alone. The photos are often intense, dramatic and colourful. For me, every photo must look like a movie poster...These highly conceptual and thought provoking Travel Portraits especially, are designed to arouse an audience both visually and emotionally. My orientation towards photography has always been passion before commercial considerations and so my photos have always been a little different from that of many other photographers. Photographic work wise, I do some private sessions and assist in some photo workshops. These sessions are all highly sought after, and previous participants  included doctors, professors and even US senators. As always, I enjoy doing photo collaborations with budding models and artistes.

 

Where do you live, does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?

I am currently living in Canberra, Australia. At present, most of my photo work is still based overseas. There are quite a few beautiful places in Australia for photographs but i have yet started to work on them because of the current pandemic situation.

 

Do you have a photographic background?

I do not have any formal schooling in photography. Just attended a few workshops by my teachers Jim Zuckerman and Greg Gorman.

 

How comes that you are interested in photography?

I suppose it comes from my love of traveling to exotic destinations and using photography as a means to create beautiful keepsakes for me and my newfound friends whom I photograph.

 

Which photographer has inspired your photography?

I do mainly People and Travel stuff, so my favourite photographers are Greg Gorman, Bruce Weber and Steve McCurry and Jim Zuckerman.

 

Why do you work in black and white / color?

Black and white is good in certain instances when I get a good subject with nice facial features or muscular tones. Some of my best known works are in monochrome. I choose to work in colours when there's a lot of flowers or exciting costumes involved in the photos, so my Venetian photos are often done in colour.
 
 
How do you prepare for a photo?
For me, it usually starts with planning for the trip. I need to come up with a concept, select a destination and then time the season to get the mood of the pictures.
Next, I need to work on when and where to find the desired subjects. Then of course going thru with the actual trip and itinerary and talking to the relevant people when I get to the destination. Usually my subjects are keen to say yes once they have seen my works.

 

What are your technique and creative process?

I tend to travel very lightly, so I work using just natural lighting for most of my work.
Most editing is also done on the ipad.

 

Which projects would you like to tackle?

I'd probably like to do some studio work sometime and I have already contacted a few photographers overseas for collaborations when I next visit their counries, so this will be something very new and very special. I hope it will work out well.

 

What do you do in your life besides photography?

I am a Travel Medicine practitioner so yes, I do have a medical degree and I offer Travel vaccinations, advice and vaccine certificates for travellers and corporate clients. I am also a Fengshui practitioner and study the arts of Chinese Astrlology.

Thanks a lot Robin Yong for the Interview

▶ More about Robin Yong on Tagree

▶  Instagram

▶  Facebook

▶  Website

Represented by 

▶ Le Dame Art Gallery

His works are also available at Art Limited in France,  BlueThumb Gallery, artFido in Australia, and iCanvas, Saatchi Art in the USA and on artsy.net.

 

Flowers of Ethiopia by Robin Yong
I Bagnanti di Senigalia by Robin Yong
The Gondolier's Tale by Robin Yong
Thinking of you Day and Night by Robin Yong
Sisters by Robin Yong

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