Wing Shya graduated from Emily Carr Institute in Canada, majoring in graphic design.  Wing established Shya-la-la Workshop, which is an award-winning design studio.  Wing has worked on films "In the Mood for Love, and Happy Together" to name a few.  He has also worked on many fashion magazines such as: French Vogue, 32c(Berlin), iD(UK), Big Magazine (US), Biba (Paris), and More or Less (Japan).  Wing clients includes Louis Vuitton, Dior skin care, Lacoste, A bathing ape, and Christophe Lemaire.  Wing is known in Hong Kong and is recognized in the film and fashion industry.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Tell me a little about your journey as a fashion photographer from when you began until now?

Wing Shya: After I graduated in 1991 and returned to Hong Kong, I started to design CD Albums for local musicians.  Then I began doing numerous photo-shoots for local magazines.  It wasn't until later, maybe after 1997, when I worked with Wong Kar Wai for the first movie, that Japanese fashion magazines invited me to do a fashion photo-shoot.  It pinpointed my journey as a fashion photographer, as I applied my cinematic style in the glamorous shoots.

EFM: Tell me what your typical day is like?

WS: I work , I hang out with my working buddies and friends.  I live everyday to the fullest.

EFM: What gives you inspiration?

WS: I'm very observative.  I pay attention to every detail in life.  Also, movie sound tracks inspires me a lot.

EFM: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

WS: I like going to theaters, see a movie, and wander around to gather more inspirations.

EFM: How do you prepare for a photo-shoot?

WS: I come up with a storyboard which resembles a movie.  Then I think about the locations.

EFM: Do you think that it's hard to become a fashion photographer?

WS: It could be yes or no.  Technically, it's easier to manipulate machines nowadays.  You can easily get references from the internet or magazines around the world, but it's difficult to adopt the right spectacles that's available out there.  It is difficult to filter that information out.

EFM: What skills do you have to have in order to become a fashion photographer?

WS: Actually nothing in particular, there are many approaches to fashion.  Even if one has no skills at all, it could also be a unique creation.  What is important, after all, is to have a unique style.

EFM: What is your favorite camera to use?


EFM: Describe your style as a photographer?

WS: Cinematic

EFM: What is the best thing you like about being a photographer?

WS: A photographer is like the master of ceremony.  You are the one who decides which way to go.  It's like putting together a puzzle, so almost every single element is under your belt.  You can go wild to be very expressive with your imagination, therefore it becomes a work that presents you in your own style.

EFM: What would you consider your most favorite photo-shoot?

WS: Apart from the presentation of style and fashion, I would consider a photo-shoot which consists of another layer of beauty--art, culture, humanity or sociology--jumping into the depth of these things would be something I like.

EFM: In detail can you give tips on how to take a great photo?

WS: First of all, one needs to define what great photo is for him/herself.  Second, when you know about your own definition about a great photo, then you need to find your own way to achieve taking a great photo of your own.  Actually there are no definite rules to taking a great photo.  All you need is to genuinely be able to define it for yourself, and be persistent.

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring fashion photographers?

WS: Consistency, persistence and resilience.  It doesn't mean that you're bad when a hundred people out there are trying to put you down.  One should always try something new.



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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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