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I studied MSc Filmmaking and media arts at the University of Glasgow and worked as a photographer & filmmaker in Will Melon Media, Inspiralba, and FyneFutures in 2 years. I always get a huge passion for chasing and building the visual beauty with spiritual meaning in my work. Although I spent a lot of time shooting soulless pictures for clients (non-models) to satisfy and flatter them to make a living, I always insist on searching models and working with them to create my own work to convey what I think or I feel to the world, i.g. LGBT rights including same-sex marriage and adoption, gender and race' equality and so on in Asian area, particularly in China.
As a married Chinese gay living in the UK, digging my own story to exposure these living problems I met and how I solve them to the public is my future topic in my work. Many artworks tell LGBT groups how to be brave and how to love, but there are few of them tell the people how to live and maintain a relationship.
Meanwhile, Professional knowledge and technologies about filmmaking or photo taking that I have learned at universities in the past 7 years facilitate myself to be proficient in all the progress of making videos and shooting photography. I am professional in planning and time management, using filming equipment, and post-production with varieties of editing and retouching software. I have joined many projects in different working position across China and UK. Particularly, as a filmmaker and photographer, acculturating the Western culture and under the multicultural background make me create unique and vivid work easier. Lastly, I am full of engagement in photography and filmmaking, and I am enthusiastic to work and capable of a high volume of work with keeping to my highest standards.
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Our readers would love to get to know you more Wei. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Married Chinese gay, now, is living in Glasgow, who is always passionate, cooperative, and efficient during working. But in non-working time, I have complicated personality: irascibility, sensitivity, fragility, over-suspiciousness but with full of love. (Now it is time to say 'thank you' to my husband. :P)
Wei, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I want to acquire compliment from most of the people, earn money to live a better life.
I was poor, and I got an opportunity. Meanwhile, photo shooting is the limited skills that I can rely on to make a living.
Who is your inspiration in life Wei? How do you keep inspired?
My classmate also my dear friend, Frankie Zhou.
Reading books and thinking; Keeping learning from other artists' work;
We all make mistakes Wei; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
It was for a wedding shooting. Our clients wanted to take photos at Calton Hill, Edinburgh. The problem was that there were a lot of tourists. It was really hard to take clean pictures and also hard to do retouching. So, I discussed with my colleagues, but they did not want to change the clients' idea as this probably would make us lose our clients. As a result, I compromised, and these pictures acquired many harsh judgements from the public. I wish I could go back and change the history.
Wei ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
The occupation of my clients normally is non-artist or non-model. Taking photos for them is more for commemorating a meaningful, important time in their life rather than art creating. They always care about 'am I beautiful or do I look natural in photos?' Thus, in order to solve this, I always keen to show their beauty, confidence in my pictures, less to do storytelling through my pictures for them.
Please tell us, Wei, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
One day me and my friend, Frankie, heard that one of our friends, Summer, is suffering from the cyber attack to her work as she wants to be a cyber celebrity, yet she is fine with the cyber attack. Then, we realised how brave she was and how cowardly and conservative we were. From the beginning of February, we decided to manage our Instagram formally to ' sale ourselves' and tried to be '21 century person'.
Wei, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Occasionally, I heard some of my Western friends said one of our friends is very shy and unconfident, like a typical Chinese girls. I quite angry and cared about this. So, at the end of January, I found the friend, 'the typical Chinese girl' and tried to show her confidence, power, beauty, sexy and elegance in pictures to eliminate some of the Western people's stereotype. When I finished my work, showed it to them in private. they surprised and kept asking, ' No way, is that she?' Then, I realised I did.
Wei, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
The proudest professional accomplishment as a photographer is that I accepted the invitation from you guys, Model Citizen Magazine, to tell my story about my career. To be honest, I am a person with low self-esteem. I never show my work to the public. I fear to receive bad judgements. After I heard Summer' story, started to use Instagram and met this opportunity. I believe this invitation from you guys is not a simple interview. It is more like a really professional compliment for my ability. I feel proud at this time.
Wei, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Every night, after my husband turns off the light, I always spent an hour or more to think about my work and try to capture an idea for my work. I think it is the soberest time of my day. I feel my mind is clear and infinite when darkness blinds my eyes. Sometimes, If I feel excited or struggled with my new idea, I cannot sleep the whole night basically.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?*
Never give up what you love and do; Time will tell you how amazing you are.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, but I don't have a specific collaboration way to work with.
Photographer: Wei Zhang @wzpictures
Models: Frankie Zhou @frankie_zzzhou; Melon Chen; Grace Xu