Fashion Unified with Portraiture
Greg Lin Jiajie is a fashion photographer from China, who is currently based in London. Greg worked with clients like Miu Miu, Fila, Samo & Xuzhi. Greg’s photos are as close to reality as one could get in a fashion sphere, described by him as ‘Fashion combined with Portraiture’. The works depict calmness with edginess and are incredibly beautiful and touching in their stillness, the moment in time from which a viewer can imagine the story behind what is seen. Portraits are touching, emotionally charged always leaving some emptiness in the frame that kindles the curiosity to discover the character’s background.
In the interview, we discuss some of Greg’s well-known shoots, the challenges in the profession and his personal story the led to photographing the series in Longyan, China.
Hi Greg, tell about the scene of creators in London. What are the main challenges for a photographer today to unify a team to work with?
Finding the right people for YOU to work together as a team. It is understandable every one of us has their own styles and unique ways of working, and it is crucial to have people who understand your point of view when unifying a team.
What was your way to becoming a photographer? Did you try any other profession?
I didn't consider myself as a photographer when I first started doing photography, I just kept on taking pictures, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to be a graphic designer when I was younger, but it never happened.
How would you describe your photographic genre? Is it the same as a couple of years ago?
I would say Fashion combined with Portraiture. Definitely not the same - I used to do Fine Art.
Where did you grow up and what is the most memorable moment from your childhood?
I grew up in my grandparent's house in the countryside down the south of China. The most memorable moments from my childhood would be spending endless summers with my twin brother there. It is something I cherish so much I actually went back last year and shot a photography series with my twin brother.
What was the hardest part of the photoshoot of going back to Longyan, China and capturing the moments with your twin brother? Technically how did you structure and build a frame while being also one of the subjects in the picture?
"The hardest part probably was to get my brother to cut his hair. He has a thing with his hair. We had a digital camera on set, basically, I had someone else standing there in my position with my brother. I took some shots first until I found the right one, then I got into the frame before we shot that on film".
"I am not sure if I am the right person to be lecturing young photographers".
Name a best film or director a Chinese and a European one.
The Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci.
Farewell My Concubine by Chen Kaige.
Being a fashion photographer how well do you feel you know trends? Do you watch any major fashion week shows?
I don't tend to follow fashion weeks, but social media and my stylist friends make sure that I am up to speed.
What are your main passions in life apart from photography?
I like video games...
Tell about the shoot in Morocco, what was the main theme and how did you manage to scout and find the location for the shoot?
Significant Other was the proposal for this particular shoot. I had never been to Morocco before, luckily we had a great producer there to organise things for us, we went to see locations the minute we arrived.
Your shoots are very storytelling building on a certain relationship in the frame. How do you approach the new shoot, where do you start from to build on your inspiration and idea for the set?
I normally start from the concept proposal sent by the client and then it is my own interpretation of whichever theme we are shooting. Inspirations could just be something I have seen on the street but when I think about it, it also just happens at the shoot naturally.
I am doing an ongoing photo series of my home town, it is coming together slowly but surely.