A worldwide photographer based in Los Angeles, Christine Chang’s work has been published in numerous magazines including People, US Weekly, and Modern Luxury. Inspired by the people she photographs, Christine’s goal is to capture real moments that people can connect to. Her authentic style has attracted celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Pierce Brosnan, and Jane Fonda. Corporate Clients include AOL, Appirio, and Mind Valley.
Thank you for joining us Christine, can you tell us a little bit about your background and your journey so far as a celebrity, lifestyle, & luxury event photographer?
Photography was a hobby of mine until a friend asked if I would photograph her sister’s small wedding for fun 13 years ago. No pressure. I said sure. After that night it was clear to me that I wanted to document special moments in people’s lives. The heartfelt moments were intuitive to me and I could tell meaningful stories effortlessly. When it feels effortless is when you know you’re in alignment!
Photographing celebrities I fell into by living in LA. As I was building my portfolio I had met a couple Event Planners and Publicists who asked if I could photograph some of their celebrity clients. Once I gained a good reputation in that circle, more referrals came.
From shooting Zoe Kravitz, Jessica Alba to Kris Jenner, who has been the best to work with?
I had a great experience with all 3! All very kind and polite. Out of all the celebrities in my portfolio, if I really had to choose a favourite, it would be Jane Fonda. She’s confident, funny, smart, well-rounded, and completely unapologetic of who she is. I can only hope I can be as cool as her one day!
How you are balancing the work/life strife?
I often think about what would matter to me if I were on my death bed. The thing that always comes up is relationships. My purpose is to have a positive impact on others so whether it’s work or personal life, my goal is to be mindful, have compassion, and build quality relationships. As long as I feel connected to others I feel good, and hopefully, make others feel good too!
What platforms are you using as marketing tools to showcase your work?
I’ve been big on blogging since it became popular in the mid-2000s. It’s not as popular now but I keep it up because I don’t want someone else’s platform to be in charge of how they distribute my work. I also find that the content is more authentic and meaningful when it’s on my own website.
I do use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn a lot right now but it’s important to not completely rely on them, as the organic reach has already started to go downhill.
My other marketing platform?
Word of mouth. To me, word of mouth will always trump print and digital advertisements.
Who is the most influential female powerhouse that you admire and why?
My mom. My mom was the national tennis champion of Cambodia. She’s smart, intuitive, built 2 successful Biotech companies, has travelled the world, is athletic, logical, fair, strong, and funny! She is also out of her goddamn mind. That’s what I love about her.
She gave me the foundation to be confident, to not take crap from anyone, and to take action in the face of fear. Growing up she would always say in Cantonese, “mm paaa,” which means “no need to be scared.”
She taught me to be mindful and to double-check my work to make sure I do a good job. She taught me to work hard so that I could make myself proud and have options in life.
When I bought my first car I negotiated with the dealership and the owner said, “you’re a tough cookie.” I said thank you and he handed me the keys at the price I wanted. I credit this to my mom. She showed me through an example so I can feel like I can do anything in life.
If you could tell your 18-year old self a solid piece of advice, what would it be?
You don’t have to convince anyone anything. You do you and the right people will come.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, #BEYOUROWN means be authentic and true to yourself. Do what makes you happy.
What does 2020 look like for you and how are you planning to expand your business?
I have already begun to expand into teaching branding and business to creative entrepreneurs. Since I understand both Art and Business, it’s easy for me to understand their struggles and articulate business in a way that is easily digestible to an artistic mind.
2020 is also the year I am showing more of myself to the world beyond photography! I launched my new website christinechang.com. It’s about balancing high-performance & happiness. I do a lot of personal growth so it’s sharing what methods have worked for me to keep healthy and balanced. I’ve come across a lot of people who are wildly successful but not fulfilled and I’ve been there myself – making tons of money but miserable! My goal is to help people think about what’s truly important to them, why they are doing what they are doing, and create a life they love.
Lastly, I have a book coming out! It’s on finding love for powerful women. It is based on my struggles with modern dating before meeting my husband. The book is to help independent, capable career women feel less alone if they may be in that same area, as well as a guide to help them get clear on how to create the relationship of their dreams! Lots of new projects coming. I’m looking forward to growth.
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